House Of The Dragon Season 2 Finds Alicent ‘At The Height Of Her Power’ – Exclusive Image

House Of The Dragon S2

by Ben Travis |
Published on

By the end of House Of The Dragon’s first season, the Game Of Thrones prequel series exploring the Targaryen civil war had set up an almighty clash of queens. Emma D’Arcy’s rightful ruler Rhaenyra had been denied the throne by childhood-friend-turned-mother-in-law (it’s complicated) Alicent Hightower; in a colossal misunderstanding, Alicent has come to believe it was King Viserys’ final wish for Alicent’s line to take the throne, rather than the daughter he long championed for the job. Throw in that one of Rhaenyra’s kids has been chomped by a hungry dragon – at the hand of one of Alicent’s sprogs, no less – and the stage is set for all-out war.

Heading into Season 2, neither Alicent nor Rhaenyra is ready to back down. “Alicent’s at the height of her power,” Cooke teases of the upcoming episodes. “She’s dealing with the task she thinks Viserys gave her, and feeling quite dazzled and special now her offspring sits on the throne.” But her victory comes laden with dread. “There’s also the impending doom and anxiety of how that will travel within the realm, and what Rhaenyra’s retort will be,” she says. And, obviously, Rhaenyra has one hell of a retort in mind. “The death of a child moves the goalposts for grief,” explains D’Arcy. “It changes her relationship to her own rage. If you’re a Targaryen, you’re aware of balancing being a moderate, and harnessing that fiery Targaryen volatility. Her position between those becomes more fluid. That’s one of the questions of Season 2 for Rhaenyra — the ethics of war.”

One thing’s for sure: there’s little love left between the former friends. “It’s yearning for past versions of the person,” says Cooke. “There are still embers Alicent holds on to. But in this new world, as much as Alicent can steer things away from nuclear disaster, there’s not much room for love in terms of Rhaenyra.” War it is, then.

Empire July 2024 – Beetlejuice Beetlejuice cover

Read Empire’s interview with Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy for House Of The Dragon Season 2 in the Beetlejuice Beetlejuice issue – on sale Thursday 6 June. House Of The Dragon comes to Sky Atlantic and NOW from 17 June.

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