Was Criston’s Latest Kill Accidental? House of the Dragon Actor Responds

This article contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, « The Green Council. »House of the Dragon star Fabien Frankel explains Ser Criston Cole’s shocking murder in season 1, episode 9, « The Green Council. » Frankel plays Ser Criston Cole on the Game of Thrones prequel series, a character who was made a knight of the Kingsguard by Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock/Emma D’Arcy) due to his experiences in combat. The knight has experienced a roller coaster of an arc since his introduction, going from Rhaenyra’s loyal supporter, protector, and lover to one of her most bitter enemies, with a violent streak. He is also one of Alicent’s (Emily Carey/Olivia Cooke) fiercest followers.

In episode 9, after King Viserys’ (Paddy Considine) death, Alicent’s late-night meeting of the small council to usurp Rhaenyra as heir in favor of her son Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) backfires when Master of Coin Lord Lyman Beesbury (Bill Paterson) defies them. He exclaims that they are committing treason and is horrified by the proposal to depose the princess, resulting in Ser Criston’s mounting frustrations toward the man. The knight’s emotions get the best of him and Ser Criston kills Beesbury by aggressively pushing him down in his chair, crushing the lord’s skull against his stone marker as he does so. Though Ser Criston’s words seem to support the idea that he didn’t mean to kill the man, the forceful action and his violent tendencies suggest otherwise.

In a conversation with The New York Times, Frankel offered his take on that fateful small council scene. When asked whether Criston’s murder of Beesbury was accidental or calculated, Frankel offered a vague response, saying that he prefers to let the scene remain ambiguous. Though his answer isn’t very definitive, the actor prefers to let viewers make up their own minds. Check out what he had to say below:

“I don’t want to say. If it comes from me, then it’s decided, and I’d rather “House of the Dragon” fans, who are so astute, watch it and decide for themselves,”

Whether Ser Criston killed the man accidentally or on purpose, the response from audiences wouldn’t change much due to the knight’s complete lack of remorse after the fact. Despite starting out as a charming and humble knight with a deep care and respect for Rhaenyra, Ser Criston’s explosive actions, naivety and betrayal of his former lover, and single-minded devotion to Alicent despite her traitorous ways have turned fans against him. Many viewers who already read the series’ source material, Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin, hated Ser Criston before the series even started due to his future actions, as Frankel has previously recalled, and those numbers have only multiplied since the character’s arc on the series.

Beesbury’s murder wasn’t the first that Ser Criston committed. The knight first committed the shocking murder of Laenor Velaryon’s (Theo Nate) lover, Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), at Laenor’s wedding to Rhaenyra, after the princess refused to run away with him. Though the knight originally planned to commit suicide out of shame over that murder, Alicent pardoned him, resulting in Criston pledging his loyalty to her. After killing Beesbury, Ser Criston drew his sword on the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard (Graham McTavish), supposedly out of loyalty to Alicent, which has only alienated more viewers due to the majority of the audience agreeing with Beesbury’s call for justice in that scene. Heading into the House of the Dragon finale, it’s likely that Ser Criston will remain a character that fans love to hate.

Source: The New York Times