Alicent Hightower, the childhood friend of Rhaenyra Targaryen and the wife to King Viserys Targaryen in HBO’s House Of The Dragon, would be a “woman for Trump,” according to the showrunners.
Spoilers will follow for the show.
Hang on. Before we touch on that quote, let’s remember that Alicent’s had a rather rubbish time of it in her life. The scheming Otto Hightower is her father and he’s not winning any awards for his parenting approach, sending his young daughter to “comfort” the king after the tragic death of his wife and his newborn. Of course, her friendship with Rhaenyra is dissolved as soon as her friend discovers her father’s intention to marry Alicent and produce sons, even though Viserys named Rhaenyra his heir.
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She’s totally isolated, acting as a dutiful wife to a man three decades older than her, and insecure. This doesn’t excuse her behaviour towards Rhaenyra but it does provide an explanation which is important to bear in mind in the context of the story. “She’s like a woman for Trump,” said actress Olivia Cooke of the direction that showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik gave her, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“I just didn’t want to give [the Trumps] any more mental real estate than they already had,” the actress continued. “So I tried to find a different route into her, but I could see what they were saying with this complete indoctrination and denial of her own autonomy and rights. I just couldn’t be asked to go down that road.”
“Alicent has been completely bred to breed, and to breed powerful men. That’s her only function in this life,” added Cooke. “She can tell herself that she’s going to sway and nurture and persuade in a very womanly, feminine way, but it’s all f—ing bull—-. Unless you’re fighting the men, you’ll never be heard. It’s learning to live within this straightjacket of oppression. How do I move inch by inch every single day to loosen the straps?”
House Of The Dragon streams on HBO, Sky Atlantic and NOWTV every Sunday, with the sixth episode airing 25 September.