Thursday, October 20, 2022

What I’m Watching: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 9 “The Green Council” (B+)

It’s a strange thing to have an entire episode about installing the new king and not even have Rhaenyra present, and potentially not aware at all of her father’s passing. Though it’s possible - I’ll admit I don’t really know - that Viserys didn’t realize he was speaking to Alicent when he uttered his final wish, Alicent is doing right by her husband, trying to honor his word, and not claiming anything that isn’t true. Despite her previous intentions to kill her former best friend and take her son’s eye in revenge for her own son losing his, Alicent did make it very clear that she didn’t want anything to happen to Rhaenyra, though surely she can’t think that’s realistic. Aegon, the new king, didn’t even want the throne and in fact ran away from his duty, and I thought that the bloodthirsty Aemond was going to kill him and take his role for himself. Alicent tried to appeal to Rhaenys and then thought that she had failed and was facing down certain death, but she just wanted to leave peacefully with her dragon. Alicent has finally proven herself capable of mercy and a degree of benevolence, but her son all too quickly embraced the cheering crowds, and though he may not harbor as much resentment towards his brother as he does his cousins, I’d still watch out for Aemond. Alicent also has formidable allies in Cristen and Larys, both of whom would apparently do anything for her, whether or not she asked them to, and her biggest adversary may now also be her father. But we still haven’t seen how Rhaenyra and Daemon will react to all this happening without them there in what I know will be an explosive and deadly finale.

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