Spoiler Alert !!

A look at the chemistry between Alicent and Rhaenyra in House of Dragons


The Game of Thrones prequel, House of Dragons, is officially at the halfway mark of its first season. The reviews so far for the show have been promising. Audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes which obviously has the ultimate authority over which media are a must see is an average of 85% approval. As one of those audience members I am rather satisfied with the show as well. I am certain the show is not perfect, but as someone who has not had time to obsess over every detail of the show, believe me I wish I did, I am simply happy to have another weekly form of entertainment. One matter I do have an opinion on is the relationship between Alicent and Rhaenyra. When the first episode aired I obviously wanted to watch it immediately. I had been looking forward to it since the announcement almost two years ago. However, I was really tired and definitely dozed off a couple of times. Despite my dozing off I definitely picked up on the chemistry between Rhaenyra and Alicent, and I walked away from that episode convinced they were lovers. It was not until this week when I started discussing the show with someone else and they responded with, “I thought they were just really good friends.” I doubled down and insisted that they were. Maybe they had a sex scene and I slept through it? My informant told me that there has been no sex scene between the two, and The Game of Thrones franchise leaves nothing to the imagination with sex scenes. Therefore, my sleepy assumption was incorrect. 

The next day I came across an article in The New York Times about the actresses who play Alicent and Rhaenyra, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey. The article discussed how the success of the show is due to the actresses’ performance of depicting their “complex relationship.” Not long after seeing this my friend that I watch the show with told me that Milly Alcock who plays Rhaenyra is queer. I was thinking maybe their chemistry was accidental and maybe the two actors were involved. On the other hand The New York Times article seemed to imply that the character relationship was intentionally written as complicated. 

Considering Alicent’s interest in who Rhaenyra has been sleeping with there is room for interpretation. Still there are other interpretations. Alicent had a big reaction to finding out Rhaenyra slept with Daemon as well as her sworn protector. She could be seeing Rhaenyra sleeping with Daemon, an heir to the throne, as a threat to her chance to rule when the king dies. Regardless, her grand entrance to Rhaenyra’s wedding with her green dress was an inflammatory move, and I hope her motivations were beyond jealousy. As Cersei said, “When you play the game of thrones you either win or die. There is no middle ground.” I am fairly certain it is the same for The House of Dragons.