Why Alicent’s Green Dress Is So Important in House of the Dragon

Why Did Alicent Go Green and What Does that Mean for the Future?

Since House of the Dragon began, many have been speculating “who is the new Tywin” or “who is the new Varys.” Some even, a bit inaccurately, dubbed Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) as the new Littlefinger. Ser Otto, however, already had reached the highest station he could ever hope to attain as a second son of a great house when he became Hand of the King. He was self-serving and conniving, but he’d already climbed his own personal ladder and wishes the ascent of grandson Aegon, Second of His Name, to be smooth and unchallenged.

Conversely, young Larys Strong revealed himself in his second episode to love the messiness of spilled tea. By revealing to Alicent that Rhaenyra drank Moon Tea (Westeros’ version of Plan B), he not so subtly placed a wedge between a queen and princess whose fortunes will inevitably be placed at odds against each other in a patriarchal society, but he planted the seed for chaos, ladders, and all that kind of fun. 

For Alicent this is more personal though; Rhaenyra was her best friend and perhaps something more. Hence why the jealousy on her face in the fourth episode when she hears that Rhaenyra might have slept with Uncle Daemon is hard to read. Is she upset that her BFF is enjoying her sexual freedom while Alicent is shackled as the glorified baby maker to an old, decaying king? Or is she upset her BFF is enjoying sexual freedom with anyone other than her? It might be a mixture of the two, because Rhaenyra didn’t technically lie to Alicent when she swore that Daemon “never touched me”—at least as far as Alicent can prove.

But getting confirmation from Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) that Rhaenyra enjoyed sexual abandon with her sworn protector while Alicent reluctantly did her duty (as defined by men like her father and husband, who are both of the same age) disgusts Alicent. Although, we suspect it offends her more that she considers Rhaenyra’s protestations a lie of omission about Criston. And unlike the “queer customs” of the Targaryens that Alicent doth protest too much about, her disdain for Rhaenyra unsheathing Criston’s sword has less to do with spoiled virtue and more to do with living a life the queen consort can never enjoy.

She believes Rhaenyra is allowed to do whatever she wants without consequence. Alicent, meanwhile, stood by Rhaenyra as a friend. As a result, she forfeited her father’s company and (questionable) guidance, since Otto was effectively banished from court. She chose to love Rhaenyra unconditionally, it felt she paid a price, and the princess again does what she wants—and never with Alicent.

So it seems the queen is finally choosing to become her father’s daughter, and that she will increasingly attempt to high-road Rhaenyra. Last week she sneered at the strangeness of Targaryens, and this week she talks down to her as stepdaughter in public. For all the court to see.

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