Why Criston Cole Kills Again & What That Death Means For HOTD


WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9 and George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.Ser Criston Cole causes another gruesome death in House of the Dragon episode 9, and his reason seems both personal and professional. After Viserys’s death, most of the small council accepts a plot to appoint Aegon as the new king. Aghast, Master of Coin Lord Lyman Beesbury erupts into a tirade, calling everyone else out for treason. With Ser Criston visibly unhappy with Lord Beesbury’s outburst, he violently pushes him to “sit down” yet crushes his skull against his stone marker in the process.


As with Ser Criston’s killing of Joffrey Lonmouth in House of the Dragon episode 5, with his latest murder, in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, “The Green Council,” the knight is reacting to something Rhaenyra-related. This further gives credence that his motivation for deadly uncontrolled brutality is prompted by his previous bedmate and partly masks as steadfastness to the princess’s nemesis, Queen Alicent Hightower.

Related: WTF Is Up With Larys Strong & Alicent’s Feet?! What It Really Means

Is There Anything Criston Cole Won’t Do For Alicent?

As a knight of the Kingsguard, Ser Criston Cole values honor to a point of self-righteousness that he initially wanted to commit suicide for his shame at breaking his vows, as depicted at the end of House of the Dragon episode 5. However, because Queen Alicent presumably pardons him for the crime, he eventually pledges his sword to her and, by extension, to the greens. As Master of Arms, Ser Criston’s bias bleeds through his methodology of training, effectuating a fondness for Alicent’s sons Aegon and Aemond while being testy toward Rhaenyra’s boys, Jaecerys and Lucerys.

Ser Criston’s devotion toward Alicent in House of the Dragon is heavily supported by his hatred for Rhaenyra, yet this is not the sole reason for it. Rather, their commonality regarding their personal ideals of upholding duty, honor, and decency play an integral part in their alliance. In Alicent, Ser Criston finds a true authority that he believes is his path to redemption — which Rhaenyra, whom once he held in high regard, denied him. Given that Ser Criston is the greens’ staunchest supporter and key conspirator in George R. R. Martin’s book Fire and Blood, his loyalty proves to be gratifying as he rises in their ranks quickly. He becomes Lord Commander of the Kingsguard after Ser Harrold Westerling’s death and then Aegon II’s appointed Hand of the King after Otto Hightower.

What Lyman Beesbury’s Death Means For House Of The Dragon

Lord Lyman Beesbury’s death in House of the Dragons season 1, episode 9 might seem like a small act of violence by Ser Criston Cole, but it actually kicks off the Dance of the Dragons in its own secret way, proving that the Green Council will do anything to remain in power. This act of war defines the greens’ position of hostility, adamant in protecting the archaic traditions of Westeros despite the questionable character of the one they conspire to crown king. Being the first casualty to succumb to a difference in fidelities, Lord Beesbury stands his ground by tolerating none of his fellow councilmen’s dastardly subversion until his dying breath. Unfortunately for him, Rhaenyra won’t have the chance to reward him for his devotion, or even know of it throughout the House of the Dragon’s narrative of the Targaryen civil war.

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