House of the Dragon Recap: Episode 9, “Eternal Quest 2”

So, yeah, it turns out, after nine episodes and so many years of dying, King Paddy is finally, as we sort of hoped, dead.

Unfortunately, he rambled some bullshit about Jackoff just before he passed, and now Queen Thoroughbreds is generously interpreting that to mean that his final wish was for his sex criminal son to be king. It’s sort of a “Citizen Kane wished for a literal flower to inherit Xanadu” read, but sure. Though, if she really does believe this, it’s pretty funny how she keeps telling father Rhys Ifans, “And seriously, no bullshit. He definitely said that and only I heard it and now he’s dead, and I’m definitely not lying.”

The council convenes, Rhys Ifans announces that the king is dead, and everyone sort of feigns like this is a sad surprise, not the merciful death of a decent-enough if deeply-flawed leader who has been visibly deteriorating beneath his balding white mane for years. Like, if Biden…

Never mind. We’ll leave that.

Anyway, Rhys Ifans is, likewise, like, “Anyway, so moving on, this little fuckhead is king, so let’s get on with how we planned to make that happen regardless.”

Queenie and this old fella are rightly like, “Wait a minute there—we already pledged fealty to Rhaen-whatever, and you guys already have these machinations going?”

This old fella really keeps going on about it, though, so our old friend Prince Caspian there just comes up and shoves his head into his little ball-plate. So that’s sorted!

Rhys Ifans and company roundly make the decision that of course Rhaenyra and Doctor Who have to be killed for this new kingship to work at all, commanding the Lord High Sheriff or whatever to murder them—but said sheriff guy refuses to do so until a proper king has commanded him. Queenie, meanwhile, sort of protests but not really all that much. She protests in a way where it’s like, “Are we really ordering from Taco Bell again after last time?” But you know she’s still going to add a couple bean burritos to the order.

The Queen and Ifans find that their would-be appointed king is not in his room, so Ifans put out the order to quietly retrieve him. Queenie likewise asks that Ben Barnesn’t head out, Eyepatch goes with him, and they both immediately head to a brothel—because where else would the little pervert be?

Meanwhile, Rhys Ifans has a private meeting with the Houses of Who-Fucking-Cares to check their loyalty on this long-planned coup. A couple maintain their loyalty to Rhaenyra (I’ve stopped looking up how to spell it, so name may vary), and they’re promptly escorted out by guards. That Mikey Day-looking Waluigi Motherfucker, from a balcony above, observes the proceedings in the most soapy way possible.

As a brief but relevant digression: some years ago, a few friends and I got stoned and for some reason ended up putting on British soap EastEnders on PBS. We couldn’t stop laughing about how many melodramatic scenes ended with someone popping out of some bushes or something to nonverbally imply, “AND I SAW EVERYTHING.” That is basically this scene—and just as ridiculous. Yet, as a champion of this dumb show working best as soapy sludge, I have nothing bad to say about it.

That aside aside: while we already know Jackoff to be a dude who jacks off out his castle window and rapes women, now we get a new aspect of this would-rather-not-be king. As Barnesn’t and Eyepatch have headed to a brothel in search of the false successor, these twins Rhys Ifans sent have instead gone to another dodgy corner of Westeros: KID FIGHTS, the tiny arena where children fight each other like gladiators. Turns out, the future king also likes KID FIGHTS. And I guess it’s implied that his own children are sent there to fight sometimes? Why not?

The Queen heads off to talk to Never-Happened-for-Her-Queen, and the two discuss the matter. Non-Queen is like, “Interesting to set your boy up, but do you not want to be on the Iron Throne yourself? Could be cool!”

At the same time, Rhys Ifans is off talking to the White Worm—a gorgeous gossip who apparently knows a lot of underworld politics. Rhys gives her some coin in exchange for the location of Jackoff, but she has one more request: stop the popular underground VHS series KID FIGHTS. It’s honestly not a big ask, so he agrees, and she divulges how Jackoff has apparently just been shoved under the candle table from a few episodes ago.

The twins go haul out with Jackoff, but as exiting, one of these twins that Rhys Ifans hired has a fight with Barnesn’t, while Jackoff has his own quarrel with brother Eyepatch. The latter of both win, and you’d figure this means they’ll kill Jackoff and Eyepatch will be king, but it’s just sort of vaguely sorted out and nothing much happens. The other twin even walks away as the latest of so many disgruntled brothers.

Queen has it out with her dad, and it’s like, maybe his guys were actually the ones trying to kill Jackoff to instead install her? Again, it’s a soap opera, so diving into the various intentions across so many time jumps really doesn’t matter. Who cares? What’s happened happened, and now what’s unfortunately happened is that the Mikey Day-looking Waluigi Motherfucker is getting to again be a cartoonish, ever-lurking villain.

He has a meetup with the queen, and here are the contents of that meeting: “Did you know there is an underground spy network in the city, apparently led by that gorgeous gossip? Well, I will get her offed if you let me jazz off to your bare feet.” As if George R. R. Martin didn’t have enough fetish shit in here.

Yada yada—let’s just get to the coronation. Jackoff is crowned king, and after being so petulant about it, he finally starts getting into the stardom of it. Think of the crowds he could jerk it to!

BUT! Suddenly, his aunt(?) bursts in on a dragon, obliterating a good portion of the peasant audience.

Both Jackoff and his mother figure they’re gonna be gobbled, but Auntie Non-Queen ultimately just flies off. Would have actually been cooler if something happened, but here we are, aptly with a lot of audience lost.

Please help these sad nobodies and: