‘The House of the Dragon’: Olivia Cooke (Alicent) talks about Cersei Lannister and the famous foot scene
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‘The House of the Dragon’ has just finished its first season, but the conversation about some of its most impressive moments has not ended. The last person to dare to comment on various ideas regarding the series has been, neither more nor less, than Alicent Hightower herself, Olivia Cooke, leading actress in the prequel to ‘Game of Thrones’.
One of the topics most talked about by the public of ‘La Casa del Dragón’ during the two and a half months of broadcast of the series is the similarity they detect between Alicent and Cersei Lannister, one of the most important characters in ‘Game of Thrones’. In an interview with Variety, Cooke has decided to give his opinion on this comparison:
“They will always be compared. I think they are very different and I limited the amount of wine I drank in the scenes because I didn’t want the comparison to be too obvious.” Cooke jokes. Let us remember that one of the many things that characterized Cersei was the large number of times that she appeared on screen with a glass of wine. – “What Lena Headey did with Cersei was brilliant. She was one of my favorite characters because, as disgusting as she was, she is motivated by undying love for her children. In those parameters, both would do anything for their children. But I think Alicent has a lot more anxiety and self-doubt and I don’t think Cersei has that at all. She completely believes in every punch she lands. I don’t think Alicent is like that at all. She has been beaten by the patriarchal system in which she finds herself, by her children, by constantly trying to do things right and by walking such a narrow and straight line (between good and bad). She has put herself under immense pressure. You can see Alicent exhausting herself all the time, while Cersei is strong and formidable at all times.”
Another of the most commented moments of the first season of ‘The House of the Dragon’, not precisely because of its epicness, but because of the discomfort it transmits to the viewer, is the following scene of the ninth chapter. Alicent, intending to get information from Larys Strong about traitors in her circle, He shows his feet to Larys as payment and he takes the opportunity to masturbate. It was a moment that went viral on social media. Who manipulates whom? The actress has shared her point of view:
“She knows what Larys can do, how powerful he is and how he won’t stop killing his entire family in order to get ahead in court. The dynamic changes slightly all the time in the scene. He probably carries more weight. It’s hard, because she has no choice but to agree with many of the things he does. She needs the information. Ultimately, she knows how she’s going to get it. Not getting the information can lead to Alicent’s death, usurpation of his position or in the death of his children. I don’t think any of this is taken lightly. It’s just an absolute necessity, unfortunately. I don’t think there is any manipulation. It’s just that she needs the information and that’s how she gets it. It’s disgusting, it’s degrading, it’s aggression. But she really has no options left. She has surrounded herself with psychopaths and murderers. There is no one else to turn to. Maybe he thought he could turn to Talia, but she turned out to be a spy.” Cooke also revealed that this is the scene that bothers him the most in the entire series, more than violent deaths, nudity or brothel scenes.
Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, each leading one side of the war, have a common past as inseparable best friends. This friendship has been dissipating over time, but you can still feel some trace of the love they had, something that can be played as a good asset in war. And this Otto Hightower and the bannermen of Alicent did on their visit to Dragonstone. When Rhaenyra gives them the order to surrender, they present her with a page that as a child Rhaenyra lovingly and playfully tore out of an Alicent history book. The leader of the greens used the past as a card, but it is not very clear if she did it with the intention of manipulating her or as a true act of peace. Cooke believes it was not manipulation:
“I don’t think it was tampering at all. I really think he’s trying to do everything he can to smooth out the craters that are about to occur. You want as little bloodshed as possible. I think that’s a sign of peace, not manipulation. But it’s out of character and it was set in motion out of panic rather than direct thought. I don’t think he realizes how insulting that could be.”
But if there was even a slim chance that Rhaenyra was willing to seek peace, it was extinguished with the murder of her son. In a tense chase scene, Lucerys and her little dragon soar through the skies and through the storms, intent on escaping Aemond, son of Alicent, and his dragon, but just when it seems the danger is over, Aemond’s massive dragon slays. bite Lucerys and her dragon. The season ends with his mother finding out what happened and sharing with the audience a fierce look that makes it clear that he will show no mercy in a war that, without a doubt, has already begun.
The relationship between Alicent Hightower and her father, Otto Hightower, progresses as she grows older and more confident. Otto, the former hand of the late King Viserys, used her daughter when she was little for her own benefits, but Alicent has been through a lot and she is no longer as easily manipulated, neither by her father nor by her. for no one His relationship with Otto, which is better or worse depending on the moment, will be important for season 2 and Olivia Cooke has talked about the kind of dynamic they will have compared to the first season:
“She is no longer the little girl he can just sell. She is a worthy confidante and an equal in this game of thrones. She has become incredibly formidable. She is incredibly proud of what she thinks she has created and molded because, of course, these narcissistic parents have to take all the credit.He wouldn’t be so stupid as to undermine the power she may possess and the lengths she will go to protect her children. Similarly, I think there is mistrust between them. Though she knows her father loves her, I don’t think he would save her if she had to choose between himself or her daughter, and Alicent knows it.”
‘The House of the Dragon’ has been renewed for a second season that will begin filming in 2023 and will premiere in 2024. The author of the books of this medieval fantasy universe, George RR Martin, believes that the ideal way to tell the story of the series is to make four seasons of ten episodes each.