When Did *That* Romantic Relationship Start On ‘House Of The Dragon’?

(House of the Dragon spoilers will be found below.)

This week’s second-season debut of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel included multiple profound and horrifying scenes, but of course, what’s receiving plenty of attention is a rather banal affair. Literally!

Less than halfway through the “A Son For A Son” episode, viewers received the sight of Alicent and Ser Criston Cole engaged in a tryst. Despite Alicent then telling Criston that they must not do that again, well, they kept doing it. In fact, Alicent and the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard were shagging away when Blood and Cheese attacked Queen Helaena Targaryen and hacked off Prince Jaehaerys’ head.

Arguably, the “failed” Blood and Cheese plot (Daemon had directed the pair to take out Aemond as vengeance for the death of Lucerys) could have failed harder, had Ser Criston been doing his job instead of doing the nasty. Beyond that hypothetical, there’s the real question of how long Alicent and Criston have been carrying on like this. King Viserys has been dead around 10 days, so this seems fast, but Olivia Cooke kind-of hinted (during first-season promotion) that there were “simmering undertones of something” and that Criston is “a virile man.”

Showrunner Ryan Condal has now spoken on the “timing” issue. In an interview with Collider, Condal specified that this is “a brand-new relationship.” Hmm:

“It feels very awkward there. They’re literally talking about the weather. So, that’s the thing, it’s a brand-new relationship. We don’t specifically get into, intentionally, when and where it started. Part of that is the fun of leaving it up to interpretation by the viewing audience. But it’s certainly a new thing, a new romance. And the idea is that these two characters have this very stunted emotional development, particularly in the world of intimacy with a partner. Cole, because he’s been a canned man his entire life in the order of the Kingsguard and his past sins with Rhaenyra and wearing that like a millstone around his neck.”

Now the question remains: when will the rest of King’s Landing find out about the affair? Helaena probably won’t be talking (she has enough to process, my god), but Alicent and Criston can only keep this mess secret for so long.

HBO’s House of the Dragon airs on Sundays at 9:00pm EST.

(Via Collider)