The king is gone and the house of the dragon is in chaos.
The penultimate episode of anything remotely Game of Thrones is never meant to be peaceful – after all, humanity’s venom, intrigue, betrayal and treachery usually erupts like an unstoppable dam. house of the dragon The final Episode 9 doesn’t have any particularly shocking and awe-inspiring moments, something to rival Ned Stark’s decapitation – which also paved the way for the original series – but it had everything else. Episode 9 was filled to the brim with suspense, panic and unpredictability, you never know who might have their heads chopped off and who might be burned to ashes. Everyone tries to play chess – some with trembling and nervous fingers without much thought – others more calmly, but with the wrong pieces.
The episode continues after the death of King Viserys (Paddy Considine). His former close friend and Hand of the King, Otto Hightower, wastes no time in expressing his grief; He has other matters to attend to, such as the plot to kill Viserys’ daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’arcy), the heir to the throne, and the imprisonment of all who do not swear allegiance. Now a schemer too, Ser Criston reveals his murderous side when he eliminates Lord Beesbury on the council, who is horrified at plans to usurp the throne and expresses his stuttering displeasure. Sigh, bad time and place to be a good person.
But Rhaenyra and Daemon are suspiciously absent from this episode, probably waiting for the really gory showdown in the finale. While Daemon’s cold ferocity is greatly missed, there’s still plenty happening here as Alicent Hightower must find her decrepit and depraved son Aegon and make him king, as well as try to save her former best friend from being slaughtered by her father. Aaegon is about as unlikely as such Game of Thrones characters get – he’s fathered numerous children across town and runs a hideous children’s fight ring.
Alicient anchors this episode beautifully when she finally says what we’ve all been thinking — she was a shameless pawn in Otto Hightower’s schemes, something she may regret. Her expressions are lined with exhaustion and weariness as she struggles to use her eloquence against a world of devious men, but it’s not of much use. The other woman exuding the same magnetic influence on the show is Queen Rhaenys — the queen that never was. She’s been toying with allegiances for a while, but she also wants to know not to mess with her – as she reveals in the show’s final moments. Rhaenys bursts through with a kite while Alicent and the whole squad tremble in their boots. There’s a moment I almost believed this could be the crucial moment in the show and she would burn them all to death – but sadly that doesn’t happen. She stares at the parking lot with cold fury, then turns away. It’s not going to be easy for you, is it?
House of the Dragon Episode 9 portrays the poisonous seeping tension in the realms, coupled with the morbidly remarkable OST – you know that whenever such ominous music plays, nothing good is going to happen. Filled with well-suited gloom and shadow (there’s literally no form of bright light), the episode was quite immersive and engaging, and it remains to be seen who lives or dies in the finale.