The Most Controversial Movie and TV Series Redesigns of All Time: ‘House of the Dragon’


‘House of the Dragon’ has officially traded Milly Alcock for Emma D’Arcy and Emily Carey for Olivia Cooke. IndieWire collects revamps of more controversial actors, from “The Mummy” to “Bewitched.”

The most controversial redesign decisions

The most controversial redesign decisions

Everett Collection/HBO

Just five weeks into its airing, HBO’s “House of the Dragon” is very different from the series pilot.

Titled “We Light the Way,” the fifth episode of the widely-watched “Game of Thrones” prequel encompasses a decade-long time jump: effectively forcing the Machiavellian maneuvers of the conniving courtiers at its center and setting Westeros on the path. fast for war drama. It’s a smart enough tactic for a large-scale fantasy epic, but the resulting aging of several characters also means saying goodbye to many “House of the Dragon” stars when audiences were just getting to know them. .

So far, Rhaenyra Targaryen has been played by feisty Milly Alcock: a 22-year-old Australian actress who has garnered widespread praise for her reserved but still mischievous portrayal of the princess riding a dragon. The role has since been taken over by 30-year-old English actress Emma D’Arcy, known for films like Eva Husson’s ‘Mothering Sunday’ and TV series like Nick Frost and Simon Pegg’s ‘Truth Seekers’.

Queen Alicent Hightower has also been recast. The cunning ruler was first played by 19-year-old British actress Emily Carey, who previously portrayed the younger counterparts of “Wonder Woman” and “Tomb Raider” heroines. 28-year-old English actress Olivia Cooke – who recently played a central role in Apple TV+’s ‘Slow Horses’ but has also appeared in films such as ‘Ready Player One’, ‘Thoroughbreds’ and ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” – now rules as the second wife of King Viserys Targaryen.

Other “House of the Dragon” characters you’ll see played by new actors in the future include Laenor Velaryon (formerly Matthew Carver and Theo Nate, now John Macmillan); Laena Velaryon (formerly Nova Foueillis-Mosé and Savannah Steyn, now Nanna Blondell); among other more minor Westeros players. Only time will tell how fans react and relate to the massive mid-season overhaul, but the personnel pivot will undoubtedly mark one of the most memorable in television history.

To honor the occasion, IndieWire looks back at 25 of the most controversial redesign decisions on screens big and small, from Evie O’Connell in “The Mummy” franchise to Darrin Stephens of “Bewitched.”

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