House of the Dragon S1E09 Explained

House of the Dragon S1E09 Explained

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This video has no spoilers for House of the Dragon beyond Episode 9. It does have spoilers for the original Game of Thrones show.

Weekly Alt Shift X HOTD livestreams every Sunday at ~10:15pm Eastern Time, right after each episode — then an Explained video later in the week!

Audio feed:

Images and video from Game of Thrones used under fair use.
Images from The World of Ice and Fire used with permission from Random House.
Map from The Lands of Ice and Fire.
Aegon I by Magali Villeneuve:
Targ triangles art by NaomiMakesArt:
Maelor by Sofia Golovanova:
Mushroom and Eustace by Rossy Does Drawings:

Special thanks to Patrons Cameron Weiss, Ryan Steele, Harry, Shane Veglia, Jason Rattray, NotGac, Tim Cunniff, Tessa Campbell-Kelly, T. Ledoux, Ord X, Ruven Dewender, Doctor Folter, MaxPal, Jake.


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48 Responses

  1. Alt Shift X says:

    Who’s hotter, Erryk or Arryk?
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    • Wafflelover says:

      ALT SCHIWFT X is better than both, I’m hoping he makes a comeback soon! ALT SCHIWFT X!!!!!!!!!!!! ALT SCHIWFT X!!!!!!!!!!!! ALT SCHIWFT X!!!!!!!!!!!! ALT SCHIWFT X!!!!!!!!!!!! ALT SCHIWFT X!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sam F.S says:

      Hey George, so do you think this was just yet another mistake made on Sara Hess’s part when writing the episode (When Aemond says he’s next in line)?
      In episode 6, there were issues, in fact it remains to this day the one I have a ton of issues with.
      Daemon is for some reason fireproof, Laena’s death makes no sense (Not to mention her teleportation to Vhagar), Daemon is shown to be a crappy husband to her which is not the case in the book, and a crappy father to his girls, which is also not in the book.
      Daemon is bad, he’s dark grey for sure, but in the books he’s very protective of his family so I found those decisions to be interesting.
      I’m just baffled by “the explanations” to some of Hess’s writing decisions, they just wouldn’t naturally come to me as a viewer, and I have to kinda “make up stuff” imo to justify them. 6 and 9 are probably the only two that just have straight up illogical things/mistakes in the show. Not here to bash on Hess, I respect her creative decisions, but I am just … curious about what they mean because I find myself feeling dumbfounded when attempting to explain them.

    • Shelley J says:

      Orryk, without a doubt.

    • daze3o5 says:

      having twins on ‘opposite sides’ should be fun if one pretends to be the other.

    • jon says:

      Arryk All DAMN DAY baby! lol

  2. Omar Raja - ESPN says:

    These are so good. I hate having to wait a week for them!

  3. Herztöne says:

    Everyone says Alicant’s reaction over Visarys’ corpse is grief. However, I would like to add that she has been his wife, nurse and also had to be in his bed without really enjoying that part. From my own experience as someone who has cared for a parent for 15 years I know that their passing can evoke very intense and really difficult emotions. I am sure that she liked Viserys, he was a kind man after all. But I am also very sure that all those years of being trapped in that unhappy marriage, all the burden of care fell from her in that moment, which is an immense emotional moment – and I also imagine that now, as she looks to the immediate future, fear or dread comes into play as she must know that Rhaenyra and Daemon will not accept the new king, she must sense that there will be conflict, even war. It is grief, but it is also a difficult mix of relief, emotional exhaustion, and fear of the future. And I think that Olivia Cooke did an incredible job at delivering exactly that in just that one short moment.

    • merkikima says:

      This is why allicent is one of my favorite characters she has so much depth with much to analyse and the actress is also one of the best in this show

    • Julien says:

      That’s fine, as.long as people understand that grief is part of the mix. Way too many Targ simps out there think that everything about Alicent is false, even her behavior when no one is looking, like the grief shown in the scene you reference or the care shown to Viserys the last time she saw him alive alone. It’s quite ridiculous.

    • Dr Chuckles says:

      Nice insight!

    • Marie Bourgot says:

      Exaclty what I thought!

  4. alearnedman says:

    @6:12 Otto definitely does NOT tell Harold to arrest Rhaenyra. “Be quick, and be clean” is clearly a subtle order to murder her and her family

    • AJ Winter's Wonderland says:

      “Be quick, and be clean” probably word for word what Tywin told the Mountain.

    • Apollo Sungod says:

      Otto is the puppet master in this whole thing with the Maesters and finally Alycent rising in power herself since thanks to her daddy she’s spoiled with the power she seized after throwing herself at Viserys.

    • S says:

      @Life of Diggy was wondering what happens to them. Makes sense what you say

    • Life of Diggy says:

      Also, the old geezers of house fell that didn’t bend the knee defo didn’t get prisoned but got killed. Just like the guy that got hung but probably a quicker death cause at least they didn’t try to deceive loyalty.

  5. King Edward "Longshanks" I, Hammer of the Scots, Lord of Wales and King of England says:

    While I had some issues with how drawn out the hunt for Aegon seemed to be, I have to say that I really did appreciate what it accomplished in a narrative sense as it showed his character and his relationships to everyone around him without showing us Aegon himself. First of all, no one knows where he is, so we can immediately see that until this point he was something of a secondary thought as people aren’t exactly keeping a close enough eye on the future king. But even after that, few people know where to even begin looking and it’s only because Erryk is his sworn shield that he knows Aegon’s personality and Aemond is forced to know him as his brother but neither of them enjoy this, as they resent Aegon as a person. Likewise, his perverted activities show not only a vain narcissist but also a brutal sadist who enjoys watching pain in the fighting pit, with a doubly dark dimension that Aegon might be watching his own bastard children fight to the death for his amusement.

    And even after all of that, all Aegon wants to do is literally run away from his responsibilities, to forsake the crown and run away to do literally anything else. We saw from the last episode that he’s clearly a monster but is he irredeemable? We can see that he doesn’t lust for power like Joffrey, he doesn’t crave the ability to make people hurt and he doesn’t get reinforcement from his family in his urges, just the opposite in fact which might be the cause of his urges in the first place that all he wants is love and respect but no one gives it to him which just makes his tendencies even worse.

    So that all leads up to the moment of his coronation where he unsheathes Blackfyre, to the cheers and adulation of the crowd and for the first time in his life, he finally found a purpose and place where people would accept him and love him. This was the first time Aegon felt like he had support and whereas Rhaenyra gets her validation from her family and doesn’t need the crown, Aegon gets validation from the crown and doesn’t need his family.

    I felt this added so many layers and dimensions to his character that could be explored, even though I know he’ll just end up being a diet, store brand version of Joffrey. I would love it if Aegon wanted to be a kind of populist ruler who did what he thought the people would want him to do as they’re the ones who gave him love and respect, not his family.

    It would be an interesting contrast to Rhaenyra who is kind and gentle to people in her immediate circle but is regarded as Maegor with teats by the people while Aegon is a POS to people in his life but is loved by the smallfolk.

    • ingainloggningsnamn says:

      @Lili Man-Moli That’s what I thought too, I haven’t even seen that show but he popped right up in my frown.

    • Barış Aydın says:

      Omg what a perfect comment, it is literally flawless

    • Mira Yoquesé says:

      I’m pretty sure the show will change Aegon’s personality to give us a more complex character than in the books, while still respecting the source material. It’s literally what they’ve been doing with almost every main character: Viserys, Alicent, Rhaenyra, Rhaenys… I’m 100% Aegon will not be just a wannabe Joffrey.

    • Made-line 🎭 says:

      @G P Good point. Rumours would have to have gotten around about him

    • Made-line 🎭 says:

      @French Guitar Guy I think he posted it on another video. And why not? They’re very interesting insights

  6. Roman Rhodes says:

    Helaena Targaryen is the Patchface we didn’t get in the original series

    • Manuel G says:

      i CAME>>>>>

    • Jordan Van Gundy says:

      Helaena might be the first autistic character on a show to win an Emmy

    • George Papasymeonidis says:


    • vivian*darkbloom says:

      @Existential Crisis Core on Infinite Earths I appreciate your response! I definitely get what you’re saying – I like that they’re making this character who society dismisses because they don’t think she’s important …literally the most important in terms of “knowledge” of the future. She’s sort of like those character in other texts who are dismissed as “mad” …when they actually speak the truth or have valuable info.

  7. Tech 215 says:

    Olivia Cooke is not only crazy beautiful but such an amazing actress. They really did an awesome job casting this show.

    • Raphael Ambrosius Costeau says:

      @Barış Aydın There’s literally no evidence for this, you’re just saying “think about it” prefacing complete conjecture

    • Barış Aydın says:

      @Raphael Ambrosius Costeau Surprise would be a heavy word but it has some reality in it. Think about it, when people are beautiful, they have access to much more opportunities in virtually everything. Therefore, it is slightly more common for “beautiful people” not improving themselves in certain things

    • Kevin W says:

      I tell ya, she’s got a flawless American accent. because of my very few talents in this world is a good ear for accents, and “Ready Player One” was my first ever exposure to her, and I never remotely questioned she wasn’t American in real life (there’s been a few actors the last few years who have accomplished that)

    • Raphael Ambrosius Costeau says:

      i mean i agree in spirit but why is amazing actress second to beautiful as though it’s a surprise she’s good at her job

    • HB says:

      I agree. I was extremely skeptical and (understandably) pessimistic after what GoT did to us at the end but I’ve been really impressed by the majority of the casting. Excited to see if it stays this way and who else they chose.

  8. Domee894 says:

    When Alicent called Aegon an imbecile I actually thought she meant: “You imbecile, of course, I love you, how can you even ask that?” She even smiles lightly when she says that. But at the same time, she’s not capable of actually saying she loves him so that’s her way of expressing it.

    • Kevin W says:

      the more I’ve thought about it, I don’t necessarily think it’s a “does she love him or not” kind of thing. I think the one prime possibility is what you’ve described, versus her saying that in, “whether I love you is irrelevant, that’s the last thing you should be concerned with right now, you can’t look this needy as a king”

    • Elias Magus says:

      I thought that’s what she meant

  9. AW Hartig says:

    Myseria laid out some of the heaviest foreshadowing in the series “there is no power but what the people allow you to take”. Abusing the smallfok, particularly in KL, is going to end VERY BADLY for them but in pursuit of power, they have put them on a course of self destruction.

  10. G C says:

    The complete irony of Alicent telling Rhaenys that she had the better temperament to be the reigning monarch while she’s trying to install Aegon, who is…. yeah, when there is Rhaenyra, who isn’t perfect, but we can all agree between the two, she has the better temperament.

    • Elias Magus says:

      Agree Alicent should just let Aegon sail away , Aemond would be better than him. But in her mind this is what Viseys wanted

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