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HOTD: Misogyny Will Be Discussed Through Rhaenyra and Alicent

By Mabel Judith Andrady
August 12,2022

How will HOTD focus on misogyny? Based on George RR Martin’s Fire & Blood from 2018, the House of the Dragon novella introduces readers to the Targaryen dynasty before the events of Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon aims to replicate the success of the first few seasons of GoT, which made the show one of the most significant cultural phenomena of the 21st century despite its polarizing conclusion in 2019.

The prequel will be presented from the perspectives of two multifaceted female characters, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lady Alicent Hightower, setting it apart from Game of Thrones significantly. The sitcom will feature Milly Alcock and Emily Carey as the two main protagonists’ younger selves before Emma D’Arcy, and Olivia Cooke takes over as adults. While Rhaenyra and Alicent were close as children, their dispute over the Targaryen line of succession would ultimately place them on opposite sides of the impending civil war.

HOTD

HOTD

In a recent round table chat, Alcock and Carey discussed the dynamic between their characters Rhaenyra and Alicent in House of the Dragon, as well as the misogyny and patriarchy they face in Westeros. Alicent doesn’t try to defend herself, while Rhaenyra highlights a critical distinction between the two protagonists.

Carey: I think part of the key for Alicent is she doesn’t fight back. I think she doesn’t know how to, and I think parts of her doesn’t want to—until she’s there. And then maybe she regrets certain decisions and certain choices. But I think she doesn’t have the power to fight back, mainly because she’s a child when we find her.

But I said it before and I’ll say it again: my favorite thing about this show is that, yes, we showcase misogyny and we show how it affected the women in this world, and how it relates to these to these characters—whether it’s Alicent or Rhaenyra or Rhaenys even. But when we take away the storyline and theme of misogyny, these characters still have an arc and are still complex women onscreen. They’re not just there to serve the purpose and to show misogyny; they are human beings put onscreen. And I think that’s a brilliant thing.

Alcock: I think, ultimately, it’s down to the writing. And what the show really leans on is how these two women are met with the same kind of patriarchy, but they react in entirely different ways. Because of their given circumstances, and because of who they are, and the privileges that they’ve been afforded within their lives.

I think that Rhaenyra especially is a fighter. She fights for what she wants, and she doesn’t like to take no for an answer. But I think that these two women deal with it entirely differently, and that’s what makes the show quite interesting. Because I think that a lot of people can see themselves in Rhaenyra just as much as Alicent.

Dwelling Further Into The Conversation Of Misogyny

House of the Dragon will distinguish itself by focusing on a connection between two women, unlike Game of Thrones, which featured many powerful and nuanced female characters ranging from Daenerys to Cersei to Arya to Sansa Brienne.

House of The dragon misogyny

House of the Dragon

Rhaenyra will assert her legitimate claim to the throne, while Alicent will work to place her son, Prince Aegon, in the position. Whether Rhaenyra or Alicent comes out on top in this game of thrones is anyone’s guess, but it will enable House of the Dragon to delve further into issues of sexism and patriarchy.

It remains to be seen whether House of the Dragon can bring back the wonder that made Game of Thrones so popular in its early seasons. House of the Dragon should be pretty famous since it has the expected levels of deceit, political intrigue, and bloody battles based on what we’ve seen of the franchise thus far.