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House of the Dragon: What was the significance of Alicent’s green dress?

Emily Carey stars as Young Alicent Hightower, as seen in Episode 4 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emily Carey stars as Young Alicent Hightower, as seen in Episode 4 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Episode 5 of House of the Dragon had plenty to unpack. So, when Alicent (Emily Carey) turned heads in a green dress, some may have missed the significance of what was actually happening.

After all, there was a royal wedding that did not go according to plan.

Not only did Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) turn up unannounced and uninvited but Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) got into a fight with Laenor’s (Theo Nate) boyfriend, Joffrey (Solly McLeod), which ended in Joffrey being beaten to death.

While Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Laenor’s wedding was supposed to be a seven-day spectacle, because of the violence and King Viserys (Paddy Considine) getting a little nervous that Daemon might whisk Rhaenyra away, he insisted his daughter get married there and then — even with Laenor grieving the loss of Joffrey.

Added to all this was Criston’s marriage proposal to Rhaenyra, which she promptly turned down. Criston was devastated and his reaction also plays into later events and is actually linked to Alicent’s dress choice.

So, about that dress.

Emily Carey stars as Young Alicent Hightower in Episode 5 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emily Carey stars as Young Alicent Hightower in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Alicent turns heads and gets chins wagging on House of the Dragon

When the first day of the wedding celebration got underway, Alicent was nowhere to be seen. King Viserys told Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall) that she was merely taking her time to prepare and would appear soon.

But viewers knew something was up right from the very start. As pointed out by Wiki of Nerds, Alicent was already questioning things at the very beginning of the episode.

When her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) told her to prepare her son, Aegon, to rule, she was still Team Rhaenyra but when she spoke to Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), she seriously started questioning whether or not Rhaenyra had lied to her about bedding Daemon in Episode 4.

The straw that really broke her back was when she questioned Criston Cole about Rhaenyra’s possible fling with Daemon.

Having a guilty conscience about sleeping with the princess, Criston confessed that he was the one who slept with Rhaenyra that night.

It was after this point that the queen turned up in her sensational green dress that had Larys reminding his brother, Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), about the significance of the color green to Alicent’s family.

Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower and Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen, as seen in Episode 5 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower and Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen, as seen in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

What is the significance of green?

Green is the color of the beacon that Hightower uses to signify war. It is also the color that most of Alicent’s family were seen wearing on the Hightower table.

So, this means that Alicent is, essentially, declaring war against her husband and stepdaughter.

While it might not be an outright battle she is aiming for, this moment is definitely significant as far as allegiances go, according to Screen Rant.

In the book, Fire and Blood, on which House of the Dragon is based, there will be two sides as far as deciding who should rule after King Viserys dies.

For those who don’t want potential spoilers for House of the Dragon, now is the time to look away.

The Greens, as Alicent’s side will be known, are those who believe that Prince Aegon is the one true heir to the Iron Throne, being the first-born son of Viserys. This is also the side that Criston Cole picks, breaking all bonds between him and Rhaenyra.

Opposing this opinion are the Blacks (from the black and red coloring that is common for House Targaryen), who are staunch supporters of Princess Rhaenyra as the correct line of succession.

These two groups will really come into play once Viserys dies.

According to the book, Viserys’ death is kept from Rhaenyra at the start and this gives the Greens time to place Aegon on the throne.

These events are all a part of what is known as the Dance of Dragons, or the civil war that breaks out among Targaryens over who should rule supreme in Viserys’ stead.

As to how this all ends? Well, viewers will just have to continue watching House of the Dragon in order to find out more.

House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.