The Hightowers kept Princess Rhaenys in captivity after the king’s passing in order to move forward with their plan. Though they tried, Rhaenys found a way out and left, making a statement against the Hightowers.
The King’s passing and his wish for Aegon to ascend the throne made things easier for the Hightowers, as they were plotting a way to do this for a long time.
Though the Hightowers knew they were committing an act of treason, as the king hadn’t officially declared Aegon as his heir, they were eager to turn things on their side.
Otto gathered the lords present at King’s Landing and demanded their support for Aegon. The ones who didn’t support Aegon were arrested or hanged.
Princess Rhaenys was one of the captives, who was locked in her room waiting for some explanation.
Alicent asks for Rhaenys’ support
Queen Alicent later paid Rhaenys a visit. She informed her of the king’s passing, and Rhaenys questioned if she is usurping the throne.
Alicent tried to explain that it was her husband’s dying wish and asked for her support. She pointed out that being at Rhaenyra’s side hasn’t gained the House of Velaryon anything.
All Rhaenys got is loss. She makes it clear that Rhaenyra’s sons are not of Ser Laenor’s and Coryls’ hunger for the throne is the reason behind it.
Even he is gone now, fighting a six-year battle, and has left Rhaenys all alone. Rhaenys on Alicent’s side will result in the latter becoming stronger. Thus, Rhaenyra will be tempted to negotiate.
Though Alicent makes bold statements about being a queen, Rhaenys points out how she still toils in the service of men. With that, Alicent walks away, asking Rhaenys to ring the bell when she is ready to accept her terms.
Rhaenys’ escape from the King’s Landing
With the help of Arryk Cargyll, Rhaenys escapes the King’s Landing. He plans to take her to the riverfront, but she gets lost in the busy crowd gathering for the new king’s coronation.
Aegon, despite not wanting to, gets crowned as the new king. Rhaenys uses this ceremony as a distraction to get to the Dragonpit.
As the people of the city rejoice and welcome their new king, Rhaenys’ dragon, Meleys, shows up out of nowhere, causing a ruckus.
Alicent, her family, and the Hightowers stare at the dragon as they see Rhaenys riding on it.
The reason Rhaenys let the Hightowers go
If Rhaenys wanted, she would have erased the Hightowers from existence with one Dracarys, but she opted not to. The first reason could be the people around her, who have just accepted Aegon as their new king.
Rhaenys is aligned with Rhaenyra, and she definitely doesn’t want her rule to be defined as tyranny. The Hightowers have already committed treason by going against the king’s official wishes by usurping the throne.
If Rhaenys kills the Hightowers, the act would be seen as cruel by the people around her. The few people who want Daemon and Rhaenyra to ascend the throne will also turn against them.
The second reason could be that she wants to clarify that she won’t be controlled by the Hightowers. Earlier in the episode, Princess Rhaenys was kept in captivity, and she wasn’t happy with that gesture.
She must be believing that there is no way the Hightowers could rule as they wish.
Right now, she probably seeks to rule by avoiding bloodshed like she always has. She leaves the premise, likely flying to Dragonstone now, in order to warn Rhaenyra about the Hightowers.
Thus, the coming finale of House of the Dragon would see how Rhaenyra would react to Aegon taking her rightful place as the heir to the Iron Throne.
Also Read: House of the Dragon season 1 episode 9 recap & review: The Green Council