‘House of the Dragon’ Star Emily Carey Was ‘Scared’ of Sex Scenes Due to ‘Violence Upon Women’ in ‘Game of Thrones’

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Emily Carey, who plays young Alicent Hightower in HBO’s “House of the Dragon,” opened up about being “scared” of doing sex scenes in the “Game of Thrones” prequel due to the “violence upon women” in its predecessor.

In Sunday night’s episode, titled “King of the Narrow Sea,” Carey appears in two intimate scenes — one in which Alicent bathes her husband, the much older King Viserys (Paddy Considine), and another in which she has sex with him. In the latter scene, it is clear Alicent is reluctant to engage with Viserys and is not enjoying their intimacy.

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Carey, who was 17 upon reading the scripts and 18 when filming, told Newsweek that the scene “scared” her “because at that point I still hadn’t met Paddy, I didn’t know how much of a joy he was and how easy he was going to make [the scene], and all I saw was, you know, a 47-year-old man and me. I was a bit concerned.”

The actor, who uses she/they pronouns, credits “House of the Dragon’s” intimacy coordinator for making them feel comfortable.

“Having that outlet of the intimacy coordinator, to be able to talk everything through and not be shunned, or not feel awkward, or not feel like ‘Oh, this isn’t your job. I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable but can I ask you…’ It was never any of that, it was just that open dialogue,” Carey said. “In the rehearsal room she was a massive help, and on set she was a massive help. Yeah, it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.”

Before starting production on “House of the Dragon,” Carey sat down to watch “Game of Thrones.” “Of course the first season, even just the first episode of ‘Thrones,‘ there’s a lot of violence upon women,” she said. “There’s a lot of violent sex, and it made me nervous. I was like, ‘Oh God, what am I gonna have to do in this show?'”

Carey praised showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik for having an “open conversation” and making the cast “feel incredibly secure and safe.”

“When we got to the rehearsal room, regardless of who was in which scenes, there was an open dialogue about, ‘Look, this is how we’re approaching the show. This is how it’s going to be different from the original. This is what we want to talk about. This is what we want to put out. This is how we want the viewers to view the women in our show,'” Carey said.

The actor added: “Certainly, there were a lot of women behind the scenes. We had an amazing team, we had, of course, female directors, I worked with the amazing Clare Kilner who was fierce, and lots of women producing this show as well, and Sara [Hess], one of our writers, amongst many others in the writers room, I’m sure.”

Carey concluded, “It was an amazing thing, and it was empowering being on that set as a young girl and being treated the same as all of these very established men. It was great, I think they approached this in the best way they could have done.”

Since there will be a big time jump in “House of the Dragon,” Carey and her co-star Milly Alcock, who plays the young Rhaenyra Targaryen, will soon be replaced by Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy, respectively.

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