House of the DragonEpisode 9 could have the most departures from the source material than the pilot. One is a sensationalized moment which already has social media in a frenzy, but will not have any impact on the plot. The other deserves more attention.
Warning: There are spoilers! House of the Dragon Fire & Blood ahead! House of the DragonThere is plenty of space to interpret the source material in a creative way, as George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood It is not a novel idea, but rather an existing reality. “imaginary history book.”This part of the history is based in part on three unreliable, in-world primary sources that often disagree about the events. Therefore, some things need to be changed.
Episode 9 also added a scene between Larys and Larys. “The Clubfoot” Strong (Matthew Needham) and Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) that was not in the book – not even in the exaggerated, bawdy account of Mushroom, the court fool. It showed that Larys was an accomplished spymaster, able to organize assassinations, and that he extorts the queen a very specific sexual favor in exchange for all his information.
While this scene will be a hit, it won’t hurt the show and it may even attract some new viewers. However, it doesn’t seem to have any impact on the plot. Since the position, Larys’ arc was slightly altered from the book. “Master of Whisperers”It does not appear to exist in House of the Dragon. Larys holds the title and is a member of the Small Council. But, he does have a mysterious agenda in both cases and is only interested in Alicent’s interests.
The other change in this episode raises additional questions that may leave some fans of the book confused. Eve Best, Princess Rhaenys, Targaryen, is not mentioned in the coronation ceremony of King Aegon II (Tom Glynn Carney), but she is still an occasional visitor to Red Keep when it comes. She is briefly kept in her chamber before being released with one the Kingsguard knights.
Rhaenys is not content to stay put in the final minutes of this episode. She sneaks into the Dragonpit, where she mounts her dragon Meleys. “The Red Queen.” She flies her dragon into the pit’s large chamber where the coronation is being held, smashing apart the masonry and trampling many commoners – though she knows those people were forced into the chamber at sword-point to witness the coronation.
This moment of advantage is not used by Rhaenys, which is surprising. Meleys and she follow Rhaenys up the stage, glaring at each other. “Green Council,”It includes the newly-crowned King. But she doesn’t tell her dragon to burn them or cause any harm. She simply flies away – presumably to join Rhaenyra and her “Black Council.”
The scene can be interpreted in many ways. It could be that Rhaenys had planned to kill Aegon, but realized she didn’t really have the heart for it when Alicent stood between the dragon & her son. This makes sense given that Alicent and Rhaenys had a conversation earlier in this episode.
Rhaenys may have not wanted to risk retribution since she wasn’t sure how Rhaenyra or her faction would proceed. It is still shocking to watch her blatantly tromp through a group of smallfolk. Further explanation is needed for this aspect of the episode. Both sides of the civil conflict will need to confront the destructive power and control issues that the dragon riders have in the coming battles.
House of the DragonThis power has been demonstrated in an episode that focuses on Daemon’s (Matt Smith), war in the Stepstones. These scenes will hopefully inspire philosophical questions in the future episodes. House of the DragonSeason 1 ends Sunday, Oct. 23, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO Max. Fire & BloodIt is now available in print, digital, and audiobook formats.