Alicent Hightower, who is portrayed by Emily Carey in the first few episodes of “House of the Dragon,” has a peculiar habit of picking at the flesh around her fingernails while they’re bleeding. The main emphasis of HBO’s new Game of Thrones prequel series is House Targaryen and a handful of the important figures who were born into the dynasty. While Daemon, Princess Rhaenyra, and King Viserys receive much of the spotlight, Alicent Hightower is one of the “House of the Dragon” characters that stands out. Carey’s outstanding performance and Alicent’s major part are two factors in this, but her fingernails have also drawn a lot of attention.
The narrative of “House of the Dragon“ episode 2 centers on Alicent Hightower. Conversations of King Viserys remarrying become increasingly frequent after a six-month gap. He briefly and shockingly considers marrying Laena, Corlys Velaryon’s 12-year-old daughter, but ultimately makes a different choice for his next spouse. After spending the previous few months getting to know each other better through polite chats, King Viserys decides to wed Alicent. Several individuals don’t like the decision, and “House of the Dragon” episode 2 previews Alicent’s reluctance by showing her picking at her fingernails and causing them to bleed.
Alicent repeatedly picks at the skin around her nails in the first episode of “House of the Dragon,” setting up this cringe-inducing character trait. Although the setting provides hints, the program never explicitly explains why Alicent Hightower scratches at her skin and fingernails while the events of “House of the Dragon” are going on. When Alicent starts to experience stress, anxiety, or even discomfort, the scratching and picking seem to commence. Alicent picks at her fingernails until they bleed, whilst Emily Carey’s character is brought up in court, is very elegant and appropriate, and agrees to the impending marriage with Viserys. It’s a tiny way for “House of the Dragon” to humanize her and poke fun at the challenging situation she finds herself in.
How Alicent’s marriage to King Viserys Affects The “House of the Dragon”
A significant event for the next “House of the Dragon” narrative is Alicent’s marriage to King Viserys. Alicent is closer in age to attempt and produce a new heir, thus Viserys married her not just because they already had a pleasant connection but also because she is. Despite formally designating Rhaenyra as Westeros’ king’s successor rather than Daemon, Viserys eventually realizes he needs a backup plan due to his declining health and Rhaenyra’s negligence. Alicent will now reign as queen of Westeros and attempt to conceive a son who will one day carry the Targaryen throne.
After marrying King Viserys, Alicent is expected to have a more significant role, therefore “House of the Dragon” should be able to continue shedding light on her mental state in the future. Alicent’s ability to manage her responsibilities as queen, a more complicated relationship with Rhaenyra, and maybe raising the true Targaryen heir will come as quite a surprise if she ever stops biting her fingernails and letting them bleed. Alicent plucking her nails will also discreetly be a way to communicate when she is anxious or nervous about what is happening, but Emily Carey (and subsequently Olivia Cooke) will hopefully be able to directly describe what the queen is feeling in “House of the Dragon.”