If house the House of the Dragon – Episode 8 focussed on Viserys Targaryen, then House of the Dragon – Episode 9 is the turn of Alicent Hightower. But is Alicent a sympathetic character? After all, isn’t she the foil for the show’s protagonist, Rhaenyra Targaryen?
House of the Dragon – Episode 9: The Green Council
When Alicent learns of her husband’s death, she knows with complete certainty that no know will believe the words he whispered before his passing: Prince Aegon should be king–at least that’s her interpretation of his final words. In fact, even her father and Hand of the King, Otto Hightower, cannot disguise that doubt on his face.
The council gathers and Alicent learns that her father and others have been scheming to overthrow the king and Rhaenyra in her absence. Though shocked, she cannot resist where the tide is pulling. Furthermore, her father’s plot aligns with what she understands to be Viserys’ final wish.
However, she does her best to reach Prince Aegon before her father, using Ser Cristin Cole. She doesn’t want war between the Hightowers and Tagaryens, and she implores her son–who appears to be deviant–not to harm Rhaenyra.
Alicent is a watched woman. Spies are everywhere, and only Larys appears to know when and where they are. The balance of their relationship has changed since episode 6, where he killed on her behalf. Now she pays for his expertise for sexual favours. Alicent turns away and flaunts her feet while the man with the clubbed foot masturbates. It’s clear power dynamic has drastically changed here, but she appears to know no other way to protect her interests.
Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
Rhaenys finally gets a chance to shine. She shows the skills that would have made her a good ruler, as I mentioned in my review of episode 8. Unaware of Viserys death, she finds herself locked in her quarters until Alicient visits. The widow tries to get her on her side, but Rhaenys declines. Althougth, the women do appear to reach a sort of mutual respect. Rhaenys even points out that Alicent is constantly at the whim of a man: Otto, Viserys, Prince Aegon–and she doesn’t know about Larys.
Rhaenys is rescued by Ser Erryk Cargyll, who unlike his twin brother Ser Arryk, might yet be loyal to Rhaenyra. Eventually, the two lose sight of one another and Rhaenys locates her dragon Meleys in the Dragonpit, above which Prince Aegon is being crowned king.
Rhaenys and Meleys erupt through the ground, killing many in the ground. Queen Alicent, the Hand of the King, Prince Aemond, the newly crowned King Aegon–they’re right under her dragon’s snout. And yet when Alicent shields Aegon’s body, Rhaenys decides not to kill them all and end the war then and there, before it could even start. I can only think that Alicent had earned her sympathy and respect.
Emily Carey portrayed Alicent when she was younger, and she did so in a way that made you feel for her. Her motives were less obvious and she appeared conflicted. Initially, Olivia Cooke’s portrayal lacked that ambiguity and she was a less sympathetic character. We had to assume that fear for her children and the years had changed her. However, in House of the Dragon – Episode 9, Cooke has let us peer behind the curtain to see a complex character with compelling motives.(4 / 5)
If you would like to learn more about House Targaryen, you can read their family history in George R. R. Martin’s Fire and Blood novel here:
The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine Special Live Watch Party February 10th!
The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine, premiering live at 9pm EST.
We're headed to Vegas for the Mutant Wedding of the Century! Joe Bob's Vicious Vegas Valentine. . . . Friday the 10th 9pm . . . And you will not BELIEVE what movie the happy couple has approved for the wedding itself! #twistedlove #thelastdrivein pic.twitter.com/buzOvGkytI— Joe Bob Briggs (@therealjoebob) February 2, 2023
Love Spells Abound…
Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, as a special treat, Briggs has announced for the first time on The Last Drive-In, he will be marrying one lucky couple during the live showing. We here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo so, as is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the broadcasting of The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder, @therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.
What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.
Horror Noire, a Film Review
Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”
Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.
As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.
The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.
What I Like
Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.
My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.
However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.
What I Dislike
As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.
Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.
Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
(3.5 / 5)
Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.
And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.
Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.
Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship.
Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.
Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar.
At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.
Then, of course, things go bad.
One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.
If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.
This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today.(5 / 5)