Why Exhibiting Rhaenyra & Alicent’s Friendship Is Obligatory in Home of the Dragon

Editor’s Observe: The next article incorporates spoilers for Episode 1-5 from Home of the Dragon and for the ebook Hearth & Blood.When Home of the Dragon began airing, many followers of the supply materials Hearth & Blood rapidly identified the important thing variations between the ebook and the present. Whereas some modifications had been questioned, many made sense in adapting a narrative advised via completely different views and unreliable narrators. One of many key modifications within the present was the addition of the friendship between Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey). Their friendship turned the middle of many of the battle because the starting of the sequence. This addition added a spine to the battle between the 2 characters and provides layers of depth to the upcoming battle between these two ladies.


In Hearth & Blood, the story of the Targaryan civil battle – often known as the Dance of the Dragons – is advised via a number of accounts of the occasions and makes use of fictional unreliable narrators. It isn’t advised like A Music of Ice and Hearth via novels that alternate between characters’ factors of view however as an alternative acts like a ebook that would exist in Westeros as a historic piece of writing. And so, due to that, the present had a variety of liberties relating to adapting the textual content.

The Modifications to Alicent and Rhaenyra’s Relationship Begin on the Very Starting

When the sequence begins, Alicent and Rhaenyra are two younger ladies in King Touchdown, having grown up collectively on the Purple Maintain. That is the place the primary important distinction between the ebook and the present seems. Whereas Rhaenyra and Alicent are the identical age within the sequence, that’s not the case within the ebook. When the present begins, each Rhaenyra and Alicent are 14 years previous, whereas within the ebook, they not solely have a nine-year age hole however Alicent is claimed to be 18 years previous when she marries Viserys within the ebook whereas Rhaenyra was solely 9 years previous.

Whereas the animosity between Alicent and Rhaenyra may be very a lot on the core of the civil battle that may result in the close to extinction of the Targaryen bloodline, it’s by no means given context exterior of “they don’t like one another.” The present takes a extra thrilling route and offers the writers many choices on establishing the upcoming battle. By making the 2 characters the identical age, Home of the Dragon can domesticate this friendship between them that was not current within the novel.

Rhaenyra and Alicent had been portrayed as finest pals who merely needed to interrupt away from the conference in entrance of them. The primary episode made it clear that their bond is powerful, each needing and leaning on one another in occasions of want. There have been a variety of speak in regards to the romantic undertone that the connection had in direction of the beginning of the sequence, with Emily Carey herself speaking about it in interviews the place she admits that whereas they did deliberately play it that manner, it as extra about the truth that at that formative age, realizing the distinction between a romantic or platonic relationship might be tough.

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The Breakdown of Their Friendship Begins When Alicent Marries Viserys

However at its core, the connection was additionally of two younger ladies who needed to interrupt freed from their worlds and had been damaged aside by their fathers and their fathers’ ambitions. Rhaenyra and Alicent breakdown of their friendship is a response to their setting. Her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), makes Alicent go to Viserys (Patty Considine) after his spouse’s demise to kind an emotional reference to him, and he or she has no actual alternative however to marry him and provides him youngsters. By the tip of the present, she would possibly develop into the villain within the eyes of many, however she is a product of her father’s ambition at the start, a pawn with no say in what she desires.

And then again, you have got Rhaenyra, who by no means forgives Alicent – or her father to a lesser extent – about not solely the wedding, however the clear implication that her finest buddy hid the truth that there was a begin of a relationship along with her father. The second Viserys states that he’ll marry Alicent, it’s the begin of the breakdown of their relationship, one that’s primarily based on Rhaenyra feeling betrayed.

Alicent Breaks Their Friendship When She Arrives in Her Inexperienced Gown

With the reveal of Criston Cole’s (Fabien Frankel) affair with Rhaenyra, Alicent turns into the individual the ebook describes. The thought is that Rhaenyra may need slept with somebody earlier than marriage and lied to Alicent about it breaks them aside. The second Alicent arrives on the wedding ceremony sporting her father’s home colour, inexperienced, she picks her aspect and totally dissolves any friendship that may have lingered between her and Rhaenyra.

The arrival within the inexperienced costume – at what some name the Inexperienced Wedding ceremony – is one a part of two factions. The Greens, those that will help Alicent’s son Aegon for the throne, and the Black, those that will help Rhaenyra’s declare to the throne.

Creating this friendship and giving background to what’s going to unfold following the ten-year time soar in Episode 6, Home of the Dragon provides extra to the animosity between Alicent and Rhaenyra. Whereas Alicent can nonetheless be perceived as a villain, there’s context. Earlier than, within the ebook, Alicent was nothing greater than a power-hungry girl who needed to place her son on the throne. Alicent is extra fleshed out and a product of her father’s ambitions; she isn’t simply energy hungry, there’s way more there.

And that is the place the concept of what might have develop into a romantic relationship – or perceived as one – is fascinating. As a result of each Alicent and Rhaenyra’s actions will result in the beginning of the autumn of their bloodline, or the Targaryen dynasty, these had been two younger ladies who had been torn aside and reacted the one manner they knew. Whereas loads is occurring on the present, and plenty of different actions have implications relating to the upcoming civil battle, one factor is evident. The breakdown of the 2 teenage ladies’ friendship is on the core of all of it, the beginning of all of it, as a result of if Viserys merely did what many believed was the proper alternative and married Laena Velaryon, then possibly, the Dying of the Dragons would by no means have had occurred.


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