Why Didn’t Princess Rhaenys Kill Aegon and His Family?
Episode 9 of House of the Dragon was all about the search for Prince Aegon and the subsequent coronation that happened. However, one of the side stories that happened in the episode was in relation to Princess Rhaenys, who Queen Alicent tried to win over to her side after she was locked up in her own room in King’s Landing. Then again, she was able to escape and make her way to her dragon, Meleys, who crashed the coronation and could have killed Aegon but opted not to. So, why didn’t Princess Rhaenys kill Aegon and his family?
Princess Rhaenys spared King Aegon II and his family because she saw how Alicent was willing to risk her life to protect her so. Before that, Alicent had a moment with Rhaenys, as the princess saw how well the queen understood her and the things she went through in her life. As such, she spared them due to Alicent.
Somewhere down the line, Rhaenys will realize that this was a fatal mistake due to the fact that an entire war broke out because Aegon was crowned king. However, she held on to her dignity at that moment and decided not to kill King Aegon II due to Alicent’s gesture. As a mother and a grandmother, she understood Alicent. In that regard, let’s look at what happened to Rhaenys in episode 9.
What Happened To Rhaenys In Episode 9?
The early part of episode 9 of House of the Dragon opened up with the death of King Viserys Targaryen, as this information was immediately kept a secret by Alicent and Otto Hightower. That meant that they needed to close the Red Keep and make sure that no one would be able to escape it, as it was important for them to make sure that the people of King’s Landing would not know of this and that Princess Rhaenyra would not hear about the news of her father’s passing.
As such, the Greens started plotting their strategy to put Prince Aegon on the Iron Throne. One of the things that they needed to do was to make sure that the lords and ladies that pledged their support for Rhaenyra almost 20 years ago would now switch their allegiance to Prince Aegon. And, of course, we saw the fact that Princess Rhaenys Targaryen was locked in her own room, as it was important for the Greens to make sure that she wouldn’t be able to flee King’s Landing and tell Rhaenyra and the Velaryons what happened.
Rhaenys got a visit from Queen Alicent herself, who talked about how she wanted the support of the princess and the Velaryons because she understood that she was supposed to be the queen of the Seven Kingdoms instead of King Viserys. That’s because Alicent knew that Rhaenys had the temperament of a queen and a ruler. But the thing is that she also told Rhaenys that she had never gotten anything from Rhaenyra and Daemon in the many years that the princess supported them.
Of course, Alicent also appealed to the motherly side of Rhaenys. The princess was not only a mother but also a grandmother. However, she did lose both of her children years ago, as that was something that still affected her deep inside. And the way that Alicent approached her appeal allowed Rhaenys to see how sincere of a mother she was.
However, Rhaenys opted to delay her decision of whether or not she was joining the Greens. Right before the coronation, Ser Erryk Cargyll of the Kingsguard broke Rhaenys out of her room and was about to bring her to a place where she would have been able to escape King’s Landing.
But the problem was that the men of the City Watch were rounding the people of King’s Landing to the Dragonpit so that they could see the coronation of King Aegon II. Rhaenys got lost in the crowd but was happy to see that they were on their way to the Dragonpit, where her dragon Meleys was. As such, despite the fact that she got separated from Erryk, she was placed in a spot that was advantageous to her.
When Rhaenys got to the Dragonpit, she made her way to the actual dragonpit where the dragons were kept. Meanwhile, Prince Aegon reluctantly marched his way to the stage and was crowned King Aegon II.
While Aegon was basking in the adoration of the crowd, the floor broke as hundreds of people died when Meleys emerged from the rubble, as it was clear that Princess Rhaenys was the one who was mounted on her. As the people of King’s Landing were making their escape, Rhaenys and Meleys had the king and his family cornered and could have killed them right then and there.
Queen Alicent, who understood what was about to happen, shielded her son and stared into the eyes of Rhaenys with tears in her eyes. That was when Rhaenys decided to make her escape from King’s Landing instead of burning the new king on the spot.
Why Didn’t Rhaenys Kill Aegon And His Family?
As mentioned, Princess Rhaenys and Meleys were in the right place at the right time to kill King Aegon II and the main members of the Greens. One Dracarys would have ended the war before it started. But instead, she decided to spare Aegon II and the rest of the Greens. So, why didn’t Rhaenys kill King Aegon?
We know for a fact that Rhaenys had no love for Queen Alicent’s children and for the other members of the Greens. However, she did understand what it was to be in the position of Queen Alicent, who was ready to take dragonfire point-blank in an effort to keep her family safe.
Rhaenys knew what it was like to lose children. She lost Laena six years ago, as she wasn’t even there to comfort her during her daughter’s pain. Meanwhile, she also lost Laenor (although he’s still alive in Essos). Rhaenys wasn’t even there to protect her children and was not given a chance to be with them in their final moments.
In that regard, Rhaenys spared Aegon and his family because of Alicent’s gesture. She understood what it was like to lose her family as she lost her children and was in danger of losing her husband. The princess didn’t want to be the one to commit genocide right then and there by burning an entire family to their deaths. And we’ve always known Rhaenys to be one of the more honorable members of the Targaryen family.
Rhaenys may have had a chance to end the war before it started by killing Aegon right then and there, but she didn’t want to be the one to take a child away from his mother or take a mother away from her child. This may come back to bite her somewhere down the line when the Dance of the Dragons finally breaks out. But the only thing that she could take pleasure in was the fact that she did things the honorable way.