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House of the Dragon star explains Rhaenys’ episode 9 decision

Eve Best, who plays Rhaenys in House of the Dragon, has been discussing her momentous decision to spare Alicent and Aegon in episode 9

Rhaenys in House of the Dragon

An undoubted highlight of episode 9 of House of the Dragon was Rhaenys Targaryen bursting through the floor and escaping on Meleys (AKA the Red Queen) during Aegon’s coronation. Now, actress Eve Best (who plays Rhaenys) has been speaking to Entertainment Weekly about Rhaenys’ motivations.

Rhaenys mercifully chooses not to allow Meleys to rain down fire upon the ‘traitors,’ and instead rides off to Dragonstone to inform Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) that she has been betrayed and usurped. We have our own theories as to why Rhaenys chooses not to kill Alicent and Aegon, – one being that it would curtail the series because the war would pretty much be over – but Best of course has her own opinions.

Best says; “It’s the pinnacle. It’s the moment when she shows herself to be the greatest possible ruler. It’s the most outrageous and explosive action of the season. In a way, it’s also the most merciful and most graceful act. It’s because she’s so intelligent and in the end chooses to do the right thing, which is not to destroy.”

Best continues; “It’s a truly forgiving moment and sort of a loving moment, in a weird way. She has all the ammunition, and the desire for revenge is so great. She’s suffered so much loss, and for her own sake and on behalf of so many others, the urge to destroy is so strong. And yet the choice not to destroy becomes even stronger.”

Best concludes; “That’s the mark of greatness and [a] truly inspiring moment — I think actually one that is particularly resonate in this context of what we’re going through right now in our world with everything that’s going on with Russia. The choice not to drop the bombs is the greater choice.”

Alicent also stands in front Aegon, shielding him and protecting him from the Red Queen. “Alicent steps up as a mother,” Best adds. “I think Rhaenys sees that and respects that.”

While we prepare ourselves for the grand finale, check out our guide to Mysaria, the White Worm.