House of the Dragon: Is Alicent Pregnant?

Image Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

Many shocking things happen in the second season of HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon,’ but nothing outraged the audience like the revelation of an affair between Alicent and Criston Cole did. They’d joined forces against their common foe, Rhaenyra Targaryen, in Season 1, but after the death of Alicent’s husband, Viserys, we see a sexual relationship develop between them. Apart from raising questions about their honor and decency (which they use to claim moral superiority), their sexual escapades have also been rather mistimed, which makes things even worse in the fourth episode when it looks like Alicent may be with child. SPOILERS AHEAD

Alicent Got an Abortion in Episode 4

Image Credit: Theo Whiteman/HBO

To clear all doubts, yes, Alicent was pregnant in the fourth episode, and she decided to get an abortion before it ruined her for good. No one knew about her sexual relationship with Criston Cole (or at least, they thought no one knew), and the duo wanted to keep it that way, mainly because they deluded themselves with the lie that they would eventually stop. When Cole marched off to war, Alicent found out she was pregnant. The situation may have been doubtful, but she knew taking precautions would be better than letting time take its course.

So, Alicent reached out to the Maester and got the special tea brewed for an occasion where she found herself. Later, we see her using heated stones to warm her belly, which confirms that she has consumed the tea and is now in pain because of the abortion.
She wishes to keep it a secret, but Larys Clubfoot takes one look at her and the tea and knows what’s going on. But it wouldn’t surprise him because he already had spies in Alicent’s staff, which he had handpicked at the beginning of the season. He already knew about her and Cole, and the pregnancy wouldn’t be so shocking.

Infidelities in Westeros are nothing new, but it’s curious how Alicent doesn’t indulge in them until after her husband is gone, so she doesn’t have to live with that moral question hanging over her for the rest of her life. It has been indicated in the show before that Alicent had romantic feelings for Cole. Because he became her guard while her ailing husband was still alive, it makes sense that they bonded further, especially over their shared hatred for Rhaenyra. Still, they waited until he was dead and gone to seal the deal for their relationship.

Image Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

While Viserys may be dead and Alicent is nowhere in the line of heirs of the throne, it doesn’t matter what she does with whom behind closed quarters. Still, having a child with another man, especially a Kingsguard, reflects poorly on her behavior. It is also to be noted that the pregnancy comes merely weeks after Viserys’ death, so if Alicent wanted, she could have kept the child and called it Viserys’, impossible as it would have been to convince people how the child was conceived. Moreover, she would also have to face the same questions Rhaenyra did with her children with Harwin Strong because without a Targaryen gene, her next child would be born with black hair, and everyone would know about Cole being the father.

Having hated Rhaenyra for the same thing, it would have been hypocritical of Alicent to do the same thing, even though she follows in Rhaenyra’s footsteps. Just like Rhaenyra slept with her guard in her bedroom, Alicent slept with him in the same bedroom. Just like Rhaenyra was given the tea as a remedy to do away with any unwanted consequences of her sexual escapades, Alicent takes the same tea to do away with the same thing. Weirdly, Rhaenyra and Alicent aren’t nearly as attached to Cole as he became to them, which says a lot about the trio and the complex triangle they are stuck in.

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