And so, it begins. This week, on House of the Dragon 1×09 “The Green Council” we start to see the actions that will lead to the civil war known as The Dance of The Dragons. While this episode was pretty action-packed, and quick… I couldn’t help but be a tad disappointed by how we got here. Perhaps, I am a bit spoiled by the pace of Game of Thrones… it would have been nice to slow down a bit.
It has been mentioned previously that with the current pace, we didn’t really get to see the motivations behind any of the bitterness between characters. Sure, we saw the start of arguments and betrayals… but we never got to see anything deeper.
The rift between Rhaenyra and Alicent was so strong that Alicent almost shanked her in front of multiple council members! And after one speech from Viserys, that rift seemed like it was suddenly mended. Is that how relationships work? Is that how emotions — visceral emotions — work?
And then there’s the whole topic of how we got to this week’s episode. Did Alicent just hear the name Aegon, decide her dying, delusional husband — who had not taken any meds that day — was speaking about her son, and then just tell everyone he was to be king? That seems… messy at best.
This is the Game of Thrones world. More politicking and more emotions festering, getting vengeful, simmering over the course of numerous episodes (I’d say seasons as we got from Game of Thrones– but that seems like a tall and almost impossible order)… that’s what I was waiting for. To see alliances change, grow, come together, and fall apart, all while trying to claim the Iron Throne for a specific person.
Would have been nice.
Instead, we got a delusional whisper right before death, that was taken a little too seriously, and not questioned once. No one asked:
- “Hey Alicent, what exactly did Viserys say?”
- “Hey Alicent, did he actually say he meant Aegon your son? And not Aegon his grandson? Or the 400 other Aegons in our history?”
- “Hey Alicent, remember when Viserys walked through the whole Throne room, almost dying in the process because he wanted to remind everyone that he backed Rhaenyra as Queen… are you absolutely sure that you haven’t perhaps misunderstood him?”
- Hey Alicent, even if this is what Viserys said… are we sure we want Aegon to be King? He seems like a psychopath.
Are we also to believe that Viserys never once told Alicent about the Song of Ice and Fire? Never once, in his 20-year marriage to her, did he mention it?
It all just seems like a very thinly veiled plot device. One that Aegon seemed to point out — his only redeeming quality, it seems, if we can even call it that. (Why we had to see the Urchin fights this week, and hear about Aegon fathering children, and making them fight to the death this week is beyond me).
But it happened. And the episode ended with Rhaenys jumping on Dragonback and leaving to tell Rhaenyra and Daemon about the shenanigans happening at King’s Landing. But not before, conveniently NOT killing Alicent, or Otto. Or literally, anyone who started this mess, even when they could all have been executed for treason.
See. Thinly veiled.
Hopefully, next week is a bit better. Or even next season. We’ll find out soon!
House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.