Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 9 follow. House of the Dragon’s Season 1 penultimate episode didn’t quite have the mic drop of Game of Thrones Season 1, Episode 9, which infamously beheaded the guy everyone expected to be the series’ main lead. Everyone survived the HOTD ep, except a roomful of extras and a couple of lords and ladies most viewers won’t recognize. But for anyone who would claim the House of the Dragon episode was boring would be very wrong, as evidenced by these memes about Alicent and Larys’ foot scene.
Since Lord Larys came into Alicent’s life, his creepy demeanor has been visible for miles. Most viewers (correctly) assumed he had a bit of a crush on the queen, just as they also assume Ser Criston does. However, while Criston just accidentally murders the occasional man every now and then, viewers learned this week that Larys has been getting exactly what he wants from the queen in exchange for his information. (A relationship that will now only partly benefit her ,since Larys seemingly has no problem selling Alicent’s secrets to her father.)
When fans found out exactly what it was that Larys wanted from Alicent, Twitter was on fire with memes.
Game of Thrones was known for its taboo-breaking, especially regarding the 300 years of Targaryen rule. Cersei’s entire premise that it was OK to sleep with her twin brother was based on the Targaryen family marrying siblings to each other (like Aegon and Haelena) without a second thought. And yet, the show still left a lot of the taboo stuff from the books it offscreen. (Anyone who reads the novels knows the show avoided some of the horrific things it’s implied Ramsay Bolton did to his wife.) So, to have the new show add in a fetish that wasn’t originally from Martin’s novel was startling. Even book readers were asking themselves if they missed something on the page that suggested this.
Speaking on Entertainment Weekly’s West of Westeros podcast, Clare Kilner, who directed Episode 9, confirmed this detail was a deviation from the books. Sara Hess, one of the episode’s writers and an executive producer, came up with the idea. “Funnily enough, you get the intimacy coordinators [for] all the nudity, but they don’t think about it for this,” she noted. “It’s so intrusive and invasive. It’s a really dirty scene.”
Twitter quite agreed.
Episode 9 was super crowded too. Subplots ranged from families arguing over backing Rhaenyra’s Team Black vs. Alicent’s Team Green, characters debating Aegon’s fitness to rule, and the actual usurping going on.
And yet, all that took a backseat to feet.
House of the Dragon Season 1 continues with one more episode, premiering on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.