The highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, premiered on August 21, 2022. Almost 10 million viewers tuned in to watch the first episode of the HBO series, making it the largest audience for any new original series in the network’s history.

This also means over 10 million people saw Emily Carey take on the role of young Lady Alicent Hightower. 

While fans might soon know Carey for her newest role, given the popularity of the fantasy drama series, she made her mark on television with notable roles in shows like Casualty and Get Even. The actress started acting from a young age, thanks to the support of her parents or, rather, a parent. 

Who Are Emily Carey’s Parents?

Carey was raised by a single parent, her mother, Sarah MacDonnell.

Her parents are probably divorced, as suggested by MacDonnell's tweet where she wondered what her "ex husband was doing" in T Wells. And that is also probably why the House of the Dragon star seldom talks about her father. 

Even when she talks about a father, she makes sure she is not talking about her biological father. For instance, on June 20, 2021, she wished her mother a happy Father’s Day and thanked her for not just taking on the role of both parents but also for being her therapist.


A post shared by EMILY CAREY (@theemilycarey)

As a former actress and someone with valuable first-hand experience in the industry as a parent, it was natural for Carey’s mother to start a talent agency of her own. 

In 2017, MacDonnell founded Ardent Talent, an organization that aims to discover talent and develop the careers of passionate young performers.

During an interview with Something About Rocks, Carey shared that her mother supported her passion for arts and always took her to auditions. 

“I had a really supportive family, and my mum was amazing. So she just took me for a casting, thinking it would shut me up a bit because I wouldn’t stop rambling about how I wanted to be in the West End,” shared the star. 

Luckily for Carey, she ended up landing on Shrek The Musical, and there has been no looking back ever since. 

Emily Carey on Being Raised by a Single Parent

In an interview with Glamour, the actress touched down on what it was like being raised by a single parent. 

A throwback photo of Emily Carey and her parent.

A throwback photo of Emily Carey and her mom. (Source: Instagram)

As someone raised by only a mother, Carey mentioned she picked up on feminist values. “I was raised by a single mum. It was always just me and my mum at home. So I’ve always had very feminist values."

But she clarified that by being a feminist, she was not fighting for women to be above men or pushing for a power dynamic switch, but rather equality. 

Besides sharing her family life with her mom in interviews, the actress also offers glimpses of it on her social media.

On February 20, 2021, Carey posted a tribute to her mother for her birthday with a throwback photo and a sweet caption. 

She iterated that her identity rested solely on her being her mother’s daughter. Carey ended the sweet message by noting that she aspired to be like her.