Welcome to the Ending Explained for House of the Dragon, Episode 9. The episode is titled “The Green Council” and takes place entirely from the Greens’ point of view, the characters on the side of Queen Alicent and her son Aegon II. The episode takes a bold choice by being more of a political-centric episode and breaking the tradition of having Episode 9 be a big demonstration of spectacle in the shape of a battle or other fantastic visual display. There are still amazing, shocking moments, but they are not the episode’s center.
This last bit could hurt the episode’s perception by audiences, as there are many mostly expecting House of the Dragon to follow the same narrative structure as Game of Thrones. By this point in the season, it should be clear that House of the Dragon is its show and that it is doing things in a very different way from Game of Thrones. However, most of the discourse online seems to be around expecting the same. This episode is masterfully crafted, so let’s hope people can appreciate it for what it is.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 9, titled “The Green Council”. Read at your own risk.
What Happens After King Viserys’ Death?
Episode 9 begins with the news of King Viserys’ death. The rumor is being first taken to Alicent, who is awoken by her handmaiden. It is soon enough when everybody of importance gets to know the news. It is here that Otto Hightower and the rest of the small council assemble. Alicent knows that whatever is decided inside this room will be pivotal for the coming years, so she tries to be as diplomatic as possible. In the previous episode, Rhaenyra and herself managed to build another bridge and tried to rekindle their friendship.
Rhaenyra was supposed to return to King’s Landing by a dragon in the coming days. However, that now seems to be canceled as everybody is rushing to take the best position there can and improve their standing for the incoming exchange of leader of Westeros. Alicent proposes that Rhaenyra should not be hurt. She is sure that Viserys’ last words were about her son Aegon leading the real. This is, of course, a misunderstanding, as Viserys was actually talking about Aegon the Conqueror.
Alicent will place his son as king and avoid bloodshed by sparing Rhaenyra. However, Otto has other things and mind and plans to convince Aegon to kill Rhaenyra and stop her from claiming the thrones. It seems everybody in the council, except for Lyman Beesbury, is in favor of killing Rhaenyra. Lyman tries to convince the others this is high treason, as Viserys named Rhaenyra his heir. Ser Criston Cole kills him when he tries to push his argument.
Alicent seems to be outvoted. However, there is an issue, Aegon is nowhere to be found, and without him, there cannot be a crowning ceremony. Otto orders the Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Harrold Westerling, to search for Aegon. However, Westerling sees the entire thing that is happening in front of his eyes with repulsion. He renounces his position as Commander of the Kingsguard, leaving the room saying that he only serves the King, and as there is none at the moment, he won’t follow any orders from the people in that room.
Where Was Aegon Targaryen After Viserys’ Death?
The second half of the episode involves the search for Aegon. The Hightower house divides itself in two. Alicent wants to find Aegon first to make him promise not to hurt Rhaenyra after taking the throne. At the same time, Otto wants to find him to convince him exactly the opposite. Alicent sends Ser Criston Cole to the city to find him, and Aemond volunteers to accompany the knight and search for his brother. At the same time, Otto sends the Cargyll twins, both knights of the Kingsguard, to find Aegon.
The twist put themselves to work very quickly, and they go around the city asking for the lost prince. Something interesting happens, as while the brothers look the same in appearance, they don’t see to see eye to eye on their political opinions. One of them believes they should follow their orders and take the Prince back to the Red Keep, while the other believes Aegon would be a terrible king and should not be allowed to take the Throne. A woman approaches them on the street and says she can lead them to the Prince.
The twins inform Otto of this, and the Hand itself goes to the meeting with the person who has Aegon in their possession. This person is none other than Mysaria, Daemon’s ex-girlfriend, who has now become quite a bit of an influencer in the city. She asks for a better government and threatens Otto that she is watching him. She then gives them the location of Aegon, who is under an altar in one of the city’s temples. The twins go looking for him and rescue him, but Aemond and Criston Cole intercept them. One of the twins leaves, leaving his brother to fight alone.
This twin then goes to Rhaenys, who is still in the city, and helps her escape the Red Keep. He says she must leave the city before she can no longer return home. Meanwhile, Alicent and the family are getting ready to crown Aegon. The teen doesn’t want to be a king. He says he is not qualified. It doesn’t matter either way, and he is crowned in front of thousands of people who the City Watch gathered on the Dragon’s Pit. Aegon is crowned, but Rhaenys makes the ground explode and escapes with her dragon.
Rhaenys could have killed the entirety of the Greens right there with her dragon, preventing the countless deaths to follow, but she didn’t. The episode ends with Rhaenys escaping. Will she warn Rhaenyra of the Greens’ betrayal?