We’re midway through “House of the Dragon” and most longtime “Game of Thrones” fans have been pleased with the prequel so far. The first half of the season saw the young actresses – Milly Alcock and Emily Carey – holding down the fort as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. Now it’s time for Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke to step into the spotlight.
Over the last 5 episodes, we saw the early friendship between Rhaenyra and Alicent, and how that relationship started to fracture when Alicent married the king and became Rhaenyra’s stepmom. When episode 6 arrives, we’ll see yet another time jump with the pair as adults – this time being portrayed by Emma and Olivia.
With that in mind, we’re one step closer to the highly-anticipated Dance of the Dragons and the Targaryen empire civil war. Following the time jump, it’ll be “10 years or 15 years on, whenever it is, I think it’s about this power in finding your womanhood,” said Olivia. “You’re seeing her struggle with her womanhood and the power that she does have to play that is completely separate from her husband or her father or even her children. And also just moralistically where she stands when she isn’t listening to her father anymore.”
“Alicent has been completely bred to breed, and to breed powerful men. That’s her only function in this life,” Olivia continued. “She can tell herself that she’s going to sway and nurture and persuade in a very womanly, feminine way, but it’s all f—ing bull—-. Unless you’re fighting the men, you’ll never be heard. It’s learning to live within this straightjacket of oppression. How do I move inch by inch every single day to loosen the straps?”
There’s also a deep resentment towards her old friend. “Rhaenyra can just get away with anything, and it’s so fine. The king turns a complete blind eye, whereas Alicent has always had to walk this tightrope for her whole entire life. Just the injustice of it that she feels, until things happen and she realizes that none of it f—ing matters. She looks around her family, and they’re all f—ed up. She’s like, ‘I’ve been so perfect all my life. I haven’t taken a step wrong, and it doesn’t f—ing matter.’ I think what we see in her evolution is this complete existential crisis,” Olivia explained.
The falling out between the 2 female characters will result in a gaping hole. “I think it’s the first proper heartbreak, and the first only heartbreak that [Alicent’s] had, because it was such a pure love. A lot of us have those first influential friendships that become severed at a certain point, and it’s just harrowing because there is a bit of you that breaks off. There’s so much that you don’t get closure over like you would with a romantic relationship. [Rhaenyra] was her only friend, and she’s so lonely. She’s got all these men around her that just want a piece of her, or want to use her in a specific way, but no one actually has her best interest. It’s just a really lonely existence,” Olivia added.
Check out the trailer for episode 6 here: