House of the Dragon season 2: EP on Criston, Alicent pairing

House of the Dragon season 2 Alicent
Photo: HBO

There are a number of things that are notable so far about House of the Dragon season 2, but also some that are polarizing. For now, the relationship between Alicent Hightower and Ser Criston Cole firmly fits within the latter group.

Does Criston really have any fans out there? He’s someone who lashed out physically after Rhaenyra did not want to run away with him, and he’s since latched on to Alicent and Team Green, where he does have a prominent position within the guard. Now, he and Olivia Cooke’s character are hooking up on occasion. They are keeping it a secret, and it certainly does not feel like anything long-lasting will come from it. Heck, it could even be over now that Helaena has walked in on the two of them amidst the Blood and Cheese crisis.

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So why are these two characters getting intimate in the first place? It is a fair question, but it’s also something that showrunner Ryan Condal has a legitimate explanation for. Here is what he had to say to Collider:

Are they comfortable with each other? It feels very awkward there. They’re literally talking about the weather. So, that’s the thing, it’s a brand new relationship. We don’t specifically get into, intentionally, when and where it started. Part of that is the fun of leaving it up to interpretation by the viewing audience. But it’s certainly a new thing, a new romance. And the idea is that these two characters have this very stunted emotional development, particularly in the world of intimacy with a partner. Cole, because he’s been a canned man his entire life in the order of the Kingsguard and his past sins with Rhaenyra and wearing that like a millstone around his neck.

And on Alicent’s side, she was married off at 14 years old to a guy that was 20-plus years her senior. She doesn’t really have a — certainly, she was physically intimate with Viserys, but I don’t know that they had a romantically intimate or emotionally intimate experience just because of the huge age gap between them. So it’s led us to this place where you see these two characters who don’t experience a lot of pleasure, experiencing great pleasure together in a nice way that I think makes the audience go, “Oh, okay. These are two humans enjoying themselves.” But they don’t have the emotional know-how and modeling for how to exist in something like that, particularly, something they have to keep a secret.

In the end, there is also likely not going to be a lot of chances for the two to share moments given what is about to transpire. The Dance of Dragons is about to hit a stage of non-stop war, at least based on where emotions are going to lie now between the Greens and the Blacks. Aegon will be on a warpath, while Rhaenyra may realize that because of her husband’s actions, they have hit a point of no return that is more severe than ever before.

Related Learn more about what’s ahead entering House of the Dragon season 2 episode 2

How long do you think this Alicent – Criston pairing is going to last on House of the Dragon season 2?

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This article was written by Jessica BunBun.

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