House of the Dragon Episode 6 saw a significant 10-year time jump that highlights the arrival of Emma D'Arcy and Olivia Cooke to portray the grown-up version of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower to continue their narrative as they both secure their claim on the Iron Throne.
House of the Dragon's premiere until the fifth episode heavily emphasized Rhaenyra and Alicent's relationship as childhood best friends. However, things went to a terrible turn when King Viserys (Paddy Considine) abruptly decided to marry Alicent, making her Rhaenyra's new stepmother. Even Milly Alcock — who played the Targaryen Princess from Episodes 1 to 5, thinks that Rhaenyra "got a lot of rage" towards the whole new family situation.
Now, in the latest episode of The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon, House of the Dragon showrunner and executive producer Miguel Sapochnik explained Rhaenyra and Alicent's rotted relationship and why their "potential romantic entanglement" affects it. Check out his full quote below:
"If you look at the way that Alicent and Rhaenyra’s relationship develops in the first five episodes or first four or five years of their time that we spend with them, they are good friends with this potential romantic entanglement from earlier on that has always been a big thing, for me, that I thought was an essential component of why they are such close friends. It seems like it's a kind of unrequited love. It's not something that Alicent chose to encourage. Did they ever have a thing? Don't know. But there's something there, right? And Rhaenyra has this deep longing for her best friend."
To be fair, Rhaenyra and Alicent's relationship even more declined when the Targaryen Princess lied to the Queen about her sexual activities, prompting Alicent to embrace her Hightower heritage and officially turn her back on Rhaenyra.
It's absolutely disheartening to see Rhaenyra and Alicent's relationship slowly deteriorating as the show progresses. Whether it was a 'romantic entanglement' or just a platonic love, the two genuinely cared for the well-being of the other. Sadly, the conflict between the two will certainly get worse as they take part in the impending Dance of the Dragons.
House of the Dragon is streaming on HBO Max.