Olivia Cooke has one of the starring roles in the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon, and she has given her first interview about her "complex" role. Cooke plays Alicent Hightower, an ambitious woman who becomes queen and dares to compete against a Targaryen for control of the throne. Cooke gave her thoughts on the role in a new interview with Collider.
"I don't know if I can say anything without really giving it away," Cooke said to preface the interview. For those concerned about spoilers, House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin's newest book Fire & Blood. It's written more as a history book than a novel, so there is still plenty of characterization to do in the show, but details from that book will be included in this article. You can check out Fire & Blood for yourself here in print, digital or audiobook formats.
"She's very complex and I think people are gonna want to see the worst in her," Cooke said of Alicent. She said that "it will take some time" for fans to fully grasp Alicent's motives, but the success of Game of Thrones gives her hope that it will be fully realized.
"What's amazing about Game of Thrones, like we saw in the past series, is that one season, you hate a character, and the next, you absolutely love them and will go to the ends of the earth for them," she said. "You just don't know what you're gonna get with these characters. They're so well-written. Such is the human condition, you can do some horrendous things, but then you can also do some wonderful things as well. It's very complex, and it's not black and white at all."
Of course, fans don't want House of the Dragon to be too similar to Game of Thrones after its infamous ending. Cooke said "it does help that the story is of a hundred years prior. We're in the world of Game of Thrones, but you can also put yourself in a different headspace as well and know that, for an actor, you don't have to necessarily follow on from what anyone else is doing. But at the same time, yeah, it's utterly bizarre, after the year or year and a half, of f—ing 10 years that we've had, looking down and just being like, 'What am I wearing? What am I doing? This is mad.'"
On that note, Cooke had nothing but high praise for the crew. She said: "The crew is a hundred strong. The artistry involved is mind-blowing. The sets that have been created are fucking gorgeous, and the costumes. Down to the tiny prop that you hold in your hands, there's just so much thought that goes into it and so much history as well. It's amazing to work on a film, a TV show, or anything where everyone is just so passionate about it."
Fans are passionate too, and many are dying to see what Cooke describes for themselves. House of the Dragon is scheduled to premiere on HBO sometime in the spring of 2022. Game of Thrones is streaming now on HBO Max.