Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen, played by Emma D'Arcy and Matt Smith respectively, learn that King Viserys I died in the finale of the first season of House of the Dragon

Matt Smith Casually Correcting Sue Perkins’ Misgendering of Emma D’Arcy Is Everything

It’s very easy to not misgender someone, but sometimes, accidents happen, which is why many fans are giving comedian and actress Sue Perkins the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Emma D’arcy.

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The former Great British Bake-Off host misgendered D’arcy on the House of the Dragon carpet. D’Arcy uses they/them pronouns, while their character, Rhaenyra Targaryen, uses she/her pronouns. But Perkins was on the carpet talking about D’Arcy, and when HOTD co-star Matt Smith (who plays Daemon Targaryen) came to talk with Perkins, she continually misgendered D’Arcy while explaining their interaction to Smith.

He went on to just make a point of giving credit to D’Arcy and making sure it was clear that Emma D’Arcy’s pronounts are they/them. “I can’t take the credit, but I have to say, aren’t they brilliant?” Smith said. “They are absolutely brilliant and you’re in for a real treat with Emma this year, I think Emma’s put in … a really great performance.”

Fans responded by praising Smith for just politely correcting Perkins’ use of “she” when discussing D’Arcy. One wrote, “the sexiest thing a man can do is quietly correct someone’s pronouns mid conversation,” and I have to agree. Smith didn’t make a show of it or make some comment about Perkins, instead simply using D’Arcy’s pronouns pointedly when speaking about how talented he found them to be, and we all loved to see the respect for D’Arcy continue with this cast.

This was, apparently, not the only time during the night at the U.K. premiere that D’Arcy was misgendered, and fans pointed out that even if it wasn’t intentional, it is the job of whoever is doing the interview to know the pronouns of the person they are speaking to.

This was also, sadly, not the only time it happened on this press tour.

The cast has been consistently making it clear that D’Arcy is non-binary

I witnessed first hand how the cast recognizes and respects D’Arcy’s pronouns. At the press conference for the show in New York, one of the questions that I loved about zodiac signs was also a double question. The woman asking the question asked a general question about women in the show and the women who brought those characters to life.

Both Eve Best and Bethany Antonia looked at each other before Antonia said something along the lines of “That one is a question for us two then,” and it was a very sweet move on Antonia’s part to make it clear that D’Arcy is non-binary and that the question would be answered by Best and herself. It was a brief moment but one that stood out to me because I didn’t like that the question generalized the female characters together with the women playing them when D’Arcy plays a leading character. So Antonia’s move was incredible to see.

That, paired with Smith politely correcting the misuse of pronouns by Perkins, is an example of how we all should be reacting to these moments to show our love and support for the trans and non-binary communities.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.