That game of Thrones Franchise has a strong tradition with explosive penultimate episodes and the first season of house of the dragon is no different, even if it feels more like an inevitability than a hard left turn like the Red Wedding. What it lacks in the shocking beheading of a main character, The Green Council boasts in clear vision. Episode nine of house of the dragon Fulfilling the promise of the series’ final eight hours, the realm is brought to the brink of a violent war for the Iron Throne, with the common folk of King’s Landing trapped in the midst.
“The Green Council” only begins a few hours after the previous episode. King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), first of his name, is dead. King Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn Carney), the second of his name, now stands ready to rule the Seven Kingdoms if anyone can find him. Queen Alicent (Olivia Cook) took Viserys’ confused last words about Aegon the Conqueror – not Aegon his son – and ran away with them. She sincerely believes that her late husband wanted their child to sit on the Iron Throne in place of Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), the official heir to the king for two decades now. It’s a huge misunderstanding on Alicent’s part, and one that’s sure to kill a lot of people.
The first of these people to die will lose their life the same night Viserys dies. Middle of the night, Alicent and Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) summon the small council to share the news of the king’s death and his dying desire to place Aegon on the throne. The message lands awkwardly in the room. Many are ready to step in and take immediate action, as Otto and his allies have planned contingencies for the occasion unbeknownst to Alicent. Some in the room are outraged by the Hightowers’ move, such as Lord Lyman Beesbury (Bill Paterson), who describes the coup as exactly what it is. In response, Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel) slams Beesbury’s head on the Small Council table, killing him instantly.
More bloodshed almost spills into the chamber of the Small Council when Ser Harold Westerling (Graham McTavish) sheds his white cloak and renounces his post as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. “I recognize no authority but that of the king,” he tells the room. “Until there is, I have no place here.” He leaves, somehow with his life still intact, but without a single person left to fight against the takeover on behalf of the absent Rhaenyra.
There may be one more person willing to stand up for Rhaenyra, and it’s an unlikely one: Alicent. In the hours after Viserys’ death, Alicent and Otto race to see who can find Aegon Targaryen first and place him on the throne. Whoever finds the future king boy lost somewhere in King’s Landing doing God knows what will be the first to whisper in his ear and set the tone for whatever comes next. Alicent quickly realizes that her father intends to kill Rhaenyra and her entire family, which she cannot bear to do despite everything that has happened between them over the years. And so she sends Ser Criston and her second son Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) to protect Aegon from Otto’s true henchmen, the twin knights Erryk and Arryk Cargyll (Elliott and Luke Titsor), can reach him first.
A game of cat and mouse ensues as the four swordsmen – Criston, Aemond and the Cargyll brothers – don their best disguises and crawl through town in search of Aegon. Their respective quests take them through the bowels of King’s Landing and discover one of Aegon’s many bastard children, not to mention a small army of children fighting each other in an illegal sports fight club. All of these paths lead to Aegon, a scathing indictment of the kind of man about to take the crown and an early preview of the cruel kings of the future. One thing that sets Aegon apart from Joffrey Baratheon, at least, is a complete disinterest in taking the throne. He wants to be left to his own devices, but fate – and a whole host of Hightowers – have other plans for him.
through all this, house of the dragon reviews various figures dealing with the aftermath of Visery’s death. These players include Aegon’s sister-wife Helaena (Phia Saban), who raises alarm about her brother-husband’s accession to the throne; Mysaria the white worm (Sonoya Mizuno) shadow mediation with Otto, who reveals the extent of the reach of their spy network into the Red Keep; and even Lary’s Strong (Matthew Needham) tries to get into Otto’s and Alicent’s goodwill, but far from on the Hightowers’ insane rush to fill the power vacuum, and literally disembark over some Tarantino-like obsession with Alicent’s feet. (Nice to know that even in the midst of all these deadly serious operations game of Thrones still has time game of Thrones.)
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/10/house-of-the-dragon-season-1-episode-9-recap-aegons-conquest ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 1 Episode 9 Recap: Aegon’s Conquest