The first season begins with House Targaryen at peace. King Viserys, for all his weaknesses as a ruler, is a good man who wants stability for his family and his kingdom. But a struggle for succession among his roguish younger brother Daemon (Matt Smith), his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and her onetime friend Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) soon rends the kingdom asunder.

“It’s a civil war,” Condal summarizes. “The family fights itself.”

It’s also a war fought on gender lines. Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) — dubbed “The Queen Who Never Was” — had been seen as the best candidate to rule, but she was passed over by a council of men in favor of her cousin Viserys. Her dignity, subtle resentment and self-realization set the tone for the series.

“At my very first meeting, Miguel said to me that the heart of the show is my line, ‘Men would sooner put the realm to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne,'” Best recalls.

Together with Rhaenys, Alicent and Rhaenyra make up the female axis of House of the Dragon, with the latter two depicted both as young friends (played by Emily Carey and Milly Alcock, respectively) and grown-up rivals (Cooke and D’Arcy).

“At the start of the story,” D’Arcy says, “we understand that Rhaenys was meant to be next to take the throne, but in a consolidation of male power, the role is given instead to Rhaenyra’s father, Viserys. So straightaway we’re in a context where women get shafted. For a woman to take power, you have to convince the electorate and the supporters and the allies that a woman is not ‘other.’ So the question of the show is, how do you do that?”

Emmy Magazine

Here are the captures from both behind the scenes segments:

Behind the shoot:

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