Episode 9 of House of the Dragon enchanted fans, especially for an epic sequence with Rhaenys. But she could have not appeared in the episode! Warning, spoilers.
Warning, spoilers. It is advisable to have seen episode 9 of House of the Dragon before continuing to read this article.
If there is a sequence that marked the fans in episode 9 of House of the Dragon, this is the end of the chapter entitled “Council of the Greens”. As the coronation of Aegon Targaryen, the son of Alicent Hightower and Viserys Targaryen, is in full swing, the festivities are cut short by a literally explosive appearance.
From the shallows of the Great Sept, Rhaenys and his dragon Meleys arise, destroying many things in their path, mainly knights and subjects of the Kingdom. Previously locked up by Alicent, the Queen who was never managed to escape to show all her power to the Greens.
But while she could have burned everything in her path (with “Dracarys”), Rhaenys chooses not to kill Alicent, the usurper Aegon and the rest of their family. And this for a simple reason, the “Dance of the Dragons” depicted in the book Fire and Blood, from which the series is adapted, is inevitable. And if there are no more Greens, there is no more story to tell (or a completely different story).
Why didn’t Rhaenys go all the way?
And the series follows the events of the novel by George RR Martin, with some exceptions. Indeed, this epic scene of Rhaenys could not have appeared in the series since it simply does not exist in the book!
It’s a free addition from the writers of House of the Dragon that allows for dramatic twist and an extra emotional layer. So, even if the fans were treated to this crazy sequence, why was this new scene added?
Eve Bestthe interpreter of Rhaenys, answered this question during an interview for Entertainment Weekly :
“This is the moment where she shows that she is the best leader possible. It was the most outrageous and explosive action of the season. In a way, it is also the most merciful and the most graceful. She’s so smart and in the end chooses to make the right decision, which is not to destroy. It’s a really forgiving moment and kind of a loving moment, in a weird way.
She has all the ammunition, and the desire for revenge is so great. She has suffered so many losses, and for herself and on behalf of so many others, the urge to destroy is so strong. And yet, the choice not to destroy becomes even stronger. It is the mark of greatness and [un] really inspiring moment – I actually think that particularly resonates with the context that we’re going through right now in our world with everything that’s going on with Russia. The choice not to drop the bombs is the biggest choice.”
On his side, Clare Kilnerthe director of episode 9, sees great symbolism in this: “We wanted her to rise from the ashes like a phoenix.” But she also wanted to stage a moment of deep communication between Rhaenys and Alicent, with their previous conversation still resonating: “I think that [Rhaenys] learn so much from this moment because [Alicent] pushes Aegon behind her and stands facing [elle]and she is ready to die”.
For Eve Best, “she presents herself as a mother” and the actress thinks that “Rhaenys understands and respects that”. No violence therefore between Rhaenys and Alicent, at least for the moment since the Queen who never was will inform the Blacks of the situation in the tenth episode, officially launching hostilities between the Blacks and the Greens.
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Episodes of the House of the Dragon series can be found every Monday exclusively on OCS City, and on the OCS platform on demand..