The trumpets had been blown, the allegiance had been sworn, and the smell of war filled the crimson sky as soon as Viserys I Targaryen took his last breaths in King’s Landing. In the trailer of the 9th episode of “House of the Dragon,” titled “Green Council,” we catch a glimpse of the chaos and mayhem that was about to follow after the death of the King. The inevitable had happened. The kingdom was divided into two factions: the Greens, who were led by Alicent and Otto Hightower, and the Blacks, who were led by Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen. Based on the facts, it could be said that the last few words that Viserys mumbled misled Alicent into believing something that wasn’t true and, in turn, became the reason behind the war. But then, we know that this wouldn’t be entirely true. The Greens and the Blacks had been in a state of war for quite some time now, and Viserys’ death just acted as a catalyst. So, let’s break down whatever we saw in the trailer for the 9th episode and, through the glimpses we got, let’s try to decipher what exactly is happening in Westeros and who will eventually sit on the Iron Throne.
Book Spoilers Ahead
The trailer for “House of the Dragon” Episode 9 opens with a glimpse of the Iron Throne amidst the darkness. The gloomy environment may have symbolized an impending doom. The somberness told us about the internal strife for power that was going to entail. Next, we see Alicent sitting on a chair with Otto Hightower and Ser Criston Cole, her two most trusted allies, standing on either side of her, like the protectors of the Queen’s interests. Alicent looks harried, whereas Otto and Criston Cole look determined to take matters into their own hands. Otto says the King is dead. Otto could be addressing the small council (referred to as the Green Council by Grand Maester Munken) that had been called as soon as Alicent got to know about her husband’s demise.
According to the book “Fire and Blood,” apart from Alicent, Otto, and Criston Cole, five more people were present in that small council, i.e., Grand Maester Orwyle, Lord Lyman Beesbury (Master of Coins, and a staunch and only supporter of Rhaenyra in the council), Ser Tyland Lannister (Master of Ships), Larys Strong a.k.a. The Clubfoot, and Lord Jasper Wylde. It was said that Grand Maester Orwyle advised everybody that the bells of King’s Landing should be rung immediately to inform everybody about their King’s demise. He also said that a raven must be immediately sent to Dragonstone to inform Rhaenyra about the death of her father. But he was cut in between by Otto Hightower, who made it very clear to the council that unless and until Aegon II Targaryen was enthroned, nobody was going to speak of the King’s demise.
In the trailer, Alicent says that the King had told her that he wished for Aegon to sit on the Iron Throne after him. Alicent very conveniently interpreted whatever Viserys had mumbled in his last moments in her favor. All of a sudden, it didn’t matter to her what she had told Rhaenyra during that last family supper. In this particular clip, she is probably talking to Otto and telling him about what Viserys has said. According to the laws, the Hand of the King could sit on the Iron Throne in his absence. In the trailer, too, we see Otto taking charge of things in King’s Landing. Otto Hightower spells out clearly that unless and until the question of succession is settled, the door will remain shut. At this moment, according to the book, Grand Maester Orwyle did warn Otto and Alicent about the consequences of their treacherous actions. He told them that making Aegon II sit on the Iron Throne would surely lead them to war. But Alicent, Otto, and even Criston Cole were very clear that no matter what happened, they would not let Rhaenyra sit on the Iron Throne.
Otto is seen talking to an anonymous guy, to whom he explains that no one could know who he was and what task he was entrusted with. Maybe he was sending him to catch hold of Aegon’s bastard (probably the white-haired kid we see in the trailer), or it might be possible that he had entrusted him with the responsibility of finding Aegon himself and keeping him safe until the dust settled down. We are not sure who this man was exactly, but the importance of the mission makes us speculate that he held an important position. Next, we see Rhaenys locked behind a door as she struggles to open it. We also see a group of maids, which included the one who had met Mysaria at the end of “House of the Dragon” Episode 8, being held in captivity. In the book, Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Velaryon stood by Rhaenyra and Daemon and supported their cause. Though the narrative has been changed in the series, it could have been possible that Otto had decided to hold Rhaenys in captivity as he had seen her taking Rhaenyra’s side when the succession of Driftmark was being discussed in the court in the last episode. In one scene, Larys Strong tells Alicent that he has found out something that she should know. In the next shot, we see a small kid, whom we believe could be Aegon’s illegitimate child.
Lord Beesbury, whom we see speaking on behalf of Princess Rhaenyra and calling the actions of Alicent and Otto “no less than treason,” will probably be killed by Ser Criston Cole. In the book, though, there are three different accounts of what actually happened to Lord Beesbury after he spoke against the Greens. In Grand Maester Orywle’s account, Lord Beesbury was captured and imprisoned by Otto, and he took his last breaths in prison. According to the accounts of Septon Eustace, Criston Cole stabbed him with his dagger and killed him as soon as he spoke against the Queen. On the other hand, Mushroom says that he was thrown out of the window by Criston Cole, and he died as he fell on the iron spikes of a channel that lay below. We also see the twin brothers, Ser Arryk Cargyll and Ser Erryk Cargyll, who were part of the King’s Guard. It was said that the brothers fought for opposite sides. One of them is seen going after Aegon and catching hold of him in the trailer. Maybe he was assigned the task of locating the would-be King, who, according to the book, was found lying in a Flea Bottom rat pit by Ser Criston Cole. In an interesting snippet, one of the twins is seen fighting with somebody. Though the face of the person wasn’t revealed, we speculate that they entered in a skirmish with each other due to their conflicting allegiances.
Next, we see common folks gathering at the Dragonpit, which was chosen to be the place for the coronation, as it could hold thousands of people at one time. We hear the voice of Rhaenys in the background, saying the line that very much describes the lust for power that exists in each and every human being. She implies that even the noblest of souls, at least once in their life, have imagined themselves sitting on the Iron Throne. Rhaenys had also once been a contender. She knew that the stakes were higher this time. We see the crown of Aegon the Conqueror, which his namesake, Aegon II Targaryen, would eventually wear. The crown was made of iron and rubies, though in the trailer, we didn’t see any rubies attached to it. In the book, Ser Criston Cole had crowned Aegon, and Queen Alicent passed on her title to her daughter Helaena. The crown which Viserys used to wear was said to have been stolen by Ser Steffon Darklyn, who took it to Dragonstone and handed it over to Daemon and Rhaenyra.
There was a queen who was doing what she felt was right, and there was a princess who felt that her rights were being snatched from her. Both of them were so firm about what they believed in that they were not ready to back down. Towards the end of “House of the Dragon” Episode 8, it felt like maybe reconciliation was possible, but fate had decided otherwise. Rhaenyra was not a bad person, and even Alicent wasn’t a villain, but somewhere the circumstances had become such that it no longer mattered what history perceived them as. Though Mushroom seemed to know everything that was happening in and around the kingdom, we are very sure that he wouldn’t have known that two women would play such a crucial role in deciding the fate of the Seven Kingdoms. With growing political tensions and dark clouds of war hovering over King’s Landing, it would be interesting to see how things pan out in the last two episodes of the first season of “House of the Dragon.”