Emma D’Arcy and Oliva Cooke have discussed the ‘erotic’ energy between their characters. House of the Dragon, against Rings of Power, might have won the battle of the fantasy series. In fact, since its debut, its viewing figures have only been on the up. A large part of this success is the audience’s investment in the large cast of characters.
Two of the standout characters in the TV series have been Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen. Their relationship, from very close friends to rivals, has been one of the most engaging plot points. In the earlier part of the series, before the time jump and change in cast, some viewers picked up on the energy between Alicent and Rhaenyra, interpreting it as sexual chemistry.
Now, in a conversation with The New York Times, D’Arcy and Cooke have reflected on that energy as part of a conversation about their characters. D’Arcy, who plays the older Rhaenyra, said “That sort of erotic energy is very present in their early relationship. I think Rhaenyra is primarily motivated by a deep desire to be known and seen.”
D’Arcy continued, extrapolating further on that sexual component of the relationship. They said “Hurt and pain is so dominant that I don’t know if there’s a space, at this point, for a conscious interaction with sexual lust, but she definitely yearns for the old physical intimacy that they shared. It’s different from what she shares with her current husband and her children. A different form of contact.”
The comments from D’Arcy will be sure to be of interest for fans of the show, and fans of the characters. The complexity of Alicent and Rhaenyra’s relationship certainly warrants further exploration, and from D’Arcy’s words, it sounds like it’s going to get it.
D’Arcy’s comments also suggest that, perhaps, we could see the two rekindling their relationship and overcoming their animosity. House of the Dragon, like Game of Thrones before it, hasn’t shied away from shining a light on LGBTQ+ relationships, though it has sometimes been criticised for how its handled them. This could mark a turning point, for that, if House of the Dragon chooses to take that route.
For a deep dive into the relationship between the two characters, check out our guide to why does Alicent hate Rhaenyra so much.