Alicent Hightower: What You Need To Know About Viserys’ New Wife In ‘House Of The Dragon’

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Alicent Hightower is one of the most important characters in House of the Dragon. With King Viserys II marrying Alicent, that means she’ll be the new Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. This marriage will propel the story towards the inevitable Dance of the Dragons.

Alicent is a fascinating character who is deeply entrenched in the lives of both Viserys and Rhaenyra Targaryen. From her family history to her marriage to Viserys and what it ultimately means for Rhaenyra, HollywoodLife is getting you up to speed on what to know about Alicent.

Emily Carey
Alicent Hightower and King Viserys I in ‘House of the Dragon.’ (HBO)

Who Is Alicent Hightower?

Alicent Hightower is the daughter of Ser Otto Hightower. Ser Otto is the current Hand of the King to Viserys in House of the Dragon. After Queen Aemma’s tragic death during childbirth in the series premiere, Otto encourages his daughter to befriend the grieving king.

Alicent is very close to Rhaenyra Targaryen, daughter of King Viserys I. However, their friendship becomes fractured when Alicent becomes Viserys’ second wife.

Who Plays Alicent Hightower In House Of The Dragon?

The younger version of Alicent Hightower is played by Emily Carey. The 19-year-old is known for her roles in Casualty and Get Even. House of the Dragon will eventually jump forward in time several years. When that happens, Olivia Cooke will take over the role of Alicent Hightower. 

Olivia notably starred in the series Bates Motel and the limited series Vanity Fair. The 28-year-old has also had roles in Ready Player One and Sound of Metal.

Who Does Alicent Hightower Marry?

In episode 2 of House of the Dragon, King Viserys is urged to get married again so he can produce more heirs. Instead of uniting House Targaryen and House Velaryon by marrying the way-too-young Laena Velaryon, Viserys decides to marry Alicent. He announces the news to his small council and Rhaenyra, who is devastated.

Rhaenyra
Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower in ‘House of the Dragon.’ (HBO)

Viserys previously named Rhaenyra as his successor, but Rhaenyra is well aware of the struggle to come. She knows Alicent will likely have sons by Viserys, which will put her claim to the throne in even more jeopardy.

Does Alicent Hightower Have Children?

Yes, Alicent eventually has 4 children with King Viserys I: Aegon II, Helaena, Aemond, and Daeron. This is when things get very interesting. Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD.

As written in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, friction surrounding who would ultimately succeed Viserys only intensified when Alicent gave birth to Aegon II. When it was decided Rhaenyra should marry, Alicent offered up the idea that Rhaenyra could marry Aegon II, even though there was a major age difference and they didn’t get along. Viserys refused this idea and doubled down on Rhaenyra being next in line for the Iron Throne.

Rhaenyra married Ser Laenor Velaryon and had three sons with him: Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey. After Laenor’s death, she married her uncle, Daemon Targaryen. They had two sons, Aegon III and Viserys II. Alicent took this as a slight that Rhaenyra also named her son Aegon.

Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke will play the adult version of Alicent Hightower. (HBO)

Things took a dark turn when King Viserys I died. Alicent quickly called the small council to crown her son, Aegon II, as king. Rhaenyra rejected any sort of negotiation with her half-brother. This led to the Dance of the Dragons, a civil war between the members of House Targaryen over the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. The civil war was brutal, bloody, and fiery, thanks to dragons on both sides.

As we first learned in Game of Thrones from Joffrey Baratheon, Rhaenyra was killed and eaten by Aegon II’s dragon Sunfyre as her son, Aegon III, watched. After Aegon II is poisoned by his own alleged supporters, Aegon III ascends the throne. His brother, Viserys II, later sat on the Iron Throne. While the Dance of the Dragons wasn’t a win for anyone, Rhaenyra’s bloodline survived much longer than Alicent’s in the end.

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