Emily Carey recalls ‘House of the Dragon’ backlash from trolls

Emily Carey received a ‘huge amount’ of ‘borderline homophobic hate’ over her role in 'House of the Dragon'. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Emily Carey received a ‘huge amount’ of ‘borderline homophobic hate’ over her role in 'House of the Dragon'. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Published Jun 3, 2024


Emily Carey received a "huge amount" of "borderline homophobic hate" over her role in 'House of the Dragon'.

The 21-year-old actress played the young Alicent Hightower in the first season of the “Game of Thrones” prequel and she faced a backlash from fans who accused her of trying to "force [her] lesbianism" on her alter ego when she and co-star Milly Alcock, who played the teenage Rhaenyra Targaryen, spoke about the "romantic subtext" between their alter egos.

Carey told Independent.co.uk: "As a queer person, I received a huge amount of borderline homophobic hate on the internet.

“I had a lot of comments that I’d forced my lesbianism on these characters, which is just absurd, in my opinion. All we said was that if you wanted to see this potential spark between them, you could.

"I mean, it wasn’t something we were ever consciously playing. It wasn’t something where we thought, ‘Hey, let’s throw this in. This will be fun’.

"It was just something that we spoke about, as we felt this sort of palpable tension between the two characters.

“Alicent and Rhaenyra are 14, they’re in this world that, by the way, isn’t even real, it is all very made-up… and they don’t know what this means.

“A lot of the characters struggle to contend with the idea of love because, especially Alicent, she’s married someone who she’s not necessarily in love with but she holds some love for him, and I think the word ‘love’ is very subjective within the world of the show.”

Carey found the trolling "a lot to take on" but she's learned to shut out fan comments now.

She said: "I’m learning to only take on board what is going to benefit me in some way. I love hearing from the fans of the show, and hearing people’s opinions on the characters.

“But it taught me a lot, and while I’m very appreciative of the fans, and as much as I love them, I think I’ve stopped listening now.”

The actress appeared in five episodes of “House of the Dragon” and hadn't realised just how big a role she'd landed at first.

She recalled: “I did not realise how big the role was going to be until I was on set.

“I was like, ‘Whoa, OK, this is the next year of my life. This is crazy.’ And it was terrifying – and I’m so glad that I had Milly as my rock throughout.”