House Of The Dragon star Emily Carey has revealed the franchise’s most hardcore fans drove her off social media following comments she made ahead of the anticipated premiere.
The spin-off series – which acts as a prequel to the Game Of Thrones series – finally landed on screens this week, and chatting on the promo trail, 19-year-old Emily, who plays a younger version of Alicent Hightower, shared a glimpse into what it’s like to be in the belly of the beast.
Not that fun sometimes, it seems.
You see, ahead of the first episode, Emily temporarily deleted her Twitter after receiving a tonne of hate following an appearance at Comic Con.
In July the star received intense criticism for suggesting she’d given ‘villain’ Alicent a backstory in an effort to humanise her when preparing for her potrayal. Turns out fans were not ok with this and slammed Emily for apparently not going by George R R Martin’s book.
And despite receiving support from many a fan, it was the hate that took over.
She said: ‘I love social media. I’m 19, so I’m all on social media, and I’ve been on social media since I was a kid because I’ve worked since I was a kid so I’m very conscious of things … Any hate that comes in, it’s just … It’s a person behind a screen. You just have to move on from it.
‘But I will say I did delete Twitter [after Comic-Con] because it’s just so loud. Even when it’s good, there’s so many and it’s so loud.’
She added to News.com.au: ‘I love the buzz, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it can be overwhelming, and that’s me being completely transparent.’
Emily stars as Alicent Hightower, who is one of the leads alongside childhood friend turned rival, Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Milly Alcock.
The spin-off is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire books by Martin and is set 200 years before the events of the original series but still have one thing in common: a right battle over the royal line of succession. Naturally.
Speaking at Comic-Con earlier this year, Emily explained that she had written a journal as Alicent to populate her backstory, telling the audience: ‘There were some gaps that we had to fill, so to figure it all out I sort of started journaling, and with the help of [showrunners] Ryan and Miguel I managed to come up with some form of backstory, and it proved to be very useful.
‘I’ve never had the freedom to create a whole human being like this before. So it was so much fun being able to go so in depth with her.’
She added: ‘I think it gave me a deeper understanding of Alicent. I think she’s so multifaceted. There are so many layers to her. I think lots of people are already expecting her to be the villain of the show, but I think bringing her in younger, there was a lot more to explore.’
This did no go down well with punters who felt Emily needed to accept she was playing a villain, with many questioning if she’d even, like, read the book.
In a now-deleted tweet addressing the backlash, Emily had written: ‘I stand by what I said in the panel. Alicent is not the villain, folks. When we meet her she’s a child, a product of the patriarchy. Just you wait and see. Maybe you’ll sympathise.’
House Of The Dragon is available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NOW, with new episodes released at 2am on Mondays.
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