In this week’s episode of House of the Dragon, Viserys’ death sets off a cataclysmic chain of events. With Alicent and Otto forming Team Green around Aegon while some in King’s Landing try to warn Rhaenyra, the Dance of the Dragons is here. Read on to find out what happened in “The Green Council”!
Calling a Meeting
The episode opens in the aftermath of Viserys’ death as Talia tells Alicent that the king has died. But she’s not the only one Talia informs. She lights candles in the Red Keep meant for Mysaria to see, and soon the news spreads. Meanwhile, Alicent rushes to Otto with her version of Viserys’ last words. He clearly wanted Aegon to be king (she says sarcastically). Otto is thrilled at this development, considering that was his plan anyway. Having Alicent fully on his side (and the dead king’s stamp of approval, no matter how dubious) will only help their cause.
Not wasting time, Otto convenes a council meeting to let everyone know about the change in succession plans. While some on the council are genuinely shocked, most had expected and hoped for this, which Alicent is surprised by. Lord Beesbury declares the move treason and rises to leave, but Criston Cole pushes him into his seat hard enough that the old man hits his head on the table and dies.
This causes a fight to break out, with Lord Commander Westerling forcing Criston to stand down. As the plans develop, Alicent realizes the others want to kill Rhaenyra and her family in order to secure Aegon’s claim. Westerling also realizes this and goes from miffed to angry. Not wanting to be a part of it, he hands over his White Cloak and leaves. With the two major dissenters out of the way, there’s just one tiny problem: no one knows where Aegon is. Alicent and Otto go to Helaena, who as usual has no idea what’s going on or in this instance, where her brother/husband is. However, she does have one thing to say: “There is a beast beneath the boards.”
Finding the King
Operation Find Aegon commences, but with two separate goals. Otto sends twins Arryk and Erryk of the Kingsguard to find him, instructing the duo to bring Aegon directly to him and not tell Alicent. Alicent sets up her own mission by sending Criston and Aemond after Aegon, instructing them to only bring Aegon to her. Aemond and Criston naturally start by checking the high end brothels, only to be informed that Aegon’s preferences are so out of the ordinary that even they don’t cater to his tastes. Aemond grumbles to Criston that he’d be a much better king than his brother. Erryk and Arryk, meanwhile, find out that Aegon frequents an underground child fighting ring (yes, you read that correctly) and that he may have fathered some of the wild children who fight to the death. Erryk is decidedly not on Team Aegon at this point, but the twins catch a break when one of Mysaria’s spies informs them her mistress will tell them Aegon’s location for a price.
Otto gathers all the lords to tell them about Viserys’ death and that the entire line of succession is upended. While two houses refuse to go along with this new plan, Lord Caswell takes the approach of pretending to swear fealty to Team Green while planning to warn Rhaenyra of what has happened. Unfortunately for him, he previously made it clear that he supported Rhaenyra’s claim. When he tries to leave the Red Keep for Dragonstone, he is caught and executed as a warning.
The twins and Otto meet with Mysaria in order to bring Aegon back to take his crown. She tells them she has the new king somewhere safe, but for her to reveal where, she’ll need their support in shutting down the child fighting ring. Otto pays lip service to the idea by saying he’ll look into the matter, and Erryk and Arryk find Aegon in the sept.
Aegon whines about how he doesn’t want to be king, which only annoys Erryk even more. Just then, Criston and Aemond catch up with the twins. Arryk and Criston fight while Aemond tackles Aegon to keep him from running. Erryk backs away slowly, and good for him. Aegon begs Aemond to let him go so he can flee Westeros, dangling the possibility of being king in front of his younger brother. Before he can decide, Criston beats Arryk and collects Aegon.
The Queen Who Never Was
As Aegon is subdued, Alicent goes to see Rhaenys, who has been locked in her room. Alicent tries to convince her that Viserys named Aegon the heir, even appealing to her sense of righteousness over her own long-ago claim while asking what Rhaenyra ever did for the Velaryons. Rhaenys isn’t buying it. In a fantastic monologue, she points out how Alicent has allowed herself to be manipulated by the men in her life. It strikes a sore spot with Alicent, who later fights with her father about Rhaenyra’s fate.
Otto accuses her of being too soft, listing the many ways that leaving Rhaenyra alive is a mistake. But Alicent doesn’t care. She wants to offer Rhaenyra the chance to surrender and accept Aegon as king, and they’ll crown him as soon as possible. Alicent then goes to Larys, who informs her that Talia is part of Mysaria’s spy network — and that Otto knows about and supports it. In exchange for this bit of information, Alicent helps Larys out with his foot fetish in an extended, uncomfortable sequence. Later, as she heads to the coronation with Aegon, she tries to convince him to spare Rhaenyra’s life. There’s no love lost between mother and son, and the discussion ends with Alicent calling him an “imbecile.”
Erryk officially chooses a side by helping Rhaenys escape the Red Keep. As she blends in with a crowd of commoners heading to Aegon’s coronation, she realizes they’re heading right for the Dragonpit. This is a strategic error by Team Green. As Aegon holds his sword high upon being crowned, Meleys the dragon comes up through the floor with Rhaenys on her back (these people really need to start listening to Helaena). Aegon, Alicent, Criston, and Otto can only watch in shock as the dragon approaches them. Alicent is clearly waiting for Rhaenys to vaporize them all, even closing her eyes in prayer. But Rhaenys simply stares them down before directing Meleys to fly out (Otto frantically telling everyone to let the dragon out is an episode highlight). Soon, Rhaenyra and Daemon will know exactly what has happened, and the Dance of the Dragons will officially commence.
House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.