House Of The Dragon’s Alerie Florent Answers An Alicent Question I’ve Had For 6 Years


The House of the Dragon season 2 premiere has answered one of my longstanding questions about Alicent Hightower in Fire & Blood. House of the Dragon season 2’s book changes are racking up already after just one episode, and while I understand the divisive responses to some of them, I’m grateful more often than not for the level of detail that goes into the show’s writing. Fire & Blood is a fun read, but I always found myself missing the keen attention to the minor character elements that defined A Song of Ice & Fire’s ensemble.

The House of the Dragon cast and writers do a phenomenal job of interpreting Fire & Blood’s text, expanding on the aspects Martin misses. From the season 2 premiere, I’m already immensely satisfied with the characterization that’s gone into making Aegon II a distinct element in the series. Not to mention, practically all of Viserys Targaryen’s narrative in season 1 was original to the show. Season 2, episode 1 finally reveals a critical detail about Alicent Hightower’s past that’s missing from the source material, and it adds up in a way I’m pleasantly surprised about.

Alerie Florent Is Alicent Hightower’s Mother (Which Fire & Blood Never Revealed)

House Florent Is A Noble House From The Reach

In the House of the Dragon season 2 premiere, Alicent lights candles for the dead, listing off familiar names like Viserys Targaryen and Lucerys Velaryon. However, the first name she listed may have been confusing, as it’s never been mentioned before and was entirely original to the show. This name was Alerie Florent, and the scene implies that this is Alicent’s late mother and Otto Hightower’s wife. I found this decision to be a masterful detail, with key story elements from Fire & Blood and House of the Dragon to back the decision.

For years, the only information about Alicent Hightower’s mother was that she was dead. Fire & Blood mentions that Otto took his wife and children with him to court in King’s Landing when he arrived to serve as the Hand to King Jaehaerys I, but she’s never mentioned afterward. Of course, she’s not a monumental part of the story, but lineage and family history are so integral to George R.R. Martin’s universe that it’s a terrific detail to add to the show. Like the Houses Hightower, Tyrell, and Tarly, House Florent is a noble house from the Reach.

Alicent’s Mother Being A Florent Makes Sense With Game Of Thrones History

A Florent/Hightower Alliance Ties In With Noble Rivalries In the Reach

Getting into why I love this revelation so much, much of it has to do with House Florent’s history, which is revealed in The World of Ice & Fire book. House Florent has significant blood ties to House Gardener, the noble family who ruled the Reach as a kingdom for thousands of years prior to Aegon’s Conquest. Upon Aegon’s arrival, House Gardener aligned itself with House Lannister to defend the independence of their respective kingdoms, and both were crushed in a battle known as the Field of Fire.

In the battle, King Mern IX Gardener and all of his heirs were wiped out, causing the noble house to go extinct. As we know from Game of Thrones, House Tyrell became the ruling house in the Reach, which was bestowed upon them by Aegon the Conqueror. Even though the historic House Hightower is more prevalent in House of the Dragon, House Tyrell of Highgarden is still the ruling family in the Reach during the time of the Dance of the Dragons. And that’s how this ties back to Alerie Florent.


The Hightowers could have been making a statement about their place in the Reach

Aegon’s decision to make Tyrell the leading house in the Reach was met with protest, particularly from House Florent, who had a better claim to Highgarden due to the aforementioned blood ties with House Gardener. Despite their outcries, the Tyrells maintained control. Therefore, I see the marriage between Otto Hightower and Alerie Florent as having a greater implication. With a marriage alliance to the Florents, the Hightowers could have been making a statement about their place in the Reach, considering themselves an equal power to the Tyrells.

We haven’t seen House Tyrell in House of the Dragon, and they likely won’t play a significant role. However, it’s clear from the show that Otto and the Hightowers see themselves as being worthy of more than their current standing. They’ve made a play for the Iron Throne in season 1, and the Alerie Florent marriage also suggests that the two southern houses had aligned themselves to make a power play in the Reach.

Alicent Honored Her Mother In House Of The Dragon Season 1

Alicent Commonly Wore Dresses With Florent Colors

Alicent’s House Florent lineage is also backed by House of the Dragon season 1. We know Alicent’s green dresses symbolized her loyalty to House Hightower, establishing the Blacks and Greens split, but before this, she commonly wore blue dresses. The House Florent sigil is a fox surrounded by blue flowers, which Alicent practically embodied with blue dresses an

d her auburn hair. In retrospect, I adore this detail, as it shows her paying her respects to her late mother for years before transitioning to the green dresses for the growing conflict.

Clothing matters significantly in the world of House of the Dragon, and it’s not uncommon for characters to represent their multiple lineages. For example, Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones was often considered to embody more of House Tully than she did Stark, and her attire often reflected this. Similarly, Cersei Lannister’s children commonly wore red colors despite being named Baratheon. It would be consistent for Alicent’s season 1 attire to have been due to her Florent lineage.

Alicent Will Wear Blue Again In House Of The Dragon Season 2

A Photo From HOTD’s Season 2 Trailer Shows Alicent Wearing A Blue Dress

Season 1 doesn’t seem to be the last time we’ve seen Alicent wearing blue, and this shot from the season 2 trailer could have more significant implications, given the Florent reveal. The season 2 premiere has seen Alicent trying to steer the small council toward peace to no avail. As peace isn’t an option, Alicent’s shift to wearing this more cyan color could symbolize her turning away from the Dance of the Dragons.

Color and symbols are very apparent in George R.R. Martin’s world, hence my appreciation of House of the Dragon’s answer to the question of Alicent’s parentage. Just the quick mention of a name adds layers of depth to Alicent’s character and potential arc for season 2. Once again, a book change made in House of the Dragon has been ultimately satisfying for me.