House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 9 The Green Council – Open Chat

King's Landing Red Keep, Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell), 1x09 (1)

Episode title: “The Green Council”
Written by Sara Hess
Directed by Clare Kilner
Runtime: 58 minutes
Content Warnings: TV-MA: Adult Content, Adult Language, Graphic Violence, Nudity
Episode 9 Video Preview
Episode 9 Preview Photos

The king has died… and whaddayaknow, it’s just in time for the ninth and penultimate episode of a Game of Thrones show—and you know how tragic and/or explosive those tend to be. I wouldn’t expect this one to be any different!

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45 Comments

  1. It’s so awesome to continuously see women’s names as the writer or the director for an episode of a Westeros show. It was so rare for GoT and it’s so common for HOTD. I love that! ❤️

  2. This episode is gonna hurt. I’m so pleased with pretty much all aspects of this show, cast, crew, locations….I know we’ll be seeing a lot of them soon enough, but I have missed the dragons in recent episodes.

    I think Ewan Mitchell is going to be a stand out from the show, and can’t get over how perfect he looks as Aemond. Yes, he looks closer to my age than the character’s age, but it lends itself to the role, I believe.

  3. Sue the Fury,

    If I’m not mistaken there was only ever one female director for GoT, which was Michelle MacLaren who directed a couple episodes in Seasons 3 and 4 each. She was (and still is) so good, it’s a shame she hasn’t worked on anything Westeros related since 2014.

    And there were only 2 female writers who got credits during the first 3 seasons, but from then on, nothing.

    Also the GoT writers’ room, if you can even call it that, was just way too small anyway. You can’t have the same guys writing 70% of the episodes with only a couple assistants.

    All the best shows have larger writers’ rooms.

    HOTD seems a lot more collaborative.

  4. Nick,

    Hard disagree I don’t think just adding more writers make shows better. I like HOTD but so far it hasn’t come close to most of the writing in GOT.

  5. Nick:

    Also the GoT writers’ room, if you can even call it that, was just way too small anyway. You can’t have the same guys writing 70% of the episodes with only a couple assistants.
    HOTD seems a lot more collaborative.

    I think that was largely down to the need to prevent leaks, in the later seasons anyway. They kept the circle as small as possible. This isn’t an issue with HOTD of course, because the basic story is already out there.

  6. Sue the Fury,

    Seconded! And how much more satisfying that this was one of the best episodes in the GoT universe so far. Storytelling, direction, cinematography and editing, performances, costuming. Not one wasted second! Icing on the cake: a dragon! Thank you Sara Hess and Clare Kilner!

  7. I kind of like how meaningless the deaths of the smallfolk are presented, since the show is told purely through the lens of the royalty, who don’t give a shit about the common people unless they really need them.

  8. ooooph

    Least favorite episode so far. Some questionable writing decisions for me. For the first time it felt the plot drove the writing rather than the characters. Like they needed X, Y, and Z to happen in this episode as future setup. And for me the forcing of that showed.

  9. Lol,

    Yeah, lol. XD

    I think that’s part of their deal. She lets him jack off to her feet in exchange for information.
    It kind of highlights what Rhaenys said to her earlier, about how she still serves at the pleasure of men.

  10. 5/10. Maybe it’s because it’s the penultimate episode of the season and my expectations were high, but that was disappointing. The previous two episodes were fantastic and I was beginning to think this show was finally living up to its potential, but this episode dashed my hopes a little.

    Once again, Criston Cole gets away with murder, this one being a member of the small council. The man is truly untouchable.

    I don’t know how, but the writers found a way to make the usurpation of Rhaenyra’s throne look so boring. The “Where’s Aegon” plotline was also boring.

    And finally, the final scene. It was a cool scene, but it didn’t make much sense. I thought Arryk or Erryk told her that they would be expecting her to go for her dragon and that there would be guards. Apparently not, as she seemingly just strolled right in. Also, what exactly was the point of popping in, killing a few smallfolk in the process, just to roar menacingly at the Greens? She could have ended the conflict right there and saved the country from being torn apart by war.

    I did enjoy the scene between Rhaenys and Alicent. In fact, I would say Alicent was the lone standout this episode. I’m glad she’s being given depth. I also liked how Arryk and Erryk aren’t just lackeys who do what they’re told, but rather were given personalities.

    Despite my displeasure with this episode, the finale does look rather good, so I’m looking forward to next week.

  11. I like this show but I really miss characters like Cersei, Tyrion, and The Hound. Characters that were interesting but also just so much fun whenever they were on screen.

  12. I still have to process this more, but I do think this episode exposed the fact that the show’s internal logic is very inconsistent, and prioritized staging big moments at the expense of the characters. And that will likely cause issues in the future if it’s not fixed, as we’ve seen before.

  13. Fireblood87,

    I never said “just” adding more writers makes shows better, I simply said most of the best shows have larger writing rooms than GoT did.

    Obviously the writers have to be talented, it’s not enough to just add more.

    But it was not a good idea for a massively complex narrative like GoT to have such a small team of mostly very inexperienced writers.

  14. Young Dragon:
    5/10. Maybe it’s because it’s the penultimate episode of the season and my expectations were high, but that was disappointing. The previous two episodes were fantastic and I was beginning to think this show was finally living up to its potential, but this episode dashed my hopes a little.

    Once again, Criston Cole gets away with murder, this one being a member of the small council. The man is truly untouchable.

    They would have killed Lord Beesbury anyway, ser Criston just didn’t wait for the official command. All Rhaenyra’s supporters in the Red Keep are killed or going to be killed.
    There is no reason for the queen or the hand to punish him here in this scene since he did them a favor.

  15. Nick,

    Inexperienced? Benioff wrote multiple acclaimed novels and films before GOT. So far as I said I like HOTD but none of the writing and dialogue have been as good as almost anything D&D wrote. Which also should be a compliment to D&D that two guys who never made a TV show created a global phenomenon that won more awards than any other drama series and basically changed the TV landscape.

  16. I think I need to watch that again! I missed some subtle things I think, but caught some others.

    In response to the comment that the dragons were guarded: Yes, they were, but not guarded against the tunnels. Rhaenys grew up as a royal princess in KL and dragon rider. You could see her happy scheming look as soon as she saw the people were being herded towards the Sept. She gave a look showing she clearly now knew how she was going to go get Meleys without getting herself or her dragon killed. Then we saw her leave the sept not via the door to the outside, but via the cellars.

    I think these tunnels connecting the dragon pit and sept might come back later in the story.

  17. I think I need to watch that again! I missed some subtle things I think, but caught some others.

    In response to the comment that the dragons were guarded: Yes, they were, but not guarded against the tunnels. Rhaenys grew up as a royal princess and dragon rider. You could see her happy scheming look as soon as she saw the people were being herded towards the keep. She gave a look showing she clearly now knew how she was going to go get Meleys without getting herself or her dragon killed. Then we saw her leave the sept not via the door to the outside, but via the cellars.

    I think these tunnels connecting the dragon pit and sept might come back later in the story.

    Young Dragon,

  18. Something about the upteenth time Otto sneered about Alicent’s concern about Rhaenyra really highlighted how much the patriarchy looked down on women’s friendships. The showrunners have said they’re examining toxic patriarchy, but mocking their friendship as a source of honor is maybe a bit more nuanced than the more in-your-face hypocrisy that Rhaenyra’s actions alone receive.

  19. I’m being a bit careful because I don’t want to be ‘spoiled’ for how things work out here though I have been listening to some (not finished it by a long way) of ‘The Princess and the Queen’ which gives some idea how things pan out. Isn’t show Helaena a bit prettier than book Helaena – though correct me if I’m wrong. I haven’t read the article, just skimmed the comments, though that’s not out of disrespect for the writer but I want to have some surprises left for me when I get the DVDs whenever that is.

  20. Just watched the episode, another solid one it feels much closer to GOT now without the humour. I still struggle to root for many characters but do like Alicent and the aunty (Rhaeneryas?). Aegon feels like a very rip off Joffrey and terrible king already, his brother though is much better and like a young Daemon.

  21. 3eyes:
    Sue the Fury,

    Seconded! And how much more satisfying that this was one of the best episodes in the GoT universe so far. Storytelling, direction, cinematography and editing, performances, costuming. Not one wasted second! Icing on the cake: a dragon! Thank you Sara Hess and Clare Kilner!

    That’s a big statement especially as others appear to be pretty underwhelmed with it. I felt it was a solid episode and more aligned to GOT S1, would give it 7/10 score but nowhere near PEAK GOT i.e. season 4 & 6.

  22. awol,

    Rhaenys knowing about the tunnels would have been something Otto would have been aware of and he would have made sure eyes were on her dragon at all times. Besides, when Arryn/Erryk told Rhaenys, he made it sound like it wasn’t an option. If it was an option, why didn’t Rhaenys say anything?

  23. awol,

    I read in a different review that the location of the crowning was actually the Dragons’ Pit (in its full glory, before the destruction) and not the sept, as I had assumed. This would of course explain how Raenys could get her dragon there so fast and without being noticed.

  24. Joy C: They would have killed Lord Beesbury anyway, ser Criston just didn’t wait for the official command. All Rhaenyra’s supporters in the Red Keep are killed or going to be killed.
    There is no reason for the queen or the hand to punish him here in this scene since he did them a favor.

    THat whole scene was off to me. I mean, they just continued with the Small Council meeting with the corpse just laying there the entire time? Weird.

  25. Malcolm Ferguson:
    I kind of like how meaningless the deaths of the smallfolk are presented, since the show is told purely through the lens of the royalty, who don’t give a shit about the common people unless they really need them.

    Agree. It was kind of annoying to me that we spent the last seasons of GoT super worried about whether Dany would kill any citizens of KL or not, yet here, Rhaenys just randomly killed a bunch of common folk and it’s supposed to come off as some badass moment. Ugh. Frustrating!

  26. Urs:
    awol,

    I read in a different review that the location of the crowning was actually the Dragons’ Pit (in its full glory, before the destruction) and not the sept, as I had assumed. This would of course explain how Raenys could get her dragon there so fast and without being noticed.

    Good point. I thought it was the sept. The pre-Baelor version, but sept. Dragonpit makes sense though because it was bigger and they wanted a huge audience.

    Young Dragon:
    awol,

    Rhaenys knowing about the tunnels would have been something Otto would have been aware of and he would have made sure eyes were on her dragon at all times. Besides, when Arryn/Erryk told Rhaenys, he made it sound like it wasn’t an option. If it was an option, why didn’t Rhaenys say anything?

    I don’t follow your logic. They all thought Rhaenys was still a prisoner. No-one knew she was gone yet as they were preoccupied with their ceremony. The dragonpit gates were guarded, just as they said. But the guards were not expecting her to be in that crowd so they let her right in like everyone else. There would be no guards to stop her getting to her own dragon because noone but her would even be able to get close.

  27. awol,

    Wait, what? Rhaenys was a high priority prisoner, how could she vanish without anyone realizing it? If the guards were just going to let her in, why did Arryk/Erryk claim it wasn’t an option for her to get her dragon?

  28. Mr Derp: Malcolm Ferguson:
    Mr Derp,

    They didn’t want anyone to leave, and potentially spill the beans on their plans, until said plans had been finalized.

    Yes, I know that. It still felt way too casual to me.

    I think the point was to show how utterly despicable these men are. I said out loud at that moment, “Oh these effers are just going to leave him there and carry on. Terrible people.”

    Meanwhile, I’m amazed they didn’t have Alicent barf in the corner. She was oscillating between multiple types of trauma responses in that one scene alone.

  29. Young Dragon:
    awol,

    Wait, what? Rhaenys was a high priority prisoner, how could she vanish without anyone realizing it? If the guards were just going to let her in, why did Arryk/Erryk claim it wasn’t an option for her to get her dragon?

    A knight of the Kingsguard came to fetch her. He teumps the authority of the other guards so they would let him pass thinking he was following orders of the queen. They would eventually mention it to someone that she had been taken elsewhere but they would onlg do that when asked because they would not realize it was anything suspicious. As for Alicent, she told Rhaenys to ring her bell when she had come to a decision. No bell, no need to go see her again.

    Pretty simple really. Some peiple think she is still locked in her room, others think she was legitimately taken somewhere else by a Kingsguard who had the authority to do so.

  30. awol,

    I think you need to rewatch the scene again. There was a shout and the sound of a struggle before the door opened. Erryk (finally checked) obviously overpowered the guard before freeing Rhaenys. A dead or unconscious guard would have drawn attention and someone would have sounded the alarm that Rhaenys had escaped.

    You still didn’t answer my question. Why, when Rhaenys suggested freeing her dragon, did Erryk dismiss it as impossible? Not only was it quite possible, it was relatively easy for Rhaenys to get to her dragon.

  31. Mr Derp,

    I really think the point is royalty didn’t give a hoot about the small folk, including the nice ones (by their standards) like Rhaenys. Aegon the Elder is breeding Royal bastards in the fighting pits and only Mysaria seems to care as she tries to negotiate a better life for them with Otto Hightower.

  32. Young Dragon:
    awol,

    I think you need to rewatch the scene again. There was a shout and the sound of a struggle before the door opened. Erryk (finally checked) obviously overpowered the guard before freeing Rhaenys. A dead or unconscious guard would have drawn attention and someone would have sounded the alarm that Rhaenys had escaped.

    You still didn’t answer my question. Why, when Rhaenys suggested freeing her dragon, did Erryk dismiss it as impossible? Not only was it quite possible, it was relatively easy for Rhaenys to get to her dragon.

    I will listen (it is not shown) again, but what I heard was him shouting “out of my way”. And his authority as a Kingsguard trumps the authority of whoever else was there to guard Rhaenys. The struggle you say happened is speculative, but I will see if I hear it your way.

    As for getting to her dragon, he was right to think it impossible. But it BECAME possible because they were herding all of the people of KL indescriminately towards the Dragonpit so she did not have to sneak in at all.

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