HOTD
Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon

What Happened To Dyana On House Of The Dragon? The Director Explained

No, Alicent didn't have her murdered.

Ollie Upton/HBO

Although Episode 8 of House of the Dragon was technically titled “Lord of the Tides,” the episode could’ve easily been called “The Last Supper.” The Targaryen family dinner dominated the conversation, both in recaps and on Twitter. However, an incident from earlier in the episode troubled a lot of viewers, especially how it was left open-ended. So, what exactly happened to Dyana, the family nanny, on House of the Dragon? Breathe a sigh of relief, because it’s not as bad as you thought (even though it’s still pretty bad).

Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 8 follow. If you’re wondering who Dyana is, she’s the “issue” in Aegon’s quarters that Alicent was called to deal with in the early moments of the episode. She’s the nanny to the next generation of Targaryens, the children of Aegon and Haelena: Jaehaerys, Jaehaera, and Maelor. As indicated, Dyana had a problem with her employer, but it was a much bigger issue that what Alicent was led to believe: Aegon secually assaulted the young Dyana as she was working in his chambers.

Of course, this put Alicent in a difficult position — Aegon is her firstborn, and the one her family was championing as heir to the Iron Throne. She could not punish him — and besides, none of the other men would really care (ick). All she could do was hush it up and ensure Dyana didn’t tell others what happened. Dyana insisted she was being discreet, telling no one, except that wasn’t true. She told the person who told Alicent, and now she’s also told Alicent. That’s two more people than she should have told, according to Alicent. After this lecture, Alicent handed Dyana a tea to drink and watched the girl down it all before leaving the room.

HBO

It’s understandable viewers might have assumed Alicent just forced the girl to drink poison. After all, there’s no one quieter than those who are no longer alive. Cersei would have done it without flinching, and the number of visual parallels the show drew between Cersei and Alicent in this episode was not insignificant. The conclusion also made sense when Haelena came in at the end of Alicent’s scene with Aegon and cluelessly asked if anyone had seen Dyana; an uncomfortable silence followed.

Thankfully, it’s since been revealed that Alicent did not, in fact, poison this poor girl. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the episode director, Geeta Patel, explained the showrunners “were talking about Alicent paying her off and that she would disappear” and confirmed “the tea was definitely to prevent pregnancy — the same tea Young Rhaenyra got” earlier on in the season.

Patel went on to say that she needed to find a way to get the audience to sympathize with Alicent in this episode, since Episode 7 was all about her trying to attack Rhaenyra. “We needed to feel her point of view,” Patel said. “My feeling was: Let’s make this like a day in the life of a working mom. You see everything she’s dealing with. You see when she’s doing ugly things, but you understand her vulnerability. You understand she’s picking between two evils.”

Alicent may one day be the forerunner of Cersei Lannister, but as of Season 1, she’s not there yet. However, Patel hinted the showrunners may have further plans for Dyana down the line. “After this, I am curious where we go with that character,” Patel said. “Does she come up again?”

Perhaps Dyana return could be the lesson Alicent needs to cement her evil to the sticking point.

House of the Dragon Season 1 has two more episodes, airing on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.