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House of the Dragon: why didn’t Rhaenys kill Alicent and Aegon?

House of the Dragon: The Greens have finally made their move dooming the realm in the process so why didn't Rhaenys kill Alicent and Aegon and end the madness?

House of the Dragon: why didn't Rhaenys kill Alicent and Aegon?

Why didn’t Rhaenys kill Alicent and Aegon? Warning spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon episode 9. Well, the Hightowers and the Greens have finally done it. They’ve usurped the Iron Throne from its rightful heir and put Aegon II Targaryen on the throne instead.

The decision to do this will plunge the realm into chaos and eventually war as Rhaenyra tries to take back what’s rightfully hers. In the latest episode of the fantasy series, however, we saw that someone could have ended the Dance of the Dragons before it even began, ‘the Queen Who Never Was’ Princess Rhaenys Velaryon.

Rhaenys had the Greens at her mercy; she was riding her dragon Meleys while they were on foot; she’d also just killed an awful lot of common folk while escaping the dragon pit, so it’s not like she was squeamish about getting blood on her hands. So why didn’t Rhaenys kill Alicent and Aegon? 

Why didn’t Rhaenys kill Alicent and Aegon?

There are likely two reasons Rhaenys didn’t kill Alicent, Aegon, and the Greens. The first is one of practicality. Rhaenys may have had the upper hand while on Meleys, but let’s not forget that dragons aren’t indestructible.

Rhaenys had just seen the people cheering Aegon’s coronation, and he had many armed guards with him. It’s possible Rhaneys thought killing the new and seemingly popular king would result in her being attacked and Meleys being overrun.

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Murdering Aegon in cold blood would also have likely sparked an uprising in the land, and Rhaenys would be seen as a kin-slayer — a grave sin in Westeros — while Rhaeynra would have become a usurper. We have the benefit of knowing that this all leads to a massive civil war, but Rhaenys doesn’t know that.

As far as she’s concerned, this whole debacle may have a peaceful outcome, and all murdering the Greens would have done was made war a guarantee. As a politician, she may regret that decision, but as a person, we doubt it.

House of the Dragon: why didn't Rhaenys kill Alicent and Aegon?

The likely second reason for Rhaneys’ mercy is that she’s not a cold-blooded killer. Throughout the TV series, we’ve seen that Rhaenys, while taciturn and stern, isn’t a ruthless tyrant; she’s a kindly grandmother and a supportive mother. Rhaenys likely wouldn’t have considered killing children and their mother while there was still an opportunity for peace.

Want to know more about the Dance of the Dragons? We’ve got guides to three of the civil war’s biggest players Larys Strong, Ser Criston Cole, and Daemon Targaryen.