Be aware: This text comprises spoilers for Home Of The Dragon episodes 1-5. Avert your eyes should you aren’t caught up but!
When you look past the dragons and Valyrian dialect, there are various similarities between the world of Home Of The Dragon and our personal fashionable second. If anybody understands this, it’s Olivia Cooke, who is about to take over the function of Alicent Hightower from Emily Carey within the HBO prequel’s upcoming sixth episode. Alicent’s battle for autonomy, her seductive dance with systemic energy, and her final loneliness all really feel resonant in immediately’s more and more polarized and isolating world—who isn’t rattling the bars of their cage a bit in 2022?
Common resonance apart, nonetheless, Cooke says Home Of The Dragon creators Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal got here to her with a really clear picture of the place Alicent would possibly fall in a contemporary American panorama. Cooke tells Leisure Weekly in a brand new interview that Sapochnik (who won’t return for an imminent season 2) and Condal described Alicent to her early on as “like a girl for Trump.” It’s a route Cooke each understood and felt hesitant to take.
“I simply didn’t need to give them any extra psychological actual property than they already had,” Cooke says of the not-so-esteemed former First Family. “So I attempted to discover a completely different route into her, however I might see what they have been saying with this entire indoctrination and denial of her personal autonomy and rights. I simply couldn’t be requested to go down that street.”
In fact, there are a lot of inroads to a girl born right into a system that squeezes her of any and all autonomy, and Cooke highlights how vital it was to discover a “humanitarian hook” into a personality who, nicely, married her greatest buddy’s dad.
“She does some fucking despicable stuff,” she admits. “However then you definately’ve received to assume, she’s attempting to guard her son. She’s attempting to uphold the patriarchy. She’s attempting to uphold the legitimacy of the crown. All these items that she feels are a lot greater than she is. I believe that’s why when she will be able to’t management that, she turns to religion extra as some form of tangible aspect of management, as a result of she doesn’t have any in her life in anyway.”
A lot of that management comes from Alicent’s lot in life to, as Rhaenyra so bluntly places it in episode 4, “be imprisoned in a fortress and made to squeeze out heirs.” To not point out heirs who, in Cooke’s unsparing personal phrases, are “fucking bizarre.”
“Alicent has been utterly bred to breed, and to breed highly effective males. That’s her solely operate on this life,” Cooke says. “She will inform herself that she’s going to sway and nurture and persuade in a really womanly, female manner, however it’s all fucking bullshit. Except you’re preventing the lads, you’ll by no means be heard. It’s studying to stay inside this straightjacket of oppression. How do I transfer inch by inch each single day to loosen the straps?”
Home Of The Dragon returns to HBO on September 25—try The A.V. Membership’s halftime report on the primary season right here.