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Emma D'Arcy on Daemon "Grooming" Rhaenyra: "It's a Mess"

Image credit: HBO Max

It looks like the actor behind the older version of Rhaenyra Targaryen is not exactly a fan of the Daemon-Rhaenyra chemistry.

Emma D'Arcy, who has just recently stepped in House of the Dragon to replace Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen, is quite critical of the way relationship between Daemon and their character is developing.

The non-binary actor, who uses they/them pronouns, believes that it is more about the age gap than even the incest. In an interview with The Independent, D'Arcy admitted that their relationship is basically "a mess".

"This is essentially a grooming scenario," D'Arcy concluded. "The idea that a teenage girl is in any way able to consent to that sexual interaction is a mess. There is no way that power can be equally distributed in that relationship."

In the show, the bizarre chemistry between Daemon and Rhaenyra develops long before D'Arcy steps in to portray the princess. The show, however, is merciful enough to split the couple for ten years before they are set to meet again after the time jump in episode 6. Earlier, Daemon took Rhaenyra to a brothel and almost had sex with her, but left her at the last moment.

However, if anyone is going to hint at how their relationship will evolve, it's not D'Arcy.

"I can't give you that answer because I know what happens!" they said. "Best to leave that to the fan-fiction writers. I'll be reading!"

Ten years later in the show, Daemon and Rhaenyra are yet to meet again. According to the books, they are going to be on the same side when things escalate into what is known in Westeros as Dance of the Dragons — a fiery and bloody battle between two Targaryen factions over the Iron Throne succession line.

The first season will consist of ten episodes, but it is unclear whether the Dance of the Dragons will kick off before the finale or fans will have to wait until season 2. New episodes arrive on HBO Max every Sunday.

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