The infrastructure we prepared throughout the series was entirely for the last two episodes. We knew a war would start, but we had to learn the parties’ motivations and feelings toward each other. We watched these uploads for eight episodes. The stage was delicately prepared. And now we come to that expected part where the end of the rope breaks. The king is dead. What follows will be unstoppable chaos. We made the beginning of this chaos silently, but it ended loudly. War has been officially declared. From now on, we will follow the moves of the parties.
I will divide this chapter into 4 parts. Then I will explain many lovely details and close my article. Let’s start.
First Episode’s Review
Second Episode’s Review
Third Episode’s Review
Fourth Episode’s Review
Fifth Episode’s Review
Sixth Episode’s Review
Seventh Episode’s Review
Eighth Episode’s Review
In the last chapter, I complained about the previous dialogue between king Viserys and Alicent. Because the entire civil war was based on a misunderstanding, which was quite a departure from the book. However, the ninth episode reversed my concerns, and we saw that the series’ screenwriters were prepared for everything throughout the eight episodes and planned to get away from the book from the beginning.
According to the original book, Alicent wanted to put Aegon on the throne because she thought Rhaenyra would kill her children. But here we see that King Viserys “suggests” at his last will to enthrone him. Yet Alicent is not entirely sure about that either. The show is doing its best not to make Alicent look all evil. Those who compared Alicent to Cersei were wrong. Unfortunately, Alicent is an all-male victim. Here I congratulate the attitude and consistency of the series.
We thought the war was going to start with a misunderstanding. But we saw that the men on the council were already plotting to put Aegon on the throne and kill Rhaenyra. Rhaenys had said in chapter two that men would rather set the land on fire than see a woman on the throne. This is precisely what is happening. Despite being the queen, Alicent is the victim of her council. Although it has a different point of view than the original story, the result is the same, and the series manages to stay consistent in this regard.
Again, the death of Lord Beesbury was changed entirely. Bessburry, whom Criston Cole slits his throat or throws out the window in the original text, now accidentally dies in a moment of rage. Although the Greens portray themself as sneaky background plotters trying to take down the throne, the writers try not to Cersei-fy them as much as possible. There isn’t a downright evil character in the show right now. The screenwriters are probably doing this so that the audience is not one-sided when choosing sides and that each character can be sympathetic. But there is an irony here too. Despite being a religious organization, the Greens do not hesitate to do all kinds of evil.
The thing I was most curious about in this part was what would happen to Westerling, the commander of the kingsguard. Normally, he should have already died before the council, but the fact that the writers did not kill him made me wonder if Criston would kill him. But it was not as I thought. He did his show off in front of everyone, like Ser Barristan in Game of Thrones, and left. Will he return in the future? That’s I don’t know.
Who is the Real King?
I can say that I loved the parts of the series, the council and after. With the king’s death, the series turns into a mysterious and suspenseful quest. In the original book, Aegon didn’t want to be king anyway. But the screenwriters wanted to fill it a little more. We know that Aegon will have bastards in the future. This reveals the fact that he is with other women even though he is married. As such, the screenwriters wanted to turn him into a pleasure-seeking person. They have also been successful. There is actually an allegory here. As Aemond and Criston Cole search for Aegon, Aemond can’t help but speak:
“Here I am, trawling the city, ever the good soldier in search of a wastrel who’s never taken half an interest in his birthright. It is I the younger brother who studies history and philosophy. It is I who trains with the sword. It is I who rides the world’s largest dragon. It is I who should be…”
From this, we understand that Aemond actually has an eye on the throne. Again, this is an example of screenwriters designing a character. Aemond appears as a downright evil character in the book, but in the series, Aemond is shown as a more settled and self-developed family member. But because he is a man with a high sense of duty, he cannot get his brother out of the way. When Aegon tells him, “I will go to Esos, no one will find me,” he thinks of realizing this grandiose plan, but in the end, he prefers to follow the law.
I have to say that I also love this infrastructure because we know from the original story that Aemond will sit on the throne in the coming seasons, albeit temporarily. For this reason, the throne curiosity added to it is actually quite compatible with the story.
There are different parts from the book in the process after the king’s death. In the original story, the king dies, but the council hides it for 10 days. People ask about the king, and when the stench of the corpse begins to permeate the corridors, they are forced to announce his death and make Aegon king. In these 10 days, while looking for allies, they also have the pro-Black people in the palace imprisoned.
I loved the attitude of the show in this part. The music playing while Aegon was being searched and people being summoned into the palace, the fact that everyone was on their toes and struggling with time, gave me goosebumps. Unfortunately, we lost some in this cleanup. One of them was Lord Coswell, as I mentioned to you. Coswell, who was always by Rhaenyra’s side, unfortunately, led himself to death by acting impulsively. Not only he, but one of the lords who swore allegiance to the queen, and Lady Fell, was probably killed, as was Coswell.
There are 2 essential details in this section. The first is that the birds of Mysaria have infiltrated the Red Keep. We learned that some of the servants the knights had gathered gave information to Mysaria. The second important detail is that this is perhaps one of the most surprising events of the episode, that Larys Strong, who turns out to be a foot fetishist, knows Mysaria. There is no such dual struggle in the book. However, we understand that the relationship between Larys and Mysaria will be similar to the relationship between Varys and Littlefinger in Game of Thrones. Because we know from the book that Mysaria will be assigned by Alicent in the following chapters.
But it was terrific that Larys Strong turned out to be a foot fetishist. I was happy that the screenwriters were in a mentality that could compete with Martin’s craziness. This kind of craziness adds color to the series.
According to the book, it was Criston Cole who convinced Aegon. Criston Cole, the Kingsguard, convinced him that if Rhaenyra became queen, she would kill his entire family. But when this infrastructure was entirely changed, Criston did not need to persuade. On the contrary, there is a situation of being made king by force. And not just him. The people are also forcibly brought to watch him unwillingly become king. Normally, in the book, the public came to the Dragonpit with great excitement. But here, there is a case of bringing it to the rally by buses, which can be found in third-world countries today. It kinda made me laugh.
The people are as puzzled as Aegon. They knew that when the king died, Rhaenyra would become queen. But they suddenly learned that Viserys wanted Aegon. This part was full of details that resembled today’s world. People don’t understand the situation so much that they don’t even know what to applaud. Ser Jorah once said:
“The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends, it is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace. They never are.”
The lords are fighting over the hill, and the people don’t even know what’s going on. They don’t care, either. They say to the people, applaud, and they applaud. When everyone starts to applaud, Aegon gets carried away too. Aegon, who doesn’t want to be king and take responsibility, turns into the tribune leader after all the acclamation.
But the coronation ceremony is interrupted by a scene that is not in the book, and it enchanted me. Rhaenys is officially showing off with her dragon Meleys from underground. As far as I can see, this part disturbed many viewers. But this part is quite logical and has a suitable investment in the future. Two aspects are criticized.
“The Lord of Westeros are sheep. Are you sheep? No, you’re dragon. Be a dragon!”
– Olenna Tyrell
First, why did Rhaenys come out of there? We know that there is a rear entrance to Dragonpit. But we don’t know if Rhaenys knows this or if that exit is open or closed. Knowing that she must escape, Rhaenys finds the solution by getting off the ground. Her coming out by killing the public is actually a significant investment in the final season of the series. The people saw that it was a dragon who attacked them. And this happened in Dragonpit. Those who know the story know what I mean. Even funnier, Aegon has publicly declared the “protector of the realm,” but from the very first minute, we saw that he could not protect anyone. In fact, the following message emerges: Dragons are no joke. This is precisely what happens when you fight them.
The second problem is why Rhaenys didn’t call it Dracarys. Unlike everyone else, if Rhaenys said Dracarys, the show would not end, and the fuse of a complete war would have been ignited. Let me explain the reasons right away. Yes, the greens usurped the throne. Technically, they were treacherous. But officially, on the field, war has not started. There will be more diplomatic talks. As such, Rhaenys could not kill them because of a war that had not yet begun. The second, and the writers’ reason, is that Rhaenys had no reason to kill them, which is also true. This war is not her war. Especially, a woman who had not been a queen before could not be expected to kill another for the Rhaenyra’s right to be a queen. Rhaenys intimidated the greens and left. It was a pretty cool and accurate scene.
But let me give you a third reason. I think this reason is much stronger than others. In front of all people, Otto Hightower said that King Viserys declared Aegon as his heir in his last edict. The people heard this. They all officially watched as Aegon became an official king. Aegon has been formally proclaimed a king, although the greens have ascended to the throne. If Rhaenys had publicly killed the king, the king’s hand, the queen, the commander of the kingsguard, and worst of all, the High Septon, she would have taken the entire people against her. Now you will say, what does it matter after the thieves are dead? If you know the story, it matters a lot. As Mysaria noted in the episode, they sit on that throne as long as the people allow. The public is the last thing the nobility would want to confront. So much so that these people will rise toward the series finale and prove why no one should act against the people. If Rhaenys had killed everyone there, it would have been marked by the people and the realm. The Blacks’ just cause would have been tarnished, and the lords of other lands would probably have declared war against them.
We know that Rhaenys got off from the ground to look cool totally. As Sara Hess said. But I don’t see a problem here because writing a screenplay is technically like that. You do things that will be cool. If you can make sense of this, your movie or TV series will be successful.
Some Beautiful Details
There was a lot of detail in this episode. But they showed these for a few seconds and backed away. They did this on purpose. Thus, they left many question marks for those of us who knew the story. The first of them is Aegon’s bastard, whom we see in the corner. This bastard, whom we will know as Gaemon Palehair, will not appear until the fourth season if the series lasts for 4 seasons. I won’t post to avoid excessive spoilers. Instead, I leave you my Civil War Article.
One of the second details that the screenwriters throw at us is a possible relationship between Aemond and Helaena. When Alicent uses the word father, Helaena’s children say, “Aemond.” Helaena, who doesn’t even let her mother touch her, is intrigued when she sees Aemond. So the question: Are Helaena’s children from Aemond?
We also learned that Helaena is a Dreamer. A Targaryen named Daenys dreamed that Valyria would be destroyed, and they fled because her father believed in her. Daenys was right, too. Like Daenys, Helaena sometimes makes irrelevant sentences, but they all come out. She knew that Aemond’s eye would be cut off, the black and green would separate, and Rhaenys would emerge from the ground with her dragon. Looks like we’ll pay attention to what Helaena said from now on.
One of the lords and the lady of House Fell did not bow when Otto Hightower confronted the lords and ladies before the throne. According to the book, Lady Fell was decapitated, and her head was driven on a stake. On the contrary, Willis Fell, one of Viserys’ kingsguard, chose Aegon’s side. We will likely see him in the future.
We saw that they gave Aegon a black crown. The main reason for this is that Viserys’ golden crown was stolen. We will see this in the next episode. In the original story, Steffon Darklyn of the kingsguard steals the crown and takes it to Rhenyra. But we understand that the writers changed that and gave the crown to the Cargyl brothers. Since Arryk and Erryk play a vital role in the story, the writers leave it to Erryk to take the crown.
Something between the Queen and Criston? According to the story, Criston allegedly had a secret affair with the queen. In this episode, a dialogue will lay the groundwork for this gossip. The way Alicent approaches Criston makes you wonder if something will really happen between them?
The coronation at Dragonpit is not the first major event held there. Alyssa Velaryon and Rogar Baratheon wed at the Golden Wedding in the Dragonpit in 49 AC, making the scene even more ironic considering that Velaryon married there.
Finally, I will talk about Mysaria. In this episode, we saw marks on Mysaria’s neck. We may have seen it before, but it was the first time I noticed it. We know that Mysaria used to be a slave in Lys. That’s precisely why she has a bad accent. Varys, whom we know from Game of Thrones, was also from Lys. There was no problem with his speech. This may be because Varys has a different story than Mysaria and spend more time with lords. Although Varys was a slave, he had been found at many points. Mysaria, on the other hand, does not have such a story.
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