Milly Alcock and Emily Carey are “conscious” of the queer subtext between their House of the Dragon characters.

Following the premiere of the Game of Thrones prequel, viewers immediately took to social media to celebrate the romantic “tension” between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Alcock) and Lady Alicent Hightower (Carey).

“Ngl Rhaenyra and Alicent… shipping these two hard. They had great chemistry and gave me such queer vibes,” said one viewer, while another tweeted: “I know I absolutely should not be thinking this show could ever be queer but Rhaenyra and Alicent, the potential is there.”

In an interview with Insider, Popsugar, and Metacritic, the actors admitted that the queer undertones was “purposeful” on their part.

“It’s definitely something we were conscious of, something that we brought up with Clare Kilner, one of the directors, our female director, that we got to work with as the younger version of the characters,” said Carey.

“It was something I was immediately conscious of when I read the script, as a queer woman myself, I was like, hey, they’re kind of in love a little bit. But I think something we played around with is the closeness of young girls like that.

“I think any woman could think back to the best friend that they had at 14 years old, and it’s a relationship and a closeness unlike any other where you toe the line between platonic and romantic.”

According to Alcock, their relationship is “like a tactile closeness and emotional closeness,” with Carey explaining further: “Especially when it’s put in the context of this world where they are the only two young girls in the Red Keep.

“It’s 100% something we were conscious of. And so if it reads on screen, it was purposeful.”

Addressing the power dynamics between men and women in the series (and society) and how that informs the relationship between Rhaenrya and Alicent, Alcock said: “These women aren’t given the privilege to know what choices they have because of the world that they live in.

“That’s the theme that runs through this entire story, and Alicent and Rhaenyra’s relationship is a prime example of it.”

Insider also spoke with Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, who play the older versions of Rhaenrya and Alicent, respectively, about the potential romance between the characters.

D’Arcy described their relationship as having an “erotic energy” like in “most intense teenage relationships, because it’s a period of trying to work out what one is and what one wants.”

Cooke added: “When you have your first intense friendship, you’re throwing all these emotions at the other person and seeing which one sticks. And it’s incredibly complex, but very passionate.”

House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of the Game of Thrones and depicts the beginning of the end of the House Targaryen, as well as the events leading up to the Targaryen war of succession, known as the “Dance of the Dragons”.

The premiere earned critical acclaim and drew in nearly 10 million viewers across all of its platforms – making it the most-watched series premiere in HBO history.

House of the Dragon airs every Sunday in the US on HBO Max.