All is quiet in King’s Landing at the beginning of House of the Dragon episode 9. Awfully quiet. A young servant walks through the Red Keep in the early hours of the morning. He tells one of the servants, one of Mysaria’s spies, that the king is dead. She immediately went to tell Alicent.
Alicent goes to her father the news. He demands to know who is aware of the king’s death. Her slave knows and about the servants. She reveals what Viserys said to her in his last moments. “He told me he wished for Aegon to be king… That’s the truth. From his own lips. His last words to me, and I was the only one who heard them. And now he is dead,” says Alicent.
The small council meets and Otto brings the news of Viserys’ death. “He left us a gift. With his last breath, he expressed his last wish to the queen that his son, Aegon, should succeed him as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms,” Otto tells the council.
Everyone is silent for a moment until Tyland Lannister says they must go along with the king’s blessing. Alicent looked surprised at the response. Otto begins to establish Aegon as king. Apparently, most of the small council had been planning this for some time without her knowing.
Lyman Beesbury is the only one who has spoken out in defense of Rhaenyra. He does not believe Alicent’s claims. “This is seizure. This is theft. It is at least treason,” he says. Lyman wants no part of this plot. Criston tells him to sit down and then kills him.
Otto wants Rhaenyra dead
Lord Westerling draws his sword and orders Criston to remove his cloak and drop his sword. It’s not until Alicent tells Criston to rest that he does. “The door stays locked until we’re done with our business,” Otto said as Lyman’s blood continued to spill onto the table.
Tyland brings that Storm’s End is of concern to them. Alicent asks about Rhaenyra. Otto says that Rhaenyra will be given the option to swear allegiance to Aegon. Alicent knows that Rhaenyra will never bend the knee, and neither will Daemon. “Are you planning to kill her?” Alicent asked. Everyone remains silent. Otto says it’s a sacrifice they must make to ensure Aegon’s succession. And then there is the Daemon of it all.
Alicent knows well that Viserys did not wish his daughter’s murder. Tyland wants to know what Alicent would suggest instead, but she doesn’t come up with anything. Otto orders Lord Westerling to take his knights to Dragonstone and be “quick” and “clean” to kill Rhaenyra.
Lord Westerling does not respond. He just takes off his white cloak. “I recognize no authority but the king’s. And until there is one. I have no place here,” he says before walking out.
Alicent and Otto go looking for Aegon. He is not in his rooms with Helaena and the children. “There’s an animal under the boards,” Helaena murmured again as she refused her mother’s touch.
When pressed by Otto, Ser Erryk does not know where Aegon is. Otto demands that Erryk and his brother, Arryk, find Aegon and bring the prince straight to him. No one can know they are looking for Aegon, not even Alicent.
The Search for Aegon
Rhaenys is locked in her room while the search for Aegon is underway. No one working at the Red Keep is allowed to leave until Aegon is found. Criston finds out about Otto’s plan and tells Alicent. Alicent wants Aegon brought straight to her. She steps closer to him and mentions “everything” he feels for her to make sure her point comes across crystal clear. Aemond wants to go with Criston. He knows where Aegon’s hangouts are in the city.
Otto has the leaders of other houses brought to the throne room to swear their loyalty to Aegon. Many kneel but some do not. No one is allowed to leave without declaring their intention. “I am no oath-breaker. I will not bend the knee,” says one man. Others begin to kneel. “House Fell keeps its sworn oath to the princess,” said a woman. They are led away after their death. Lord Allun Caswell knelt at it. Lord Allun tries to leave King’s Landing, but is captured and brought to Otto before being killed.
Erryk and Arryk look around the city looking for Aegon. Erryk knows that Aegon frequents this children’s fight club and sees one of Aegon’s bastard children. Erryk thinks Aegon is unfit to rule. A woman approaches them and reveals that the White Worm, aka Mysaria, knows where Aegon is. However, Mysaria only wants an audience with Otto and Otto.
Aemond reveals to Criston that Aegon has no interest in his birthright. “It is I who must be…” said Aemond but did not finish his sentence. He later says: “I am next in line to the throne. If they come looking for me, I intend to be found.”
‘You should have been queen’
Alicent takes Viserys’ crown and places it on his body. She breaks down in tears before going to see Rhaenys. Alicent reveals that Viserys is dead. “And you are taking the throne,” Rhaenys said. Alicent came to ask for support, but she does so with a dirty hand. She raises Corlys, Laenor and Laena.
“You should have been queen,” Alicent told Rhaenys. She continues, “We don’t rule, but we can lead the men who do.” Rhaenys admits that Alicent is wiser than she thought. “A true queen counts the cost of her people,” says Alicent. Rhaenys replied, “And yet you still toil in the service of men.” She whispered in Alicent’s ear, “Have you never imagined yourself on the Iron Throne?” Alicent leaves Rhaenys in her room. She can’t leave until she has an answer about her allegiance.
Otto enters the city and meets Mysaria. “He is safely hidden away,” said Mysaria. Mysaria wants cash and an end to the “cruel use of children in Flea Bottom.” She also wants Otto to remember this when Aegon is king, “Remember it was I who put him there.”
Erryk and Arryk do find Aegon. He tries to run away, but he is caught and brought outside the city walls. They are met by Criston and Aemond. Criston and Erryk fight, while Aemond tackles Aegon to the ground. “I don’t want to rule. No taste for duty,” Aegon admits.
Alicent and Otto come face to face after having two very separate plans for Aegon. “Our hearts were never one. I see it now,” says Alicent. She finally realized that she was just another chess piece in her father’s game. She demands that they now proceed as she sees fit. Otto warns that if Rhaenyra remains alive, those loyal to her will rally behind her and seek her return. Alicent believes mercy should be shown to Rhaenyra.
Otto believes Rhaenyra is Alicent’s weakness. Alicent ignores her father and installs Criston as the new Lord Commander. All of King’s Landing must witness Aegon’s rise. He will take the Conqueror’s namesake and wield Blackfyre.
Rhaenys escapes and Aegon changes his tune
After dealing with her father, Alicent must have an audience with Larys. He is the reason Otto found Aegon in the first place. To get more information, she has to entertain him with her feet. Gross.
He reveals that there is a web of spies at work in the Red Keep, one of which is her lady-in-waiting. There is only one way to destroy Otto’s advantage in the Red Keep and that is to get rid of Mysaria. “If you wish it, it shall be done,” Larys promised before pleasuring himself in front of the queen. Just like Rhaenys said, Alicent is always in service to men.
Erryk goes to Rhaenys’ chambers and gives her a way out. “I cannot allow this betrayal to stand,” Erryk tells Rhaenys of Alicent and Otto’s plan to let Aegon take the crown. Erryk gets Rhaenys from the Red Keep. She doesn’t want to leave her dragon, Meleys. Erryk knows that Alicent and Otto’s people are going to look for her there. They are pulled away from each other in the crowd.
Alicent rides with Aegon to the Dragonpit. “My father never wanted it,” Aegon tells his mother. He knows that Viserys never changed his mind. “He didn’t like me,” said Aegon. He even laughs when Alicent says that Viserys wished it on his deathbed.
When she shows him Viserys’ dagger, that’s when Aegon starts to change his tune. He picks it up. Alicent emphasizes to him that Otto is going to want him to kill Rhaenyra, but he must avoid it. “You must not rule with cruelty and callousness,” she says.
Rhaenys & Meleys Rise From Under The Planks
The crowd gathers to watch Aegon being crowned. Otto tells the crowd that it was Viserys’ dying wish. Rhaenys watches it all go down until she sees her moment to escape to Meleys below.
Criston crowns Aegon the new king with Aegon the Conqueror’s crown. They must bow to him…even Otto. However, Aemond noticeably does not. When Aegon hears the cheers of the crowd, that’s when everything changes for him. The love and adoration he was looking for all this time finally came to him.
Suddenly, Rhaenys and Meleys erupt from below, killing civilians and destroying part of the Dragonpit in the process. This is the beast under the boards that Helaena warned Alicent about. Rhaenys has the opportunity to kill Alicent, Otto, Aegon and everyone else right then and there. Alicent stands before Aegon ready to die. However, Rhaenys shows them all mercy, but she issues a warning with Meleys fireless roar. It means war.