How does Otto take advantage of Rhaenyra’s reluctance to go to war in “House Of The Dragon” Episode 10?

“A true monarch knows when to step in and when to step aside.” This is what fixes Rhaenyra apart from the rest; that’s what makes her a queen. After the “queen who never was”, Rhaenyra was the only other woman to be declared heiress. But unlike Rhaenys, whose ambitions have been crushed not once, not twice, but three times, Rhaenyra has always had the unwavering support of her father. Rhaenya was first examined by Baelon, then Viserys, and finally her daughter was rejected as a future queen. But Viserys never changed his mind that his daughter was his heiress. The reasons could be many. We have often said before that the throne is not what Rhaenyra aspires to. All she wanted was to escape the fate of her mother, whom she had watched suffer all her life because of her father’s desire for a male heir.

Painfully aware of her limited options as a woman, despite being a princess, she may have known deep in her heart that all she could do was dream while she could. And Alice’s High Tower was his companion through it all. There was not a single thing Rhaenyra hadn’t confided in Alicent. She knew his dreams, his fears, and perhaps also his unrealized love for Daemon. Alicent herself was known as the most “comely” woman in the entire Kingdom. While it was a sign of pride then, we now know that it came with the burden of a controlling patriarchy that does not spare even its guards. But the girls were too young to realize that. It was a time of ease, of hopes and dreams. At one point in the episode, Otto High Tower hands a torn page to Rhaenyra, which reminds her of a childhood memory. It was an easier time when she hadn’t yet been named heiress. She was resting on her best friend’s lap and telling her that she wanted to see the world with her and eat lots of cake.

Alicent is more serious and gets annoyed that her best friend doesn’t take her lessons more seriously. It’s one of their last happy memories together before the fight for the throne changed the course of their relationship forever. It is not until shortly after that Aemma dies in childbirth. Viserys is tormented by his guilt at having made the choice to open it for his son. His greed for an heir had cost him the love of his throne, and he regretted it until the day he died. It is possible that he considered it his punishment that he lost his son soon after. This was perhaps his greatest motivation behind appointing Rhaenyra as his heir, an acknowledgment of his folly. It’s also possible that he wanted to right past wrongs – when he was chosen over Rhaenys to be king. Gender had been a determining factor in many major events in her life. It was his gender that put him on the throne, and it was his gender that drove him to kill his wife. Maybe he saw the futility of it all and decided to name Rhaenyra as heir. Everyone believed he would change his decision once he had a son, but that didn’t happen. This must have irritated Otto, who had placed all his bets on his daughter’s marriage to the king. When he couldn’t handle the king, he went for the queen. He placed fear in her that Rhaenyra was not a good person and that she would end up killing Alicent’s children once she was seated on the throne. A strategy that worked.

20 years have passed between when the events of the story began and where it is now. That’s enough time for people to change and for relationships to change. Alicent had become a slave to her father’s manipulations and her own delusions. Rhaenyra, on the other hand, had become battle hardened. She had faced repeated questioning of her position as heiress, the loss of her best friend, rejection by the person she loved and a marriage where she had no support from her husband. except for the show. She had faced it alone. But she had also done more. As she tells her son, she has learned to earn her title.

In the first episode from “House of the Dragon”, Alicent wonders if she fears her station will be taken away by her father once her brother arrives. Rhaenyra replies that she wants her father to have a son so that he will be happy and his mother will know peace. Even as a child, she was able to think about others, about the big picture. This remained constant even after growing up. But then, that was the difference between Otto Hightower and Rhaenyra Targaryen. One cared about power and the other cared about the Kingdom. Rhaenyra knew that a war would burn the Kingdom down. It would be too many people dying, and it would be a land of absolute misery that would welcome him. For her, the oath did not just mean sitting on the throne; it also meant fulfilling his duty to his people. It was his priority, but Otto’s was far from it.

It wasn’t even moments after Viserys’ death that Otto took his first steps. When he goes to meet Rhaenyra, he knows he is the most ruthless. If he had been riding a dragon instead of Rhaenys at Aegon II’s coronation, he would have burned the place down. He knew the other side had morals he didn’t like, which gave him an advantage. Just before the king’s death, Alicent and Rhaenyra had seemingly reconciled. Otto was a master manipulator, which involves understanding the people around you. He knew Rhaenyra was disappointed in her best friend but the love still remained. Besides knowing about the detention, Rhaenyra was showing up. He played in there. To be honest, his peace terms weren’t that bad. He knew Rhaenyra could be counted on to be reasonable, and her few well-timed moves would pay off, with her blood sitting on the Iron Throne. He plays with Rhaenyra’s emotions when he gives her a piece of paper from her childhood. It is a symbol of the benevolence they have shown him. Otto was manipulating, and that was obviously infuriating, but it might have worked because in the end, he didn’t make an unfair deal with Rhaenyra. The piece of paper served to assuage his anger so that the negotiation would be easy. And it almost worked. Rhaenyra considered. She might even have agreed if Lucerys was unharmed.