House of the Dragon fans have noticed that Helaena Targaryen often rejects Alicent Hightower’s touch, recoiling from her own mother. In Episode 6, Alicent attempts to comfort Helaena, and she instantly shrugs off her mother’s hand, seemingly not enjoying any uninvited affection. Again, when Helaena’s father, King Viserys, dies, Alicent tries to comfort her, but Helaena hits her mother’s hand away. Many aspects could play a part in Helaena’s constant rejection of her own mother. The reason why this may happen could be a combination of Helaena’s prophetic nature in House of the Dragon and Alicent’s own neglectful past.
Helaena is suggested to have dragon dreams, giving her the ability of clairvoyance, which comes in the form of frequent but cryptic prophecies. Her powers are enhanced when she touches or is touched by others. This would explain why she is so touch-averse, especially when the touch is unexpected.
It is worth noting that she doesn’t wince when touched by someone she trusts, like Jace or Aemond, implying that there is even less warmth between her and her mother. Some of the lack of warmth can be attributed to her resentment of her mother. Alicent forces Helaena to marry her despicable brother Aegon, who has been hinted at sexually assaulting her when drunk. That would be a worthy reason for anyone to feel resentful.
Alicent clearly struggles to give her children proper affection. This is shown in the massive contrast between how she interacts with her children and Rhaenyra’s treatment of her children. The two monarchs were raised very differently, which shows how they raised their children.
Rhaenyra was raised with unconditional love from both of her parents. King Viserys continued to love her even after her mother’s death, defending his grandchildren to his dying breath. Rhaenyra, in turn, treats her children as children, leading them with love, compassion, and endless affection. Just as she was prepared for her role as their heir, she designed her children for their complicated roles in the world, and all her children adore her.
Alicent was left motherless after her passing and raised by her manipulative and unaffectionate father. Although she loves her children dearly, she struggles to show them warmth. Their relationship is occasionally violent, and she can’t seem to get away from the manipulative nature of her father. Her only child that seems to invite her affection is Aemond, arguably the most volatile of her children.
Is it just about Alicent’s neglect, or does it have more to do with Helaena’s clairvoyance abilities? It is no secret that Alicent has made some questionable parenting decisions to keep the throne for her children. Sadly, her relationship with her children has suffered because of it, unlike Rhaenyra, who has worked hard to be a good leader and mother. It all comes down to how they were raised and how they treated their hunger for power.