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    “She Was An Utter Pro To The Last”: ‘House Of The Dragon’ Star Eve Best Explains Her Character Rhaenys’ “Self Sacrificial Mission” In Episode 4

    The bloody battle of the recently released episode 4 of House Of The Dragon‘ has left many viewers questioning several things. While many were already confused about whether or not Aemond did what he did intentionally, it also seemed like Rhaenys saw her end coming and still volunteered to fight.

    Actor Ewan Mitchell has tried to clear the doubts fans had about his character Aemond. Similarly, actress Eve Best, who plays Princess Rhaenys, has also opened up about her character’s fate and what went on inside her head when she decided to willingly put herself in danger, even at the risk of dieing.

    Related: “Powerful, Emotional, Gut-wrenching, Heart-Rending”: George R.R. Martin Raves About ‘House Of The Dragon’ Season 2 And The Targaryen Narrative

    Eve Best Sheds Light On Her Character Princess Rhaenys’ Best Efforts To Avoid “Nuclear War”

    Still from 'House of the Dagon'
    Still from ‘House of the Dagon’

    What most viewers who watched episode 4 of ‘House of the Dragon‘ are thinking is true — Princess Rhaenys Targaryen’s final mission was a deliberate and sacrificial act. Eve Best, who has portrayed Rhaenys for a season and a half on the show opened up about the depth and motivation behind Rhaenys’ actions in the latest episode.

    In episode four, Ser Criston Cole’s march on Rook’s Rest, a castle close to Dragonstone, triggers a decisive response. Though Rhaenyra and her son Jacaerys offer to counter Cole’s advance, it is Rhaenys who insists on taking up the mission. “You must send me, Your Grace,” she says, barely leaving room for argument. As we can now tell, the moment is so heavy with finality because she seemingly accepts that it is likely to be a one-way journey.

    In season one of the show, Rhaenys could have incinerated King Aegon II during his coronation. But she chose not to do that, because she believed that the war was not hers to start. Talking about her role and the character arc in an interview with Business Insider, Best explained how showrunner Ryan Condal has likened dragons to nuclear weapons in their world.

    She deliberately, at the end of episode nine, chose not to start a nuclear war,” Best said, clarifying that she did not want the war to be devastating and therefore tried to avoid dragon warfare. “And she spent the whole of season two doing everything she possibly can to steer everybody away from nuclear war. She’s the one person, the one voice of sanity, and reason, and wisdom, and experience, because she and Corlys are the only grown-ups left in the room,” the actress said.

    However, by episode four of the show, all other options for Rhaneys have been exhausted. Moreover, Criston’s advance leaves her no choice but to engage. Best believes Rhaenys was the right choice for this mission as it fulfilled her character’s arc and sat well with her image of an honorable warrior. “She’s the equivalent of Rhaenyra’s Lancelot,” Best noted during the interview. “She’s their best knight. And it’s the honorable, warrior choice.”

    In case you missed it: “A Richer And More Fascinating Character Than The One I Created”: George R. R. Martin Is In Awe Of Phea Saban’s Acting As Helaena

    Princess Rhaenys Embraced Death With Grace, Like A True Warrior Of Honor

    Still from 'House of the Dragon'
    Still from ‘House of the Dragon’

    Interestingly, the pivotal moment when Rhaenys volunteers to go was initially less decisive. In the original script, she simply says, “Send me.” However, during reshoots, producer Sarah Hess tweaked the dialogue to “You must send me,” which made it more intense.

    Then it becomes an instruction, and it’s then the final piece of guidance to Rhaenyra,” Best said. “What she’s doing is showing her how to be a good leader and how to rule, and this is what you do. You don’t go in yourself because that’s too risky for the bigger picture. You send in your best fighter,” she added.

    Despite her confidence, Rhaenys knows the mission is a point of no return. “It has to be a sacrifice, because I feel that for Rhaenys, she’s done everything to not have this war,” Best said during the interview. “Whoever crosses that line can’t continue. There’s no living after that. It has to be a sacrificial mission,” she added.

    Even during the battle, Rhaenys’ reluctance persists. Despite being targeted by Aegon and Aemond, she maintains her grace. Best reflected on how she personally felt that her character needed to hold grace even in her final moments when she knew she is going to die. “It was very important to me that she was different from all of those others, that she was an utter pro to the last, with precision,” Best concluded.

    This final act cemented Best’s character Rhaenys as one of integrity and sacrifice, something viewers don’t experience on a show like ‘House of the Dragon‘ every day.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art.


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