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Milly Alcock — things you didn’t know about Rhaenyra from House of the Dragon

Milly Alcock on the red carpet in 2022
Milly Alcock from House of the Dragon. (Image credit: Getty)

House of the Dragon, HBO’s highly-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel is here. The epic fantasy spinoff, which is set 200 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones, centers on House Targaryen, and playing the young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is Australian actress, Milly Alcock.

Although having had previous acting roles on Australian TV, the rising star is a newcomer to Hollywood, and just a few years ago was washing dishes in a restaurant to make ends meet. But Milly is already the face of House of the Dragon, featuring on the show’s promotional posters, and her standout performance as steely Rhaenyra is already tipped to turn her into a household name.

Here is everything you need to know about Milly, from her past TV and film jobs to her newfound love of photography...

Milly Alcock started acting as a young girl 

Amelia May Alcock was born on April 11, 2000, and was raised by her parents in Sydney, Australia, alongside her two brothers. Having been bitten by the acting bug young, Milly’s first stage performance was at six years old, when she donned a denim skirt and cowboy boots in a production of Little Red Rocking Hood at her local church theatre. 

In an interview with the American fashion title, Flaunt (opens in new tab), the actor revealed her fascination with storytelling had started even earlier, after continually pressing rewind on a stolen Blockbuster DVD of the Audrey Hepburn classic, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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She made her small screen debut in Australia

Milly’s TV debut came in 2014 when she had a bit part in romantic comedy, Wonderland. Roles in other Australian shows soon followed — playing Isabella Barrett in High Life, and Cindi Jackson in the third series of Janet King. Milly also hosted her own programme, The BF Chefs, which aired on the Disney Channel and was filmed in her native Sydney. 

The actress has a number of TV adverts on her CV, for big brands such as Cadbury, KFC and Woolworths. And Milly isn’t just a star of the small screen, her film credits include The School, Reckoning and The Gloaming.

Milly Alcock in House of the Dragon

Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon. (Image credit: HBO)

She quit school to pursue her dream career

Milly was a year 12 pupil at Sydney’s Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, when she was cast to play runaway teen Meg in the Australian drama Upright, alongside acclaimed comedian Tim Minchin. Due to the nature of the filming schedule, Milly made the decision to quit education in order to pursue her acting career. The gamble paid off, and her portrayal of misfit Meg in the eight-part series won her the 2018 Casting Guild of Australia Rising Star Award.

Speaking to Miss Vogue Australia (opens in new tab), Milly admitted she has no regrets: “I knew that this opportunity would be so much more of a valuable experience than getting my piece of paper. I was like: ‘No, this is what I’ve been working towards and I’ve been given this amazing opportunity with this amazing cast, with this beautiful script.’” Since its debut in Australia, Upright has also been rolled out in the UK and Canada, and in March 2022, Milly travelled to Queensland to shoot the second series.

She used to live in her mum’s attic

Milly currently resides in London, but it wasn’t long ago she was living in the attic of her mum’s house in Australia. In-between acting roles, she had taken a job washing up in a restaurant to earn extra money. And it was during that time she sent off two self-tapes for an ‘unknown HBO project’. 

Just two weeks later, Milly received a life-changing call from her agent, confirming she’d won the coveted role of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon. Telling Stellar (opens in new tab) magazine about that pivotal moment, Milly said: “I never thought this would happen to me. I froze, and took a deep breath and said to my friend, "Do you have wine?" Then I called my mum.”

Milly Alcock in House of the Dragon

Milly with her co-star Emily Carey who plays Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon.  (Image credit: HBO)

She bonded with her House of the Dragon co-star

Shooting House of the Dragon was a real baptism of fire for Milly, who relocated from her family home in Sydney to a flat in Primrose Hill. Living alone for the first time in the middle of a global pandemic and working on a big-budget production, Milly admitted she felt out of her depth and relied on the support from her fellow cast and crew. 

In particular, she became very close to her co-star Emily Carey (who plays Alicent Hightower). “We met virtually before the show and both had the same feelings about this job,” Milly revealed in a chat with Hype (opens in new tab): “We’re both young women, doing a major show that is usually based around men, so we developed a kindred relationship. I adore Emily, I’m very protective of her, I feel like she’s my little sister.” Aww.

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She's a pro at riding a pretend dragon

As the title of the show suggests, Milly’s character Princess Rhaenyra is a dragonrider. Her steed, called Syrax, is based on an eagle, and in the context of the series, is like a pet to Rhaenyra. Syrax is, of course, an optical illusion, which required Milly to do a lot of interacting with a fake blue screen, something she found rather amusing. 

Speaking to fans at the San Diego Comic Con 2022, the actress described what it was like to ride Syrax. “You’re propped up on what looks like a mechanical bull that you might ride in a bar or pub,” Milly shared. “It lifts up six feet in the air and there are four guys with leaf blowers — it’s strange!”

She’s a keen photographer

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While acting is currently Milly’s number one passion, she’s also developed a flare for photography. She picked up the hobby during lockdown, and has posted a selection of her stylish shots on her Instagram account. One that stands out is a black and white image of Parisian children playing ball in the streets. For Milly, the photograph she captured is full of beauty. 

In an interview with Flaunt, she expressed: “Some people might see the photo of the kids in Paris and say, ‘Oh the composition is wrong—it’s a bit slanted.’ I think the beauty is in the mistakes because it’s alive. The ability to control an image and evoke a certain feeling is what drew it to me.”

Milly Alcock’s fact file

Frequently asked questions about the actress...

How old is Milly Alcock?

Milly Alcock is 22, she was born on 11th April 2000.

Is Milly Alcock married?

Milly Alcock is not married.

Does Milly Alcock have any children?

Milly Alcock does not have any children.

Where is Milly Alcock from?

Milly was born in Sydney, Australia.

How tall is Milly Alcock?

Milly is 5 foot 5.

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We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.

Laura Morgan
Freelance writer

Laura has been a journalist for over a decade, writing about soaps, TV entertainment, fashion, beauty, and food. After graduating from university, she started her career working at a national soap and TV magazine. During her seven-year stint there she joined the cast of Emmerdale for a tour around the famous village, partied with soap stars at awards bashes, interviewed her acting idol David Suchet, and sat in the front row of Strictly Come Dancing

Her heart lies with the soaps, and her all-time favourite character has to be EastEnders' Pat Butcher - no one rocked a big earring quite like her. She's also a huge fan of detective crime dramas, particularly old school Inspector Morse, Endeavour, and adaptations of Agatha Christie's Marple and Poirot. When she's not writing, she loves a spot of second-hand shopping and going on adventures with her young son.