House Of The Dragon's Olivia Cooke Followed Up On Finale By Posting The Best, Most Awkward Hightower Family Photos

Otto, Alicent, and Ser Criston in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

This story contains minor spoilers for the final two episodes of House of the Dragon

While the Greens are a pretty serious bunch on House of the Dragon, off-screen the actors seem like a very goofy group. This proved true when Olivia Cooke, who plays Queen Alicent Hightower, posted a behind-the-scenes photo dump following the Season 1 finale. All the photos are hilarious, however, I think the best ones are for sure the awkward Hightower family photos. 

In honor of the final episode of one of the most talked about shows on the fall TV schedule, Cooke posted a series of nine goofy photos and a video on her Instagram from the set of King’s Landing. Check them out: 

A post shared by Olivia Cooke (@livkatecooke) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

My personal favorite is photo number eight, which is Cooke and her on-screen dad Otto Hightower, played by Rhys Ifans. It looks like an awkward Christmas card photo, and honestly, I would really like to get on the Hightower mailing list if this is the content we’re going to get. The two are standing awkwardly apart from each other with a Christmas tree in the middle. While the father-daughter duo are intense on screen, and really don't share any heartfelt moments together, it’s nice to see these two goofballs having a good time on set together when they're not in character. 

Before HOTD, Ifans' filmography included some goofier characters. Notably, he starred in one of Julia Roberts’ best rom-coms Notting Hill as Hugh Grant's odd and funny roommate Spike. So, it makes perfect sense that he’d pose for hilariously awkward photos with Cooke. 

Along with Ifans, the actress also posted awkward photos with other costars like Emma D’Arcy, Fabien Frankel, and Paddy Considine plus many photos of Phia Saban, who plays Alicent’s daughter Helaena Targaryen. Speaking of Saban she also posted a fabulous Hightower family photo, check it out: 

A post shared by phia saban (@phiasaban) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

I must admit, all these fun photos are welcome and warranted after the intense episodes of House of the Dragon. This is especially true when it comes to the Hightower plot, like the wild events of Episode 8, including Otto’s devious plans and that foot fetish scene between Larys and Alicent. Each week their plans get more devious, and each week I dislike them even more. However, it’s nice when the actors post some fun BTS content to lighten the mood. 

As I said, this post from Cooke comes after the explosive Season 1 finale. Even though the Hightowers weren’t really in the episode, Prince Aemond was, and let’s just say he did something that really brought the mood down. Not that it was high in the first place, but it brought it down even further. So, seeing Cooke’s silly photos made me feel a million times better, and continued to show how fun the cast of the Game of Thrones prequel is. 

We’ll have to wait a while for Season 2 of House of the Dragon, however, while we wait you can check out all of Season 1 with an HBO Max subscription. Plus you will always have the cast’s social media accounts to keep you entertained with their awkward and hilarious photos, especially when it’s coming from Olivia Cooke.

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.