House Of The Dragon – Episode 9 Review: Whose Queen Is This?

House Of The Dragon - Episode 9 Review

The King is no more. Who’s next, oh yeah, long live the? That is the question that looms large over this season’s penultimate episode, as Viserys the Peaceful’s passing signifies the end of an era in more ways than one. After that heartbreaking farewell supper at the family table last week, Paddy Considine’s well-intentioned king left, which means that the unsettling cold war between his potential heirs is about to grow very heated, very quickly.

The Iron Throne is vacant and its throne room is silent as we begin with a startling series of shots showing the Red Keep in darkness and fog. Priority one for Alicent (Olivia Cooke) and her father Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), after quietly weeping for Viserys, is to prevent knowledge of his passing from reaching the public until they have had a chance to secure the throne for Alicent’s oldest son, Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney).

Every Dragon in Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon will show dragons being used as both protectors of different Targaryen factions and as mighty weapons in the Dance of the Dragons, a bloody war that will prove tragic for both humans and dragons alike. The Dance of the Dragons is a years-long campaign for the right to succeed the various Targaryen claimants to the Iron Throne. All of the dragons that appeared during the Dance of the Dragons are listed below.

House Of The Dragon - Episode 9 Review

Some have already made their House of the Dragon debuts, while many others are not anticipated to do so for several more seasons because of the vast time gaps covered in Fire & Blood. Balerion, the biggest and oldest of all the Targaryen dragons, was ridden by Aegon the Conqueror before becoming King Viserys I’s mount. By the time House of the Dragon starts, the black and red mal dragon has passed away, but the Red Keep has a display of his enormous skull.

Prince Daemon Targaryen’s (Matt Smith) mount, the enormous, red, and horned Blood Wyrm, is as ferocious and ruthless as his rider. According to The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones, the official companion book by George R.R. Martin, Princess Rhaenyra’s “huge and formidable” female steed is the yellowish Syrax (played in House of the Dragon by Milly Alcock as a young girl and Emma D’Arcy as an adult).

The Red Queen, Princess Rhaenys, is The Queen Who Never Was, and she rides “The Red Queen” (played in House of the Dragon by Eve Best). The World of Ice & Fire describes Medleys as “ancient and crafty, lethargic, but fearsome when roused.” This enormous and powerful male dragon is known as “Sunfire the Golden” because of its golden scales and flame. He is Aegon II Targaryen’s mount (who will be played in House of the Dragon as an adult by Tom Glynn-Carney and as a youth by Ty Tennant).

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House Of The Dragon - Episode 9 Review

Poor Lord Caswell (Paul Hickey) tries to lie by bending the knee and then running away from the castle, but he is found and hanged because of the evil Larys Strong (Matthew Needham). In the meantime, Lord Larys says that he will work for both Otto and Alicent, once more scheming his way into positions of authority. However, he very immediately turns on Otto by telling Alicent all of her father’s secrets in exchange for – eww – being permitted to perv over her bare feet.

At least now we are aware of what he will receive. Otto is motivated by his desire for power, whereas Alicent is motivated by her (honest but misguided) idea that everything is done at Viserys’ request. Alicent differs from her counterpart in George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood in one important way: she permits the Silent Sisters to properly care for the king’s body rather than letting him rot while she sends signals to her allies in order to prepare for the coronation.

This Alicent still tries to shield Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy, absent in this episode) while she manipulates Aegon into power, despite having some compassion for her husband and even for her wastrel son. She opposes her father as well, saying that doing anything short of outright murder is not overly conscientious (the entire history of Westeros might dispute that). Rhaenys is required to draw attention to the inconsistencies in Alicent’s position.

House Of The Dragon - Episode 9 Review

which involves “toiling” in men’s shadows rather than having the capacity to assume power herself. It’s interesting that she is now fully dressed in Tudor fashion. Is she a rumored con artist like Anne Boleyn’s image in popular culture, a despot like Queen Mary, or a military leader like Queen Elizabeth I? Time will only tell. The throne won’t be simple to take. One reason is that the Small Council is initially split on the issue.

Bill Paterson’s character Lord Beesbury properly notes that what they’re doing is against the law. To Alicent’s dismay, Tyland Lannister (Jefferson Hall) has obviously been planning the entire incident with Otto and Lord Jasper Wylde (Paul Kennedy). Kurt Egyiawan’s character, Grand Maester Orwyle, is not against the narrative.

Unfortunately for Beesbury, Cole reacts violently to Beesbury’s protests against the coup and murders him in a way that may or may not be murder (in George R.R. Martin’s Fire And Blood, it is unmistakably murder). The Kingsguard captain played by Graham McTavish, Ser Harrold Westerling, is finally acknowledged by the program, and he is given a task by ordering Cole to the ground before leaving the conference.

House Of The Dragon - Episode 9 Review

He’s pretty much the only one that Otto and company don’t just halt dead in their tracks when they see. The important thing is to crown Aegon as quickly as possible. One possible source of legitimacy is Viserys’ alleged wishes, but with only Alicent present to hear them, not everyone will be persuaded. The coronation ceremony will further place the issue beyond question; the only issue is that Aegon is missing in Flea Bottom.

While Otto assigns Ser Arryk Cargyll (Luke Tittensor) and his brother Ser Erryk Cargyll (Elliott Tittensor) to search for his runaway eldest, Alicent sends Cristen Cole and Scarier Lucius Malfoy — oops, Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) — on the same errand. Arryk is in favor; Erryk is less so, especially after visiting the child fighting pit that is one of Aegon’s favorite hangouts. The twin knights discuss the wisdom of installing the outlandish creep Aegon on the throne in private.

A pit, indeed. where kids are fighting. While nuclear shitheads like Aegon observe and occasionally father children outside of marriage. I know I’m not the only one who feels like this place ought to be set on fire, and Otto’s men accomplish just that a little while later. That’s because the White Worm, Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), promises assistance in locating Aegon in exchange for a guarantee that Otto will stop the child from being abused.

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House Of The Dragon - Episode 9 Review

Mysaria already knows of the king’s death (notice Alicent’s lady-in-waiting lighting a lantern in her window earlier). The union between Otto and Mysaria appears to portend difficulties for practically all of their adversaries in the future. As the searchers get close to Aegon, there is a struggle for his possession. Before the errant heir is brought back to face his own coronation, Aegon wishes to flee and there is a fierce conflict.

Alicent tries to use her custody of him to make Cole the Kingsguard commander and to preserve Rhaenyra’s life; Otto maintains his independence. With the crown on his head, the Gold cloaks around him, and his new subjects shouting, Aegon feels a little happy, but he doesn’t get to enjoy his independence for very long. They become separated in the masses being herded to the Dragonpit for the coronation, and Ser Erryk decides to leave the Green side and release Rhaenys along the way.

She makes the decision to follow the crowd and attempt to flee on the dragon’s back. Therefore, the spectacular appearance of her mount, Meleys the Red Queen, from beneath the large floor of the Dragonpit, serves as the coronation ceremony’s high point. While it appears for one wonderful moment that Rhaenys, appearing like the Queen Who Shoulda Been rather than the Queen Who Never Was, would put an end to the conflict, her escape kills many innocent bystanders but none of the royal family.

House Of The Dragon - Episode 9 Review

Rhaenys decides not to burn the group of them all alive and instead simply flies away, disregarding the devastation she’s left behind, despite the fact that Alicent is horrified and is protecting her son’s corpse with her own. I hope that doesn’t metaphorically come back to bite anyone; Meleys appears sure to really bite someone.

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Verdict

After last week’s raw emotion, this episode is driven by fear and uncertainty, and in particular, by Alicent’s sadness, worry, and resolve to defend her family. However, there is plenty of plotting to keep us interested, as well as decisions that will have profound effects on the Targaryen family and Westeros as a whole.

Kimberly

Kimberly is a freelance writer with a love of writing and traveling. She has been writing for most of her life and has been published in various magazines and online publications. She writes about entertainment, technology, and lifestyle-related topics at Gadgetgrapevine.com. Kimberly is always looking for new writing opportunities and loves learning about new cultures and experiences.

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