The latest episode of House of the Dragon had many noteworthy moments, but when Viserys told Alicent, “I am going to bed, Aemma”, fans were as bewildered as the in-universe characters. The King’s (Paddy Considine) relationship with his young Queen has always been a point of discussion among fans, understandably so. In a new conversation with the Game of Thrones podcast, actor Olivia Cooke, who took over the role from Emily Carey, affirms that Alicent does love Viserys however the actor isn’t sure she “respects” him.
Alicent was encouraged by her father Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) to spend time with the King after the death of his wife Aemma during childbirth. We see the characters bonding over their love of history and lore and eventually, the King announces his intentions to marry the young girl, which fractures his relationship with his daughter Rhaenyra (previously played by Milly Alcock and now Emma D’Arcy). With multiple time jumps, fans have only seen a glimpse of their relationship and the arrival of numerous kids. However, when Cooke was inquired whether the two share a love-filled relationship she said, “I think so. I think she’s got a genuine love for Viserys. I think a fondness and a love have really grown, but I think that’s also because they have these children. But also, Alicent is almost like a primary caretaker for Viserys now in his various ailments.”
Viserys is a good man who wants to keep peace in his kingdom, but these virtues aren’t enough to be a good king. While he often seems meek and gullible, he has proven to always be fierce in defending Rhaenyra, and rightfully so. He defended her when Otto tried to poison him by reporting Rhaenyra and Daemon’s (Matt Smith) night out in a pleasure house. He again comes to her defense in the latest episode when her children’s legitimacy is questioned openly. Cooke refers to his loyalty to Rhaenyra and blind eye to her wrongdoings as a source of contention, stating, “But I don’t know if she respects him. I don’t know if she thinks that he’s the best ruler. I think she thinks he’s too soft and that’s probably because of the way he handles his relationship with Rhaenyra.”
House of the Dragon‘s Blacks and Greens have found their footing in the latest episode and Viserys’ decision to side with Rhaenyra has widened that gap between his families, Cooke says, “he’s so blinded by his love for his children that he doesn’t see their wrongdoings.” The ripple effect of Viserys’ choices will propel the Dance of the Dragon as we know it.
New episodes of House of the Dragon air every Sunday, meanwhile, you can check Cooke’s comments below: