House of the Dragon Episode Nine, The Green Council Review: Where’s Aegon?

The penultimate episode for House of the Dragon‘s first season, “The Green Council” is an episode full of political intrigue and infighting, as Alicent and Otto fight for control of Aegon during their coup to take the Iron Throne.
Directed by Clare Kilner, the episode begins in the aftermath of Viserys’ death, as a servant quickly relays the news of to Alicent, who is quite distraught.
I think this portrayal of Alicent is great and Olivia Cooke completley sells it.
In the book, I never got the sense that Alicent loved Viserys, since she seemed to fall into the stereotypical evil step-mother character archetype.
The show, however, clearly shows that Alicent did love Viserys, just not in a romantic way.
It makes her much more sympathetic than in the book, along with her reasoning for putting Aegon on the Throne, this being that she misunderstood what Viserys said before he died.
With the possible exception of Otto, clearly no one in the Small Council buys Alicent’s claim that Viserys’ dying wish was for Aegon to be king.
This does not the stop the majority of them from usurping Rhanerya’s throne, as it is revealed that Otto had been spearheading a plan to do this for years.
Alicent is outraged by this but she is not the only one, as the Master of Coin, Lyman Beesbury, is also greatly angered, calling this coup out for the treason that it is.
He is understandably suspicious about the circumstances of Viserys’ death.
Although, his comment that “the king was well last night, by all accounts” is pretty hilarious when you consider that Viserys looked like he was on death’s door constantly.
In any case, Criston does not take kindly to Beesbury suggesting that Alicent poisoned Viserys and murders him by slamming his head into the ball used by Small Council members.
I guess this is why we never saw these things in Game of Thrones.
The members of the Small Council were probably worried about having their heads bashed in with them.
All joking aside, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Harrold Westerling, attempts to take Criston into custody but is talked down.
So this is the second time Criston has murdered an innocent man in front of numerous witnesses and got away with the crime.
It does make sense for him to get away with it this time, though, since Beesbury probably would have been executed for supporting Rhanerya later.
With Beesbury dead, the conversation among the Green Council turns darker, as Alicent realizes Otto means to have Rhanerya, Daemon and their children put to death.
She is angered by this idea and so is Ser Harrold, who quits as soon as Otto orders him to go and kill Rhanerya on Dragonstone.
Now realizing they will have to fight to influence Aegon, Alicent and Otto race to his rooms, only to find Helaena with the children.
“It is out fate, I think,” Helaena tells a servant, before Otto and Alicent walk in. “To crave always what is given to another. If one posesses a thing, the other will take it away.”
This is a perfect reflection on the Green coup.
People really should start listening to Helaena.
Unfortunately, Alicent and Otto just want to know where Aegon is, and Otto departs when he learns he is not there.
For the second time, Helaena warns that “there is a beast beneath the boards” but Alicent dimisses this, although in a caring way.
With Aegon missing, the game to find and control him begins, with Otto sending the Kingsguard twin brothers, Ser Erryk and Arryk Cargyll, and Alicent sending Aemond and Criston.
Erryk and Arryk have the advantage, however, as Arryk is more aware of the places Aegon goes.
This includes a child fighting ring, where some of Aegon’s own bastards fight to the death for the amusement of crowds.
So, Aegon is definitley the worst choice to be king.
Not only is he a rapist but he also allows his children to be sold into fighting rings.
While searching for Aegon at the child fighting ring, they are approached by an associate of Mysaria, who has kidnapped Aegon after Alicent’s handmaiden Talia informed her of the king’s death.
Mysaria now wants a meeting with Otto, who is currently dealing with those who swore fealty to Rhanerya, demanding they now renounce these oaths and swear fealty to Aegon instead.
Many do but some are proud enough to keep their honour and are executed.
One of these is Lord Caswell, who acts as though he has switched sides, only to attempt an escape to warn Rhanerya.
He is sadly caught thanks to Larys spies and executed.
Meanwhile, Criston and Aemond are performing their own searches at brothels Aegon frequented, with Aemond venting to Criston about Aegon and the crown going to him.
When Aemond mentions the way Aegon spoke of women, Criston replies that every woman in an image of the Mother and must be spoken of with reverance.
Well, that’s pretty hypocritical coming from the man who called Rhanerya the C word in Episode Six.
Along with Criston’s hypocrisy, we also get a good look at Aemond’s envy, as he wishes to be king and, honestly, would actually be better suited for it than Aegon.
Yet, as the second son, he is doomed for the support role.
Aemond really has a lot of parallels with Daemon.
Even their names are almost identical.
Despite their lack of success in finding Aegon, Criston and Aemond catch a lucky break when they spot Otto secretly meeting with Mysaria.
Maybe it was the Hand of the King badge he stupidly wore under his hood which gave him away?
As for Mysaria, yep, her accent is still terrible.
I like Mysaria as a character, as her motivation to stop the child fighting rings in King’s Landing is noble, yet it is hard to get into her story when the actress’ accent is so bad it distracts me.
I’m still really hoping they remove this accent in Season Two.
While all this is happening, Alicent meets with Rhaenys, who has been locked up in the Red Keep until now.
Informing her of Viserys’ death, Alicent attempts to convince Rhaenys to side with the Greens, admitting that Rhaenys should have been queen but stating that they can still have power through guiding the men above them.
Rhaenys grows newfound respect for Alicent’s conviction, yet correctly states that, “You desire not to be free but to make a window in the wall of your prison. Have you never imagined yourself on the Iron Throne?”
This was an excellent moment for Rhaenys and Eve Best continues to do great work as the character.
Meanwhile, thanks to Otto’s deal with Mysaria to stop the child fighting rings, Erryk and Arryk are able to locate Aegon, only to be ambushed by Aemond and Criston, who followed them.
A fight ensues, during which Criston and Aemond take Aegon captive, as Erryk leaves, disgusted by Aegon, as he now knows he is not fit to be king.
Aegon begs Aemond to let him go, stating that he will find a ship and never return.
Aemond seems to consider this but, before he can do anything, Criston leads Aegon to Alicent.
With Aegon now firmly in Alicent’s clutches, she meets with Otto where he tries to worm his way into Alicent’s good graces.
Alicent is having none of it, however, leaving when Otto says she looks so much like her mother.
Despite his manipulations, I could not help but think that Otto was oddly proud of Alicent in this moment.
Not everything is going well for Alicent, however, as it is revealed that she trades sexual favors to Larys in exchange for information, specifically by presenting her feet to him.
I had heard the leaks for this scene and I was quite concerned about it but, after having seen it, I think it was handled as well as it could have been.
It certainly makes the moment Alicent takes her shoes off when talking with Larys in Episode Six creepier.
The guy with a club foot having a foot fetish is a bit on the nose, though.
Larys informs Alicent of Mysaria’s spy ring, leading to her ordering an attack on Mysaria, pretty much destroying her deal with Otto, which is not exactly a good thing, since Mysaria pointed out to him just how much power the small folk actually have.
Another blow to the Greens is Erryk Cargyll, as he frees Rhaenys, defecting to the Blacks.
He intends to lead her out of the city, leaving Rhaenys’ dragon Meleys behind, only for Rhaenys to be swept up in a crowd that is luckily heading for the Dragon Pit.
It is here that Aegon is crowned as king by Criston and it is also here that I have to mention one of my criticisms, this being Criston’s role in crowning Aegon being reduced.
Sure, he does place the crown on his head but in the book he played a much more important role, since he was actually the one to convince Aegon to take the throne by claiming that Rhanerya would kill him and his entire family if he did not.
This earned him the title of King Maker.
In the show, however, it is Alicent who convinces Aegon and Criston merely crowns him.
I hope they do not downplay any of Criston’s other actions in future seasons.
As for Aegon, we see that he has overcome his reluctance to become king, due to the love he recieves from the crowd in the Dragon Pit.
As messed up as Aegon is, he did want love and affection from his parents and now he is getting that affection from the people of Kings’ Landing.
Or rather, what is left of the people of King’s Landing because Rhaenys chooses this moment to bash through the ground with Meleys killing an untold number of small folk, and fulfilling Helaena’s “beast beneath the boards” prophecy.
She looks ready to kill the Greens until Alicent jumps in the way.
Having gained a newfound respect for Alicent and also sympathising with her as a mother, Rhaenys spares the Greens’ lives and departs in epic fashion to warn Rhanerya of her crown being usurped, bringing an end to the episode.
This moment is entirely show original and has recieved mixed reactions, since some have said it makes no sense for Rhaneys to kill many civilians but then spare Alicent and the rest of the Greens immediately afterwards.
However, I think it works when you take into consideration that the nobles do not really care about the small folk in general.
I mean, there is a literal child fighting ring going on in Kings’ Landing and no noble did anything about that.
So, I think this change does work.
Overall, “The Green Council” is another solid episode of House of the Dragon. 
It is not one of my favourites but it does build nicely into the finale, which I am very excited to see, as a book reader.

Book Spoilers:
I am probably more excited for Episode Ten, “The Black Queen”, than I have been for any previous House of the Dragon episode.
This is because we will get the first dance between the dragons in “The Black Queen”, if you can even call what happens a “dance.”
It’s more of a slaughter, actually, with Lucerys’ Arrax standing no chance against Aemond’s Vhagar.
It will be brutal and, along with the stillbirth of Visenya, will be a tragic way to end the season, with Season Two almost definitley not arriving until 2024.
It will be a long wait but I think it will certainly be worth it to see many of the epic and horrifying events that take place during the Dance of the Dragons.
One of these horrifying moments is the Blood and Cheese incident, where Daemon and Mysaria send hitmen to murder Aegon’s son in retaliation for Lucerys’ death.
Mysaria’s involvement in this act makes a lot of sense after Episode Nine because of how her chance to end the child fighting rings was destroyed by the Greens in this episode.
We also have to take Helaena’s “beast beneath the boards” prophecy into account.
Yes, she was most likely talking about Rhaenys and Meleys but her prophecy could also have a double meaning by referring to Blood and Cheese.
We will have to wait for Season Two to know for sure.
Until then, we can enjoy the final episode of House of the Dragon‘s first season, which airs today.

House of the Dragon Episode Five, We Light the Way Review: The Green Wedding.

After directing the fantastic episode “King of the Narrow Sea”, Clare Kilner returns to direct Episode Five of House of the Dragon, “We Light the Way.”
The episode begins by answering one of the questions I have had ever since reading Fire and Blood, which is what caused the death of Daemon’s wife, Rhea Royce?
In the book, George R.R Martin writes that she died after falling from her horse, however, this always seemed quite a bit convenient for Daemon, so I wondered if he had a hand in it.
“We Light the Way” confirms Daemon’s involvement, depicting him arriving at the Vale in secret, scaring Rhea’s horse, causign her to fall and become paralyzed.
Daemon then bashes her head in with a rock, off screen.
What makes this murder disturbing is how, much like in the battle with the Crab Feeder in Episode Three, Daemon does not speak a single word.
This adds a level of unpreditability to his actions.
Whenever Daemon is silent is when you need to be truly afraid of him.
As for how he scared the horse to throw Rhea off, one interesting theory I have heard is that the horse was scared of Daemon because it could smell Caraxes on him.
We know riders do smell of their dragons after riding, as Rhanerya is told a few times in Episode One.
Another interesting detail is Rhea Royce’s last words, as she mocks Daemon for not being able to “finish.”
In the moment, it seems she is talking about him holding off on murdering her but the subtext appears to imply that she is actually referencing Daemon’s impotence.
In Episode Four, he could not have sex with Rhanerya because he was put off when she began to take control.
Could this be part of the reason he hated Rhea so much?
As for Daemon potentially holding off on killing Rhea, it does seem he is leaving her to die, before Rhea insults him, after which he decides to kill her with the rock.
We do not know if this was his train of thought, however, due to his silence.
I like how the show is portraying the ambiguity of Daemon’s thoughts so far.
It was also sad to see Rhea go as the actress, Rachel Redford, did a good job in her scene.
After the murder, the scene quite literally cuts, as it transitions from Daemon about to kill Rhea to a chef cutting off a fish’s head, implying Rhea’s death.
The scene is now on a ship, where Viserys, Rhanerya and their entourage, are travelling to Driftmark to offer Corlys a marriage between his son Laenor and Rhanerya.
With Otto’s dismissal as Hand of the King, the job has been passed on to Lyonel Strong, a good choice, considering he is the only one in the King’s Council who does not give advice for personal gain.
As for Otto, we get a scene of his departure, with Alicent attempting to apologise for him being removed as Hand, which she caused by telling Rhanerya of his spying.
She says she believes Rhanerya’s claim that nothing happened with Daemon, to which Otto berates her for, telling his daughter that she is no fool but she refuses to see the truth.
He warns her that to become queen Rhanerya will have to kill Alicent’s children, even though she has shown no sign of ever thinking this.
Yet, despite all the manipulation he has put her through, Otto does seem to genuinely love his daughter but does not know how to express it.
His final words to Alicent do leave an impact, however, as we will see later.
For now, Alicent is also influenced by Lyonel’s son Larys, who sneakily informs her of the tea Rhanerya was sent by Viserys to prevent a pregnancy, increasing her doubts.
Meanwhile, Viserys and his entourage finally reach Driftmark but are made to walk to see Corlys, a sign of disrespect from the Sea Snake.
Corlys knows where to pull his punches, though, as he bends the knee when Viserys stands before him.
Rhaneys then arrives and she and her husband announce the death of Rhea, talking about it as if it were an accident, yet it is clear that none of them believe it.
Viserys proposes the marriage between Rhanerya and Laenor, and Corly’s continues to push boundaries, seeking power for his family, wondering if the children they have will bear the name Velaryon.
Viserys concedes this but is adamant that the child who takes the throne after Rhanerya shall be named Targaryen, to which Corlys accepts, agreeing to the marriage pact.
As this arrangement is taking place, Rhanerya and Laenor walk on the beach and come to their own arrangement.
Rhanerya is aware of Laenor’s sexuality so subtly sugests that they marry but then take what lovers they wish, to which Laenor also agrees.
Corlys is in a state of denial about this, however, believing that Laenor will grow out of his preference for men, showing the time that Westeros is stuck in (although that is not saying much since this attitude can be seen today, unfortunately).
On a lighter note, it is funny to see Corlys be so assertive in his negotiation with Viserys and then become more uncertain around Rhaenys, showing his vulnerabilities to her, as he wonders if he pushed Viserys too far.
They truly are one of the happier couples in Westeros.
This happy mood turns darker, however, as Rhaenys points out that Rhanerya’s succession will be challenged, due to her gender, putting Laenor’s life and the lives of any children he has with Rhanerya at risk.
Corlys vows to protect them, leadsingto him saying that Rhaenys should have been queen but Rhaenys tells him she has got over the loss and so should he.
This was a great scene between the couple, with a few interesting details, like the Crab Feeder’s mask on display.
It is followed up by a scene with another couple, as we meet Laenor’s lover ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), the Knight of Kisses
Their relationship is quite healthy, like Corlys and Rhaenys’, as Joffrey is accepting of Laenor’s position and wishes to protect him when he becomes Rhanerya’s king consort.
This is paralleled by the less than healthy relationship between Rhanerya and Criston.
The Kingsguard confronts Rhanerya on their return to Kings’ Landing about their affair, wanting to run away and start a new life with her.
Rhanerya obviously refuses, given the responsibility Viserys has placed on her shoulders with the knowledge about the White Walkers.
She even seems to be about to tell Criston about this, before he interrupts her.
What Criston says shows the unhealthy state of their relationship, since Criston’s main reason for asking Rhanerya to run away with him was so he could regain his own honour after breaking his vow of chastity with her, as the white cloak he wears is the only thing to his name.
Criston’s inner turmoil is put on further display when Alicent calls for him to talk after reaching King’s Landing.
So great is it that he misinterprets Alicent’s questions about Daemon and Rhanerya to be about himself and Rhanerya and admits to their affair.
He even begs her to have him merely put to death, rather than gelded and tortured.
Emily Carey’s face during this plea shows a wide range of emotions, chief among them a feeling of betrayal against Rhanerya, as her worst fears are confirmed.
She is probably thinking of Otto’s warning in this moment and deciding where her loyalties lie.
As this talk is happening, Viserys is having his own with Lyonel after being treated by the Maesters.
Viserys reflects over his life and wonders what the people will say of him after he is gone, since he was never a conqueror.
Lyonel views this as a positive thing, since he continued Jaehaerys’ peace,
As a book reader, it is interesting to see this scene and know how Viserys is remembered, not only by the people of Westeros but by book readers.
I will leave that for the spoiler section, though.
Speaking of Viserys, the guy looks pretty terrible in this scene and I have seen numerous reactors believe that he died here, until he is shown later.
The make-up department for this show is doing an excellent job at detailing the progression of Viserys’ mysterious illness, which Paddy Considine has said is actually a form of Leprosy.
The shot fades away from Viserys’ sickened face to Kings’ Landing on the day of the wedding celebrations.
Laenor and Rhaenys both arrive on their dragons, Sea Smoke and Meleys, the Red Queen.
After this, we see the procession of noble guests gretting Viserys and Rhanerya, including Jason Lannister being a prideful jerk again, and Rhea’s cousin Gerold (Owen Oakeshott), who accepts condolences for Rhea’s death.
The Velaryons then arrive, quickly followed by Daemon, who swaggers in unnannounced.
Viserys reluctantly welcomes him, wordlessly offering him a chair at the table.
Daemon, likewise, does not speak, again making us wonder what his intentions are.
Viserys then begins a grand speech about the future of Targaryen rule, only to be interrupted by the best moment in the episode, as Alicent arrives in a green dress, Ramin Djawadi’s excellent score serving as her entrance.
As a book reader, this was such an exciting moment to see.
The enormity of this moment is translated to show only viewers by Larys, who informs his brother Harwin that the green colour of Alicent’s dress is symbolising her house calling its banners to war.
After Alicent’s dramatic entrance, the celebration continues, with Joffrey noticing Criston eyeing Rhanerya, and Gerold Royce confronting Daemon about Rhea’s murder.
It does not go how he planned, however, as Daemon announces his intention to inherit Rhea’s lands, before going down to join the dancing.
He dances with Laena Velaryon (Savannah Steyn) for a bit, who shows quite an interest in him, before moving on to Rhanerya.
Daemon makes another play for Rhanerya’s hand but she is dismissive of him this time, goading him into stealing her away, which she appears to know he will not do.
While this is happening, Joffrey has a talk with Criston, suggesting they take a vow to protect Laenor and Rhanerya because, if they stay safe, so do they all.
Whether Criston sees this as blackmail, is disgusted because he sees himself in Joffrey, or a combination of the two, the end result is the same.
Criston attacks Joffrey and proceeds to beat him to death in front of dozens of noble witnesses, also assaulting Laenor, while Rhanerya has to be saved by Harwin.
This scene has resulted in a lot of questions about how exactly Criston got away with murdering a knight in front of everyone.
An argument could be made for Alicent speaking up for him but we do not see this happen.
Criston murdering Joffrey in front of everyone is actually a change from the book, where he killed him in a tourney, so he had the excuse that it was an accident.
The change raises the plot hole of how Criston got away with it, so I do wish the murder had been done differently to have Criston going unpunished make more sense.
As least the acting is great here, with Theo Nate’s grief stricken cries over Joffrey being especially tragic.
You cannot have a Westerosi wedding without at least one death, after all, or it is considered a dull affair.
I say we call this one the Green Wedding, after Alicent’s dress reveal.
After the night’s horrifying events, Viserys decides to marry Rhanerya and Laenor right away, celebrations be damned.
Viserys collapses during the wedding, showing just how sick he is getting.
Before this happens,  Criston goes outside to commit suicide, only to be stopped by Alicent who, presumably, wants to form an alliance with him.
It looks like Rhanerya is going to regret naming him to the Kingsguard, after all.
Out of all five episodes, I would say that “We Light the Way” is my second favourite, behind “King of the Narrow Sea.”
My only issue is that Criston getting away with murdering Joffrey is a plot hole.
Otherwise this was a great episode and an excellent farewell to Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who both did a terrific job playing a young Rhanerya and Alicent.


Book Spoiler Section:
About Viserys’ legacy, it was interesting to think about this when the king himself worried about how he would be remembered.
Unfortunately for him, I do not think he is remembered all that well.
Yes, his rule was peaceful but it was the precursor to the Dance of the Dragons, something which started in part because of Viserys’ complacancy.
It makes sense why he was this way, given how he likely wanted Weteroes to be peaceful so they could be united when the White Walkers eventually attacked.
But good intentions do not always result in good things happening and, especially the world of Westeroes.
Bad intentioned actions are the same as well, for Daemon’s efforts to claim Runestone will be for nothing, since Jeyne Arryn will refuse his request.
As for Alicent and Criston, it was interesting to finally see what turned them both against Rhanerya and I think it makes a lot of sense for the both of them.
They will now become huge problems for Rhanerya and it was interesting to see how that played out ten years later in the following episode, “The Princess and the Queen.”

House of the Dragon Episode Four, King of the Narrow Sea Review: Targaryen Sexcapades.

While I consider Episode Three to be the weakest of House of the Dragon so far, Episode Four “King of the Narrow Sea” is definitley the best.
Directed by Clare Kilner, the episode certainly starts off strong, with Rhanerya hearing suitors at Storm’s End, the castle of the Baratheons.
Unfortunately, Rhanerya proves herself to be quite terrible at making allies again, as she insults multiple suitors, despite the attempts of Boremund Baratheon to get her to appease them.
Eventually a young Blackwood boy gives his pitch for her hand, only to be heckled by a Braken man.
This was a nice touch since, in the books, the Blackwood and Braken families have been feuding for generations.
The feud continues in the episode’s opening, with the two rivals coming to blows, leading to Blackwood boy killing the Braken man with his sword.
Rhanerya uses this as an excuse to return to King’s Landing with Criston Cole, however, their return is interrupted by the return of Daemon from the Stepstones atop Caraxes.
Marching into the Throne Room, Daemon wears a crown, announcing to Viserys that Lord Corlys named him “King of the Narrow Sea.”
However, he still bends the knee to Viserys, and is welcomed by him.
In all honesty, this scene was much grander in Fire and Blood, where Daemon flew down on Caraxes in the middle of a tourney to present Viserys with his crown but it still works here.
Celebrations are held for Daemon’s return, where we do get a funny moment between the two brothers where Viserys laughs at Alicent’s suggestion that Daemon of all people would enjoy tapestries.
To my surprise, we then get a moment between Rhanerya and Alicent, where they seem to have made up in the years since Episode Three, wanting to ammend their friendship.
I figured Rhanerya would just stay mad at Alicent for marrying Viserys but it is nice to see their relationship is not as simple as that.
Once the celebration is over, Rhanerya and Daemon have their own discussion, in High Valyrian again, where we have a lot of great lines from Daemon, such as, “You cannot live your life in fear, or you will forsake the best parts of it.”
That night, Daemon leaves a note in Rhanerya’s room, revealing a secret passage to her that leads to the two meeting.
Rhanerya going past the skull of Balerion the Black Dread made me think a lot of Arya.
Daemon shows Rhanerya the streets of King’s Landing, with the two eventually seeing a Shakespeare style play, depicting the current matter of succession.
Rhanerya is portrayed pretty poorly in this play, which was a surprise to me, considering she should be considered “the Realm’s Delight” at this stage.
They even call her this in the play, so it is kind of a weird discrepancy, although nothing major.
After accidentally stealing, Rhanerya makes a break for it, only to run into Ser Harwin Strong, who lets her go upon recognising her and Daemon.
Daemon then takes Rhanerya to a brothel, where he quite clearly organises events so the two of them are noticed.
It appears he planned to seduce Rhanerya and have word spread, sullying Rhanerya’s name in the process, forcing Viserys to marry them.
His plan goes well at first, as Rhanerya is receptive to his advances.
Their passion is intercut with the passionateless reaction of Alicent in King Viserys’ bed chamber, with her having to bed a man who seems to be quite literally rotting, due to numerous cuts from the throne.
This, once again shows the difference between Alicent and Rhanerya’s courting lives, as Rhanerya is pursuing who she wants while Alicent was ordered to seduce the king by her father and bear his children.
Back with Daemon and Rhanerya, Daemon’s plan goes awry, when Rhanerya becomes more assertive, causing Daemon to leave her alone in the brothel.
Why he did this is kept vague.
I have heard theories that he left because he felt guilt about what he was doing and also that he was turned off when Rhanerya became more assertive.
He also may be somewhat impotent, considering he had problems performing with Mysaria in the first episode.
It could really be any of these, or even a combination of them.
What’s so fascinating about Daemon’s character is how much of an enigma his motivations often are.
As for Rhanerya, she returns to her room in the Red Keep but from the outside, leading to a quite hilarious reaction from Criston.
A sexually frustrated Rhanerya then playfully teases him into the room and convinces him to have sex with her.
The two then share a passionate scene which, unfortunately for Criston, he seems to be putting more into emotionally than Rhanerya.
She does not seem to actually love him, at least not in a romantic way.
Meanwhile, Otto recieves word of Rhanerya and Daemon’s escapades in the brothel from a source known as the White Worm, revealed to be Mysaria.
She has a scene with Daemon, where she temporarily helps him recover after a night of drinking.
While it is nice to see how Mysaria’s character is progressing, I am sorry to say that the accent her actress is going for is still terrible.
I honestly have a hard time understanding what she is saying at times.
Back to Mysaria snitching on Daemon, though, Otto does seem a bit saddened by having to reveal Daemon and Rhanerya’s actions to Viserys, even though it is a ploy to get Aegon on the throne.
Otto reports to Viserys that Daemon bedded Rhanerya, something which did not happen but is probably what was reported to him.
Viserys is enraged by this but more so at Otto for spying on Rhanerya, rightly calling him out for trying to get his own blood on the Iron Throne.
Alicent overhears this argument and confronts Rhanerya over the rumors she slept with Daemon.
Their interaction here is one of the most interesting moments of the episode.
Rhanerya tells the truth that she did not sleep with Daemon but lies about her just being a spectator and does not not admit to sleeping with Criston.
Alicent’s demeanor is far more interesting, however.
She seems to be both scandalized by the rumors, concerned for Rhanerya’s image, and jealous of her friend’s sexual freedom.
In the end, Rhanerya manages to convince Alicent that Daemon was entirely at fault and that she did nothing.
Viserys is not convinced, however, and has Daemon brought to him in a drunken state.
Daemon does not deny the accusation, again, all as a ploy to get Viserys to marry Rhanerya to him but this only enrages Viserys further.
One ironic moment is when Viserys says Rhanerya is “just a girl” as if he did not marry a girl her age.
Pot calling kettle, Viserys.
After refusing Daemon’s proposal, Viserys banishes him once more and later summons Rhanerya, showing her the catspaw dagger from the original series.
Aegon the Conqueror had the prophecy of the Prince that was Promised hidden on the blade, something which never panned out in Game of Thrones.
Much like in Episode One, these references to the White Walkers only drag the show down by reminding us of the letdown that was Season Eight.
However, these are also small moments so they are not that big of an issue.
During their following discussion, Viserys informs Rhanerya that she will be marrying Laenor Velaryon, to which Rhanerya agrees, so long as Viserys gets rid of Otto for spying on her.
Viserys calls Otto to the small council room and both praises him for serving the realm well and admonishes him for acting in his own interests, betraying his king.
He has also finally realized that Otto instructed Alicent to seduce him for his family’s power, and removes Otto from his position.
The episode then ends with the Grand Maester giving Rhanerya a drink that will prevent any pregnancies from her night with Critson, which they believe was with Daemon.
The Grand Maester says it was from Viserys but there is the chance Otto told him to do it to create further division.
Either way, the episode ends ambigiously in regards to whether Rhanerya drinks it or not.
Overall, “King of the Narrow Sea” was a fantastic episode of House of the Dragon, with interesting development for Daemon, and especially Rhanerya and Alicent.
Next week is the last episode Milly Alcock and Emily Carey play these two, which is sad to see because they are doing such a good job.
Hopefully, the wedding with Leanor can provide some chances for great acting from the both of them.
Ah, a wedding in Westeros.
What could possibly go wrong?

Book Spoilers Section:
One thing I especially enjoyed about “King of the Narrow Sea” was all of the subtle building blocks to future events.
For one thing, there is the foreshadowing for Rhanerya’s death later in the story, when the fortune teller asks her if she wants to know how she will die, before the shot cuts to dragon flame.
Then there is the settup for how Criston and Alicent will truly become Rhanerya’s enemies.
Like I mentioned, Criston clearly thinks his night with Rhanerya meant more than it did.
He literally gave up his vows of chastity for her, risking his life, so to learn that it was all just a fling to her could cause hatred.
Learning that Rhanerya lied and slept with Criston, along with her being the reason Otto was banished, could cause Alicent to hate Rhanerya as well.
Coming back to Criston, I also wonder if Rhanerya is pregnant with his child at the end.
We know her children are believed to have been fathered by Harwin Strong but what if Jacaerys was actually fathered by Criston?
We do see Harwin in the episode, allowing Rhanerya and Daemon to pass in the streets of King’s Landing, so I like how the show is keeping him in the back of the audience’s mind, so they can later reveal he is the father to some if not all of her children.
I am intrigued to see if either Criston or Harwin is the father of Rhanerya’s first child and how the hatred for Rhanerya from Criston and Alicent will truly form.