in

Episode 8’s Red Keep Changes Better Explain GOT’s Iron Throne Difference

Warning: SPOILERS for House of the Dragon Episode 8 – “The Lord of the TIdes”The Red Keep looks markedly different in House of the Dragon episode 8, which clarifies why the Iron Throne looks so different in Game of Thrones. After a 6 year time jump, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) returns to King’s Landing to defend her son, Lucerys Velaryon’s (Elliot Grihault), claim to Driftmark and, by extension, her own claim as heir to the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra and her husband, Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), find House Hightower in control of King’s Landing as King Viserys (Paddy Considine) is dying.

Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke) and her father Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), the Hand of the King, rule in the King’s name, but they’ve altered the Red Keep to reflect House Hightower, diminishing the symbolism of House Targaryen. After Alicent’s outburst where she tried to kill Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon episode 7, the Queen has turned to religion and become a follower of the Seven Gods. As such, the Seven-Pointed Star is now prominently displayed in the Red Keep, including the Iron Throne room. It shows that whoever currently rules can make huge changes to the seat of power in King’s Landing, and this must be why the Iron Throne is so different in Game of Thrones. When the Targaryens were deposed for good, King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) rid the Red Keep of all of the House of the Dragon’s iconography, and this possibly includes diminishing the fearsomeness of the Iron Throne itself to make it the smaller size seen in Game of Thrones.

Why House of the Dragon‘s Iron Throne Difference Matters

House Hightower ruling in King Viserys’ name is the first instance of another great house usurping the control of the Targaryens in King’s Landing. It’s a theme that continues in Game of Thrones after King Robert dies and is succeeded by King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), King Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman), and their mother, Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Even though Joffrey and Tommen had the last name Baratheon, they were secretly the children of Cersei and her twin brother, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). Further, Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) was Hand of the King and the true power behind the Iron Throne while he was alive. Therefore, the Lannisters were emboldened to make the lion the symbol of the ruling house of Westeros, not the Baratheons’ stag.

What Alicent’s Red Keep Changes Mean For House of the Dragon

Queen Alicent’s changes to the Red Keep, including mounting the Seven-Pointed Star above the Iron Throne in the throne room, symbolize House Hightower’s grander intentions to keep their control over the Seven Kingdoms. Obviously, Otto and Alicent knew Viserys wouldn’t live much longer, and Otto long-schemed to place his House at the heart of the power in King’s Landing. If Prince Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) becomes King instead of Rhaenyra, it means that even though he is a trueborn Targaryen, Aegon – and the Seven Kingdoms – would really be under the influence and oversight of Queen Alicent and Ser Otto Hightower.

Upon her arrival in King’s Landing, Rhaenyra immediately understood that the Hightowers’ new symbols and iconography meant that they were already ruling the Seven Kingdoms and were making no bones about it. The Hightowers’ changes to the Red Keep are also a theme that continues in Game of Thrones. Every other great house in Westeros actually disdains the Targaryens and their dynasty, and they want to displace the House of the Dragon at the first opportunity, to enhance their own families’ names. It is true of the Hightowers in House of the Dragon, and it is also true of the Baratheons, the Lannisters, and the Starks in Game of Thrones.

House of the Dragon airs Sundays @ 9pm ET on HBO and streams on HBO Max.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments