The king is dead, and the realm will burn as the game of thrones is now ready to be played in Episode Nine of House of the Dragon, ‘The Green Council’.
While Alicent enlists Cole and Aemond to track down Aegon, Otto gathers the great houses of Westeros to affirm their allegiance.
King Viserys I Targaryen is dead, and in the early dawn of a sleeping Kings Landing the plots begin to take form as Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) armed with the misinterpreted final wish of the King sets in motion events that will lead to fire. Drawing her council, and the Hand of the King, her father, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), to her side, motions are carried out to crown her delinquent, depraved and deviant son, Prince Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) as King of the Seven Kingdom. And things get messy very quickly.
Director Clare Kilner returns to the realm of Westeros with Episode Nine of House of the Dragon, ‘The Green Council’ and she raises the agitation and political intrigue quickly in this latest episode. Where Episode Eight, ‘The Lord of the Tides’ was an epic and operatic piece of television, Episode Nine, ‘The Green Council’ is a tightly wound political thriller that finds the Hightowers moving quickly to secure their claim on the power of Westeros, silencing anyone who gets in their way. Kilner keeps the episode well-paced, and the narrative moves quickly as there’s a desperate search to find the delinquent, devious and deviant future ruler, Prince Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), and audiences learn of the even greater evils that lie at the heart of his depraved behaviour.
Much of the intensity of Episode Nine follows in relation to the new levels of dirty dealing that Olivia Cooke’s Queen Alicent must undertake and we see the bitter feeling that chews away at her. While she has done much to consolidate her power over the years, Alicent is not a monster by nature, and she finds the danger and manipulations that surround her hard to contend with. ‘The Green Council’ is a terrific episode to profile the Queen as a character and Kilner is able to get beneath her skin, and showcase the manipulations that have surrounded her. A large confrontation is drawn out between with her father, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), and Kilner doesn’t hold back in revealing the lengths and depravities that Alicent has had to endure to maintain her power as Queen.
Another key presence in this episode is actress Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. Dubbed the ‘Queen Who Never Was’, she is once again used as a pawn by ‘The Greens’ of House Targaryen, with much of the content of ‘The Green Council’ revealed from her perspective. Her tumultuous relationship with Queen Alicent is examined by Kilner, and her position as a possible threat leaves her in great danger, and in a daring escape, she makes a bold move.
Acts One and Two of ‘The Green Council’ are the set-ups for a massive moment in Act Three where Prince Aegon Targaryen is proclaimed King Aegon II and ascends the Iron Throne. It’s a moment of epic scale and triumph set within the mighty dragon pit. But it all comes crashing to an end in a shocking bit of destruction as Princess Rhaenys bursts through the dragon pit on the back of her dragon Meleys, inciting mass mayhem and panic and confronts the new King and his family. It’s a pure stand-off moment and is without a doubt the most exciting moment of the entire episode.
The war drums are beating, and the fires burn as Targaryen is set to turn against Targaryen as we enter the final chapter of Season One of House of the Dragon, and next week’s penultimate episode is set to cause a hell of a bang.
House of the Dragon is available to watch on SKY SOHO and NEON.
Image: SKY TV