House of the Dragon Ruined Fire and Blood's Alicent After Episode 8

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The HBO series has done a lot of things right, but fans think that Olivia Cooke's character was mishandled quite badly by the end of the season.

George R. R. Martin has a unique ability to make even the nastiest of his characters understandable to his audience: the author delves deeply into his heroes' psyche, prompting readers not only to emphasize, but also sympathize with them. Transferring this feature of Martin's books into TV series was a difficult task to pull off, but the cast and screenwriters of Games of Thrones succeeded, producing an exceptionally popular show that glued millions of viewers to their screens for eight seasons.

Likewise, the House of the Dragon team did a very good job adapting Martin's literary characters, and yet, some fans feel that Alicent Hightower got the short end of the stick.

Alicent is the second wife of King Viserys I Targaryen and daughter of Ser Otto Hightower, an important power in the Seven Kingdoms. Throughout the first eight episodes, Alicent is presented as a strong-willed woman who wouldn't allow anyone to treat her with pity or disregard her words and actions.

This is also how her character was rendered in Martin's Fire & Blood, so fans approved of the adaptation. However, unlike the literary heroine, the on-screen Alicent changed completely after her husband passed away and the real battle for the Iron Throne began.

People were disappointed to see Otto become more influential in the series, dramatically sidelining Alicent.

In the original book, Alicent and Otto were equal when it came to making decisions, but HBO decided to develop her character differently, presenting Alicent as a victim rather than the strong woman she was in the source material.

Viewers fear that the creators chose to interpret her character this way because they couldn't figure out a way to make Alicent both strong and sympathetic. In the novel, Alicent is not a bad person, but she is certainly capable of making hard and cruel decisions, and depriving her character of that ability in future seasons won't be good for the show. Fans want to see Alicent as a powerful character, not the victim version of the literary heroine.