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Rhaenys was almost too cruel in the House of the Dragon episode 9 alternate ending

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A Dragon facing down members of the Hightower and Targareyean families
Image via Caparzo (Youtube)

It’s a little hard to forget a dragon popping out of a pit such as when Rhaenys Targaryen set Meleys loose in the Dragonpit at the end of House of the Dragon Episode 9, “The Green Council”. The scene was a real standout in a show that was chock-full of memorable, dramatic set pieces, but it’s a little hard to trump good ol’ dragon action.

 
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The Hightowers come out relatively unscathed, however, despite the big dragon in the room. Less lucky, however, were the thousands of townsfolk that had gathered to see King Aegon II’s coronation. Meleys proceeds to thrash about and mow down a couple of dozen innocent townsfolk, but the writers had a much more brutal outcome in mind.

VFX supervisor Mike Bell recently spoke about the original version of the scene with ScreenRant. The original version of the scene had Rhaenys slaughter a thousand of the townsfolk during her escape. Leaving fire and blood in her trail.

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“[The coronation in episode 9] was changed a little bit. Especially when Rhaenys exits, because we initially had shots where she exits and plows through thousands of people. And it was just like, ‘Well, that’s not really into the feeling of the character. There’s definitely a feeling like, “Is it okay that she’s just going through all this crowd?’,” says Bell. “We went high and then reduced it down. But in all that dust, there’s also people flying and somersaulting. I think if you paused it, you might be able to count them. It’s hundreds, maybe thousands.”

Upon first viewing, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the moment and be in awe of Rhaenys’ triumphant escape. But had the original vision made it to the final cut, The Queen Who Never Was would appear as a much greyer character than we’ve come to know in the show.

What do you think about Rhaenys’ actions at the end of House of the Dragon Episode 9? Do you think she comes out a hero or is an anti-hero at best?

More: Why is Rhaenys Targaryen called the Queen Who Never Was?

 

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