Why Did Alicent Want to See Rhaenyra’s Baby Right Away?
We learned in episode 5 of House of the Dragon that Queen Alicent was now ready to go to war against Princess Rhaenyra for the Iron Throne, as that was what her green dress symbolized. Of course, while there was a long time skip between episodes 5 and 6, the status quo never changed between the two as they were still on opposing sides of what used to be a tight friendship. Alicent, however, showcased that she had ulterior motives when she wanted to see Rhaenyra’s third child with Ser Laenor the moment she gave birth. So, why did Alicent want to see Rhaenyra’s baby right away?
Alicent wanted to see Rhaenyra’s baby right away because she wanted to see whether or not it was Sir Laenor’s child. At that point in time, Alicent was already suspecting that Rhaenyra was having an affair with another man because her first two sons didn’t look anything like Laenor at all.
It was already clear that Alicent was aware of how Rhaenyra was quite promiscuous in terms of how she handled her sexual affairs, and that was one of the reasons why she kept a close eye on her for ten years ever since the end of episode 5. So, with that said, let’s look at the different reasons why Alicent wanted to see the baby right away.
Why Did Alicent Want To See Rhaenyra’s Baby Right Away?
Back in episode 5 of House of the Dragon, we saw that Queen Alicent Hightower symbolized her intention to go to war against Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and was ready to contest her claim to the Iron Throne. She did so in a subtle yet obvious way by wearing Hightower green to a banquet where the Targaryens were expected to wear red and black. And, of course, she was also going to be subtle in her approach of contesting Rhaenyra’s claim as the heir to the Seven Kingdoms.
In the ten-year time skip between episodes 5 and 6, we saw that Rhaenyra was giving birth to a bay, as it was clear that her marriage with Ser Laenor bore fruit. However, the moment she gave birth, she was told that Queen Alicent wanted to see the baby right away for reasons that were quite unknown. And a tired and clearly in-pain Rhaenyra struggled her way to the queen, who couldn’t care any less that her former best friend had just given birth.
This was when it was already clear that Alicent was only looking after herself and was no longer in any way compassionate about how Rhaenyra felt. So, why did she want to see Rhaenyra’s baby right away?
Back in episode 5, Alicent learned from Ser Criston Cole that Rhaenyra and her sworn Kingsguard knight had slept together. That was when the queen learned that her former friend was quite adventurous in her approach to her sexual life, as Rhaenyra had been previously accused of having sexual relations with Daemon Targaryen and was now in a similar situation with Ser Criston. As such, she was angry at her friend because Rhaenyra was negligent in her duty, while Alicent never had a chance to be a young woman because she was married off to King Viserys quite early in her life.
It was the fact that Alicent was well aware of Rhaenyra’s tendencies as well as of Ser Laenor’s homosexuality that made her believe that the princess’s children were not even of Velaryon blood. Instead, she believed them to have been bastards that were sired by a different father, as that was why she demanded to see the baby the moment Rhaenyra gave birth.
Of course, in episode 6, we saw that Alicent was right to be suspicious of Rhaenyra because the baby didn’t look anything like Ser Laenor at all, as the Velaryon heir was probably aware of what his wife had been doing during the entirety of their marriage. Alicent made it clear that she had hunches about the fact that Ser Laenor couldn’t have been the father of that baby because she told him that the next baby could look like him.
This was where the showrunners probably did a good job in choosing characters of Black descent for the members of House Velaryon, as it would be obvious whether or not their children were even their children. Laenor and Laena, although a bit light-skinned because of their mother, still looked a lot like Corlys in terms of their hair and features. On the other hand, Rhaenyra’s baby, named Joffrey, didn’t even look anything remotely close to a Velaryon at all because it had light skin and dark hair.
Then, as the episode progressed, we were made to see that this was Rhaenyra’s third child already. Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey didn’t look anything like Ser Laenor at all because they all shared the same features—light skin and dark hair. They didn’t have the white hair that the Valyrians were known for and were far too light to be related to the Velaryons.
As such, Queen Alicent made sure that she was already aware of the fact that Rhaenyra’s children had been sired by a different father when she pointed that fact to King Viserys, who was still quick to defend his daughter and heir.
This was obviously an attempt by Alicent to tell Viserys that Rhaenyra was not worthy of the Iron Throne because she insulted her post as the heir by having children with a man to whom she was not married. Still, Viserys remained blind to this fact or had chosen to overlook it because he probably no longer cared about the affairs of his daughter as long as she was producing the heirs that the Targaryen dynasty needed to rule for more generations to come.
Did Alicent Know About Rhaenyra And Ser Harwin?
While it was made clear that Rhaenyra’s children were not Ser Laenor’s, what we also observed during episode 6 was that Ser Harwin Strong was quite close to the princess’s family, as he was there during a moment that included the Rhaenyra, Laenor, and the three children. That was because he served as Rhaenyra’s sworn shield and was actually her lover—a fact that Laenor was probably aware of.
Of course, it became apparent that, due to the features of the children, they were obviously sired by none other than Ser Harwin himself. During the training session of Rhaenyra’s children with Alicent’s children, it was also made clear that Harwin was quite protective of the boys. And that fact was pointed out by Ser Criston Cole, who was in charge of the training of the children.
At that point, it was clear that Alicent was quite aware of the fact that the children were not Ser Laenor’s and were sired by Ser Harwin instead. Alicent and Criston had grown quite strong because they were each other’s closest ally against a common enemy in the form of the heir to the Iron Throne. As such, whatever Alicent knew would have been shared with Criston as well.
The fact that Criston was actually accusing Harwin that he was the children’s father meant that Alicent was not blind to that fact as well. And it was the fact that she asked to see the third baby right away that proved that she already had her hunches in relation to the father of Rhaenyra’s children.