Why Is Alicent so Angry at Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon? Explained
The drama in House of the Dragon picked up in episode 5 as we saw the early beginnings of what will eventually be an all-out war between Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. Of course, the fact that Alicent wore that green dress was the symbol of her intention of going to war with Rhaenyra, who she now believes had fallen far down from being her best friend to her bitter enemy. But why exactly was Alicent so angry at Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon?
Alicent is angry at Rhaenyra because she feels betrayed by how she lied to her about her maidenhood. There is also the possibility that Rhaenyra was able to live the life that Alicent was never able to live because she was married at a young age. It is an anger that stems from betrayal and bitterness.
House of the Dragon was able to tell a story that has allowed us to see how quickly friends can drift away from one another. But the thing is that Rhaenyra and Alicent are no longer just former friends but have become enemies as they are on their way to waging war against one another in the coming episodes. So, with that said, let’s look at the reason why Alicent is angry at Rhaenyra.
Alicent And Rhaenyra’s Relationship Explained
House of the Dragon didn’t waste any time in introducing the close friendship between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lady Alicent Hightower, who are two of the most important female characters in the entire series. They were obviously incredibly close to one another because they spent most of their free time together. But that relationship quickly went down the drain the moment Otto Hightower installed his daughter at the side of the grief-stricken King Viserys.
Queen Aemma’s death was the opening that Otto needed to improve his family’s standing in court as he ordered Alicent to comfort the king during his time of grief. And because of that, it only took around six months for Viserys to choose Alicent as his next queen, to the surprise of Rhaenyra, who didn’t even know anything about the relationship between her best friend and her father.
Since then, Rhaenyra and Alicent began to show how distant they were from one another because Rhaenyra wouldn’t talk to the new queen no matter how much the former Lady Hightower tried to reach out to her. And, of course, Rhaenyra herself began to enter a more adventurous side of life when she started entertaining suitors, considering that she was going to be the next queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
We did see Rhaenyra and Daemon having a steamy moment in episode 4 when they were out in King’s Landing. The princess, after getting left hanging dry by Daemon, pursued Ser Criston Cole instead. Despite his oath as a knight of the Kingsguard, Ser Criston bit Rhaenyra’s bait and ended up taking her maidenhood that night.
But the problem was that Otto Hightower had spies that saw Rhaenyra and Daemon together. He talked to the king regarding this matter, as Alicent herself eavesdropped on their conversation. The queen eventually confronted the princess regarding the matter, as Rhaenyra denied the events and swore to her mother’s name that she was still pure. Of course, Alicent believed her.
The confrontation between Rhaenyra and Viserys eventually ended in a compromise where the princess was now supposed to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon, while the king decided to fire Otto from his post as the Hand of the King due to this many machinations of destroying Rhaenyra’s name in favor of Prince Aegon II. And seeing her father go didn’t sit well with Alicent, as she realized that it was Rhaenyra that got Otto removed from court.
Larys Strong, during the time when Viserys and Rhaenyra were on Driftmark to propose a marriage between the Targaryens and the Velaryons, took the opportunity to spread rumors by telling Alicent about the tea that the Grand Maester prepared for the princess during the night when she and Daemon went out to King’s Landing. This only made Alicent suspicious of Rhaenyra, as she confronted Ser Criston Cole to ask him about the rumors regarding the princess and Prince Daemon.
Ser Criston, at that time, was already emotionally unstable because he had just gotten rejected by Rhaenyra. So, when Alicent tried asking him about that night, Ser Criston admitted that he and Rhaenyra spent the night together before the queen could even finish her statement. As such, Ser Criston admitted to a deed that he wasn’t even being questioned for.
It was this revelation by Ser Criston that made Alicent furious at Rhaenyra. That’s why she took time to prepare her dress during the betrothal banquet of Rhaenyra and Laenor, as she entered the hall in the middle of Viserys’s speech wearing a green dress that wasn’t customary to House Targaryen, which is known for its red and black colors. And as Ser Harwin and Lord Larys said, green is the color of the beacons of the Hightower whenever House Hightower was declaring war, as it was clear that this was Alicent’s way of declaring war on Rhaenyra.
Why Is Alicent So Angry At Rhaenyra?
As mentioned, Alicent no longer sees Rhaenyra as the best friend that she grew up with when they were still very young. Instead, she now sees her as a bitter enemy that she needs to overthrow, especially considering that Alicent’s son is behind Rhaenyra in terms of the line of succession. But why is Alicent so angry at Rhaenyra?
First off, Alicent’s anger stems from the fact that she felt betrayed. When she confronted Rhaenyra about the accusations against her, the princess blatantly lied and even swore to her mother’s name that her virtue and maidenhood were still intact. This was something that Alicent couldn’t stomach because it was Rhaenyra’s lies that got her father removed from court. Most of all, she still saw Rhaenyra as a dear friend that she wanted to mend things with, but that is no longer possible at this moment.
Second, there is probably a sense of bitterness brewing in Alicent due to the fact that Rhaenyra was able to live out her youth and choose whoever she wanted to be with. This was something that Alicent was never able to enjoy.
As soon as Queen Aemma died, Alicent was almost always keeping King Viserys company at the orders of her father. Of course, when she got married to the king, she was forced to do nothing but bear his children and produce heirs for him. In a sense, she was unhappy with the life that she was living despite the fact that she was one of the most powerful people in the entire Seven Kingdoms.
Rhaenyra was living her best life while Alicent was kept in a castle and was merely summoned by the king whenever he wanted to sleep with her. This wasn’t the way she wanted her life to turn out, but she had no choice because she did her duty as a noblewoman. On the other hand, she was angry at Rhaenyra for trying to disregard her duties as the future queen of the Seven Kingdoms by sleeping with whoever she wanted to sleep with.
So, in a sense, Alicent’s anger stems from how she felt betrayed by Rhaenyra and how she felt bitter about the way her best friend is now living her life. And that was what made her decide that Rhaenyra wasn’t fit to be queen when she discovered that the princess wasn’t willing to perform the same duties that Alicent was forced to perform.