Alicent and Rhaenyra Are the Home of the Dragon’s Tragedy

Within the first episode of “Home of the Dragon,” I fell head over heels for the friendship between Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey). They had been candy, affectionate, and humorous. There was a little bit aggressive streak between them, and their closeness bordered on romance. I cried with them in episode two when Alicent associated her grief over the lack of her mom to Rhaenyra’s newer lack of hers. However the entire season that is adopted has been an train in how issues can crumble, culminating in Alicent’s grand arrival at Rhaenyra’s wedding ceremony feast in a inexperienced costume, proudly declaring what facet she stands on. When Alicent known as her “stepdaughter,” I gasped. All affection is gone, seemingly for good.

Within the aftermath of episode 5, there’s a number of blame being thrown round by followers. It is all Alicent’s fault, some say. She seduced the king. She ought to have forgiven Rhaenyra, or no less than not been so harsh in her judgement. However neither Alicent nor Rhaenyra is the villain. They’re two younger women in an not possible state of affairs, made worse by the patriarchy. Within the Crimson Preserve, they’re the one two ladies across the overwhelming majority of the time. They don’t have any moms or mentors to speak to or open up to about their friendship, jealousy, or fears. They’re making an attempt to thrive in a system that does not need them to thrive as a result of they’re ladies.

Alicent would not have good decisions obtainable to her. Her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), ordered her to consolation the king. The king (Paddy Considine) ordered her to marry him. Now he orders her to his mattress chamber so she will hold having youngsters and proceed the royal line. It isn’t “proper” that Alicent is jealous of Rhaenyra, however it’s comprehensible and relatable (who needs characters who’re proper on a regular basis, anyway?). Alicent is jealous that Rhaenyra can seemingly decide any man to be her husband. She’s jealous she will get to sneak out of the fortress, go on adventures, and kiss good-looking males. She’s jealous Rhaenyra had folks to defend her in opposition to allegations that she slept along with her uncle; if Alicent had been revealed to not be a virgin earlier than her marriage to the king, she could be achieved for.

And it needs to be stated that – regardless of Viserys’s main flaws as a husband, father, and king – he loves Rhaenyra in a method Alicent’s father would not love her. Otto sees Alicent solely as a pawn; her price is in her connection to the crown. Viserys, however, tries onerous to not use his daughter in the identical method (although he would not at all times succeed). That is what Alicent sees and resents. Otto is, nevertheless, her important ally, and when she chooses Rhaenyra over her father, she seemingly loses him utterly, making the truth that Rhaenyra misled her much more painful.

The story is simply as brutal from Rhaenyra’s perspective. She’s the inheritor in identify solely, realizing principally nobody needs her to take the crown. Her father says he does, however he does nothing to again up her declare with actions. He needs to marry her off to males she would not know, and she or he has to belief that these males will do proper by her. However why ought to she belief that when her personal father murdered her mom within the birthing mattress? Plus, as she tells her father, if she was a male inheritor, she could be thought of unusual for not sleeping with each individual she might get her fingers on. And when she does suppose she’s discovered somebody who will get her and loves her in Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), he turns his again on her virtually instantly. The entire realm is ready for her to lose all her standing and energy, and her personal father took away her finest good friend when he determined to marry her. Woof.

Neither perspective is totally the reality, however they’re each comprehensible. The tragedy is that if Alicent and Rhaenyra might have discovered a technique to converse overtly to one another about these emotions and what was happening, possibly the dissolution of their friendship might have been prevented.

“Home of the Dragon” is a present involved with the patriarchy and the way it takes energy from ladies and retains them from gaining it. Aemma’s brutal loss of life within the first episode is a giant and daring instance. The tip of Rhaenyra and Alicent’s friendship is a much less splashy illustration of the identical factor. In a world the place ladies are property — chess items in a bigger energy battle and broodmares for the boys round them — it is virtually not possible for them to return collectively. Rhaenyra and Alicent will bear the brunt of their fathers’ decisions without end.

Within the preview for episode six, which can air Sept. 25, viewers be taught that there will likely be a large time bounce, and teenage Alicent and Rhaenyra are left behind. Their relationship appears to have solely deteriorated additional. It’s going to be sadder due to the friendship they did have and cherished so way back.

Join HBO Max now to look at “Home of the Dragon.”

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