In the fifth episode of “House of the Dragon,” Queen Alicent (Emily Carey) makes a bold statement as she bursts into the welcoming feast for Princess Rhaenyra’s wedding in a gorgeous green gown. Early in the episode she learned that Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) had misled her by letting Alicent defend her from her father Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Alicent’s own father, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), his place as Hand of lost the king. Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) asks his brother Harwin (Ryan Corr), “The beacon on the Hightower, do you know what color it glows when Oldtown calls its banners to war?” Harwin replies, “Green.” It’s a powerful moment that signals a major rift in the Red Keep.
But Alicent’s dress isn’t just a smart move or a show of solidarity with her dad and House. Alicent’s green dress will help define the factions in the upcoming war of succession, the Dance of the Dragons. Those who side with Alicent and her claim that Aegon should be king will be known as the Greens because of their clothing, while those who side with Rhaenyra will be known as the Blacks because she wears this color most often. Let’s break down the two factions and their role in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons with spoilers for George RR Martin’s Fire and Blood.
Who are the Greens on “House of the Dragon”?
As viewers have seen throughout the course of House of the Dragon, Rhaenyra is technically the heiress to King Viserys. Yet the king hasn’t done much to help her expand her claim. For example, when he throws baby Aegon a birthday party in episode three, it seems to send the message to the realm that Aegon is the one real Heritage. And Kingdom sexism is rampant.
When Viserys finally dies, Alicent and Ser Criston Cole secretly call the small council in “Fire and Blood” to discuss what to do. Some in the room say that Rhaenyra should obviously be queen, but Alicent and her father still manage to crown Aegon. Those who support them are known as the Greens. In the book, her supporters include Ser Larys Strong, Ser Tyland Lannister, and Borros Baratheon. Alicent also decides to keep Viserys’ death a secret for seven days to solidify her plans.
One change the show made from the books is which event Alicent wears the green dress at. In Fire and Blood, she wears it to a tournament celebrating her marriage to the king. Ser Criston Cole vies for Rhaenyra’s favor and dismisses all of the Queen’s champions in the tournament.
Who are the blacks in House of the Dragon?
When Rhaenyra learns in the book that Aegon has been crowned, she holds her own council at Dragonstone, known as the Black Council. This includes her uncle (and husband) Daemon; her three sons from her first marriage, Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey; Lord Corlys Velaryon; and Princess Rhaenys. Ser Steffon Darklyn also flees King’s Landing after Aegon is proclaimed king with Viserys’ crown and takes her to Rhaenyra. Although Rhaenyra seems to be at a disadvantage by not being in King’s Landing, she does have something important in her favor: her side has more dragons.
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