this story about Olivia Cookie in “House of the Dragon” first appeared in the drama series problem from TheWrap Awards Magazine.
In HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon,” Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower are dueling heroines who rise to a level of power previously unknown to female characters in the world created by George RR Martin.
They begin the series as best friends, but an unforgivable betrayal puts an end to that sweet relationship: Alicent marries Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), and becomes queen, a title Rhaenyra had claimed for herself. . After a 10-year jump, they are played as adults by Emma D’Arcy (as Rhaenyra) and Olivia Cooke (as Alicent) and remain adversaries torn by ambition. Their stealthy gameplay keeps viewers on their toes, wondering how far they’ll go to gain power.
Even Cooke was initially not sure who Alicent was, deep down.
“She’s a bit of an enigma to begin with,” Cooke said. “We found her as we went along, and I think it was only towards the end of filming the series that we said, ‘Oh, she’s fine, there she is.’ It was a discovery from start to finish.”
She took over the role of Emily Carey, who plays Alicent as a younger woman, but Cooke said she didn’t sit down with Carey to work on any lines. “We never discussed the character, really,” she said. “I wanted to leave that up to her interpretation. I don’t think she’s in a position to lecture or guide.”
He also thought that people change so dramatically over the course of a decade that actresses wouldn’t have to worry about being similar.
“So many changes in the 10-year time jump, as it happens in life,” he said. “I look at myself two years ago and think, God, what a different person I am today.”
For Cooke, the key was capturing the conflict inherent in Alicent’s life: she is married to her former best friend’s father.