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Queen Alicent's Attire On House Of The Dragon Means So Much More Than You Probably Realize

A queen clad in green hasn't made a statement this big since the days of Anne Boleyn.

The first season of "House of the Dragon," HBO's buzzy prequel and spinoff to "Game of Thrones," is halfway done, and the Targaryens and other power players chronicled in the series are starting to draw some pretty big lines in the sand. Set centuries before the events of "Game of Thrones," this show focuses on the dragon-riding Targaryens, who hold onto their throne thanks to their fire-breathing beasts and a previously iron-clad line of succession. However, as the events of the first season have unfolded in the first five episodes, that succession has been thrown into question.

At the end of the show's series premiere, King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), mourning the loss of his queen and infant son, names his daughter and only child Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) as the recognized heir to the Iron Throne. Later, though, when Viserys has a son, Aegon II, with his second wife Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) — Rhaenyra's former best friend and confidante — it stands to reason that he could choose to disinherit Rhaenyra in favor of his son, as the realm may not accept a woman as its ruler.

Alicent's role in this has been negligible until this point, but in the fifth episode, "We Light the Way," she makes a pretty bold statement... just by wearing a dress. Here's why Queen Alicent's attire in this episode of "House of the Dragon" means so much more than you probably realize.

Alicent's green dress references the Dance of the Dragons

As Rhaenyra prepares for her arranged marriage to Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate), Alicent, a lonely and isolated queen, receives some interesting news about her best friend turned stepdaughter — specifically, that in the aftermath of an intimate encounter with her own uncle Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), Rhaenyra was "treated" with contraceptive tea sent by Viserys himself. Not only that, but Rhaenyra's sworn protector, Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel) directly confesses to taking the princess' virginity himself when Alicent questions him. Suspicious, angry, and deserted at court now that her father Otto (Rhys Ifans) has been dismissed as Hand of the King, Alicent arrives quite late at Rhaenyra's wedding, making a spectacular entrance in a bright, emerald-green dress, interrupting her husband's speech.

As brothers Harwin and Larys Strong (Ryan Corr and Matthew Needham) point out for the audience's benefit, green is the color of the beacon that calls Oldtown to arms on behalf of the house of Hightower. For those who have read "Fire & Blood," the source material for "House of the Dragon," this is incredibly important, as during the Dance of the Dragons — Aegon II's and Rhaenyra's fight for the throne — Alicent and her son Aegon don green clothing, while Rhaenyra and her faction wear black.

With Viserys potentially dying at the end of "We Light the Way" (the episode title itself is, incidentally, the official motto of House Hightower), Rhaenyra and Alicent will likely be assembling their supporters soon, and with this dress, Alicent makes one thing very clear: she's ready for battle.

Alicent is finally coming into her own

Throughout the first half of "House of the Dragon," Alicent has been little more than a pawn traded between powerful men like Viserys and Otto, placed in the former's line of sight by the latter after the first queen, Aemma (Sian Brooke), dies in childbirth. However, in "We Light the Way," Alicent's resolve seems to stiffen, thanks to two people: Otto and Rhaenyra.

Otto's influence on his daughter is extremely direct; as he prepares to leave for Oldtown, the two argue, with Alicent still defending Rhaenyra's status as a virgin. Otto doesn't mince words when he tells his daughter that, if she supports Rhaenyra's claim to the Iron Throne, any children Alicent bears with Viserys will be at the dragon queen's mercy, and that she'd be better off fighting for her son's claim to the throne. Rhaenyra and Alicent barely speak in the episode, but in the show's fourth episode, Rhaenyra swears on her late mother's memory that nothing happened between her and Daemon (the uncle and niece did kiss, but didn't go further than that). Now that she knows for sure that Rhaenyra is no longer a maiden, Alicent has ammunition... and considering that she closes the episode by appealing to a suicidal Ser Criston, she may have found a new ally in him.

Olivia Cooke and Emma D'arcy will take over next week for Alicent and Rhaenyra, respectively, but one thing will remain the same: these two powerful women will find themselves at serious odds. "House of the Dragon" airs on Sunday nights at 9 PM on HBO and HBO Max.