‘House Of The Dragon’: Why Rhaenys Didn’t Kill Aegon, Alicent & The Rest Of The Royal Family

Rhaenys had the opportunity to end the coup and prevent the Dance of the Dragons in 'House of the Dragon' episode 9. Eve Best and the 'HOTD' showrunner reveal why she couldn't kill Aegon and his entire family.

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After being locked in her room as Alicent and Otto plotted to usurp the Iron Throne, Rhaenys Velaryon showed everyone exactly whose side she was on in the final moments of House of the Dragon episode 9. In the middle of Aegon’s coronation, Rhaenys burst from below the Dragonpit on top of her red dragon, Meleys.

“In the end, she makes a bigger choice. We see that at the moment with what’s going on in Ukraine; to choose not to destroy is the better choice. That’s an important thing for us all to remember right now,” Eve Best told Vulture about Rhaenys’ decision.

Rhaenys turned towards Aegon and the rest of the family on Meleys, and it seemed like this could be the end for these Targaryens and Hightowers. Instead of burning them all to ashes, Rhaenys had Meleys roar in their faces, a terrifying warning about what is to come. War is now inevitable since Aegon, Alicent, and the others betrayed Viserys’ chosen heir, Rhaenyra.

Eve Best
Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon. (HBO)

She continued, “It’s why she would have made such a great leader. She had, in that moment, all the power. Yet she has respect for Alicent as a woman and a mother. They understand being in the grip of other people who might torch them. They know the only right choice is not to go there. Furthermore, it’s the intelligent choice, on her part, not to torch a whole bunch of innocent people in the room. What’s to be gained? In the end, it’s not her battle.”

After making a grand entrance, Rhaenys and Meleys flew out of the Dragonpit and headed straight to Dragonstone to tell Rhaenyra of this coup against her. Alicent and Otto didn’t even have the decency to let Rhaenyra know that her father had died. They went straight into usurper mode to get Aegon on the Iron Throne. Rhaenys, a.k.a. the Queen Who Never Was, knows all too well about what it feels like to be passed over in favor of a male heir.

Tom Glynn-Carney
Tom Glynn-Carney as Aegon Targaryen. (HBO)

House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal said in an Inside the Episode video, “She knows if she sets fire to that dais, she ends any possibility of war and probably sets peace throughout the Realm, but I think probably doesn’t want to be responsible for doing that to another mother. It’s a complex choice and one that people might dispute or have a problem with, but that’s the choice Rhaenys makes in that moment.”

Executive producer Miguel Sapochnik noted that this was an “incredibly valuable moment” for Rhaenys to take a stand. “But her moral standpoint becomes the reason for inaction rather than action,” he said. The House of the Dragon finale airs October 23 on HBO.

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