*Warning: Contains spoilers for .*
House of the Dragon is nearing the end of its first season, with just two episodes remaining.
In the world of the show, we’re roughly 25 years on from the night when King Viserys (Paddy Considine) named his daughter Rhaenyra () as his heir.
Since then, the children of the story have grown up to have children of their own, and Daemon has been exiled from King’s Landing more times than we can count.
And then, finally, tragically, in his bed with his dying words to his wife, Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke), inadvertently causing the war to come.
With Alicent now convinced that Viserys meant for her son to be king after him, instead of her former childhood friend Rhaenyra, war seems inevitable.
And that’s what episode nine, titled The Green Council, appears to promise…
Behind closed doors, we go to war
When a major political event happens, news of it tends to ripple out quickly, from person to person and from mouth to mouth. But not if you can get on top of that news and hold it down until it’s absolutely necessary to let it go. This is something that the Greens now know.
With the people of the realm rightly believing that Rhaenyra will be the one to sit on the Iron Throne upon Viserys’ death, Alicent knows she needs to buy herself time to put her own plans into place before word spreads.
With Rhaenyra dozens of miles away on Dragonstone and unaware that her father is dead, Alicent assembles her allies and gets to work.
‘The door stays shut until we finish our business’, so says Hand of the King Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). What ‘business’ is that? Planning what comes next.
‘[Viserys] told me he wished for Aegon to be king,’ Alicent says, recalling the last conversation she ever had with her royal husband.
Unbeknownst to her, she is, of course, mistaken as to what Viserys was really talking about. It’s a mistake that may cost thousands of lives.
Locked out and locked in
A door staying shut means that people can be locked out, or locked in. Someone being locked in is Talya (Alexis Raben), Queen Alicent’s handmaiden – we’ve seen her pop in and out of the queen’s chambers throughout these last few episodes, and she even popped up in episode 8 to provide Dyana (Maddie Evans) with moon tea after she was assaulted by Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney).
In the trailer, we can see her being locked away in a dungeon.
With that image in mind, it’s safe to presume that she is the first person to discover the king has died in his bed overnight and that the Greens are keeping her under lock and key to ensure she doesn’t give the news to anybody who shouldn’t be hearing it.
Elsewhere, we’re greeted by a rare appearance in the trailer for Rhaenys (Eve Best). It appears that Rhaenys also finds herself locked in her chambers.
Has the Green Council already enacted its plan to ensure that she can’t flee to Dragonstone and warn Rhaenyra about their plans?
Swords are being sharpened and wielded
‘This is seizure! This is treason at the least!’ so pleads Master of Coin, Lyman Beesbury (Bill Paterson).
Those words may prove to be a mistake in the presence of the people who might just wish to seize the Iron Throne and perform a coronation before Princess Rhaenyra discovers that her father is dead.
We see Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) sharpening his sword shortly before Lyman challenges the Green Council, and he’s not the only one getting ready to wield his weapon. All around King’s Landing, men clash in the streets and guards unsheathe their swords in the throne room.
Just as it was in the first season of Game of Thrones, the death of a king who barely held the realm together (while everyone underneath him secretly desired power) has fully ignited a long-simmering conflict that we’ve laid witness to over the previous eight episodes of the series.
It’s about to go off in King’s Landing.