Emma D’Arcy is an accomplished lead in ‘House of the Dragon’

Although the actor joins House of the Dragon midway through Season 1, D’Arcy’s role as Princess Rhaenyra proves that stature is a leader.

When awards season kicks off, one of the most common debates that springs up is which performers are committing “category cheating.” Often people judge which actors are the leads of a show or movie by the minutes they appear on screen, not by the size of their role.

On the film side, random tweeters are currently posting scathing comments about Viola Davis submitting herself as the lead in The Woman King, even as the film more often follows breakout star Thuso Mbedu, ignoring the fact that the Oscar-winning actress is the eponymous Woman plays monarch. When it comes to television awards, there is often a dispute over the placement of actors such as Hannah Einbinder, who competes in a comedy series for best supporting actress despite co-starring with Jean Smart in “Hacks”, or Melanie Lynskey, of the “Yellowjackets”. “-Stars. Juliette Lewis, Tawny Cypress and Christina Ricci divide and conquer the Outstanding Lead Actress and Supporting Actress categories in a drama series.

A case from this coming year that people finally seem to be getting what actually makes a track, as awards bodies like the Screen Actors Guild prepare to nominate a new wave of TV actors from shows that are in the second Premiered halfway through 2022 is House of the Dragon actress Emma D’Arcy.

The non-binary star of the highly-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel, which centers on the silver-blonde Targaryen family, only appears on screens halfway through its debut season, where she takes on the role of Princess Rhaenyra from young phenom Milly Alcock take over. Viewers are immediately struck by D’Arcy’s intensity in her first moments as the queen-in-waiting, breathing shallowly during another of the fantasy series’ all-too-terrifying birth scenes.

Thankfully, Rhaenyra’s story arc becomes a little less violent in subsequent episodes, leaving room for D’Arcy to showcase the character’s natural strength as the ascendant ruler of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Despite suffering some of the same adversities as Game of Thrones characters like Sansa Stark or Cersei Lannister, she’s allowed to be a more complicated heroine. D’Arcy moves beyond dialogue, using her mesmerizing gaze to capture Rhaenyra’s warmth as a protective mother, her ruse in creating life with Prince Daemon from the ashes of her tragic first marriage, and her melancholy at the state of the. By the end of the season, D’Arcy has audiences seeing red, just as Rhaenyra sees it, and faces an unspeakable loss.

Although House of the Dragon is an ensemble series, viewers can tell by D’Arcy’s presence alone that her Rhaenyra is the star of the show. The character literally wraps up the second half of the season with the aforementioned birth scene and final heartthrob. D’Arcy has already been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama TV Series at the Golden Globes, so more Lead Actor nominations should follow. Even on a show too big to fail, with marginal screen time compared to the other nominees, D’Arcy’s standout work was a reminder that what an actor does with the material given can be what makes him makes a leading role Come awards time.

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https://www.indiewire.com/2023/01/emma-darcy-house-of-the-dragon-lead-1234795767/ Emma D’Arcy is an accomplished lead in ‘House of the Dragon’

Lindsay Lowe

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