Alicent Hightower, art by FlaggerMousse.
|Born||In 88 AC|
|Died||In 133 AC, at King's Landing|
|Spouse||King Viserys I Targaryen|
The World of Ice & Fire (mentioned)|
Fire & Blood (mentioned)
The Rogue Prince (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)
Alicent Hightower was a member of House Hightower who became the second wife to King Viserys I Targaryen. She was the daughter of Ser Otto Hightower, who had been Hand of the King to Jaehaerys I, Viserys I, and later his grandson Aegon II. She was the mother of King Aegon II, Prince Aemond, Prince Daeron, and Queen Helaena.
Appearance and Character
Alicent was described as clever and lovely at the age of eighteen. After having given birth four times, Alicent remained as slender and graceful as before the first pregnancy.
Arrival at court
Alicent arrived at the court of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen when she was fifteen years old, in 101 AC, when her father, Ser Otto Hightower, was named Hand of the King. Alicent would become the constant companion of the Old King, whose health was failing. She would fetch his meals, help him wash and dress him, and read to him. In the end, King Jaehaerys would sometimes mistake her for his daughter, Saera Targaryen. Jaehaerys eventually died in 103 AC, while Alicent was reading to him.
Alicent stayed at court, as her father continued to occupy the position as Hand under Jaehaerys' grandson and successor, King Viserys I Targaryen. Already early in the reign of Viserys, Ser Otto and Prince Daemon Targaryen were at odds with each other, and the court fool Mushroom has suggested that the quarrel between the two men began when Daemon deflowered Alicent. The truths of these tales have never been uncovered.
In the years that followed, Alicent caught the eye of King Viserys I, whose first wife, Queen Aemma Arryn, had died, and whose small council was urging him to wed again. Ignoring all advice from his council, Viserys choose Alicent as his wife. They married in 106 AC, despite the whispers of people who believed that the Hand had risen above himself. Some people even doubted Alicents virtue, as rumors began circling that she had given her maidenhead to Prince Daemon, and had later even slept with King Viserys while Queen Aemma was still alive. Nonetheless, Alicent was wed to the king.
Originally, Queen Alicent had a good relationship with her step-daughter, Princess Rhaenyra. But when Alicent gave birth to a son, Prince Aegon, a daughter, Princess Helaena, and another son, Prince Aemond, in rapid succession, and Rhaenyra remained Viserys' heir, those feelings started to change. Both women wanted to be the first lady of the realm, but there could only be one.
Alicent's biggest supporter was her own father, Ser Otto Hightower. He eventually pushed too far on the matter, and was stripped of his position as Hand. Having no place at court anymore, Ser Otto returned to Oldtown. A "queen's party", a group of powerful lords who were friends with Queen Alicent, remained, who supported the rights of Alicent's sons.
In 111 AC, a great tourney was held at King's Landing on the fifth anniversary of the king’s marriage to Queen Alicent. At the opening feast, Alicent wore a green gown, whilst Princess Rhaenyra dressed in Targaryen red and black. Note was taken, and thereafter it became the custom to refer to "greens" and "blacks" when talking of the queen's party and the party of the princess, respectively. In the tourney itself, the greens were defeated by the blacks, when Ser Criston Cole, wearing Princess Rhaenyra’s favor, unhorsed all of the queen's champions, including two of her cousins and her youngest brother, Ser Gwayne Hightower.
Prince Daemon Targaryen was opposed to Alicent and her sons, and after his return to King's Landing, he made fun of Alicent, Aegon and Aemond, and the other greens, to entertain Princess Rhaenyra. It is said he acted cool towards the princes Aegon and Aemond, because they had pushed him even lower in the line of succession.
When Princess Rhaenyra turned sixteen, the small council started looking for a suitable husband. Alicent had her own choice: her eldest son, Prince Aegon, who, while the princess was sixteen years old, was only six years old himself. Viserys argued that the siblings had never gotten along, but Alicent urged her husband that was all the more reason to wed the two. Viserys refused, believing that Alicent only made the suggestion to get her own blood on the throne.
By the time Princess Rhaenyra got married, in 114 AC, Queen Alicent had found a new member for her greens: Ser Criston Cole, former companion to Princess Rhaenyra. Cole fought in the tourney for Rhaenyra's wedding with Alicent's favor, and was named Alicent's personal sworn shield soon thereafter.
By 115 AC, the enmity between the greens and the blacks had grown deep. Whilst Alicent had given birth to Prince Daeron, who, just like his brothers and sister, looked unmistakably like a Targaryen, Princess Rhaenyra had given birth to princes Jacaerys and Lucerys, who both looked nothing like either Rhaenyra or her husband, Ser Laenor Velaryon. Whilst Alicent was convinced the children had actually been fathered by Ser Harwin Strong, King Viserys did not share these feelings.
In 120 AC, Alicent's second son got involved in an incident where Rhaenyra's son Lucerys took out Aemonds right eye. Alicent, angered, demanded that to Lucerys the same would be done. After this incident, King Viserys declared that Alicent and her children would remain at court in King's Landing, whilst Rhaenyra and her family remained at Dragonstone. Later that year, as Rhaenyra gave birth to her first son by Prince Daemon, Alicent grew wroth upon learning the child had been named Aegon, believing it to be a slight against her own firstborn, who had also been named Aegon.
The Dance of the Dragons
When King Viserys I died in his sleep, on the third day of the third moon in 129 AC, a servant warned Queen Alicent as instructed, without telling anyone else. Alicent warned Ser Criston Cole, now Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and together, they called the small council, where plans were made to crown Alicent's son Prince Aegon, instead of Princess Rhaenyra, who had been Viserys' heir. At the coronation ceremony held for Aegon II and Helaena, Aegon's sister-wife, in the Dragonpit, Alicent placed her own crown upon the head of Helaena and addressed her as "my queen".
After the coronation she moved her chambers to the Tower of the Hand, where her father resided. Every evening before bed, Queen Helaena would bring her children to see their grandmother. Because the Tower of the Hand was less secure than Maegor's Holdfast, Blood and Cheese were able to take advantage of this custom. They stole into Alicent's chambers, slew her bedmaid, and bound and gagged her. When Helaena arrived with the children, they slew Prince Jaehaerys, Aegon's eldest son and heir, as revenge for the death of Rhaenyra's son Lucerys. Helaena subsequently went mad with grief.
When Rhaenyra took King's Landing, Alicent was forced to yield. She was bound in golden fetters, but while her father and co-conspirators on the small council were beheaded for treason, Rhaenyra spared her life "for the sake of our father, who loved you once". When Helaena's madness led her to commit suicide by jumping from her window, Alicent cursed her rival.
Alicent outlived Rhaenyra, but her son lived only half a year after triumphing over his half-sister. Both of his brothers had already died in the war. Alicent's remaining grandson, Prince Maelor, had died as well, leaving only her granddaughter Princess Jaehaera, who married Rhaenyra's son Aegon III.
Quotes about Alicent
—Viserys I Targaryen on Alicent's scheming