Actor Emma D’Arcy on championing non-binary representation with House of the Dragon lead role

D’Arcy said it's a "real privilege" to champion non-binary on-screen representation in House of the Dragon.

Actor Emma Darcy on tv series House of the Dragon playing Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen.
Image: Via X - @carlwheezersgf

In a recent interview, non-binary actor Emma D’Arcy, who plays one of the main roles in the HBO fantasy series House of the Dragon, opened up about how being a gender-nonconforming person on such a popular show is “a real privilege”.

The highly-anticipated second season of the Game of Thrones prequel aired on June 16, with Emma D’Arcy coming back to their role as Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen. Their acting performance during season one earned D’Arcy critical acclaim and Golden Globe Award nomination.

With the new episodes finally here, the official synopsis for season two reads: “With Westeros on the brink of a bloody civil war with Green and Black Councils fighting for King Aegon and Queen Rhaenyra respectively, viewers will see the house that dragons built and learn how they tore it all down.”

In an interview with Gay Times to mark the launch of the new episodes, Emma D’Arcy talked about what it’s like to champion non-binary on-screen representation in House of the Dragon.



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A post shared by Emma D’Arcy (@emmaziadarcy)

“Being a gender nonconforming person on screen feels like a real privilege because when I was younger, I thought that if I were to be able to act as my job, it would be quite separate from my identity, and maybe they would remain separate,” they said.

“I didn’t know if it would be possible for those to overlap and be in conversation with one another.”

In the same interview, which included their co-star Olivia Cooke, who plays Queen Alicent Hightower in the series, the two actors also addressed the sapphic chemistry between their two characters. When asked if they intentionally infuse their relationship with queer subtext, the pair replied that they don’t.

“You can only ever play the given circumstances, so these are characters who are not really in conditions that allow lust, sex, desire to come up in this space,” said D’Arcy.

“The stakes are too high and the grievances, the catastrophic events, are too big.”



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A post shared by Emma D’Arcy (@emmaziadarcy)

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