House of the Dragon Episode 9: We're In the Great Game Now

In House of the Dragon, it’s the women driving the story.

For eight episodes, House of the Dragon has teased the Hightowers’ plot to usurp Rhaenyra Targaryen, and in episode nine, it finally happened. The king is dead, long live the king. Episode 9, “The Green Council,” was set entirely in King’s Landing, focusing on the political machinations of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel), Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell), and Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney). 

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The Greens have been largely cast in a dark light for the duration of the season, but Episode 9 revealed just how tainted this side of the royal family has become. Aemond aspires for the throne, Otto dreams of killing any who oppose their rule, Criston covets the Queen, and Aegon, the new king, loves watching kids kill each other. A megalomaniac in the making, Aegon is the Joffrey Lannister upgrade we didn’t know we needed. 

Photo by HBO GO.

At the heart of this web of corruption is Alicent, whose righteous worldview makes her a willing pawn in service of her brother, husband, son, and even the creep (Larys Strong) with a foot fetish. 

If anything, Episode 9 is a character study of Alicent, who arouses both scorn and pity from viewers. It’s a testament to the show’s writing and Cooke’s acting that House of the Dragon didn’t just deliver a one-dimensional rendition of Cersei. The same can’t be said of her male counterparts, most of whom are black-and-white, but it just goes to show that for House of the Dragon, it’s the women driving the story.

Photo by HBO GO.

Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) summed up Alicent’s character best with one cutting line: “You desire not to be free but to make a window in the wall of your prison.” 

House of the Dragon justified why Rhaenys deserves the title, the Queen That Never Was. Not only did she make a jaw-dropping entrance with her dragon Meleys during Aegon’s coronation, but she also gave us a sneak peek of just how epic this dragon war will become. 

watch now

Don’t miss House of the Dragon on HBO GO with new episodes weekly, every Monday at 9 a.m. Philippine time.   

Read more about House of the Dragon:

Here’s When Each Episode of House of the Dragon Will Be on HBO Go

All the Game of Thrones Spin-Offs In Development, Because House of the Dragon Is Not Enough

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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