House of the Dragon‘s fifth episode is an eventful one. But between the weddings, parties, and fights, the most important moment was when all eyes were on Alicent Hightower’s dress.
While the show itself gave a little explanation of its historical significance, it plays a significant role in the rest of the series’ story. So let’s talk a little bit about Westeros’ most famous green dress.
[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 5.]
Basically everything in House of the Dragon through episode 5, Alicent walked into Rhaenyra’s wedding in a bright green dress. While the late arrival of the Queen was noticed by all, it may have fallen on Larys Strong House of the Dragon‘s smartest character, to let the public know why the color of the dress really matters.
First of all, green is about as far as you could get from the traditional black and red colors of House Targaryen, symbolizing a lack of support for the family – and Rhaenyra – by the Queen. More importantly, as Larys explains, the light on top of the Hightower in Old Town (the seat of Alicent’s family and the building they get their name from) glows green as a symbol for war, adding a bit of information to the show that was not present source material, George RR Martin’s Fire & Blood.
In other words, Alicent’s alleged betrayal of confidence by Rhaenyra and her husband King Viserys, which also drove her father, Otto, from King’s Landing and his position as Hand of the King, was serious enough for Alicent to functionally declare war on House Targaryen. As her first real act of self-reliance, Alicent has chosen to end the uneasy — and always unequal in one direction or another — friendship Rhaenyra and Alicent once shared.
Of course, this massive split will likely force the rest of Westeros to choose which faction of House Targaryen to side with, but more importantly, it will also force the two sides to find ways to identify themselves. That’s where the dress itself comes into play again.
Without giving too much away about what’s to come, it’s probably worth knowing that Alicent’s followers will be known as the Greens, while Rhaenyra’s cohort will be the Blacks, who keep the traditional colors of House Targaryen. And these two factions will make up our primary two factions as the Dance of the Dragons march forward.
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