Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon.

The ‘House of the Dragon’ Fandom Has Been Loving That Alicent Scene in the Season 2 Trailer

There’s no combo more powerful than a tragic woman and a body of water.

The fandom has taken the meager minute and a half of House of the Dragon’s season 2 trailer and run with it, breaking it down frame by frame to try to guess what might be going on and what events from Fire & Blood will be depicted, and one scene in particular has caught their attention.

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If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been watching and rewatching the first teaser for the second season of House of the Dragon obsessively ever since it dropped at the beginning of December 2023, but the scene that has stuck out in everyone’s mind—especially those who have been hung up on the relationship between Alicent Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen, also known as Rhaenicent, like myself—is the shot of Alicent, wearing a very simple white dress rather than her usually ornate green gowns, standing next to what seems to be a lake, with her face distorted in the most so-much-pain-you’re-numb-with-it expression ever displayed in Westeros.

As we all know, the “impossibly sad female character” and “body of water of some sort” is a tried and true combo that is bound to make any fan go and create the most heart-wrenching edits possible. And the parallel between a similar scene in the trailer featuring Rhaenyra also looking out in sorrow at another body of water has just been heaven for Rhaenicent fans everywhere. So let’s take a look at what the fandom has been cooking.

Let’s start with a good old-fashioned Ophelia parallelism.

Alicent nation, let’s gather our strength. We are on our way to spiraling down to the very bottom come next season.

And then it’s finally time for those Rhaenicent feels. 

Of course, the edits set to that line from Lana Del Rey’s “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” deserve their own mini-section.

And since the trailer came out while everyone was still deep in their rekindled Hunger Games hyper fixation after watching The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, the two were bound to mesh up.

Sadly, you know that any post about anything House of the Dragon-related is bound to stir up some discourse.

Still, Alicent has been making the rounds across the internet so much that she has even caught the attention of non-fans.

As for what Alicent is actually doing in this frame, there are several theories floating around. Fans of the show who don’t know the rundown of what happens during the Dance and don’t want any spoilers, beware. I’m about to bring in several major events from Fire & Blood.

If that shot of Rhaenyra looking over Shipbreaker Bay is her grieving over Luke, then it might make sense for this shot of Alicent to be her grieving over the loss of someone in her family. While I maintain that the one she’s standing beside looks very much like the Gods Eye, because she’s blocking the view of a castle that doesn’t look like the Red Keep at all but looks remarkably like Harrenhal, I think the major battle that takes place here is too far down the timeline for it to be featured in season 2. 

Alicent Hightower, played by Olivia Cooke, in the first teaser for the second season of House of the Dragon
This entire shot is so very much Riverlands-coded. (HBO)

It’s still perhaps more likely that it’s some body of water outside of King’s Landing where Alicent goes after Blood and Cheese happens—and we know that is definitely going to happen; there really is no escaping it. It would make a perfect mirror to Rhaenyra’s scene—since the Blacks send Blood and Cheese as retaliation for Lucerys’s death—and it would also be an understandable motivation to what some fans theorize: that Alicent is going to try to drown herself and be saved by someone at the last minute. Considering that Alicent herself saved Criston from taking his own life in season 1, it would make sense for him to do the same for her here. 

There are also rumours flying around of Alicent and Rhaenyra having a confrontation on Dragonstone, which it’s speculated could be the scene in the teaser that features Rhaenyra inside some castle—likely Dragonstone—wearing her crown. Fans have also said that Alicent at the lake could be a reaction to that confrontation, with the head of the Greens pondering on her life and her choices and the bloodshed of war.

Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Emma D'Arcy, wearing her crown in the first teaser for the second season of House of the Dragon
On a side note, the costume department really showed up to work this dress is gorgeous. (HBO)

Or who knows? Maybe that’s not actually Alicent but Alys Rivers partaking in some of her river magic. We’ll just have to wait for next summer to see what exactly is going on.

(featured image: HBO Max)

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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.