House of Dragon

House of the Dragon Creators Hid Alicent’s Defining Trait In Plain Sight

The makeup department went out of their way to show this character trait, but the show barely paid attention to it.


  • House of the Dragon showed us the beginning of the end for House Targaryen
  • One of the strongest aspects of the series is its well-acted and incredibly nuanced characters
  • However, the show barely focused on one of Alicent Hightower’s most telling traits

The first season of House of the Dragon, a prequel to the iconic Game of Thrones, was a great gift to fans of the franchise, especially after the extremely underwhelming final season of the original series.

Even though we all know the sad fate that would eventually befall House Targaryen, which is almost completely wiped out by the time GoT takes place, it was spectacular to see the beginning of their downfall firsthand.

The Show Owes Much Of Its Success To Its Characters

What made the political intrigue at the heart of the show’s story so interesting to watch was the well-written and brilliantly acted cast of colorful characters, each with their own set of relatable qualities and flaws.

House of the Dragon Creators Hid Alicent's Defining Trait In Plain Sight - image 1

Despite the fact that it has been almost two years since season 1 premiered, fans continue to debate who deserves the Iron Throne the most, as both Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower have managed to capture the hearts of many viewers.

However, while the actor’s performance and well-written motivations are definitely the most important factors in the audience’s perception of the characters, small details can also add a new layer, even if not everyone notices them.

Alicent’s Defining Trait Is Incredibly Easy To Overlook

House of the Dragon Creators Hid Alicent's Defining Trait In Plain Sight - image 2

Over the course of season one, we saw Alicent go from being the daughter of the Hand of the King and Rhaenyra’s best friend to the Dowager Queen and her biggest rival for power.

Of course, with more power comes more responsibility, and with more responsibility comes more stress, but she resorted to a self-destructive way of dealing with it by picking at the skin around her fingernails.

Although this excoriation disorder of hers, also known as dermatillomania, is directly addressed in a few scenes, most notably when Alicent’s father, Otto Hightower, notices her mangled fingers, it is still incredibly easy to miss.

House of the Dragon Creators Hid Alicent's Defining Trait In Plain Sight - image 3

Furthermore, if you pay close attention to her hands in most scenes, you’ll see that Olivia Cooke, who portrays the character, has appropriate makeup on her hands even in scenes where they aren’t shown up close.

It is a bit of a shame that the show’s creators went out of their way to add this detail to the character, but made it so easy to miss, but regardless, this mental disorder only makes Alicent more believable and realistic.

House of the Dragon season 2 is scheduled to premiere in early summer 2024, but no specific date has been announced yet.

Did you notice Alicent’s mangled fingers?

Source: Reddit

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