House of the Dragon Star Olivia Cooke Speaks Out on Alicent's Complicated Marriage to Viserys

The marriage at the center of House of the Dragon has always been a complicated one. King Viserys Targaryen needed another bride when his beloved wife died during childbirth, and a young Alicent Hightower put herself in the position to become the King's first choice, thanks to the politicking of her father, Otto. Alicent is decades younger than VIserys, and was best friends with his daughter when they were wed, making things within the family a little difficult. The entire situation has only grown more complicated as the years have gone on.

Alicent only married Viserys out of duty, in a play to have some control over the realm, but she has developed some feelings for him over the years. Olivia Cooke, who plays the older version of Alicent, appeared on this week's official Game of Thrones podcast and talked about her character's relationship to Viserys. She said that there is some love there, especially after many years and several children together.

"I think so. I think she's got a genuine love for Viserys. I think a fondness and a love have really grown, but I think that's also because they have these children," Cooke explained. "But also, Alicent is almost like a primary caretaker for Viserys now in his various ailments."

While Alicent has potentially found some love for Viserys over the years, Cooke doesn't believe the Queen respects him. Viserys has shown, time and again, that he will always stand up for his children and grandchildren, even if they're doing something wrong. He doesn't have much of a backbone when it comes to dealing with difficult circumstances.

"But I don't know if she respects him. I don't know if she thinks that he's the best ruler," Cooke continued. "I think she thinks he's too soft and that's probably because of the way he handles his relationship with Rhaenyra. And he's so blinded by his love for his children that he doesn't see their wrongdoings."


The relationship between Rhaenyra and Alicent has only grown more contentious over the years, which is what makes Viserys' siding with Rhaenyra such a point of frustration for the Queen. Once Viserys is gone, the link between the two sides will no longer exist.

New episodes of House of the Dragon air on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday nights.