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House of the Dragon: King Viserys has passed away as Queen Alicent prepares

After struggling for years with an unknown illness, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) has passed away in the ninth episode of HBO’s House of the Dragon.

The King was seen in his bed taking his last breath in last week’s eighth episode – The Lord of the Tides – which jumped six years in time from the previous episode.

Sunday night’s new episode – entitled The Green Council – takes place seemingly immediately after the last episode as the succession of Viserys is dealt with.

Passed away: After struggling for years with an unknown illness, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) has passed away in the ninth episode of HBO’s House of the Dragon

Succession: Sunday night's new episode - entitled The Green Council - takes place seemingly immediately after the last episode as the succession of Viserys is dealt with

Succession: Sunday night’s new episode – entitled The Green Council – takes place seemingly immediately after the last episode as the succession of Viserys is dealt with

The episode begins with the Iron Throne empty as a young boy walks through the Red Keep, telling a Talya (Alexis Raben) something.

She goes to see Queen Alicent, presumably telling her that King Viserys is dead as she tells her to tell no one.

Alicent goes to see her father Otto (Rhys Ifans) who asks her who knows and she says just Talya.        

Otto and Alicent: Alicent goes to see her father Otto (Rhys Ifans) who asks her who knows and she says just Talya

Otto and Alicent: Alicent goes to see her father Otto (Rhys Ifans) who asks her who knows and she says just Talya

‘I saw him last night… Before he– He told me he wished for Aegon to be king. It is the truth. Uttered with his own lips. His last words to me and I was the only one to hear it. And now he’s dead,’ she says.

Otto and Alicent call a small council meeting, telling them that the King is dead and he told Queen Alicent he wanted Aegon to be King. 

Alicent learns that the small council had been secretly planting to supplant Rhaenyra with Aegon, though Lord Beesbury (Bill Patterson) is outraged.

Last night: 'I saw him last night... Before he-- He told me he wished for Aegon to be king. It is the truth. Uttered with his own lips. His last words to me and I was the only one to hear it. And now he's dead,' she says

Last night: ‘I saw him last night… Before he– He told me he wished for Aegon to be king. It is the truth. Uttered with his own lips. His last words to me and I was the only one to hear it. And now he’s dead,’ she says

New King: Otto and Alicent call a small council meeting, telling them that the King is dead and he told Queen Alicent he wanted Aegon to be King

New King: Otto and Alicent call a small council meeting, telling them that the King is dead and he told Queen Alicent he wanted Aegon to be King

‘This is seizure! It is theft! It is treason!’ he says, as he also wonders if the king has died of his own accord.

Lord Beesbury continues going on about this outrage when Ser Criston (Fabian Frankel) slams his head on the table, killing him.

Ser Harrold (Graham McTavish) takes out his sword and demands Criston drop his sword and they want to remove Lord Beesbury but Otto says the door stays shut until their business is finished.  

Treason: 'This is seizure! It is theft! It is treason!' he says, as he also wonders if the king has died of his own accord

Treason: ‘This is seizure! It is theft! It is treason!’ he says, as he also wonders if the king has died of his own accord

‘We may not assume the loyalty of Lord Borros. But he has four daughters, all of them unmarried. -The right proposal,’ Otto says as Alicent asks, ‘What of Rhaenyra?’

‘The former heir cannot, of course, be allowed to remain free and draw support to her claim,’ Otto says as Alicent asks, ‘You mean to imprison her.’

‘Otto says, ‘She and her family will be given the opportunity to publicly swear obeisance to the new King. She will never bend the knee. Nor will Daemon, which you know. You plan to kill them. And all here accede to this. 

Grand Maester Orwyle says, ‘Your father is correct, Your Grace. A living challenger invites battle and bloodshed. It is unsavory, yes. But a sacrifice we must make to secure Aegon’s succession. And then there is Daemon to consider.’

Otto tells Lord Commander Westerling, ‘Take your knights to Dragonstone. Be quick and be clean,’ but Westerling does not agree.  

‘I am Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. I recognize no authority but the King’s. And until there is one… I have no place here,’ he says before leaving.

The episode cuts to Princess Helaena (Phia Saban) who gets visited by her mother Alicent, asking where Aegon is.

They ask around but no one can find him as Ser Erryk (Elliott Tittensor) says he thinks he left the Red Keep secretly and went into the city. 

Otto tells Erryk to find him, adding, ‘Take no one else but your brother. And remove your white cloaks. None can know who you are or what you seek… Including the Queen. My Lord. Bring him to me, and me alone, Ser Erryk.’

Erryk and his brother Arryk (Luke Tittensor) scour the city with Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) looking for Aegon, but they don’t have much luck.

Otto is in the throne room, asking the King’s bannermen to swear their fealty to the new King Aegon.

One man says he will not bend the knee while another house swears their oath to the princess as well.

Knights lead them away while the rest bend the knee… as we see Larys (Matthew Needham) watching these proceedings.

The brothers Erryk and Arryk are walking through the city with Aemond when they come across what seems to be a fighting establishment, where many cheer on a number of fighters in a pit.

They are followed by a young Black girl who says she can take him to Prince Aegon for a price.

They say deliver him and they will consider a price, while back at the Red Keep,  they catch one of the bannerman Allun Caswell (Paul Hickey) trying to escape and warn others about the princess being supplanted.

Otto thanks Larys for tracking him and says he’s been spending many hours with the Queen lately and he says there’s no reason those hours couldn’t benefit him.

Alicent sees Viserys’ body before seeing Rhaenys (Eve Best), telling her the King is dead and Aegon will take the throne, asking for her support.

‘House Velaryon has long allied itself with the Princess Rhaenyra and what has it gained you? Your daughter dead… Alone in Pentos. Your son cuckolded. Rhaenyra’s heirs are none of yours. It is your husband who grasps so heedlessly for the throne,’ she says. 

‘And even he has abandoned you: Gone these six long years to fight a desperate battle, returning grievously, if not mortally, wounded, leaving the Lady of Driftmark to chart her course alone,’ she says but Rhaenys says, ‘The word of my house is not fickle.’

Alicent says that Rhaenys can have Driftmark if that’s what she wishes, as Rhaenys says she’s more intelligent than she gave her credit for.

‘You desire not to be free, but to make a window in the wall of your prison. Have you never imagined yourself… On the Iron Throne?’ Rhaenys asks her.

Alicent tells Rhaenys to ring the bell when she has an answer before leaving her quarters. 

Otto goes to see The White Worm (Sonoya Mizuno), who offers condolences on the King’s passing before they hand over some gold.

She tells them Aegon is ‘safely tucked away’ and she wants an end to the ‘savage use of children in Flea Bottom.’

‘They are forced to fight, and worse… Your gold cloaks take the bribes given them to look away. An obscenity either tolerated or ignored by the crown,’ she says.

Otto gives her his word they will look into it.

Erryk and Arryk find Aegon hiding but he tries to run away and they catch him, telling them that the White Worm sold him for a price.

When they get outside, Criston starts fighting with the brothers while Aegon tries to escape while Aemond stop Aegon.

Aegon asks if their father is really dead and he says yes and they want to make him king.

‘I have no wish to rule! I have no taste for duty. I am not suited!’ Aegon says as Aemond agrees.

Aegon says he will find a ship and sail away never to be found again but Ser Criston takes him in saying, ‘The Queen awaits.’

Alicent goes to see Otto who congratulates her, adding, ‘We have relied on one another these many years. And now it is the good of the family that we both desire.’

‘Whatever our differences, our hearts remain as one,’ he says, but she adds, ‘Our hearts were never one. I see that now. Rather, I have been a piece that you moved about the board. If that is true, then I made you Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

Alicent says they will offer Rhaenyra terms, ‘True terms, such that she may accept without shame.’

Otto adds, ‘If she lives, her allies will mass behind her banners, -looking for her return,’ but Alicent says, ‘Then she must not return. My husband would have desired this mercy be shown -to his daughter.’

‘Your husband? Or you, his daughter’s childhood companion?’ Otto asks.

‘Criston Cole will be named Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. My son will be anointed tomorrow at dawn. The whole of King’s Landing must witness his ascent. He will assume authority. There will be no more dithering. My son will take the crown of his namesake, the Conqueror, and carry Blackfyre, his sword. Let the people remember the ancient strength of House Targaryen,’ she says.

Alicent goes to her chambers when she finds Larys, who tells her that he has found out something she should know.

‘Have you asked yourself, I wonder… How it is… That your father, the Hand… Found Aegon first?’ Larys says.

He tells her there is, ‘a web of spies’ at work in the Red Keep and her father knows this, telling her that one of the spies is her handmaiden Talya.

‘There is one way to destroy his advantage. It must be taken out at the head. When the Queen dies, the bees fly without purpose. Begging your pardon for the turn of phrase, Your Grace.’

‘I assume this task falls within your expertise,’ she asks and he says, ‘If you wish it… it will be done.’

When she turns her head away from him, Larys seemingly starts masturbating.

Arryk goes to see Rhaenys, saying he cannot let this treachery stand.

He takes her south of King’s Way, leading her to the Blackwater while a man is seen setting a home on fire.

Arryk tells Rhaenys that she has to leave town but they get separated in a huge crowd in the city.

Alicent and Aegon are riding in a carriage as Aegon says his father never wanted this but Alicent insists he changed his mind.

He says that his father never liked him and she says, ‘And yet, with his final breath, he whispered to me that you should take his place on the throne.

‘Do not toy with me, Mother,’ he says and she insists, ‘I speak the truth.’

She adds, ‘Your grandfather, the Hand, will try to impress on you that Rhaenyra should be put to the sword. You must reject this counsel. We must not rule with cruelty and callousness. For all her faults, she is your sister, your, your father’s daughter.’

He asks if she loves him and she calls him an imbecile while a massive crowd is gathering outside.

Otto tells the crowd, ‘People of King’s Landing… Today is the saddest of days. Our beloved king… Viserys the Peaceful…  Is dead.’

‘But it is also the most joyous of days… For as his spirit left us… He whispered his final wish: That his firstborn son, Aegon… should succeed him,’ Otto says as the crowd applauds.

Knights file into the hall,  raising their swords for Aegon to walk under, lowering them as he passes. 

‘It is your great good fortune and privilege to be here to witness this: A new day for our city… A new day for our realm. A new king… To lead us,’ Otto says as Aegon makes it to the throne and kneels.

Septon Eustace says, ‘May the Warrior give him courage. May the Smith lend strength to his sword and shield. May the Father defend him in his need,’ while Rhaenys leaves the hall.

‘May the Crone lift her shining lamp and light his way to wisdom,’ he adds, as the Crown of the Conqueror is placed on Aegon’s head.

‘Let the Seven bear witness. Aegon Targaryen is the true heir to the Iron Throne,’ he adds.

They all bow to the new King as the crowd breaks into raucous applause.

Aegon removes his sword and thrusts it into the air, as the crowd cheers even louder…. but an explosion rips through the hall…. as a DRAGON starts destroying the hall as people flee.

As the smoke clears… Rhaenys is seen on the Dragon as Alicent steps in front of Aegon to shield him.

The dragon screeches at Alicent and Aegon but does not destroy them… seemingly accepting Alicent’s terms before she flies the dragon out of the Red Keep as the episode comes to an end.

The preview for next week’s Season 1 finale shows Rhaenys arriving at Dragonstone, telling Rhaenyra everything as the realm prepares for war.

Final words: His final words were to his wife, Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke), though in his feeble state, he seemed to have confused her for his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy)

Final words: His final words were to his wife, Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke), though in his feeble state, he seemed to have confused her for his daughter Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy)

Children: At the time Rhaenyra was the King's only child and he swore that even if he were to have more children with Alicent that he would keep her as the heir

Children: At the time Rhaenyra was the King’s only child and he swore that even if he were to have more children with Alicent that he would keep her as the heir

Renewed: House of the Dragon was already renewed for a second season on HBO, though no production details were released quite yet

Renewed: House of the Dragon was already renewed for a second season on HBO, though no production details were released quite yet

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