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The Director Of House Of The Dragon Episode 9 Breaks Down The Explosive Coronation Scene

Spoilers for "The Green Council," the ninth episode of "House of the Dragon," lie ahead.

Anyone hoping for a traditionally wild ninth episode of "House of the Dragon" — during the run of "Game of Thrones," the biggest surprises for each season were typically reserved for these penultimate installments — was potentially a little disappointed by this episode, until something huge happened at the very end of the hour.

During the very rushed coronation of Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) as the new King of the Seven Kingdoms, despite that his half-sister Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) is the recognized heiress to the Iron Throne, the crowd of royals and commoners alike is surprised by the "beast beneath the boards" that bursts forth after Aegon is crowned. Meleys, an enormous red dragon ridden by Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), makes an appearance at Aegon's coronation, directly threatening the new king and his mother Alicent (Olivia Cooke). Now, Best and the episode's director, Clare Kilner, are spilling all the tea about this incredible moment in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Rhaenys' moment was planned to be as triumphant as possible

Clad in her dragonrider armor, Rhaenys paints a pretty incredible picture as she faces down the Green faction on Meleys... which was the exact intention, according to Kilner and Best. "We wanted her to be rising like a phoenix from the ashes," Kilner said, while Best revealed that Rhaenys brought her battle armor to King's Landing. "She's packed it," Best confirmed. "She's traveled to King's Landing with it because it's part of her dragon-riding equipment. Also, probably in that moment of knowledge in episode 8, she's flying into tricky waters... She hasn't worn it for a very, very, very long time and the fact that she's wearing it means business. It's like, 'This is it. No more games.'"

Earlier in the episode, during a conversation with Rhaenys, Alicent begs for the princess' loyalty, noting that, with her dragon, she could tip the scales away from Rhaenyra's Black side and towards Alicent's Greens. By bringing her dragon directly to the coronation, Rhaenys is definitely sending a message. "One of the most important things was who controls the dragon," Kilner told EW. "They've got this dragon, and whilst they've got this dragon they think they have all the power. And Otto relies on having this dragon. The fact that Rhaenys emerges with the dragon and leaves means that they have very little to fight with."

Filming Rhaenys' sequence was incredibly complicated

According to the interview with EW, Best's sequence atop the dragon was filmed separately from the extras playing King's Landing commoners desperately trying to escape the fire-breathing beast, with some extras fleeing and others on harnesses as they were pulled throughout the room thanks to the dragon's sheer force. Meanwhile, Best was on what is called "The Wall," which, per EW, is a huge LED wall with a sort of mechanical bull meant to stand in for "dragons" whenever an actor needs to ride on dragonback.

Apparently, Best was not feeling her best when they shot her sequences. "It was the very end of the shoot. We [were] all absolutely exhausted and I remember the dragon riding sandwiched in between two days of really heavy dialogue," Best told EW. "I'd slightly done my back in somehow. I was being strapped on the dragon, really not feeling like it very much. Certainly feeling like a bit of a bag of bones."

Kilner, for her part, worked hard to keep Best's spirits high, playing every other character in the scene while Best "rode" Meleys. "My voice was hoarse by the end of it," the director said. "It was like, 'And the dragon! It's bursting through the roof! And now it's facing Alicent, and Alicent is facing you and she doesn't trust you!' And then when we were doing the other side of it, doing Alicent [with Cooke], I was like, 'And she's bursting through the roof! Coming for you!' But it's really fun because you just feel like a kid again. You just go for it."

The season 1 finale of House of the Dragon airs on Sunday, October 23 on HBO and HBO Max at 9 PM EST.