The Game of Thrones prequel is heating up! The last episode saw the much-anticipated death of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine). While his death was sad, the whole episode showcased the acting range of Paddy Considine. So much so, GoT creator George R. R. Martin has stated he deserves an Emmy for his performance as the king. A notion that many on social media have echoed following the episode. However, House of The Dragon Episode 9 now shows what happens following his passing.
Titled “The Green Council”, the opening of the episode follows The Green Council. It’s revealed that the Hand of The King, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifan), has planned this all along. In a surprise turn, Alicent Hightower also reveals she is concerned about Rhaenyra Targaryen’s (Emma D’Arcy) claim to the Iron Throne. Finally, in this episode, we get more of Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. She’s honestly a character I want more from. Finally, we get it.
Aftermath Of A Fallen King
Immediately upon starting this episode, we know what has happened. King Viserys Targaryen has passed on, hopefully to a better life. However, this episode introduces us to the events leading to The Dance of Dragons. The sombre music introduced in this episode sets the scene for what is happening. Of course, it’s all leading to the eventual bigger conflict between both factions. Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) thought she heard his final wish for Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) to be king.
The plotting of the Greens takes a bit of a swift turn when one of the small councils is killed. I love how House of The Dragon Episode 9 shows that plotting a coup against the heir to the Iron Throne is not easy. Then again, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) seems more unstable with each passing episode. The whole ordeal of the King’s death is made better by the show’s music choices. At the same time, House of The Dragon’s writing is exceptional, but the soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi amplifies the entire show.
A conversation I did not expect was between Otto Hightower and Queen Alicent. This came down to dealing with Rhaenyra and offering her peaceful terms. However, while this conversation was good to move the wheel, we’ve got to look at the odd other conversation. Lord Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) appears to be plotting even more. Perhaps against Otto himself. Though I’ve got to comment, what in the seven kingdoms was that scene between Alicent and Larys? Seriously did we need that detail on the man? I don’t think we did.
The Fire Of Rhaenys
Ever since her introduction in the first episode, I’ve wanted more of Rhaenys. Her fire spirit and willingness to not back down have been fantastic to watch. However, she stands out in her episode due to her first interaction with Alicent Hightower. Yet she continues to expand her role when she taunts the widowed queen. Has Alicent ever seen herself on the Iron Throne? Everyone likely imagines it. But this is a tactical move on the part of Rhaenys, which somewhat destabilizes the queen. Not enough to change the course of history, but it still puts the notion in her mind.
Her escape from the Red Keep proves there is loyalty to the rightful heir of House Targaryen. However, this being Game of Thrones, it does not go to plan. However, she did get a good view of Aegon Targaryen being named King. You can almost sense the fear that her eyes give off while watching the coronation event take place. All while watching this scene, I was waiting for her to make some tactical moves. She does just so, slipping out the back and into the lower levels of the building.
The rise of Meleys is what I am calling it. Rhaenys would not leave without her dragon. As such, she climbs out of the darkness and disrupts the coronation ceremony in style. You know, she could have ended the entire events of House of The Dragon right there. But she chose not to leave in style once again and escape Kings Landing. This scene really shows that while House Hightower can play politics and deception, they’ll never control the real power of House Targaryen. No one controls the dragons.
House of The Dragon Episode 9 is fantastic overall. We see the building blocks stack more towards the Dance of the Dragons. However, it was interesting that Rhaenyra and her council were not present in this episode. Likely this was done to set up The Green Council ahead of The Black Council faction in House of The Dragon. The season finale of the series airs Sunday 23rd of October on HBO Max.