Warning: Contains major SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, “The Green Council,” and George R.R. Martin’s book, Fire & Blood.House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, “The Green Council” is another that’s full of small details with big meanings, and lots of Game of Thrones Easter eggs and parallels. Following on from King Viserys’ death in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 8, this is a change of pace for the series with Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen missing completely. Even with their absence, though, it’s a momentous episode, ending with the coronation of a new King and the Targaryen civil war truly ready to begin.
It may be the penultimate episode of House of the Dragon season 1, but episode 9 is largely concerned with setting up the future than it is truly ending things. This is an installment very much about getting the last pieces in place for the Dance of the Dragons, especially in better establishing who will make up the two warring factions – Alicent and Aegon’s greens and Rhaenyra’s blacks. To that end, there are several key details in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, that will be even more important in the wars to come.
The Candles In The Window Signal Is From Game Of Thrones
After news of King Viserys’ death spreads through the Red Keep, Alicent’s lady in waiting Talya lights some candles in a window. Given she is a spy for Mysaria, it seems this is a pre-arranged signal to the White Worm confirming the King is dead, which is how she knows later in the episode. The idea of a candle in a window being a secret signal was first seen in Game of Thrones, with Sansa using it to ask Brienne for help (after being passed a message to do so when the time was right), but, unfortunately, it was too late for Brienne to see it.
What’s Going On With Dorne?
Curious as to the sudden and secret Small Council meeting, Tyland Lannister asks, “Was Dorne invaded?” It’s a question that serves as a subtle reminder of how Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms aren’t actually complete yet: Dorne resisted Aegon the Conqueror’s invasion, and won’t actually be conquered and officially become part of the Seven Kingdoms until 187 AC. Dorne has formed part of the backdrop to House of the Dragon’s story, with Qoren Martell previously allying with the Triarchy, further showing how relations are tense there.
Lyman Beesbury’s Death Is Different To The Book
Once again, Ser Criston Cole kills a character in brutal fashion, this time murdering Lyman Beesbury by smashing his dead down onto one of the balls used by the Small Council. Beesbury dies at a similar point in Fire & Blood, but with multiple accounts of what happened: one claims he was sent to the black cells and died there; another that Criston Cole slit his throat; a third says Criston threw him out of a window, onto spikes below. House of the Dragon didn’t go so far as the last option, at least, but it was still a brutal end of Lyman.
Harrold Westerling’s HOTD Role Is Completely Unpredictable Now
Harrold Westerling resigns from the Kingsguard, freeing the position of Lord Commander for Criston Cole. But most interesting is how this serves to highlight that Ser Harrold is a great unknown in this story: in the book, he dies in 112 AC. His story is now completely new, and seemingly adds a major new supporter to Rhaenyra’s blacks faction.
Why Storm’s End Is So Important
Continuing to provide a lesson in Westeros geography, Tyland also remarks that Storm’s End will be a problem for the greens. Borros Baratheon’s father, Boremund, was seen early in House of the Dragon, pledging allegiance to Rhaenyra. With Storm’s End an important seat, holding the key to the stormlands, then winning support will be crucial for either side, which will play out in House of the Dragon’s future. Both the greens and blacks will go to Storm’s End to win Borros’ support, meaning a reunion between Aemond and Lucerys that ends in dragon battle, the first of the Dance.
“Bend The Knee” Recalls Daenerys’ Game Of Thrones Arc
One of Daenerys Targaryen’s favorite lines makes a comeback in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, with “bend the knee” said on a couple of occasions, including in reference to that fact Rhaenyra definitely won’t do it. It draws a parallel between this battle of succession and the one in Game of Thrones. Rhaenyra and Daenerys, both seeing the Iron Throne as theirs by right, but flipped around: one has to refuse to bend the knee, the other commands it.
The “Beast Beneath The Boards” Was Rhaenys’ Dragon, Meleys
Helaena Targaryen repeats her “Beast beneath the boards” prophecy in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, this time saying it as a direct warning to Alicent. She thinks this is just a sign that her daughter is unwell, but Helaena is proved right by the episode’s ending. It seems as though the beast beneath the boards was actually Rhaenys’ dragon, Meleys, who was beneath the floor of the Dragonpit, bursting through it in the episode’s ending.
Helaena Targaryen Makes A New Prophecy
Helaena Targaryen may make another prophecy in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, as she says “if one possesses a thing, the other will take it away.” It isn’t presented in quite the same way as her past prophecies, and is quite clearly her talking about her children with their toys, but it is another line that predicts what’s to come. By the end of the episode, her husband and brother Aegon will possess the Iron Throne; later in the Dance of the Dragons, Rhaenyra will come to take it.
The Bells In King’s Landing Are Used Correctly
With King Viserys dead, the bells can briefly be heard ringing out through King’s Landing in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9. The bells became extremely controversial in Game of Thrones, when they were a key part of Daenerys Targaryen destroying King’s Landing; there, it was said the bells were supposed to represent surrender, with Dany ignoring them. There wasn’t an established precedent for the bells meaning that, but there is for them ringing out when a monarch dies, as Varys said in that same episode: “I’ve always hated the bells. They ring for horror … a dead king, a city under siege.”
House Fell Is More Important Than HOTD Reveals
Among the houses gathered by Otto Hightower to break their allegiance to Rhaenyra is the Lady of House Fell. This is taken straight from the book, where Lady Fell similarly refused to support Aegon II, and was beheaded for it. Given the episode later shows Lord Caswell, another Rhaenyra supporter, hanged, it’s likely that Lady Fell was indeed killed as well. In the book, House Fell does then support Aegon; one of their members, Ser Willis, is part of the Kingsguard, even later rising to become Lord Commander.
Yi Ti Sets Up Another Game Of Thrones Spinoff
When looking for Aegon, Aemond mentions that he could have boarded a ship to Yi Ti. Yi Ti is located in Essos, to the east of Qarth, inspired by the real world Imperial China. Yi Ti is a vast Empire, ruled over by leaders who are known as god-emperor, and is one of the largest and oldest nations in the known world. Among the many Game of Thrones spinoffs in various stages of development (which also includes The Tales of Dunk & Egg, and a show based around Princess Nymeria leading her people to Dorne) is an animated series based in Yi Ti, so few details are known as it stands.
Aegon’s Bastard Is Likely Gaemon Palehair
House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9 introduces a child who is, reportedly, one of Aegon’s bastards. This is likely Gaemon Palehair, or at least setting him up. In the book, Gaemon is claimed to be Aegon’s bastard son with a woman named Essie, who worked at a brothel in King’s Landing. After Aegon leaves the city, Gaemon is raised at the brothel as though he were to be King, and eventually he does amass a considerable following of those who see him the rightful monarch, despite being a bastard and a child. When King Aegon returns, he spares Gaemon because of his young age; he eventually becomes a friend of Aegon’s nephew, Rhaenyra and Daemon’s son Aegon, who becomes King Aegon III.
Aemond Is Wrong About Being Next In Line To The Iron Throne
Aemond claims he would be next in line for the Iron Throne were something to happen to his brother, Aegon. This isn’t correct, though, as House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9 shows Aegon and Helaena already have children, one of whom is presumably their eldest son from the book, Jaehaerys. Based on the line of succession, then if Aegon is recognized as the rightful King, his heir would be his eldest son, not his brother. Aemond does, however, become Prince Regent and wears the crown of Aegon the Conqueror when Aegon is injured and confined to his bed for part of the Dance of the Dragons.
Larys Strong Is Lord Confessor (What That Means)
House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9 reveals Larys Strong is now serving as Lord Confessor, a position that didn’t exist during Game of Thrones. It’s a dark job, as Lord Confessor is essentially torturer-in-chief; it goes hand-in-hand with Larys’ position as master of whisperers, as he can torture people to get more information out of them.
Viserys’ Crown Is Important (What Happens To It)
King Viserys’ crown is placed upon his body, likely intended to be part of his funeral pyre – but crucially, audiences don’t see that taking place, meaning the crown hasn’t officially been destroyed. In Fire & Blood, the crown is smuggled out of King’s Landing and to Dragonstone by Ser Steffon Darklyn, a member of the Kingsguard. It’s used in Rhaenyra’s own coronation, which will probably hold true in House of the Dragon as well.
Mysaria Has Even More Varys Parallels
Mysaria, aka the White Worm, has long seemed like House of the Dragon’s version of Varys, with spies all over King’s Landing bringing her information, but episode 9 takes it further. In talking to Otto, she provides a similar turn of phrase to Varys’ “power resides where men believe it resides” line, saying: “There is no power but what the people allow you to take.” That she cares about the children of King’s Landing also reflects Varys’ own goals (to a degree), as he did want the best for the realm, as opposed to Littlefinger being a more self-serving agent of chaos. Larys even refers to “little spiders” being part of the web of spies, a nod to Varys’ own nickname of the Spider.
Alicent Hightower Rejects Cersei Lannister’s “Game Of Thrones” Line
Alicent Hightower has been compared to Cersei Lannister, but she proves herself the opposite with one line in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9. Speaking to Otto, Alicent tells him “none of this is a game.” It’s a stark contrast to Game of Thrones season 1, where Cersei Lannister coined the show’s title phrase, telling Ned Stark: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
Aegon The Conqueror’s Crown & Blackfyre Sword Are Lost By GOT’s Timeline
Aegon is named as King Aegon II Targaryen with the crown and sword of Aegon the Conqueror, intended as a sign of his legitimacy and to strengthen his claim for the Iron Throne. The crown is made of Valyrian steel, and in the book is set with rubies all the way around, though the show’s version only has one. Aegon is the first King to wear this crown since Maegor I; given he is known as Maegor the Cruel, and is among the worst, most despised kings in history, it’s easy to see why it was avoided after him. Aegon’s crown will later be worn by Aemond as Prince Regent, and King Daeron I, grandson of Rhaenyra and Daemon; after his death, the crown is lost in Dorne.
The fate of the sword Blackfyre follows a similar pattern, having been passed down through several Kings. It will eventually go to Daeron, then later to Ser Daemon Blackfyre who wields it during the Blackfyre Rebellions. It was lasted owned by Aegor Rivers, who went on to found sellsword group the Golden Company, and its whereabouts after that are unknown.
Does Larys Strong Burn Mysaria’s Building?
Larys Strong talks about the web of spies and little spiders to Alicent, and how there’s a need to take out the queen in order to destroy the hive. All the mixed animal metaphors aside, it seems as though Larys’ offer to Alicent was accepted. During a pass through King’s Landing, a building is shown engulfed in flames, and it looks a lot like the one where Mysaria was seen in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 8. Mysaria doesn’t die at this point in the book, so it can be assumed she’s ok (or it’s a major change), but it shows how far Larys will go, and that burning places down is second only to Alicent’s feet in his list of favorite things.
Rhaenys Pausing At Balerion’s Skull Has A Few Meanings
As she passed through the Red Keep on her escape, Rhaenys pauses when seeing the great skull of Balerion the Black Dread. It’s a pointed reminder of her own dragon, Meleys, setting up their escape at the end of the episode. But it’s also perhaps her thinking of her dead cousin, Viserys, who was the last person to ride Balerion, and as well as that is simply a tease of al the dragon chaos to come in the Dance of the Dragons.
Aegon Has A New Targaryen Sigil
During Aegon’s coronation, a few of the banners include a gold dragon on black, rather than the typical red of House Targaryen. This is Aegon’s personal sigil, with the gold in honor of his own golden dragon, Sunfyre, who said to be the most beautiful in the world. There’s a deeper purpose to this, though: having different banners will allow the factions to know who they’re attacking when the war begins. For her part, Rhaenyra – if it follows the book – will use the House Targaryen dragon quartered with the falcon of House Arryn and the seahorse of House Velaryon for her sigil.
The Action Is All In King’s Landing – Keeping A Game Of Thrones Tradition
House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9 alls takes place in King’s Landing and is missing key characters in Rhaenyra and Daemon, which is in keeping with Game of Thrones‘ episode 9s of various seasons. These typically became the biggest episode of any given season, and were often self-contained in a single location with other main characters sitting them out. For instance, Game of Thrones season 2, episode 9, “Blackwater” is similarly all set in King’s Landing, whereas season 4, episode 9, “Watchers on the Wall” is all at the Wall.
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