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This page is about the episode. For other uses, see: The Green Council (disambiguation)

"The Green Council"[5] is the ninth episode of the first season of House of the Dragon. It is the ninth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 16, 2022 on HBO and HBO Max. It was written by Sara Hess and directed by Clare Kilner.

Premise[]

While Alicent enlists Cole and Aemond to track down Aegon, Otto gathers the great houses of Westeros to affirm their allegiance.[5]

Synopsis[]

The coup begins[]

In the dead of night, a servant boy discovers King Viserys has died in his sleep and immediately informs Queen Alicent Hightower's lady in waiting, Talya, who wakes and alerts her mistress to her husband's passing. A tearful Alicent hastily dresses and heads to her father's chambers in the Tower of the Hand, informing him of the king's death and her husband's seeming choice on his deathbed to rename his heir as her eldest son Aegon. Unbeknowst to them, Talya lights a candelabra in the window of Viserys's chamber as a signal to someone in King's Landing.

The Small Council is hastily convened; Ser Tyland Lannister asks what matter could not have waited until dawn, sarcastically asking if Dorne was invaded, only to be silenced when Otto informs him the King is dead. Otto sombrely notes that they grieve for their fallen sovereign, dubbing the late king "Viserys the Peaceful", before noting that Viserys has given them a final gift in naming Aegon as his heir. Tyland notes that they can now proceed with his blessing on their long laid plans, to which Otto agrees. As he begins suggesting they replace two captains in the City Watch known to be loyal to Daemon, an appalled Alicent demands to know why she was not informed members of the council were plotting to install her son as heir without her knowledge, to which Lord Jasper Wylde replies they did not want to sully her with their schemes. Lord Commander Harrold Westerling and Lord Lyman Beesbury are also angered by this subterfuge, with the latter furiously raging at the other council members for plotting to replace Viserys's chosen heir, his eldest daughter Rhaenyra, with an imposter. Tyland protests that Aegon, the king's first born son, is hardly an imposter; when Lyman responds that hundreds of lords and landed knights swore fealty to Rhaenyra as heir, Tyland retorts that was twenty years ago, with most of those having since died. Jasper Wylde also asserts that whether they were plotting or not is now irrelevant since the king changed his mind, to which a furious Lyman snaps that, having known Viserys longer than any of the other incumbents on the Small Council, he refuses to believe Viserys, a tireless advocate of his daughter's right to the Iron Throne for decades, would suddenly change his mind on his deathbed, noting as well the suspiciousness in that the only witness to this change of heart is the new heir's mother, angrily accusing them all of treason. Grand Maester Orwyle tries to calm matters, but Lyman refuses to be silenced, going so far as to insinuate one or more members of the Small Council committed regicide, given Viserys was well enough the previous day. Before he can say more, Criston Cole angrily seizes Lyman and forces him back into his seat; unfortunately, the force Cole uses slams the frail Lyman's head into the table, fatally cracking his skull to the horror of all. A furious Harrold draws his sword and orders Cole to forfeit his white cloak, only for Cole to draw his own blade, justifying his actions as retribution for Beesbury slandering the queen with accusations of regicide. Before the two Kingsguard can come to blows, Alicent and Otto order them to stand down. Orwyle requests leave to remove Lyman's body from the room, but Otto refuses, insisting the council chamber doors will remain shut until their business is concluded.

As Otto and Tyland begin discussing dividing the gold within the royal treasury, Alicent asks of Rhaenyra. Otto replies that they cannot allow the former heir to rally support for her claim. When an incredulous Alicent infers Otto intends to imprison Rhaenyra and her family, Otto asserts they will be given the chance to publicly swear obeisance to the new king. Alicent scoffs that neither Rhaenyra nor Daemon will ever do so, only to realize that Otto and his fellow conspirators mean to kill Rhaenyra and her family. Orwyle insists leaving a rival claimant alive will only invite bloodshed, while Otto calls it a necessary sacrifice to ensure Aegon's succession, insisting Viserys would not have wanted any unsavory power squabbles. A furious Alicent shouts that Viserys would never have condoned the murder of his beloved daughter, and threatens Jasper with exile to the Wall when he speaks up in favor of the plan, though Alicent cannot offer an alternative when Tyland asks for one. Otto orders Harrold to take his knights to Dragonstone to assassinate Rhaenyra and her family. The disgusted Harrold instead resigns from the Kingsguard in protest and storms out.

The hunt for Aegon[]

By the time the Small council session concludes, it is morning. Otto and Alicent head to Aegon's chambers only to be told by his sister-wife Helaena that he's not present. Realizing Aegon has left the Red Keep, Otto dispatches the brothers Ser Erryk and Arryk Cargyll to find Aegon and bring him back. Alicent asks Criston to do the same, with Aemond volunteering himself to accompany Cole, given his knowledge of Aegon's likely haunts. The latter pair head to the Street of Silk to a brothel Aegon used to frequent, only to be told by the madam Aegon hasn't patronized the establishment in years. The Cargylls head to Flea Bottom, where Erryk has them search a fighting pit where children (including some of Aegon's own bastards) are forced to fight for the cruel amusement of the smallfolk, Erryk calling Aegon's attendance at such events (which he had to accompany Aegon to as his sworn shield) proof the prince isn't fit to be king. An agent of Mysaria approaches the Cargylls, informing them that Mysaria is holding Aegon prisoner and will reveal his location in exchange for an audience with Otto.

In the Red Keep, Otto has the nobles present at court herded into the throne room and informs them of Viserys's purported change of his successor, insisting they bend the knee and swear allegiance to Aegon. Lord Merryweather and Lady Fell refuse to break their oaths to Rhaenyra and are imprisoned. Lord Allun Caswell feigns allegiance and then tries to flee the Red Keep to get word to Rhaenyra, only to be intercepted and executed by Larys Strong's men on Otto's orders. Otto afterwards heads into the city to meet with Mysaria, who demands that Otto put shut down the child fighting rings of Flea Bottom, noting that the gold cloaks take bribes to allow the barbaric sport to continue. When Otto agrees, Mysaria reveals that Aegon is hiding in the Grand Sept.

After watching the Silent Sisters prepare Viserys' body for burial, Alicent goes to speak with Princess Rhaenys, locked in her quarters. Rhaenys's fury at her house arrest becomes sadness when she realises her cousin is dead, then scorn when she realises the Greens are usurping the succession, scoffing at Alicent's insistence Viserys wanted Aegon to be his heir. Alicent beseeches Rhaenys to support the new succession, pointing out the losses and insults she has suffered thanks to House Velaryon's allegiance to Rhaenyra (her daughter dead far from home in Pentos, her son cuckolded and the illegitimate children of his wife's affair passed off as his rightful heirs, her husband abandoning her to wage war in the Stepstones) and insisting that Rhaenys should have been elected Queen by the Great Council at Harrenhal, offering to grant her rule of Driftmark to pass to her granddaughters if she helps maintain the peace. Rhaenys rebuffs Alicent's overtures, coldly replying that for all her flattery, Alicent is just helping her father and son perpetuate the system that denied Rhaenys the Iron Throne in the first place.

Arryk and Erryk find Aegon in the Grand Sept, only to be ambushed by Aemond and Criston outside. Erryk, refusing to help put Aegon on the throne, flees the scene, while Criston overpowers Arryk in a duel. Despite Aegon's insistence he doesn't want to be King, he is dragged back to the Red Keep. Alicent confronts Otto and asserts that Criston Cole will be raised to Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Aegon will be crowned at dawn the following day in the Dragonpit, and that they will send generous peace terms to Rhaenyra on Dragonstone, ignoring Otto's warning that Rhaenyra, Daemon and her supporters will not submit, and his speculation Alicent doing so is more about wanting to spare the life of her childhood friend than acknowledging Viserys' love for his daughter. Afterwards, Alicent meets with Larys who, in exchange for being allowed to masturbate to her feet, informs her that Talya is one of several spies within the Red Keep who feed information from within the castle to Mysaria. Alicent instructs him to eliminate the spy network, and his agents burn down Mysaria's manse in the dead of night. Before dawn, Rhaenys is freed from her chambers by Erryk Cargyll, who insists he can't let the Greens' treachery go unchallenged and escorts her from the castle.

Coronation[]

Out in the streets of King's Landing, Rhaenys insists that she needs to reach the Dragonpit to free Meleys (having been previously told by Alicent her imprisonment was partly to deny Rhaenyra another dragon that could be used to attack the Greens), but Erryk insists it will be impossible to reach, and that they must make for the docks and get aboard a ship before the Greens discover their escape. Unfortunately, the pair get separated by a surging crowd the gold cloaks are herding to bear witness to Aegon's coronation. Initially panicked at being parted from her only ally, Rhaenys smiles when she realizes the crowd are being directed towards the Dragonpit.

Alicent and Aegon ride in an enclosed wheelhouse; the former chides her son for his seeming ingratitude at the efforts being made on his behalf to crown him King, while Aegon makes it plain he doesn't believe a word of Alicent's claims Viserys named him heir on his deathbed, given Viserys had twenty years to change the succession from Rhaenyra to Aegon and never did, concluding that his father never truly loved him. Alicent presents Aegon with his father's dagger as proof otherwise. As she tries to convince Aegon to go against Otto's wishes to assassinate Rhaenyra and her family and spare his half-sister's life, Aegon interrupts to ask his mother if she actually loves him. Alicent despairingly calls him an imbecile as if the answer were obvious.

At the Dragonpit, while Otto announces Viserys's death to the population of King's Landing, Rhaenys uses the distraction to slip into the subterranean caverns where the Dragonpit's draconic occupants are housed. The royal family watches on a hastily erected dais as Aegon sullenly marches through a procession of Targaryen guardsmen and gold cloaks to be ceremonially anointed by Septon Eustace as King. Criston Cole completes the coronation by placing Aegon the Conqueror's crown on Aegon's head, whereupon Eustace proclaims him "Aegon, Second of His Name." The crowd begins to cheer and applaud the newly crowned King, to the point that the initially reluctant Aegon finally begins to warm to his new position, drawing Blackfyre and thrusting it into the air to bask in the crowd's adulation, all while Otto and Alicent smile in satisfaction at the seemingly successful completion of their plans.

The beast beneath the boards[]

Without warning, the floor of the Dragonpit erupts, and the cheering of the crowd turns to screams of panic as a colossal dragon claws its way out from the caverns below the main hall, flattening panicking spectators with its tail and talons. Terrified smallfolk try to escape, either climbing to the Dragonpit's upper floors, or streaming through the gates as the gold cloaks desperately try to close them, though some are crushed by fallen debris sent flying by the rampaging dragon or swept into the hole created by its escape. As the Greens on the dais watch in incredulous horror, the dragon emerges from the pall of ash and debris thrown up by its escape, revealing itself to be Meleys, with Rhaenys sat astride her back, clad in an ornate suit of dragonrider armor. A panicking Otto bellows at the gold cloaks to open the Dragonpit's doors to allow escape, but his commands go unheard over the chaos as Rhaenys directs Meleys towards the dais. With the fury of the Red Queen and the Queen Who Never Was bearing down on them, Alicent orders Criston to get Helaena to safety before placing herself between Aegon and the snarling dragon. Despite having the entire Green faction at her mercy, whether out of respect for Alicent's love for her son or refusal to make herself a kinslayer, Rhaenys withholds giving Meleys the command to kill.

As the Red Queen roars at them, Rhaenys gives Alicent a cold look, signaling her rejection of Alicent's request for her support, before directing Meleys towards the Dragonpit's closing doors, the dragon furling her wings about her and gliding through the doors with inches to spare, before flying off. Alicent and Aegon warily watch Rhaenys go, aware she is likely heading straight to Dragonstone to inform Rhaenyra of what has happened, as well as fearing how Rhaenyra will react when she learns of her father's death and the usurpation of her throne.

Appearances[]

Main page: The Green Council/Appearances

Firsts[]

Deaths[]

Cast[]

Starring[]

Co-starring[]

Notes[]

Behind the scenes[]

  • The episode title refers to the fact that the Small Council (except Lyman Beesbury) has been manned entirely by the Greens.
  • This is the first episode in which Daemon Targaryen and Rhaenyra Targaryen do not appear.
  • In contrast to the former episodes, this episode begins at the point the previous episode ended, without jumping years ahead.
  • This episode takes place entirely at King's Landing.
  • The episode follows the tradition of Game of Thrones to include a pivotal event (typically a battle) in the ninth episode of each season.
  • Lord Boremund Baratheon dies at some point between 116 and 132 AC, having been succeeded by his son Borros Baratheon as the Lord of Storm's End (acknowledged by Ser Tyland Lannister at the Small Council).
  • Aemond states that he is next in line after Aegon. Even if Aemond's older sister Helaena and Aegon's daughter Jaehaera are excluded from the line of succession, Aegon still has a son who would seemingly come before Aemond.
  • Lyman Beesbury states that he is 76 years old. In Fire & Blood, he is 80. 76 was the age of Bill Paterson, the actor who portrays him, at the time of filming.[6]
  • The discussion at the council meeting about Rhaenyra is similar to the discussion of Robert Baratheon's Small Council whether to assassinate Daenerys Targaryen ("The Wolf and the Lion"; A Game of Thrones, Eddard VIII); similarly to Eddard Stark, Alicent objects to kill Rhaenyra, and Harrold Westerling disdainfully resigns from his office. In the book, Barristan Selmy was also against, but unlike Ser Harrold, he did not resign.
  • It is unknown what stopped Rhaenys from destroying the Greens, thus preventing the subsequent war. Maybe she did not want to become a kinslayer by killing Viserys's offsprings; or, since Alicent had not harmed her though she could, Rhaenys chose to spare her life; or did not want to get herself involved in the conflict between the Greens and the blacks; or thought her demonstration of power was enough to discourage the Greens (as things turn to be, it was not). In the book, Rhaenys was not in King's Landing at that point, and no one interrupted Aegon's coronation.
    • Rhaenys does provide an explanation for her refusal to kill the Greens in the next episode after Daemon blames her for letting them live, stating that while she knew that a war would erupt, she considered that she was not the one who should start it.
  • The seedy place which Aemond and Ser Criston visit is known as "rat pit". Such places that can be found in the slum districts, like Flea Bottom, of major cities in Westeros. By contrast, in Slaver's Bay such establishments operate openly and officially (A Storm of Swords, Daenerys II).
  • As happened in former episodes ("The Princess and the Queen", "Driftmark"), Helaena keeps revealing her prophetic abilities: her words "there is a beast beneath the boards" foreshadow the final scene.
  • Aegon wears the black crown Aegon the Conqueror and Maegor the Cruel wore, not the golden crown his father and great-grandfather wore; moreover, Aegon wields Blackfyre, which was also used by Aegon I and Maegor the Cruel. These may foreshadow that Aegon's reign will be plagued with battles, not peaceful as was during the reign periods of Jaehaerys and Viserys.
  • In "The Heirs of the Dragon", Viserys told Aemma about a dream he had: "Our son was born wearing Aegon's iron crown. And I heard the sound of thundering hooves, splintering shields, and ringing swords, and I placed our son upon the Iron Throne... as the bells of the Grand Sept tolled and all the dragons roared as one." The dream could be a foreshadowing of Aegon's coronation.
  • Rhaenys's act of killing civilians slightly resembles what Daenerys Targaryen will do many years later, though the latter was in much bigger scale; in both cases, there were no early warning signs that they were capable of committing such inhumane deeds (there were hints that Daenerys was gradually succumbing to the Targaryen madness, but their significance became clear only after the massacre she committed).

In the books[]

Main page: Differences in adaptation/House of the Dragon: Season 1#"The Green Council"

This episode is adapted from the chapter "The Dying of the Dragons — The Blacks and the Greens" from Fire & Blood. It is also influenced by the following chapter of A Game of Thrones:

Gallery[]

Videos[]

Images[]

Stills[]

Screenshots[]

References[]

  1. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON (HBO). The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 9: "The Green Council" (2022).
  3. 3.0 3.1 House of the Dragon. HBO. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 House of the Dragon: Season 1. HBO. Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Green Council. HBO. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Paterson_(actor)

Notes[]

  1. "The Green Council" picks up only hours after the events of "The Lord of the Tides," which takes place in 132 AC.

External links[]


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