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House Of The Dragon's Stars Weigh In On The Romantic Tension Between Rhaenyra And Alicent

These characters from "House of the Dragon" are definitely rivals... but is there more to it than that?

For the first five episodes of the "Game of Thrones" spin-off and prequel, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) and Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) have gone from best friends to total strangers... which tends to happen when, as Alicent does, you seduce and marry your closest confidante's much older father (specifically, King Viserys I, played by Paddy Considine). However, in a recent interview with The New York Times ahead of the show's upcoming time jump — where Alcock and Carey will be replaced by Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively — the two actresses opened up about the other potential side of their relationship.

Rhaenyra and Alicent are quite cozy and affectionate as the series kicks off, with Alicent's marriage to Viserys driving the wedge between them, so the question stands: is Rhaenyra angry that her best friend marries her father, or is she actually jealous that she can't be with Alicent herself? Here's what these "House of the Dragon" stars had to say about the romantic tension between Rhaenyra and Alicent.

Alcock and Carey agree there's a vibe between Rhaenyra and Alicent

When asked, Carey immediately spoke up and said that there was definitely something between Rhaenyra and Alicent. "As a queer person myself, I read an undertone in the script that I knew could be played," Carey, who uses she/they pronouns, explained. "That being said, I don't think Ryan Condal [a creator and showrunner] sat there writing a Sapphic drama. If you want to see it, you can. If you want to pretend it's not there, you can also do that."

"The thing is, these girls don't know what 'platonic' or 'romantic' means, whether that be the words or the feelings themselves. There's just a closeness between two young women that cannot be verbalized, especially in the world they live in. I don't think they fully understand the feelings; it's just all-consuming love. There's an underlying jealousy that I read into it, especially coming off the back of Episode 4. It was this scene where we were on a bench, and it's the first time we've seen these two women reconnect after losing this closeness they had. I remember in rehearsal at the end of the scene, we were like, 'Did you feel like we were about to kiss?'"

Per Alcock, "And I was like, 'Yeah!'" Carey agreed, saying, "Yeah, dude, it felt like we were going to kiss. That was really strange. We didn't do anything to make them gay, or to force 'the gay' upon anyone. It felt so natural. As I said, it's easy to ignore if you really don't want to look at it. But if you're rooting for them and you want to make the story more heartbreaking, then choose to see it."

Alcock and Carey may be done with these characters, but hopefully, the tension they created carries over into D'Arcy and Cooke's performance. "House of the Dragon" airs on HBO and HBO Max on Sundays at 9PM EST.