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House of the Dragon: Olivia Cooke speaks out about that shocking foot scene

Close up shot of Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke stars as Alicent Hightower, as seen in Episode 9 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Season 1 of House of the Dragon has contained many shocking scenes.

After all, it is from the same mind that gave us Game of Thrones.

From tragic birthing scenes to murder, fake deaths, and incest, the new series from HBO has managed to shock viewers weekly with the expansive tale involving House Targaryen.

In fact, the Season 1 finale probably gave us the most heartbreaking death when young Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) was attacked on dragonback by his uncle’s dragon, Vhagar, and this resulted in a particularly gruesome death.

But, when it comes to other shocking scenes, one that rates quite highly among fans is the one that occurred in Episode 9, which involved Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and Larys Strong (Matthew Needham).

And no one even got murdered in this particular moment.

Matthew Needham stars as Larys Strong, as seen in Episode 6 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Matthew Needham stars as Larys Strong, as seen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Alicent and Larys have an ‘understanding’

The scene involved Larys divulging some information to Alicent about the network of spies in King’s Landing.

However, he would not reveal that her handmaiden, Talya (Alexis Raben), was included in this level of deceit until Alicent whipped out her naked feet and put them on display for Larys.

Larys then proceeded to masturbate to the sight after revealing his information to the queen.

Many viewers instantly took to social media in order to voice their displeasure at the scene and it became one of the most talked about scenes in that episode of House of the Dragon.

Alicent's feet were on display in Episode 9 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Alicent’s feet were on display in Episode 9 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO

Olivia Cooke reveals her thoughts on the scene

Now, the actor who portrays Alicent has spoken out about the scene.

Olivia spoke to Variety about the scene and expressed a fair amount of bemusement that in a show where beheadings and other acts of extreme violence are common, people seemed shocked about her bare feet.

“It’s funny, isn’t it? I knew on the day, I didn’t want this to be gratuitous at all because I know my feet will end up on various sites. It’s wild how you can’t predict which scenes people have the biggest reactions to, and unfortunately, it was that one.”

The actor then went on the explain the power shift between Larys and Alicent. While she may be the queen, she also knows exactly what Larys is capable of, so wanted to ensure she doesn’t end up with the same fate as Larys’ family.

While Larys may hold the power here, Alicent is also aware of how to garner information from him and does what she needs to in order to survive.

“She needs the information. Ultimately, she knows how she’s going to get it. If she doesn’t have the information, it could result in her death, or in her usurpation, or in her children’s death. I don’t think any of this is taken lightly. It’s just an absolute necessity, unfortunately. I don’t think there’s any manipulation going on. It’s just she needs the information, and this is how she gets it.”

HBO has not yet set a release date for Season 2 of House of the Dragon.

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