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‘House of the Dragon’ S1E9 'The Green Council' sets up a war with dragons
HBO

Television

‘House of the Dragon’ S1E9 ‘The Green Council’ sets up a war with dragons

‘House of the Dragon’ S1E9 ‘The Green Council’ sets up a war for the ages.

If House of the Dragon were a kettle, it would be fully boiling and readying to explode. Tonight’s episode nine continues to impress with great character writing, melodrama, and danger at every turn. Titled “The Green Council,” the season one penultimate episode is good for setting things up but lacks the tension and action that previous episodes maintained.

Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon S1E9 ‘The Green Council

Episode nine opens with the news that King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) has died. Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and her father, King Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), first thought was, who knows? The following day after episode eight, we’re reminded that Viserys said he wants his daughter Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) to become ruler in public. Still, between Alicent and Viserys, moments before he fell asleep for the last time, he said Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) should be made king. That’s troublemaking.

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Fascinatingly, Alicent is surprised by how quickly those who ruled beside Viserys are ready to put Aegon in place as king. They were all plotting to ensure Alicent’s child was made ruler, not Rhaenys. Once again, we can see men are against a woman ruler, no matter if Viserys made his plans clear. Interestingly, Otto only appeared loyal to the king and had always intended to ensure his daughter and his children were made rulers of the realm. Alicent’s dismay with what may happen to Rhaenys is fascinating as she’s not on board with her kids being made ruler, just like that.

In a critical scene, Alicent tells Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), “We do not rule, but we may guide the men that do.” Surely this is a line that reverberates into the Game of Thrones series as we’ll learn women have no power unless they are in full control. Cooke is excellent in this episode, drawing us into the chaotic emotions she’s feeling. Her kids are safer than ever, her bloodline soon to be leaders of the realms, yet she can’t live with the guilt of stabbing Rhaenys in the back.

House of the Dragon S1E9 'The Green Council' photo gallery

Olivia Cooke is excellent in this episode.
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) continues to be a wild card with an insane moment of violence in an early scene. Tempers are one thing, but if you smash a man’s head into a table, killing them, maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to protect anyone.

One of the main subplots in this episode involves Ser Criston and Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) setting out in the city to find Aegon. He’s a coward and not up for being king. When found, he’s been drinking and hiding to avoid any responsibilities, further showing some aren’t meant to be in power, but most of the time, they have no control over their fate. Clearly one of the weaker Targaryen sons, one can imagine the evil-looking Aemond is more than willing to kill his sibling to gain power.

Ramin Djawadi’s composing continues to be excellent, albeit a little too similar to Westworld at times. There’s a series of actions to look for Aegon in an early scene that feels intense, thanks to the music. The weight of these moments wouldn’t be conveyed so powerfully without the music.

Fans of Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) should note he plays a good part as a spreader of lies and deceit. A great manipulator, Needham plays this character as visibly weak and skulking, yet in key moments he shows he’s cunning and knows what he’s doing. As we learn Strong has a foot fetish, he gets to add a new character detail in this episode. A weird detail. It’ll be interesting to see how that matters later in the series unless it’s simply how the queen pays him for information. He’s a character that will die, and we’ll all be cheering.

In danger of being a bit of a snooze, the episode ends with some dragon action you won’t want to miss. If Alicent and her father Otto get their king, it appears dragon riders like Rhaenyra won’t just stand aside and let it happen without making a message. It’s a moment in television that’s epic and huge, but it’s also a bit of an eye-rolling scene since we know this will only end in more death. If you have the shot, take the shot, people!

House of the Dragon episode nine is another good episode in the short ten-episode season, but it does suffer from having to do some table-setting to prepare for the climactic finale. That said, the show continues to look incredibly expensive, is well-acted, and earns everything it delivers.

House of the Dragon S1E9 'The Green Council' photo gallery
House of the Dragon’ S1E9 'The Green Council'
House of the Dragon episode 9 is another good episode in the short ten-episode season, but it does suffer from having to do some table-setting to prepare for the climactic finale. That said, the show continues to look incredibly expensive, is well acted, and more important earns everything it delivers.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Once seemingly in control with power, Alicent has lost all control and becomes a victim of sorts even though her children are safe
Music continues to enhance the drama of scenes and in some, does all the work
The theme of women not being in control of their destiny is hammered home well
Lacks the tension and action of previous episodes
8.5
Great

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