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'House Of The Dragon': Why Queen Alicent's Grand Entrance May Be The Most Pivotal Moment Of The Series So Far

The rise of the Greens.

By Kristy AndersonPublished 8 months ago 5 min read
Credit: HBO.

WARNING! SPOILERS for House Of The Dragon 1x05, 'We Light The Way'.

Any Game Of Thrones fan will know that nothing good happens at a wedding in Westeros. It is far more likely for the event to end in tragedy than with the couple happily wed. Game Of Thrones prequel House Of The Dragon continues this unfortunate tradition.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Ser Laenor Velaryon come to an agreement that while they will wed in a political match to please their Fathers and the realm, both will be free to pursue their own romantic interests. Unfortunately, the plan soon goes awry when a feast to celebrate the couple's betrothal ends in a bloody brawl, with Rhaenyra's jilted former lover, Ser Criston Cole, beating Laenor's lover and sworn protector, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, to death.

While the Wedding bloodbath was exactly what we've come to expect from the Thrones-verse, the episode's most important moment came earlier, when Queen Alicent arrived late to the feast in a gorgeous green dress. Let's take a quick look back at Alicent's journey to this point, before we discuss the significance of her Betrothal Feast attire.

Pawn in a larger plot?

In a departure from the book which inspired it, House of The Dragon initially portrays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lady Alicent Hightower, daughter to King's Hand Otto Hightower, as close friends. Following the death of Rhaenyra's Mother, Queen Aemma, their bond strengthens further, as Alicent, who had lost her own Mother sometime before the events of the series, helps Rhaenyra to deal with her grief, as well as her strained relationship with her Father, King Viserys, mostly due to a fear that she will be replaced as his heir as soon as he finds a better option.

However, at the behest of her Father, Otto, Alicent also regularly spends time with the King during this period. Both Otto and Viserys urge her to keep these visits a secret from Rhaenyra, and she reluctantly does so. So, while Rhaenyra grows to understand that Viserys must take a new wife for the good of the realm, the reveal that he has chosen to wed Alicent catches Rhaenyra off guard, causing a rift between the two friends.

Second of His Name

After wedding King Viserys, Alicent soon gives birth to a healthy son, Prince Aegon. This delights Alicent's family, the Hightowers, whom fully expect Aegon to replace Rhaenyra as Viserys's heir when he reaches his second Birthday, but further strains relations between Alicent and Rhaenyra, who fears her displacement as heir is imminent. Otto urges Alicent to sway the King towards House Hightower's point of view and elevate Aegon in the line of succession, claiming that the Realm would never accept a ruling Queen, and Rhaenyra ascending the throne would lead to war. Alicent, out of lingering affection for Rhaenyra, hesitates to follow her Father's advice.

Against everyone's expectations, King Viserys chooses not to elevate Aegon. However, he does urge Rhaenyra to marry and produce heirs to strengthen her claim to the Iron Throne. With Alicent supporting Viserys in maintaining his daughter's position, Rhaenyra and Alicent briefly reconcile upon Rhaenyra's return from her failed first search for a suitor. Unfortunately, the peace isn't to last.

On Her Mother's Grave

Rhaenyra's return coincides with the return of her Uncle, Prince Daemon, from a war in the Stepstones. Daemon sneaks Rhaenyra out for a night among the common people, ending with the pair having a heated embrace in a Pleasure House. Word of this reaches Otto Hightower, who seizes upon the opportunity to report Rhaenyra's supposed amorous exploits to King Viserys. Alicent confronts Rhaenyra, but Rhaenyra swears on the grave of her Mother, Queen Aemma, that she is still a Maiden. Alicent desperately wants to believe her friend, so reports to Viserys that she believes Rhaenyra's version of events to be the truth. Unfortunately, this results in Viserys dismissing Otto as Hand, as he can no longer trust him to put the Crown before his own family's interests.

Otto warns Alicent that the lives of her own children, the by then three-year old Aegon, and baby Princess Helaena, will be in danger should Rhaenyra remain heir, as their existence threatens her claim. While Alicent does not want to believe the Princess capable of harming her half siblings, when she learns that Rhaenyra did in fact lose her maidenhead to Ser Criston Cole, her trust in her longtime friend is irrepairably shattered.

Meanwhile, fearful of a new scandal, Viserys hurriedly betrothes Rhaenyra to Ser Laenor Velaryon.

A Call To War

Which brings us to Alicent’s grand entrance, and why her choice of attire is significant. Queen Alicent enters the betrothal feast late, interrupting the King’s speech. She is wearing a green dress. Ser Harwin Strong adequately explains the significance of the Queen's wardrobe choice: Green is the colour traditionally used by House Hightower to call their banners to war.

In Fire and Blood, the book of Targaryen history that inspires House of The Dragon, disagreement over the line of succession causes the court of King Viserys I to split into two factions: The Blacks, who support the claim of Princess Rhaenyra, and the Greens, who support Queen Alicent and her sons. Alicent's green dress marks the true beginning of that split: no longer able to trust Rhaenyra's word, Alicent has let go of any remaining loyalties to her childhood friend, and is now solely focused on the best interests of her House and her children. In coming episodes, we will likely see Rhaenyra donning the classic black and red Targaryen colours as leader of the Black camp.

The chain of events leading to the Dance of Dragons, House Targaryen's bloodiest civil war, has truly begun.

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About the Creator

Kristy Anderson

Passionate About all things Entertainment!

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