The wigs of Westeros: House of the Dragon stars discuss their hair game (of thrones)
Forget the dragons and the new Iron Throne design. The people want to know about one thing on House of the Dragon: the wigs!
While on set of the Game of Thrones prequel for EW's digital cover shoot, we asked the stars for their hot takes on the epic wigs many of them have to wear. Emma D'Arcy, who plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, has the best story.
House of the Dragon takes place hundreds of years before the events of HBO's Game of Thrones, at a time when the Targaryens ruled Westeros and a civil war over succession to the throne was about to break out. As the daughter of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) and his chosen successor, the silver-haired Rhaenyra is a crucial character in the impending conflict.
D'Arcy, who uses they/them pronouns, says they "lived as Rhaenyra for about three months" during the COVID-19 pandemic as they recorded "rounds and rounds of self tapes" for the audition.
"Somewhere in the midst of that, I got on a Zoom call with [showrunners] Miguel [Sapochnik] and Ryan [Condal], and Miguel asked me if I had a wig," they recall. D'Arcy, who has considerably short hair, replied, "Do I look like a person who owns a wig?"
"And this is mid-pandemic where the only things that are open are supermarkets," D'Arcy adds. "All I had were some hair extensions left over from a job. No way of attaching them to me, no idea how to do that. For 24 hours, me and my partner just tried — I can't put more emphasis behind that word. My hair was about as long as it is now. We hot glued these hair extensions to these wig grips. We would send photos to Miguel, and we thought we'd cracked it. And he said, 'Can you keep trying?' We kept trying until we found something that gave me the illusion I had long hair. And then, every time we taped after that, I would sit in front of the telly, and my partner would do my hair extensions for an hour and a half before we taped anything."
Since they were cast in the role, D'Arcy has experienced life with a professional-grade Targaryen wig. "I love wearing a wig, it turns out," they remark while sitting beside their costar Matt Smith, who plays Rhaenyra's uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen. "It's just so transformative."
Eve Best, who plays Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, opens up about what it's really like working with all that hair. "The wigs! It's a number to get into them — and then get out of them," she says.
Olivia Cooke, playing Alicent Hightower, daughter of the Hand of the King, doesn't have nearly as much wig work as those playing members of House Targaryen or House Velaryon. But she does have some extensions for a couple episodes.
"And then you've got all the battle scenes where the wigs get destroyed from all the blood and the gunk that's being thrown around. You can just see the despair from the hair and makeup team," she says.
Watch more of the cast discussing their wigs in EW's video interview for House of the Dragon above.
A Game of Thrones prequel focusing on the dragon-riding Targaryens.
- Kumail Nanjiani teases his 'bananas' crime drama Welcome to Chippendales
- Ciao, Sicily: The White Lotus flies to Italy for 'sexier,' 'more sinister' season 2
- Two Petes are better than one as Ghosts haunts up a hilarious second season
- Melissa Villaseñor on how she celebrates her culture from SNL to her new book Whoops... I'm Awesome