What Happened to Rhaenys in the Dragon Pit?

Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Episode 9 of House of the Dragon.


After the death of Viserys (Paddy Considine), episode 9 of house of the dragon, “The Green Council,” begins with cunning and betrayal. Misinterpreting the last words of Viserys, Alicent (Olivia Cook) tells her father Otto (Rhys Ifans) that Viserys wanted Aegon with his last breath (Tom Glynn Carney) to be king. Knowing that a single person hearing Visery’s last words can be questioned and not want Rhaenyra to know (Emma D’Arcy) about the death of her father, Otto begins to close the castle. He replaces members of the Goldcloaks who are still loyal to Daemon (MattSmith), Christopher (Fabian Frankel) kills Lord Beesbury (Bill Paterson), the only member of the Small Council loyal to Rhaenyra, servants who know the truth of Viserys’ death are imprisoned by Larys (Matthew Needham) and Princess Rhaenys (Eva Best) is locked in her room until Aegon is crowned.

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The episode drops us right into the realm of the Greens, who plot to install Aegon as king soon after Viserys’ death. It reveals some of the darkest aspects of the family who are all too eager to seize the opportunity of Visery’s death while his body rots. The episode ends with Aegon’s not-so-triumphal coronation, with Criston crowning the prince and declaring, “Leave the seven witnesses, Aegon Targaryen is the true heir to the Iron Throne.”

Of course, things never go smoothly in Westeros, and that includes crowning the wrong heir. After raising the ancestral Valyrian blade Blackfyre above his head and embracing the cheering crowd of little folk, the floor in the dragon pit explodes and Meleys, the Red Queen, charges forward from the dragon pit where the coronation takes place.

RELATED: That scene in the throne room in “House of the Dragon” made Visery’s choice, Alicent, very clear


What happens to Rhaenys during the episode?

Throughout the episode, intrigue and king-making have taken place, and Rhaenys is trapped in her room. When Alicent visits her, she quickly deduces that the king is dead. After Alicent tries unsuccessfully to get Rhaenys to side with the Greens, Rhaenys is told that Meleys’ dragon would give Rhaenyra too much power and could lead the country to war. However, when Ser Erryk (Elliott Titsor) sneaks into her room, he promises to get her out of town.

As we flee the castle, we see what becomes of defying the Greens when Lord Caswell (Paul Hickey), who had tried to leave King’s Landing to warn Rhaenyra of what was happening, is hanged in the plaza to send a message to all black supporters. It is very likely that Rhaenys would have met her end by staying in the Red Keep much longer. When Erryk tells her to find a ship and flee King’s Landing, she refuses to leave her dragon. The two are accidentally separated when the city guard rounds up the people and begins guiding them to the dragon pits where most people can witness the coronation.

What is happening in the Dragon Pits?

Rhaenys was escorted into the dragon pits and watched as Aegon was blessed by a septon and then crowned by Criston Cole before going under the building to find Meleys. During the coronation, Otto publicly claims that on his deathbed, Viserys claimed that Aegon should be his heir, and although people seem confused at first, they cheer for Aegon as he is crowned.

The celebrations don’t last long as suddenly Meleys erupts from the ground, killing the people above and causing a panic. The little folk run to the doors, but the city guard tries to close them. In the chaos, Rhaenys can be seen on Meleys in armor, staring at the greens. With Meley’s face a few inches from Aegon’s head, she could have killed Aegon and all his family, but instead, Meleys roars in their faces and Rhaenys takes off from the dragon pit and presumably toward Rhaenyra and Daemon.

In the conversation between Rhaenys and Alicent, it becomes clear that while Alicent holds a position of power in court, Rhaenys doesn’t see her as being in control. Instead, she sees Alicent as someone who will support the men around her when she might be a better fit for the throne. Asking Rhaenys to switch sides by appealing to her position as near-queen doesn’t work in the end, and in the final moments it’s clear the queen-who-never-was has made her decision. With Meleys at her side, Rhaenyra will have a strong alliance worthy of taking on the Greens.

Season 1 finale house of the dragon Premieres next Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.

https://collider.com/house-of-the-dragon-episode-9-ending-explained-rhaenys-dragon/ What Happened to Rhaenys in the Dragon Pit?

Sarah Ridley

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