House of the Dragon Backlash Over Season 2 Casting Echoes Emma D'Arcy Controversy

House of the Dragon Backlash Over Season 2 Casting Echoes Emma D'Arcy Controversy
Image credit: Legion-Media

Fans not impressed with Alys Rivers actor choice.

Casting for House of the Dragon season 2 is well underway – and as expected, it's splitting opinion among fans of the show.

News broke this week that Gayle Rankin has been chosen to play Alys Strong, a wet nurse at Harrenhal, lover to Aemond and, according to some, a witch queen. And, in much the same way that some fans were quick to say Emma D'Arcy wasn't attractive enough to play Rhaenyra Targaryen in season 1, there's the backlash against this choice too in some quarters.

In the end, D'Arcy was largely considered to have portrayed Rhaenyra pretty well by most viewers – in so much as they won the IMDB Breakout Star Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role.

And there is an argument for saying that some seem a bit too keen to focus on whether actors look like the literary version of a character as opposed to what they can bring to the role. As Emily Dodson in HBO's Perry Mason and Queen Victoria in The Greatest Showman, Rankin has proved she can turn in quality performances in hit recordings.

And there is, of course, the small fact that she would have auditioned for the part – as many others did – and shown the casting directors she has what it takes to play the role.

To be fair, for all the criticism of later seasons of Game of Thrones and the initial mixed feelings towards season 1 of HotD, casting is something that hasn't really been called into question once the respective shows went to air.

Back at the start of the original series, people criticised the choice of Mark Addy as King Robert Baratheon, but it turned out to be an excellent casting. Addy got the ageing and disinterested monarch down to a tee.

Likewise, some said Pablo Pascal couldn't pull off the role of Prince Oberyn, and yet he was a fan favourite by the end of his first episode. And when the cast for HotD season 1 was announced, doubts were cast over whether former Dr Who actor Matt Smith had what it takes. Smith was later nominated for a Critic's Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.

So, it's unlikely that Gayle Rankin will be too bothered by reports that she doesn't look the part of Alys Rivers. And who knows? Maybe she'll be picking up nominations and awards for her part in the show in the not too distant future.

Source: Variety.