House of the Dragon actors tease ‘complex, passionate’ relationship after fans call out ‘gay vibes’

Rhaenyra and Alicent hugging with the Iron Throne in the background and rainbow colours washing over

For House of the Dragon fans who immediately picked up on the queer vibes between Princess Rhaenyra and Lady Alicent, it seems they were entirely deliberate.

LGBTQ+ fans pointed out the romantic tension between the two women, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey), in episode one of the new Game of Thrones prequel.
One wrote: “Me watching Alicent and Rhaenyra interacting when I know the story. Gay is in, Gay is hot. I want some gay. Gay it’s going to be.

Although others are sceptical anything will come of it, writing: “Not my gay a*s shipping Rhaenyra and Alicent knowing damn well it won’t happen.”

The actors, who will be replaced later in the series as the characters grow older, addressed the speculation in an interview with Insider.

They confirmed that they discussed portraying the characters as somewhat “in love”.

Alcock joked: “I’m just actually in love with Emily and so I think that’s it.”
Carey explained: “It’s something we brought up with Clare Kilner, one of the directors we also work with for the younger version of the characters.

“It was something I was immediately conscious of when I read the script as a queer woman myself.”

Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) in House of the Dragon

Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey). (HBO/Sky)

After reading the script, Carey saw Rhaenyra and Alicent as “in love a little bit”. She spoke about how most 14-year-old best friends have “a relationship and closeness unlike any other”.

“You do toe the line between platonic and romantic, Milly always says it’s like a tactile closeness and emotional closeness,” they added.

“Especially when it’s put in the context of this world where they are the only two young girls in the Red Keep. It’s 100 per cent something we were conscious of. And so if it reads on screen, it was purposeful.” 

The first season of House of the Dragon will span many years, and Alcock and Carey will hand over to Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke respectively.

Reflecting on the relationship between the younger Rhaenyra and Alicent, D’Arcy said: “I think there’s erotic energy in most intense teenage relationships, because it’s a period of trying to work out what one is and what one wants.”

Cooke added: “When you have your first intense friendship, you’re throwing all these emotions at the other person and seeing which one sticks, and it’s incredibly complex, but very passionate.”
Although, things seem destined to fall apart between the pair as the battle for the throne between Rhaenyra and Daemon (Matt Smith) rages on.