Most importantly – does she actually deserve all that hate?
In 'House of the Dragon', it's quite challenging to genuinely like someone and root for them, as all characters are either "morally grey" or outright mean and evil. However, some of them get a lot of hate – and Queen Alicent, Rhaenyra's best friend (if she still can be considered one), is among such characters.
Why, though? Five episodes into the first season, Alicent has been trying to preserve the friendship and seemed like someone who genuinely cared about Rhaenyra. However, it's important to remember that both of them have their own duties, as well as patriarchal expectations to live up to.
This is why Alicent had no choice but to take part in her father's plan to become King Viserys' wife and get him what he dreamed of: a male heir. But the way Alicent appears to be mixing her royal duties and personal issues with Rhaenyra seem to be irritating fans.
A new clip from HBO ahead of the release of episode 6 has only fueled fans' hate towards Alicent, who demanded that Rhaenyra bring her newborn child to her right after giving birth.
However, some people believe that Alicent haters are mostly book readers, as the book version of the character is even more repulsive than the one we are getting in the show.
"It's almost entirely because the book readers know how she's going to end up being as a person. It's like if we got a Cersei prequel show where she's a nice person at first everyone remembers reading about all the awful stuff she said and did later on." – /MaceAhWindu
The show has been a lot more merciful towards Alicent than the book, providing the character with nuance and detail that actually has a lot of people sympathizing with her even if they don't condone her actions. In the show, they argue, Alicent has not done anything so far to deserve hate.
However, some beg to differ.
"A large part of that [hate] has to do with her marrying Viserys and then not acknowledging how that is a betrayal to Rhaenyra. But also it looks like she's going to protect Criston after he committed a brutal, unjustified murder as well, which makes her worse. Finally, she seems perfectly happy to forgive Criston's oathbreaking but condemns Rhaenyra for the same action," Redditor Common_Errors argued.
Just how the relationship between Rhaenyra and Alicent will develop in the future, we will see very soon. Episode 6, which will have the young actors replaced by their older versions, is due to premiere this Sunday on HBO Max.