As the first season repositions itself for the start of the greatest battles in all of Westeros, the season’s last episode saw a time jump of 10 years. So while viewers may have become attached to some of the characters from the first five episodes, the show must go on.
In truth, we can only be grateful to the show’s Executive Producers, Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal, for allowing viewers to see the cause of the rift and budding civil war ahead. As a result, viewers can take sides with the characters and understand how unattended wounds can fester into something disastrous.
From the season’s sixth episode, these are the new character upgrades and additions to the show.
Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy)
The episode begins with Princess Rhaenyra on the verge of giving birth to her third child, Joffrey. Emma D’Arcy takes on an almost striking resemblance to a more mature Milly Alcock. As if to clear all doubt as to if Emma D’Arcy was a suitable replacement for the young Princess Rhaenyra, the actress delivers a superb performance in the first minutes of the episode.
Viewers are graced to see the princess has not lost her tenacity. Emma D’Arcy gives a remarkable performance throughout the episode. It almost seems like the younger Milly Alcock physically performed a 10-year jump.
Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke)
Queen Alicent’s demand for Princess Rhaenyra’s child to be brought to her chambers immediately after childbirth was not something everyone was expecting. For ten years, the Queen had somehow managed to keep her anger at her former best friend, Princess Rhaenyra. So apart from the show spoilers, waiting to see who the matured Queen Alicent would be, was not met with disappointment.
Olivia Cooke delivers the calm demeanor of the character, as well as the growing, silent loathing of the princess. Much like Emily Carey (young Queen Alicent), Olivia Cooke comes with a well-matured beauty. Although viewers only got a glimpse of what a pissed-off Queen Alicent looks like, Olivia Cooke delivers well on its premise.
Laenor Velaryon (John MacMillan)
If we get past the pretty face of young Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Tate), his character agrees to a sham marriage with Princess Rhaenyra in the fifth episode. However, after the time jump, John MacMillan takes over, revealing Laenor’s inability to get Princess Rhaenyra pregnant or even consummate the marriage.
The time jump leaves us with a contrasted Laenor who seems more content playing the drunk and playing around with his lover. Hopefully, as he leaves King’s Landing to Dragonstone, we’ll get to see the once conquering and respectful Ser Laenor.
Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney)
King Viserys and Queen Alicent’s first son, Aegon II, are all grown and played by Tom Glynn-Carney. Undoubtedly, his character will play a crucial role in the civil war, but it is refreshing to see how naïve and playful he was as a teenager. With his mom’s attempt to fuel the flames of discord between him and Jace (Rhaenyra’s first child), we see a boy gradually trying to become a man.
Jacaerys Velaryon (Leo Hart)
Episode 6 comes alive with the fact that Princess Rhaenyra and Laenor have three children (excluding the helpfulness of Ser Harwin Strong). Leo Hart plays the young Jacaerys, who we can’t help to notice is as intuitive and tentative as his mom.
Although like other kids characters shown in episode 6, Jace would eventually grow older to play his part in what lies ahead. It was a joy seeing Leo Hart give life to the young Jacaerys Velaryon.
Other notable character mentions
Savannah Steyn briefly plays the character of a teenage Lady, Laena, in episode 5. We last saw her flirting with Prince Daemon towards the end of episode 5. So, it was no surprise that both were wedded in episode 6 after the time jump.
However, a more mature Lady, Laena, was played by Nanna Blondell. It was sad to see the character killed off in episode 6, but it was probably a necessary event to get Prince Daemon back to Westeros.
An older Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr) manages to father all three children of Princess Rhaenyra. However, the producers of the show spared us the trauma of having to witness another Ser Criston Cole episode by killing the character off. Apart from Princess Rhaenyra and her children, it’s hard to say his character will be missed.Olivia Cooke
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