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House Of The Dragon's Eve Best Says This Big Episode 9 Moment Was A Long Time Coming

Spoilers for episode 9 of "House of the Dragon" ahead!

The penultimate episode of "House of the Dragon" may have crowned a new king, but during his coronation, the Queen Who Never Was definitely has the last word.

In the very last moments of "The Green Council," the ninth episode of the series' inaugural season, Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) is abruptly and hurriedly crowned in the Light of the Seven as the King of the Seven Kingdoms, thanks to the manipulations and machinations of his mother, the newly widowed Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and his grandfather Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). However, before he can even bask in the glow of his new title, Aegon and his mother are greeted with a truly shocking sight: the giant red dragon Meleys emerging from beneath the ground, ridden straight from the dragonpit by Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best).

Sitting majestically atop Meleys, Rhaenys brings her beast right up to Aegon and Alicent, clad in full armor, but doesn't roast them on the spot... and the morning after the episode aired, Best spoke to Vulture and revealed what she really thought of this huge Episode 9 moment.

Eve Best says Rhaenys' dragon ride was a long time coming

When asked by interviewer Sean T. Collins why Rhaenys didn't just take out Alicent and Aegon where they stood, Best apparently laughed for a while before diving into her answer. "I know! The temptation is there, right? In the end, she makes a bigger choice. We see that at the moment with what's going on in Ukraine; to choose not to destroy is the better choice. That's an important thing for us all to remember right now," Best said."

"It's why she would have made such a great leader," the actress continued. "She had, in that moment, all the power. Yet she has respect for Alicent as a woman and a mother. They understand being in the grip of other people who might torch them. They know the only right choice is not to go there. Furthermore, it's the intelligent choice, on her part, not to torch a whole bunch of innocent people in the room. What's to be gained? In the end, it's not her battle. The escape she makes on the dragon is something that's been brewing since that very moment she was passed over wrongly, unjustly, for the crown. It's this yearning just to get the hell out and get away from the whole ruddy lot of things. When she bursts out of that arena, she's internally saying, 'F*** you all.' It's more about that than a need for revenge or destruction that the men might've jumped onto. She's breaking her own glass ceiling."

Rhaenys' philosophy is actually a major theme in House of the Dragon

As the Queen Who Never Was — passed over in favor of her cousin despite her rock-solid claim for the Iron Throne based solely on her gender — Rhaenys is a powerful and incredibly complex character, which Best clearly understands. Bearing in mind that the show's "theme" is essentially that men will do anything to prevent women from ruling, Best said, "I can't speak to what it's like to embody a theme, because she's a person; that's for the intellectuals outside the story to comment on. But the experience of being that person is unbelievably frustrating when you're somebody who's as qualified, as intelligent, as experienced, as good at what would be expected of a leader as she is. She's clearly the right person for the job in every respect — apart from her sex in this context. That is the one thing that disqualifies her. That is phenomenally frustrating."

"And it's phenomenally challenging to hold that core injustice and not turn sour within, to maintain a surface of ease and grace and find a way of navigating this toxic atmosphere in a useful way," Best continued. "She's holding inside all kinds of feelings, from resentment to humiliation to frustration to rage. I think it's something most women resonate with."

Most women don't have access to a giant fire-breathing dragon when they feel any one of those feelings, but thanks to Best's performance, it's still a wonderfully cathartic moment on-screen. The season 1 finale of "House of the Dragon" airs Sunday at 9PM EST on HBO and HBO Max.