Emma D'Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in the second episode of the second season of House of the Dragon, wearing a distinct blue gown

The Color of Rhaenyra’s Clothing Is a Beautiful Visual Storytelling Choice

Costumes are never just clothes simply thrown on the actors and actresses of the cast. Every single one of them is planned and designed to have meaning or tell us something about the character wearing it, and that’s especially true for House of the Dragon just as it was for Game of Thrones.

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In a world where everyone’s wardrobes consist of their House colors and where they are all way too obsessed with heraldry, the clothes characters appear in onscreen and their colors have a deeper meaning.

House of the Dragon itself proved it to us back in season one, when Alicent Hightower signaled breaking off from her husband Viserys’s family by ditching the Targaryen reds and blacks she had worn from her marriage up until that point to start wearing her by-now distinctive green—which is not the color of House Hightower, technically, but it is the color of the flames that burn on top of their seat, the Hightower in Oldtown, when they are calling the bannermen to war.

Cersei in Game of Thrones.

So I’d say it’s fair to assume that the gown that Rhaenyra wears in the second episode of the second season of the show, “A Son for a Son,” also has some deeper meaning, especially because it’s such a peculiar color for her to wear.

Arryn blue

So far, we’ve seen Rhaenyra favor the red and black of her House, with accents of gold for jewelry or embroidery, as well as the occasional silver and white. Blue is almost absent from her wardrobe—the only time she has worn something vaguely blueish was the simple dress she had on when she gave birth to Joffrey back in season one, which had a blue base and was embellished in gold.

But in “A Son for a Son,” we saw her wear a full, deep, unmistakably blue ensemble as she was getting ready for bed with her lady-in-waiting, Elinda. It’s definitely a first, and one that immediately made me think of her mother’s House.

That’s because Queen Aemma was an Arryn by birth—even though of course her mother was a Targaryen and one of the many children of King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne, just like Viserys’s parents—and blue is the color of the Arryn sigil. I like the idea of Rhaenyra seeking a sort of closeness with her mother through the clothes she wears in her most intimate moments, when she’s alone and resting.

Queen Aemma Arryn in the first episode of House of the Dragon
Queen Aemma was the daughter of Princess Daella Targaryen and Lord Rodrik Arryn. (HBO)

It’s also significant to me that she wears this blue gown after Daemon has left, meaning that there’s no possible male intervention during this moment that is all between women—Rhaenyra, her mother, her lady-in-waiting. And not to be a Rhaenicent truther on main—even though I definitely am—but we know from the season 2 trailer that during Alicent’s escapades in nature that presumably end with her standing by that lake, she is also wearing blue.

Alicent Hightower, daughter of Alerie Florent

Again, Alicent usually wears green, but blue is also a significant color in the sigil of her mother’s House. Alicent’s mother was Alerie Florent—something that was never established in canon before but that was revealed when she lit a candle in her honor in the first episode of season two—and the Florent sigil is a red fox surrounded by a circle of blue flowers.

Young Alicent Hightower, played by Emily Carey, wearing a blue gown
In a way, Alicent herself is a personification of her mother’s colors when she wears blue, with her red hair echoing the color of the fox on House Florent’s sigil. (HBO)

In retrospect, we had already seen Alicent hinting at her mother’s house even before her name was revealed—when Otto “Certified Terrible Father” Hightower suggested teenage Alicent should wear more of her mother’s dresses to spend time with Viserys, many of the clothes she ends up wearing were blue—and with lower cuts than the ones she seems to prefer wearing, but that’s another story.

So you understand how I can’t simply ignore the fact that both Alicent and Rhaenyra return to their mothers’ colors in their most vulnerable and quiet moments when they are alone, without being surrounded by the men in their lives. The tragic queer-coded soulmate relationship strikes once more.

Of course, these scenes with Alicent wading through fields could very well be a dream sequence, in which case I would stand corrected on the Rhaenicent parallel but only on that. The curtains—or gowns, in this case—are never just blue, after all.

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Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.