Why House of the Dragon’s Rhaenys didn’t kill the king (simply everyone else)

House of the Dragon’s ninth episode was on the extra quiet and contemplative aspect, proper till it wasn’t. After Viserys’ dying, a fort lockdown, and the coronation of a brand new king, there have been certain to be a couple of dissenting voices, and the loudest amongst them was Rhaenys Targaryen, the most up-to-date Westerosian to declare her loyalties to Princess Rhaenyra and the Blacks.

But whereas the motivation of Rhaenys’ theatrical entrance to the new king’s coronation aren’t arduous to overlook, the causes behind her fastidiously intimidating exit could be. While she had the probability to make a fiery escape and finish a couple of conflicts in a flash, Rhaenys additionally knew that the destiny of Westeros isn’t so simple as a couple of burned our bodies.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 9.]

King Aegon II’s reign started with a lower than auspicious second as, at the very top of his reward from the individuals of King’s Landing, Rhaenys Targaryen smashed by the domed roof along with her dragon Meleys, absolutely crushing dozens of peasants. Meleys then approached the stage that held the royal household to face menacingly in entrance of Aegon and the relaxation of them. Game of Thrones followers would possibly count on the scene to finish in swift dying, however Rhaenys and her dragon merely depart quite than roasting the complete social gathering. There’s a notable cause for the restraint.

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower standing over the wrapped body of King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon

Photo: Liam Daniel/HBO

The largest of these causes is sensible: An total auditorium of individuals was cheering for the newly topped King, and murdering him and his host there can be regicide, regardless of who the rightful or supposed inheritor truly was. Sure, Rhaenyra may have stepped into the energy vacuum, however The Realm’s Delight would have immediately been seen as a terror, and the Queen Who Never Was as a murderous confederate with out even a shred of honor.

With a single act, Rhaenys would have thrown the total Targaryen dynasty right into a second of profound weak point over the continent they rule. And an act of outright violence and treason may have despatched King’s Landing (to not point out the relaxation of Westeros) into whole chaos. This sort of battle is why wars are fought, and successful is barely presupposed to be price it if what you’re preventing for continues to be round whenever you’re the final one standing.

Aside from the political ramifications of roasting the royal household, there’s additionally an equally sturdy superstitious cause Rhaenys didn’t kill Aegon: kinslaying. According to Westerosi custom, nobody is as cursed as a kinslayer, that means that those that kill members of their very own household are sometimes beset by horrible tragedies and thought of as monsters.

When the full Targaryen civil warfare does get away, kinslaying shall be an almost inevitable aspect impact, however for Rhaenys, it’s potential that the thought of killing so many of her circle of relatives, in such a short while, in entrance of hundreds of onlookers, was merely an excessive amount of to bear. While the eventual dying and penalties of letting everyone stay could seem apparent, a easy act like this proves that Westeros’ traditions haven’t all fallen away simply but, regardless of who sits the throne — not less than for now.

Even if we don’t know the precise causes for her momentary mercy, it’s clear that Rhaenys’ actions throughout Aegon II’s coronation had been a sign of defiance in opposition to the new crown and the perceived treason that Queen Alicent, her father, and her kids have dedicated. Even if no members of the royal household died, Rhaenys’ slight (and her possible homicide of many King’s Landing residents) are the first actual pictures of the Dance of the Dragons and the wider warfare to return.

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