This page contains SPOILERS for “The Green Council,” episode 9 of season 1 of House of the Dragon.
In the finale of House of the Dragon episode 9, Rhaenys Targaryen makes a big, destructive escape from King’s Landing, but she intentionally chooses not to let her dragon Meleys kill the greens despite such a simple chance. The Princess was imprisoned in her chamber at the Red Keep when Rhaenys backed Rhaenyra and her sons in their petitions over the successor to Driftmark following the death of King Viserys. Rhaenys despises that Alicent Hightower continues to support the patriarchal system that oppresses her and sought to sway Rhaenys to Aegon’s side by claiming that she should have been proclaimed Queen at the Great Council in 101 AC and that she could decide the succession of Driftmark alone. Following her release by Ser Erryk Cargyll, Rhaenys observes Aegon’s coronation in the Dragonpit before skulking off to get her dragon Meleys. She then bursts through the boards to stop the celebration and destroy the greens.
Alicent leaps in front of Aegon as Rhaenys and Meleys turn to face the greens on the platform out of concern that Rhaenys will burn them to death. Meleys screeches and opens her lips, but Rhaenys’ expression shows that she had no intention of pronouncing the word “Dracarys.” Instead, Rhaenys successfully terrifies the greens, causes Meleys to change her mind, and then departs the city. Aegon, Alicent, Otto, Aemond, Criston, and Helaena might have been burned by Meleys to finish the conflict in a single blow, but Rhaenys saved them because it wasn’t her castle that shed the first blood. No declaration of war has been made yet, and Rhaenyra is still ignorant of both Viserys’s passing and Aegon’s ascension to the throne.
Rhaenys maintains her authority and says that although she had the option to immediately murder the greens, she chose mercy and a diplomatic opening to the Dance of the Dragons. A minor portion of Rhaenys’ decision to allow Alicent and her kids to survive also has to do with the fact that following their chat in House of the Dragon episode 9, she now respects Alicent more. Rhaenys provides the greens a chance to submit while simultaneously allowing Rhaenyra to be the one to launch war by refraining from murdering them in advance.
The Benefits of Rhaenys Refusing to Burn the Greens for Rhaenyra
There wouldn’t have been any Targaryens left to start a civil war if Rhaenys had indeed slain every green at Aegon’s coronation, but Rhaenyra’s rule would have been characterized by tyranny. Burning the greens before attempting to resolve matters amicably would cancel out Rhaenyra and Daemon’s plan from House of the Dragon episode 7, which was designed to prevent her from governing as a harsh dictator. The lords from other houses will see that Rhaenyra and the blacks are humane and practical, in contrast to the greens, who have already committed high treason by usurping the throne if Rhaenys refuses to allow Meleys to burn the greens.
Furthermore, Rhaenys is aware that igniting the greens would reflect negatively on Rhaenyra rather than on herself and would probably result in Rhaenyra beheading the Princess because no war has been proclaimed. Rhaenys will be a ferocious fighter when war breaks out, but in order to advance their cause, the blacks cannot mercilessly take the first casualties.
Where Rhaenys Is Going At The End Of HOTD Episode 9
At the conclusion of House of the Dragon episode 9, Rhaenys Targaryen leaves the Dragonpit on Meleys, although she doesn’t specify her destination. It is obvious that she will make a stop at Dragonstone on the way back, where she would notify Rhaenyra and Daemon of King Viserys’ passing and the greens’ annexation of the Iron Throne. She is confident that Rhaena and Baela will show complete loyalty to their father, stepmother, fiancée, and half-siblings because the last of Rhaenys’ blood is back on Dragonstone. Rhaenys must immediately notify her cousins of the terrible news since the Black Queen will undoubtedly find her knowledge of the Hightowers’ misdeeds beneficial.