WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9!Rhaenyra, Daemon, and their family aren’t featured in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, “The Green Council,” which is crucial to making their returns in episode 10 all the more devastating. “The Green Council” picks up only hours after House of the Dragon episode 8’s ending, with the greens desperately working to keep the death of King Viserys I Targaryen a secret. The episode takes place over a short period of time as the greens conspire to crown Aegon over Rhaenyra, search for Aegon throughout King’s Landing, attempt to win over important allies, and hurriedly organize Aegon’s public coronation in the Dragonpit. By the end of House of the Dragon episode 9, Aegon II Targaryen becomes King of Westeros and Rhaenyra is still uninformed of her father’s death.
While House of the Dragon episode 9 is the first episode without Rhaenyra and Daemon, it was important story-wise that “The Green Council” focus solely on the actions of its title conspirators. Additionally, House of the Dragon episode 9 takes place entirely in King’s Landing, with those present in the city being the only characters featured in the chaos. Daemon, Rhaenyra, and their children left for Dragonstone at the end of House of the Dragon episode 8, so the family is either still traveling or settling back into their home during the events of “The Green Council.” This is important because it demonstrates how Rhaenyra had absolutely no opportunity to stop the greens from stealing the Iron Throne, as the greens sent out no word and barred everyone from leaving the city. As such, it isn’t until after Rhaenys and Meleys escape by crashing through Aegon’s coronation in the Dragonpit that Rhaenyra and Daemon will be able to fight back.
Why Rhaenyra’s Family Was Really Missing From HOTD Episode 9
House of the Dragon episode 9 primarily focuses on the green party, with Rhaenyra, Daemon, and their family entirely unaware of King Viserys’ death and the subsequent usurpation of the throne. As such, it was vital to spend the entire episode on the chaos in King’s Landing as the greens rush to secure Aegon’s coronation, ensuring that no word reaches Dragonstone and that nobody loyal to Rhaenyra and the blacks (like Rhaenys) can sabotage Otto’s “long-laid plans.” House of the Dragon episode 9 is also largely set in real time, so cutting to Rhaenyra and Daemon on Dragonstone would distract from the time-sensitive momentum of the greens’ treasons being fulfilled.
Since Rhaenyra had no idea of these events, it wasn’t necessary to depict her unaware on Dragonstone, with it being far more devastating when Rhaenys arrives in House of the Dragon’s season 1 finale to inform her of the events that transpired so quickly. House of the Dragon episode 9 tells the greens’ side of the story, while House of the Dragon episode 10 will follow the blacks’ perspectives. Similar to how some blacks like Rhaenys, Harrold Westerling, Ser Erryk Cargyll, and Mysaria, a.k.a. the White Worm, still appeared in House of the Dragon episode 9 due to their presence in King’s Landing, there are certain to be a few greens who show up in episode 10 should they encounter the blacks elsewhere.
What Rhaenyra Being On Dragonstone Means After Aegon’s Coronation
As far as the realm is concerned, the ruler of Westeros resides in the Red Keep, which gives Aegon a substantial advantage over Rhaenyra heading into the Targaryen civil war. Rhaenyra won’t have overwhelming support from the smallfolk due to her coronation being a hasty ceremony on Dragonstone, with the new Queen also being further away from key allies than the greens in King’s Landing. Since House of the Dragon episode 9 depicted Hand of the King Otto Hightower sending messages to the greens’ allies, Rhaenyra and Daemon are disadvantaged in their pursuit to win unsure houses to their side. The most significant problem for Rhaenyra being on Dragonstone is that she isn’t the one sitting on the Iron Throne, meaning she has the more difficult role of being the one to take it back rather than defend it.
Next: Viserys Teases The Big Endings Of Rhaenyra & Daemon’s Targaryen Heirs In HOTD
New episodes of House of the Dragon release Sundays on HBO/HBO Max.