Rhaenyra and Alicent reunite in the 'House of the Dragon' Season 2 premiere — but not how you'd think (2024)

Home>Entertainment>TV Shows

Rhaenicent fans, this one's for you.

ByBelen Edwards on

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Flipboard

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers. If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Rhaenyra and Alicent reunite in the 'House of the Dragon' Season 2 premiere — but not how you'd think (1)

Credit: Courtesy of HBO / Max

The best change House of the Dragon ever made from George R.R. Martin's was making Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) childhood friends.

The pair's new shared history and love for each other made their eventual enmity hurt even more, as these two fierce companions were torn apart and pitted against each other by the male-led systems of power in Westeros. As a result, any scenes they shared crackled with thorny resentment, not just at each other, but at the fact that they'll never be so close again.


The new 'House of the Dragon' Season 2 intro shows the history of House Targaryen

It's devastating, then, that Rhaenyra and Alicent are separated for House of the Dragon Season 2. The two remain far behind the battle lines drawn at the end of Season 1, with Alicent in King's Landing and Rhaenyra on Dragonstone.

Rhaenyra and Alicent reunite in the 'House of the Dragon' Season 2 premiere — but not how you'd think (2)

Harry Collett, Emma D'Arcy, and Oscar Eskinazi in "House of the Dragon."Credit: Theo Whitman / HBO

Yet even though the pair are far apart, they're still clearly on each other's minds. For example, in the Season 2 premiere, we learn that Alicent has been sending Rhaenyra ravens in the wake of Lucerys' (Elliot Grihault) death.

Mashable Top Stories

Stay connected with the hottest stories of the day and the latest entertainment news.

Sign up for Mashable's Top Stories newsletter

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Thanks for signing up!

Outside of their characters' actions, House of the Dragon also makes sure to link Alicent and Rhaenyra on a craft level. While speaking at a June 3 House of the Dragon press conference, showrunner Ryan Condal mentioned that "in the editing [process], we found ways to connect [Alicent and Rhaenyra]. If you see Alicent going through something deep and emotional, and you cut to Rhaenyra, there is a kind of filmmaking decision there."


Did you catch this prophecy in 'House of the Dragon' Season 2, episode 1?

Rhaenyra and Alicent reunite in the 'House of the Dragon' Season 2 premiere — but not how you'd think (3)

Olivia Cooke in "House of the Dragon."Credit: Ollie Upton / HBO

The clearest example of these editing connections in the Season 2 premiere is the scene in which Rhaenyra and her family burn a funeral pyre for Lucerys. The episode intercuts between this sequence and Alicent going to pray in the sept in King's Landing. There, she lights candles to remember the dead, including her mother Alerie Florent and the late King Viserys (Paddy Considine). She hesitates for a moment, then, when Rhaenyra places the last of Lucerys' belongings on the fire, Alicent lights a candle for Lucerys as well. The gesture, as small as it may be, transcends wartime aggression. It's a way for Alicent to commiserate with Rhaenyra as a former friend, and as a mother herself.

Featured Video For You

House of the Dragon Season 1: Everything you need to remember about Season 1 in 60 seconds

The candle-lighting and pyre sequence links Rhaenyra and Alicent not just through editing, but also through imagery. Both their respective mourning rituals involve fire, yet they're still distinct enough that we recognize them as stemming from Targaryen culture or the Faith of the Seven. Similarly, the entire episode has set Rhaenyra and Alicent up as outliers in their respective camps, albeit in slightly different ways. Alicent urges caution while her sons Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) and Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) hunger for war. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra grieves the loss of her son even as her uncle/husband Daemon (Matt Smith) champs at the bit to retaliate against Team Green.

The moments in which Rhaenyra and Alicent mourn Lucerys are among the calmest of the episode, a beat for both women to collect themselves and process the consequences of all their actions that have led to this point. Choosing to edit them together here reminds us that even though they are physically apart, they are deeply, inseparably connected — and their dynamic remains House of the Dragon's bleeding heart.

New episodes of House of the Dragon air Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and Max.

TopicsHBOHouse of the Dragon

Belen Edwards is an Entertainment Reporter at Mashable. She covers movies and TV with a focus on fantasy and science fiction, adaptations, animation, and more nerdy goodness.

Recommended For You

Here's what happens next in 'House of the Dragon,' according to the book

If you're really ready for spoilers, then here they are.

By Belen Edwards

'Bridgerton' Season 3, Part 2 trailer teases a very big secret

Brace for drama, Dearest Reader.

By Sam Haysom

Did you catch this prophecy in 'House of the Dragon' Season 2, episode 1?

Poor, sweet Helaena.

By Belen Edwards

'House of the Dragon' star Matt Smith reveals who'd win in a fight between Daemon and Jon Snow

He doesn't hold back.

By Sam Haysom

I desperately need one of those 'House of the Dragon' Small Council balls

THE perfect Westerosi souvenir.

By Belen Edwards

More in Entertainment

Walmart+ is offering new limited-time perks like Apple Music — here's how to sign up

Apple Music and YouTube Premium are just a few of the brand-new bonuses.

By Dylan Haas

Walmart+ Week Kitchen Deals: Shop Staub, Ninja, Cuisinart

We sorted through the mess to find Walmart's best kitchen deals.

By Samantha Mangino

Walmart+ Week is here: What to know about the members-only event

Shop Walmart's big summer sale, running through June 23.

By Samantha Mangino

Costco members can grab a $100 Instacart gift card for just $79.99

$20 of free groceries.

By Lauren Allain

Beat the heat with these cooling products that are up to 58% off at Amazon

Chill out this summer.

By Lauren Allain

Trending on Mashable

NYT Connections today: See hints and answers for June 22

Everything you need to solve 'Connections' #377.

By Mashable Team

'Wordle' today: Here's the answer hints for June 22

Here are some tips and tricks to help you find the answer to "Wordle" #1099.

By Mashable Team

NYT Connections today: See hints and answers for June 21

Everything you need to solve 'Connections' #376.

By Mashable Team

Astronomers just witnessed a whole galaxy 'turn on the lights' in real-time

Scientists think they know what's causing this unprecedented brightening.

By Elisha Sauers

The 13 best TV shows of 2024 (so far)

How many of your faves can you spot?

By Belen Edwards

The biggest stories of the day delivered to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.

Thanks for signing up. See you at your inbox!

  • TECH
  • LIFE

Rhaenyra and Alicent reunite in the 'House of the Dragon' Season 2 premiere — but not how you'd think (35)

Mashable supports Group Black and its mission to increase greater diversity in media voices and media ownership. Group Black's collective includes Essence, TheShadeRoom and Afro-Punk.

©2005–2024 Mashable, Inc., a Ziff Davis company. All Rights Reserved.

Mashable is a registered trademark of Ziff Davis and may not be used by third parties without express written permission.

Rhaenyra and Alicent reunite in the 'House of the Dragon' Season 2 premiere — but not how you'd think (2024)


Do Alicent and Rhaenyra become friends again? ›

After their tight-knit connection fell apart, the murder of Lucerys assured them that they could never align again. Alicent's son killed Rhaenyra's, and it is unlikely that the prospective queen can forgive her friend.

Did they switch Rhaenyra? ›

House of the Dragon Season 2 Official Trailers Breakdown

In effect, the Alicent and Rhaenyra actors switch actually was hardly a recasting at all, as D'Arcy and Cooke were cast before Alco*ck and Carey. The younger actors were cast with D'Arcy and Cooke in mind, which explains why the transition was so seamless.

Did Alicent forgive Rhaenyra? ›

Initially, Rhaenyra and Alicent forgiving one another was a way to respect the old King Viserys' wishes and give him one final dinner where his family was at peace.

Is Rhaenyra Targaryen in love with Alicent? ›

Carey said that her initial reaction to the script read-through was that Rhaenyra and Alicent are "in love a little bit," and so the actors played around with the idea of young girls having a special emotional closeness to their best friends.

Who kills Rhaenyra? ›

King Aegon II Targaryen's (Tom Glynn-Carney) dragon, Sunfyre, burns Rhaenyra alive and devours her in six bites.

Who is the real father of Rhaenyra Targaryen's sons? ›

The paternity of Rhaenyra's children remains a subject of speculation in both the literary and televised renditions of the Targaryen saga. However, subtle indications and insinuations suggest that Ser Harwin Strong is their biological father.

Why do Rhaenyra sons have black hair? ›

Laenor also happens to be black, adding further mystery to the children's appearance. House of the Dragon quickly explains the anomaly, revealing the boys were the result of Rhaenyra's affair with Ser Harwin Strong. Begin your day with a curated outlook of top news around the world and why it matters.

Does Alicent still care for Rhaenyra? ›

Despite this, Alicent and Rhaenyra do still care for one another, with Alicent's gift being an olive branch to avoid war. When Otto arrives at Dragonstone in House of the Dragon episode 10, he gives Rhaenyra peace terms from Alicent that she rejects, but her mind is nearly changed upon seeing Alicent's gift.

Why does Alicent turn on Rhaenyra? ›

Their ways of life draw parallels, and shortly after, Rhaenyra's autonomy becomes the root cause of Alicent's animosity toward her. She begins to crumble under the pressure of being Queen, putting up a public facade of decency and sacrifice, while Rhaenyra, in her opinion, gets to do what she wants.

What happens to Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent? ›

Alicent loses her patience with Viserys and his blatant favoritism, so she takes a dagger and tries to get justice herself. She ends up cutting Rhaenyra in front of the entire court. After that, the two women and their families are separated for nearly six years.

Who wins the war, Alicent or Rhaenyra? ›

If the Dance is considered as more of a longterm conflict, even then Aegon manages decently. His daughter becomes wife to Aegon III. But Rhaenyra absolutely wins in the long-term because all of the following Targs are descendants of her and Daemon.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated:

Views: 6100

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.