House of the Dragon Star Admits Alicent Knows Her Sons Are Terrible

WARNING! This post contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10 AND George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire and Blood!House of the Dragon’s Alicent actor Olivia Cooke reveals how the character actually feels about her sons. Game of Thrones introduced viewers to many characters that were extremely fun to hate, including perhaps most famously, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and her son Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). The mother and son pair made a sinister and cruel team when they formed a united front. Prequel series House of the Dragon has presented viewers with another dastardly mother-son dynamic, that of Alicent Hightower and her two boys.

Throughout House of the Dragon season 1, the kids’ personalities became more clear, revealing a worrying trend in Alicent’s boys. Aegon (Ty Tennant/Tom Glynn-Carney) engages in careless behaviors (including rapes resulting in several bastards) and drinks with abandon while his brother Aemond (Leo Ashton/Ewan Mitchell) steals a dragon and, in episode 10, accidentally kills his nephew Lucerys (Elliot Grihault). Their mother, though hard on Aegon, is shown to publicly stand behind them and privately cover up their behavior. Alicent’s belief that her family will be in danger if her son Aegon doesn’t ascend to the throne results in action in House of the Dragon episode 9 when she plots a coup that puts Aegon on the Iron Thrones despite his reluctance, irresponsibility, and general recklessness.

In a new conversation with Deadline, Cooke discusses her character’s relationship with her sons. When asked whether Alicent knows just how awful both her boys are, Cooke responds with certainty and reiterates Alicent’s reaction to the prospect of making Aegon king. Check out what she says below:

« Yeah, absolutely. We spoke a lot about this, how she is sort of stuck between a rock and hard place when it comes to Aemond and Aegon. She probably believes that Aemond is more suited to be king, but he’s the spare heir. She loves Aegon, but she’s so disgusted in who he is as a person. Up until Viserys says on his deathbed that he wants Aegon to be on the throne, and she perceives it to be her Aegon …. so many Aegons! … I think she had come to terms with Rhaenyra being on the throne. When she gives that speech to Rhaenyra saying, ‘you will make a fine queen,’ I think she really believes that. There was deep relief in accepting that and letting go of the decade’s worth of bitterness. »

Despite pushing for her son to rule, Cooke’s response makes it clear that Alicent is not in the dark about either boy’s personality or behavior. She implies that Alicent would trust Aemond more as king, and while he would certainly make a strong and educated ruler, his aggression and lack of impulse control exhibited in House of the Dragon episode 10 show that neither option is ultimately very appealing. Of course, as Cooke alludes to, Alicent is stuck in a patriarchal society and has a lack of control over her life and that of her sons’, resulting in a new interest in religion and a desire for her family to be in power. Now that Aemond has inadvertently killed his nephew, Alicent will get an even more painful reminder that she is no longer able to control her sons.

In House of the Dragon’s source material Fire and Blood, Aegon is eventually wounded, which results in Aemond becoming Prince Regent and Protector of the Realm. The series has made some updates to the source material, but it’s likely that those major events will still play out, especially after Aemond’s altercation with his older brother in episode 9, which saw him vying for Aegon’s position as heir. In House of the Dragon season 2, viewers can look forward to seeing Alicent interact more with her boys and perhaps, as Cooke says, let go of some of her bitterness toward Rhaenyra once again in light of her sons’ actions since the series is making her character more sympathetic than the novel. Sadly, if such a moment does occur, that potential peace would already be too late.

Source: Deadline