‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 9: Recap & Ending, Explained – Why Didn’t Alicent Want To Kill Rhaenyra?


The 9th episode of the series, “House of the Dragon,” is aptly titled “The Green Council.” We witnessed in the last episode that Alicent had totally misunderstood the last words that were spoken by Viserys the Peaceful. Now the Queen’s intentions were driven by a sense of duty. There was nothing that could stop her. She harbored a misbelief that by making Aegon II Targaryen sit on the Iron Throne, she would be fulfilling the last wish of her husband. She felt compelled to do the needful, though she still felt that her intentions were uncorrupted and free from any sort of malice. So, let’s see if the Greens were able to orchestrate a coup successfully and to what extent they were willing to go to seize power.

Spoilers Ahead

The Green Council: What Was The Aftermath Of Viserys’ Death?

Talya, who worked for the White Worm, Mysaria, tells Alicent that Viserys is dead. Alicent was still thinking about what Viserys had said to her the other night. She wanted to believe that the late king wanted his firstborn son, Aegon II Targaryen, to sit on the Iron Throne. She hadn’t told anybody about it because she also knew that people would think that she was deliberately trying to fuel her own desires. Viserys Targaryen may not have been an effective administrator, and some may argue that he was constantly influenced by astute men like Otto Hightower. When it came to dealing with matters of state, Viserys leaned upon the judiciousness of the men who sat in his small council. But he was sure of one thing: that Rhaenyra was his heir. There was never a doubt in his mind with respect to that issue. But now Alicent had to convince all the others that the king had changed his mind at the very last moment.

As a matter of fact, Alicent wasn’t trying to fool people. She really believed that the King wanted their son to sit on the Iron Throne. She went to her father immediately after Talya gave her the fateful news and told him about Viserys’ last wish. Otto was a cunning man. He was not delusional like his daughter. Yes, he, too, wanted to cloak his ambitions and greed under the notion of duty. He, too, reassured his conscience that whatever he did was for the betterment of the realm. But he also knew that he would be ready to do anything to see his blood sit on the Iron Throne. He always validated his actions by the outcome it had. He had used his own daughter as a political pawn, but it had also made her the Queen. He had plotted against Rhaenyra, but only because he wanted Alicent’s son to sit on the Iron Throne. The first question that Otto asked after hearing the news of Viserys’ demise was who all knew about it. This very clearly established the kind of man Otto was. He always saw the bigger picture. He had no room for petty emotions. He straight away called the small council as he knew that things were at a very delicate stage and each and every step, they took had the potential to have an impact on their future.

The small council, or as it could be called, the Green Council, was told about Viserys’ last wish. Tyland, almost instantly, swore his allegiance to the Greens. His brother had once expressed his desire to marry Rhaenyra, but she had blatantly rejected the offer on his face. Maybe Tyland still harbored a feeling of contempt against Rhaenyra for insulting his house. The honorable Lord Lyman Beesbury, who was a loyal servant of the crown, found the treacherous intentions of Otto no less than treason. He called Aegon an imposter. He said that everybody present in that room, together with hundreds of other lords, had sworn fealty to Rhaenyra. The old Lord stood up because his intentions were not tainted with greed. He questioned the credibility of the only witness (Alicent) and said that not even for a single moment was he going to believe that Viserys changed his mind on his deathbed. He accused the small council of regicide. He wanted to do the right thing—the noble thing. Ser Criston Cole could no longer stand the defiance. He pushed Lord Lyman Beesbury, and his head hit the marble ball that was placed on the table. Blood was spilled on the table, and Lord Beesbury paid the cost of his own defiance.

The cold-blooded murder of Lord Beesbury made one thing very clear: The Greens were not going to stop unless and until they got what they wanted. Ser Harold Westerling was a righteous man. He took out his sword and asked Ser Criston to lower his guard and remove his cloak. Ranks no longer mattered; only loyalty to the Greens did. Criston Cole also pointed his sword towards his own Lord Commander. Otto commanded Harold Westerling to go to Dragonstone and kill Rhaenyra and Daemon. Ser Harold Westerling decided that he could no longer be a part of such misdeeds. He removed his cloak and said that he only recognized the authority of the king and was not bound to follow the order of any other person.

The White Worm Helps To Find Aegon: What Does She Want?

After the meeting of the small council got over, Otto and Alicent just wanted to talk to Aegon and prepare him mentally as he was to be sworn in as the king of the Seven Kingdoms. But Aegon was nowhere to be found. Helaena, too, didn’t have any clue where he was. Helaena had psychic abilities, and she could often see what others couldn’t. She says that a person always craves what’s given to another. The curse of humanity is that we always find the grass to be greener on the other side. Helaena was knitting a firefly, which reminded us of the sigil used by Larys Strong. Alicent came and sat beside her. All of a sudden, she said that there was a beast beneath the board. Maybe Helaena was referring to something that was about to happen. Maybe she wanted to indicate that Larys Strong was up to something. Otto gave Ser Erryk the responsibility of finding Aegon and immediately bringing him back to the palace. He told Erryk to take his twin brother, Ser Arryk, with him.

Meanwhile, Alicent told Criston Cole to find her son. Aemond decided that he would accompany Criston Cole. They went to all the brothels and places where they thought that Aegon would have gone. But the would-be king wasn’t present anywhere. A spy who worked for the White Worm (Mysaria) told Ser Erryk and Ser Arryk that she knew where Aegon was. She told them Mysaria would give them all the details only if Otto Hightower himself came to meet her. Otto met Mysaria, who already knew about the death of the king. Mysaria had found Aegon in Flea Bottom, and she knew that somebody would eventually come looking for him. She took the money that Otto had to offer, but she had one more demand. As a sport, small children were made to fight each other in Flea Bottom. Erryk and Arryk had seen the arena on their way earlier. The children, who were not more than ten years old, were bred for that purpose. Their nails were grown, and their teeth were shaped to give them an edge in the battle. Appallingly, it served as a source of entertainment for the people there. Mysaria said that the officials of the crown knew about it but had turned a blind eye to it for years. She wanted Otto to pass an order to stop the savagery. Otto agreed to look into the matter, and Mysaria told him where she had kept the future king.

Ser Erryk and Arryk found Aegon in the Septon, where we had seen Alicent praying in the second episode of the “House of the Dragon.” Ser Arryk was taking Aegon to Otto Hightower when he was stopped by Criston Cole and Aemond, who wanted to take him to Alicent. Criston Cole and Ser Arryk entered into a scuffle, and Aemond caught hold of his elder brother. Aemond always believed that he was more worthy than his brother. He knew that he was more capable of ruling the kingdom. But he was also duty-bound. We saw in the 7th episode of “House of the Dragon” that he often restrained himself and allowed his sense of duty to prevail. On the other hand, Aegon was the complete opposite. He pleaded with his younger brother to let him go, as he had no wish to rule. But Criston Cole took him to Alicent, as she had asked him. Aemond stood there thinking about the irony of events. He was more capable, more knowledgeable, and more worthy, but still, his brother was going to sit on the Iron Throne. He detested that fact but still contained his emotions for the time being.

Clubfoot Orders To Kill Mysaria, The White Worm: Is Mysaria Dead?

Lord Larys Strong informed the royal guards about Lord Allun Caswell, who was trying to escape from King’s Landing. Otto appreciated the loyalty of Larys Strong. Later, Clubfoot went to meet Alicent, who wasn’t expecting him at such a late hour. He told her that her father had found Aegon before Criston Cole and Aemond did. But then Larys Strong stopped speaking as if he was expecting a bribe to proceed further. Alicent took out her footwear, and Larys ogled at her feet. He proceeded further and said that there was a network of spies that operated in King’s Landing. He told Alicent that her father knew about it and still hadn’t done anything because he, too, got a lot of information through that network. Once again, Larys stopped speaking, and Alicent took off her stalkings and exposed her bare feet. He told her that Talya, who served the Queen, was also one of the spies who worked for the White Worm. He advised the Queen that if she wanted to stay a step ahead of her own father, then the network of spies would have to be destroyed. He was offered to kill Mysaria, the White Worm, and Alicent agreed. She told him to do whatever he felt was right.

Alicent fed his foot fetish in exchange for the information. She had always questioned the character of Rhaenyra, often calling her actions immoral, but here she was doing pretty much the same thing. The only difference was that she was doing it behind closed doors. Also, Alicent always felt that she didn’t have anybody’s blood on her hands, but she was using Larys Strong to spill blood so that her conscience was not tainted. In the 9th episode of “House of the Dragon,” we see that Mysaria’s brothel was set on fire, from where she used to operate the underground spy network. Larys Strong had sent somebody to kill Mysaria. Though it cannot be said for certain that Mysaria died in that fire, considering she was always a step ahead of the others. It could be possible that she got to know about the conspiracy and escaped the facility before it was set on fire. 

Larys Strong had done exactly what the Queen had wanted. Larys was playing from both sides. He had told Otto that the information he gave to the Queen would eventually benefit him too. He gave Otto the impression that he was indirectly working for him only. But he was also feeding Alicent information so that she could get the better of him. He spoke less, and people didn’t exactly know what he was capable of. They often underestimated him, and he took complete advantage of that fact, and he played his games without attracting much attention. 

‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 9: Ending Explained – Is Rhaenys Able To Escape King’s Landing? Why Didn’t Alicent Want To Kill Rhaenyra?

Alicent always wanted to do the righteous and honorable thing. She felt that it was her ethical responsibility, as a believer in the Faith of the Seven, to have high moral standards. But she knew that to get what she wanted; she would have to indulge in all sorts of treacherous practices. So, she had found a way to lie to her own conscience. She had an argument with her father and told him that she wouldn’t kill Rhaenyra and Daemon. Alicent said that she didn’t want bloodshed, portraying herself as this virtuous human being. But she made others act in her place. She gave a free hand to Larys Strong because she wanted to remove the obstacles from her path. She might not be willing to kill her childhood friend, but that didn’t mean that she was any less ruthless as compared to her father. Alicent told her father that she would send terms to Rhaenyra and compel her to agree to them. The hypocritical nature of Alicent was evident from the fact that she believed herself to be a merciful queen, but in reality, she was the one who was responsible for getting Mysaria and the Strong family killed in cold blood. She had been pretending to the world and to herself for such a long time that she had no awareness of what she had become. She was in a mental state where she could scrutinize her own actions. She did not see that, under the pretext of morals and principles, she was doing everything that she once stood against.

Alicent went to Rhaenys and told her to support her cause. She tried to persuade her by saying that she believed that Rhaenys was the most deserving candidate who should have sat on the Iron Throne. Once again, Alicent feeds her delusions and tells Rhaenys that she wants to stay away from violence and take active steps to maintain peace in the kingdom. She had imprisoned Rhaenys because she knew that if Rhaenys took her dragon, the balance would tilt in favor of Rhaenyra. Rhaenys saw through her motivations and questioned her pretentious nature. She told her that serving men was so ingrained in her nature that even if Aegon was made king, she wouldn’t get the freedom that she sought so desperately. Alicent was herself a product of a patriarchal society, and though she thought that she was fighting for her own cause, she had been just serving the interests of the men around her all her life. She didn’t have the courage to accept that she wanted to stay in power. She always camouflaged her intentions under the pretext of duty. 

In the 9th episode of “House of the Dragon,” Ser Erryk Cargyll came to rescue Rhaenys. Contrary to what his twin brother believed in, Ser Erryk thought that what was happening was not right, and he didn’t want to be a part of the coup that was being orchestrated by Otto. Rhaenys and Ser Erryk came out on the streets, where they found that people were being forcibly taken to the dragon pit where the coronation ceremony of Aegon was supposed to be held. Rhaenys didn’t know where to go or how to hide from the eyes of the royal guards. She also went inside the dragon pit. She saw that nobody guarded the stairs that led to the dungeon where her dragon, Meleys, was kept. Meanwhile the ceremony commenced and Aegon was crowned king. Instead of Viserys’ crown, he decided to wear the crown of his namesake, Aegon the Conqueror. The crowds shouted and rejoiced. For the common folks, it was the dawn of a new era. They were oblivious to what was happening behind closed doors. They were unaware of the treachery that existed behind that nobility. Helaena’s mystic words (beats beneath the board) made sense when the ground collapsed, and Rhaenys came out riding her dragon, Meleys. There was a state of chaos, and everybody started running to save their lives. For a moment, Rhaenys stood there. Alicent felt that she was going to order her dragon to kill everybody. But Rhaenys did no such thing. She looked Alicent in the eye as if to tell her that she saw through her double-faced personality. She saw through her malevolent intentions. Rhaenys flew on her dragon, probably to Dragonstone, to tell Rhaenyra about the coup, while the newly crowned king stood there terrified with his whole family, not knowing what he had signed up for.

See More: ‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 10: Recap & Ending, Explained – What Happens Between Aemond And Lucerys?

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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