‘House of the Dragon’ Fans Rejoice Over Return of Season 1 Star

House of the Dragon Season 2, Episode 3 featured a blast from the past – actress Milly Alcock, who played young Rhaenyra Targaryen in Season 1 before the show's time skip. Fans weren't expecting to see Alcock back this season, which is a shame considering her award-winning performance. Here's a look at how how fans celebrated her big return.

Alcock was the star of the first five episodes of House of the Dragon, before the show leapt ahead several years and her role was taken over by Emma D'Arcy. Fans love D'Arcy's performance as well, but having Alcock back on screen simply let them feel like they were having their cake and eating it too. Alcock made a brief appearance in a dream-like vision, combining aspects of the past and present as dreams in this series so often do.

(Photo: Ollie Upton / HBO)

For anyone who missed this scene or needs a refresher, spoiler warning, Alcock appeared as Rhaenyra during a vision that Daemon (Matt Smith) had at Harrenhal. The castle is rumored to be haunted, and it is constructed partially from Wierwood logs which adds to its aura of magic. In the vision, Smith follows a shadowy figure and an ominous tune to a chamber where Rhaenyra sits facing a fireplace, apparently sewing. However, when he approaches he can see that she's actually sewing the head back on to young Jaehaerys Targaryen (Jude Rock) – the child that was killed because of Daemon in Episode 1.

"Always coming and going, aren't you?" She says. "And I have to clean up afterwards." She looks at Daemon briefly before looking back down at Jaehaerys, singing while she works. Daemon is clearly horrified, but when he snaps back to reality, his expression is closer to anger.

Alcock's return here was not teased at all in the promotional material, the credits or social media. Fans applauded the whole cast and crew for keeping this secret, and began to wonder what else might be under wraps. If more characters find themselves having visions like this, the sky could be the limit for returning characters and actors.

Fans also held this up as yet another reason they prefer TV shows that air from week to week rather than dropping all at once for the "binge watch model." Many reveled in this unique moment and said that it wouldn't have been possible if everyone weren't watching the show at the same time.

The visions themselves were also a major draw for this episode, as many fans felt they were an aspect of the book left out of Game of Thrones. Author George R.R. Martin uses a lot of dream sequences in his novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, and he raises a lot of questions about psychic forces that might be influencing those dreams such as the wierwood trees, the dragon eggs and so on. Fans lamented the missed opportunities to have scenes like this one in the main series, where the magical elements of Westeros were more downplayed.

House of the Dragon Season 2 continues on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and Max. Martin's books are available now in print, digital and audiobook formats.