Eve Best discusses what lured her to join the cast of House of the Dragon. The upcoming HBO series has been in development since late 2019 and is due to premiere on August 21. Led by showrunners Ryan J. Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, the show is based on George R. R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, which serves as a prequel to his original series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
Set 200 years before Game of Thrones, the new series tells the tale of a Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Starring Paddy Considine as the reigning King Viserys I Targaryen, the conflict in House of the Dragon begins after he declares his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy and Milly Alcock) heir to the Iron Throne, usurping the claims of his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) and his sons with Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke and Emily Carey). Completing the reigning Targaryen family is Best as Princess Rhaenys, a dragon rider married to the prominent Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint). Referred to as the Queen Who Never Was, Rhaenys was the only child of Aemon Targaryen (the eldest son of the former king) whose claim to the Iron Throne was dismissed in favor of her male cousin, Viserys.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: All You Need To Know About House Velaryon In House Of The Dragon
Now, in an interview with The Observer, Best opens up about the House of the Dragon casting process and her reasons for joining the show. The project was initially shrouded in secrecy, but eventually it pulled Best in and fueled her desire to be on the show. It helped that Rhaenys is a dragon rider. Check out her full comments below:
"Everything was so secretive. The audition, we were initially sent a scene from the original Game of Thrones with the names changed. We weren’t even told the title of the new show. When eventually I was sent a real script, I loved the writing. Ryan [Condal] and Miguel [Sapochnik, co-showrunners] hooked me in immediately with the driving theme of the series. There is a line my character says early on: “Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend to the Iron Throne.” Lose the word “Iron” from that sentence and it feels all too relevant. To top it all off, they told me my character was a dragon rider. I was in!"
Promising to treat Game of Thrones fans with no less than 17 new dragons, Best’s character looks set to be one of the lucky members of House Targaryen to ride one. Though so far unseen in any official trailers or images, Rhaenys was depicted in the books as having bonded to the dragon Meleys, also known as Red Queen. While she may no longer be considered a contender for the Iron Throne by the time of House of the Dragon, it can be assumed based on the original source material that Rhaenys and her husband Corlys Velaryon will still enjoy a place of prominence in the television series, particularly as Best’s comments indicate she will ride a dragon at least once.
Notorious for the lengths it went to keep Game of Thrones a secret, it is perhaps no surprise that HBO was keen to maintain some mystery over the prequel, even amongst its own cast. Though more details on the plot have since been teased as the premiere date draws closer, the supposed deviations from Martin’s original work will help to keep fans engaged and on their toes. While some things remain shrouded in mystery, Best’s comments reinforce the idea that House of the Dragon will focus heavily on the theme of misogyny in Westeros… and dragons.
House of the Dragon premieres on Sunday, August 21 on HBO.
Source: The Observer