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Alicent’s Green Dress Foreshadows “House of the Dragon”‘s Coming Civil War

Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) in her green dress

In episode five of “House of the Dragon,” Queen Alicent (Emily Carey) makes a bold declaration when she bursts into the welcome feast for Princess Rhaenyra’s wedding in a sumptuous green dress. Earlier in the episode, she learned that Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) had misled her, letting Alicent defend her to her father, Viserys (Paddy Considine), and losing Alicent’s own father, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), his place as Hand of the King. Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) asks his brother Harwin (Ryan Corr), “The beacon on the Hightower, do you know what color it glows when Oldtown calls its banners to war?” Harwin answers, “Green.” It’s a powerful moment that signals a huge rift in the Red Keep.

But Alicent’s dress isn’t just a clever move of one-upsmanship or a sign of solidarity with her father and House. Alicent’s green dress will help define the factions in the coming war of succession, the Dance of Dragons. Those who side with Alicent and her claim that Aegon should be king will be known as the greens because of her dress, while those who side with Rhaenyra will be known as the blacks, since that’s the color she wears the most. Let’s break down the two factions and what roles they play in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of Dragons, with spoilers for George R.R. Martin’s “Fire and Blood.”

Who Are the Greens on “House of the Dragon”?

As viewers have seen over the course of “House of the Dragon,” Rhaenyra is technically King Viserys’s heir. Yet the king hasn’t done much to help her grow her claim. When he throws a birthday party for baby Aegon in episode three, for example, it seems to send the message to the realm that Aegon is the real heir. And the sexism of the kingdom is widespread.

In “Fire and Blood,” when Viserys finally dies, Alicent and Ser Criston Cole summon the small council in secret to discuss what is to be done. Some in the room say obviously Rhaenyra should be queen, but Alicent and her father succeed in crowning Aegon anyway. Those who support them are known as the greens. In the book, their supporters include Ser Larys Strong, Ser Tyland Lannister, and Borros Baratheon. Alicent also decides to keep Viserys’s death a secret for seven days in order to cement their plans.

One change the show did make from the books is what event Alicent wears the green dress at. In “Fire and Blood,” she wears it to a tournament that celebrates her marriage to the king. Ser Criston Cole, competing with Rhaenyra’s favor, unhorses all of the queen’s champions in the tournament.

Who Are the Blacks on “House of the Dragon”?

In the book, when Rhaenyra learns that Aegon has been crowned, she makes her own council at Dragonstone, known as the black council. It includes her uncle (and husband) Daemon; her three sons from her first marriage, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey; Lord Corlys Velaryon; and Princess Rhaenys. Ser Steffon Darklyn also flees King’s Landing after Aegon is named king with Viserys’s crown and brings it to Rhaenyra. Though Rhaenyra may seem at a disadvantage, since she’s not in King’s Landing, she does have a major thing in her favor: her side has more dragons.

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Image Source: HBO

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