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Alicent’s Attires: How Clothing Reveals a Story of its Own

Before reading this article, please be aware that “House of the Dragon” contains content intended for an older audience, and is listed as 18+ on HBO Max. I don’t recommend that anyone under 16 watches this show, as certain scenes might be too graphic for anyone too young. Also, this article will contain spoilers. 

I will focus on Alicent Hightower’s outfits from Episodes 1 to 5, so all the scenes before the time skip. When talking about her costumes, most people tend to focus too heavily on the green dress she wore at the banquet in Episode 5, and while it is a significant scene, all the dresses leading up to that also signify how she changes throughout the show. 

In the first scene with Alicent, she is seen wearing a simple, modest dress appropriate for a girl her age. Here, she is 14 years old. The colours blue and white depict purity, innocence and gentleness, fit for her portrayal, as she is a young lady with a high social standing. Additionally, her clothing could also subtly reference her friendship with Rhaenyra, her close childhood friend. In this scene, their relationship is as close as ever, but as the show progresses, they have a major falling out, leading to them standing on opposite sides of the war and being the lead aggressors. Currently, the blues of her dress express stability, seeing as nothing has severed their companionship yet. The colour also represents tranquillity, showing her freedom of simply being a young lady and not the Queen and mother of the potential future heir.

Her next outfit agrees with the aforementioned points. For the tournament, she is, once again, wearing a fair, light blue dress.

Her next dress is more revealing. Before this scene, her father instructs her to go ‘console’ the king in his grief, seeing as his wife has just died. He tells her to wear one of her mother’s dresses, no doubt in hopes that she can seduce him and gain the position of Queen. The cut of the dress is a lot lower than her usual dresses, and the fabric is slightly seethrough. Additionally, her hair is tied up, showing off her neck and collarbones. Compared to her previous looks, this is no doubt an attempt to make her look more mature than she truly is. Despite this, it is clear through her body language that she is uncomfortable in such attire, as she is hiding behind the book.

In Episode 2, Alicent is seen wearing a fitted dress that is decorated with a golden accessory made to accentuate her waist. She forgoes her light blue dresses and opts for a darker one. Dark blue represents knowledge, reliability and authority, yet another attempt to present herself as older than she is.

Her next outfits, following her marriage to the king, are mostly red. By wearing, red and black, the common colours of the Targaryen’s, she shows her status as a part of the royal family. She has forgone her identity as ‘Lady Alicent’, now choosing to display herself as ‘Queen Alicent, wife of the King’. By completely changing her colour scheme, she shows how she is devoted to her standing and her husband’s needs, as red, more often than not, signifies love and passion. 

Now, onto her most iconic dress, her emerald green outfit for Rhaenyra’s wedding. In some cases, green signifies new birth and beginnings, which is an interesting interpretation of her choice to wear this dress. It shows how the fair and innocent Lady Alicent, has been reborn as the ruthless Queen Alicent. This moment is incredibly important to Alicent’s character, since, before this scene, she chose to not involve herself in the political aspect of her position. She used to support Rhaenyra as the rightful heir to the throne, but, after Rhaenyra lies to her, she begins to hate her, and seeks for her son to be named heir instead. Another major reason this dress is such a turning point for her character is that green is used, for the Hightowers, her birth house, as a call to arms. In this scene, she might as well have declared war. After the timeskip, Alicent is seen in mostly green clothing, earning her faction the title of ‘The Greens’, while Rhaenyra’s affiliates are ‘The Blacks’.

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