Who are the Greens in House of the Dragon? The Greens, Explained
House of the Dragon will be covering the entirety of the bloodiest conflict in Westerosi history, otherwise known as the infamous Dance of Dragons. And with the conclusion of its first season, the lines have officially been drawn, with the Targaryen civil war officially marking its beginnings. If you’re looking for a refresher or are just a little late to the party and have been meaning to catch up on all ten episodes, then you’ve come to the perfect place.
Spoiler Alert: This article contains several spoilers from Season 1 of House of the Dragon. You’ve been warned.
In comparison to the original show Game of Thrones’ major civil war, the War of the Five Kings, the Dance is a little easier to follow, given that there are only two sides. This, of course, does not in any way mean to say that the stakes are much lower because, with the Dance, both sides have dragons. As seen in the show’s several time skips, the Dance is the product of years worth of tension and looming conflict which ended up in an all-out war between the two factions upon the death of King Viserys.
Now, in the books, the two queens at the center of it all—Rhaenyra and Alicent—are nine years apart in age, with Alicent being the older and typical wicked stepmother. But in House of the Dragon, they’re shown to be roughly the same age and the closest of friends from childhood, which has arguably among the adaptation’s best and most interesting deviations from the source material.
The show kicks off with the highly anticipated birth of King Viserys and his first wife Aemma’s firstborn son, who unfortunately, ends up dying right after his mother. From here, Viserys finally decides to officially name Rhaenyra his heir and pull out all the stops by asking all the lords of Westeros to swear fealty to her, considering that the realm has never had a female ruler before.
While all this is happening, Otto Hightower (the Hand) devises a plan of his own and finds a way for his daughter Alicent to, well, become Viserys’ next wife. Awkward. When Viserys does eventually marry Alicent and have sons, whispers begin to ensue across the court as to whether or not he’ll be changing heirs. Surprisingly, Viserys does not falter and sticks by his decision, which is initially supported by Alicent given that she was besties with Rhaenyra and she did sort of ruin that by going off and marrying her dad.
This all changes, however, when Alicent realizes that Rhaenyra had been lying to her about certain things that had been going around court that were aiming to put into question Rhaenyra’s position to succeed her father to the Iron Throne. See: her thing with Daemon and Ser Criston Cole.
In the book, the Greens make their formal appearance during a great tournament celebrating Viserys and Alicent’s fifth anniversary. At the opening feast, Alicent was remarkably dressed in greens, the color of her house. In contrast, Rhaenyra was clad in the colors of House Targaryen: red and black. From there, the two factions derived their names. The show takes a similar dramatic flair but has the introduction of the Greens take place halfway through the season with Episode Five’s “We Light the Way,” which also happens to be—you guessed it—House Hightower’s motto.
In the episode, Alicent catches everyone’s eye as she walks in fashionably late to Rhaenyra and Laenor’s wedding feast. Dressed proudly in her house’s colors, Larys Strong remarks, “The beacon on the Hightower, do you know what color it glows when Oldtown calls its banner to war?” Next to him, his brother Harwin (RIP) replies, “Green.” To make things even messier, as she steps up to the podium to join the rest of the Royal Family at the table (Daemon, notably, did not stand up with the rest of the room for her because he’s also messy like that), she greets Rhaenyra by calling her stepdaughter and noting what a blessing the wedding must be for her.
From here, Alicent grows and learns to scheme on her own. She manages to bring Ser Criston Cole to her side and finds an ally (if you could call him that) in serial creep Larys Strong. Other noteworthy Greens also include Otto Hightower, Alicent’s father who we learn in the season finale, was plotting Aegon’s ascension without unbeknownst to her all along; her children with Viserys: Aegon II, Aemond, Helaena, and although he hasn’t made an appearance on the show just yet, Daeron. There’s also Ser Arryk Cargyll, who sides with the Greens unlike his twin (who chooses to swear his sword to Rhaenyra) despite knowing Aegon to be unsuitable.
What to Expect
After Viserys’ death in Episode Eight, viewers are given an episode dedicated to each faction, with the finale, of course, centering on the Blacks and Rhaenyra’s coronation on Dragonstone. We watch as her heir and eldest son, Jacaerys Velaryon, suggests and offers that he and his second brother Lucerys appeal to the Lords of Westeros themselves to rally their support for their mother. Oh my sweet summer child.
Rhaenyra ends up agreeing but sends Jacaerys to the Vale and the North to meet with the Arryns and the Wolf of the North, Cregan Stark (CHILLS, GUYS. LITERAL CHILLS). As for Lucerys, well, he’s assigned to fly to Storm’s End because it seemed safer considering that it was the shorter ride away from Dragonstone. Cue the ominous music.
As it would turn out, Storm’s End wasn’t just a shorter ride but also the shorter end of the stick. Upon his arrival, Lucerys meets Vhagar and his Uncle Aemond, who decides that it would be a nice bonding experience to demand for his nephew’s eye—because you know, Lucerys did take his eye out when they were kids and it felt like the perfect time to make Luke pay him back—only for Lord Baratheon to declare that they should take their fight elsewhere because he was not going to allow it under his roof.
And so Aemond decides to do just that and stalk Lucerys in the sky amidst a raging storm. Unfortunately for him, he loses control of Vhagar who ends up eating Lucerys, signalling the actual beginning of the Dance with the Greens technically delivering the first blow.
Now, if they stick with the source material—which I think they will for this instance—both Otto and Alicent do not take what happens with Lucerys kindly, with Otto even saying, “You only lost one eye, how could you be so blind?”
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see how the showrunners will adapt the Greens’ commanders reacting to the Blacks’ declaration of war.
(featured image: HBO)
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