This article includes SPOILERS for House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 9, “The Green Council.”
Ser Criston Cole’s horrific murder is explained by House of the Dragon actor Fabien Frankel in season 1, episode 9, “The Green Council.” On the Game of Thrones prequel series, Frankel plays Ser Criston Cole, a figure who was appointed as a knight of the Kingsguard by Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock/Emma D’Arcy) because of his war experiences. Since his introduction, the knight has gone from being Rhaenyra’s ardent friend, guardian, and lover to becoming one of her most fierce foes, with a violent streak. He’s also one of Alicent’s (Emily Carey/Olivia Cooke) most ardent supporters.
Alicent’s late-night meeting of the small council to displace Rhaenyra as heir in favor of her son Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) in episode 9 backfires when Master of Coin Lord Lyman Beesbury (Bill Paterson) refuses them. Ser Criston’s irritation with the guy grows as he yells that they are committing treason and is shocked by the proposal to dethrone the princess. Ser Criston kills Beesbury by forcibly shoving him down on his chair, breaking the lord’s head against his stone marker as he does so. Though Ser Criston’s statements appear to support the notion that he did not intend to murder the guy, his aggressive behavior and violent tendencies imply otherwise.
In an interview with The New York Times, Frankel discussed the fateful small council scene. When questioned if Criston’s murder of Beesbury was unintentional or planned, Frankel gave a cryptic response, claiming he wanted to leave the situation ambiguous. Though his response isn’t conclusive, the actor likes to let the audience make up their own minds. See what he had to say about it 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,”
Why Fans Are Disliking Criston Cole
Either Ser Criston murdered the victim inadvertently or on purpose, the audience’s reaction would be the same because the knight showed no remorse after the fact. Ser Criston began as a pleasant and humble knight with a great concern and respect for Rhaenyra, but his explosive deeds, ignorance and betrayal of his former beloved, and unwavering commitment to Alicent despite her deceitful methods turned fans against him. As Frankel previously stated, many viewers who had previously read the show’ original material, Fire and Blood by George R.R. Martin, despised Ser Criston before the series ever began due to his future acts, and those numbers have only increased after the character’s narrative on the series.
Ser Criston’s murder of Beesbury was not his first. The tragic murder of Laenor Velaryon’s (Theo Nate) love, Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), at Laenor’s marriage to Rhaenyra, was done by the knight after the princess refused to go with him. Though the knight had intended to commit suicide because to his shame over the murder, Alicent pardoned him, prompting Criston to pledge his loyalty to her. Ser Criston pulled his blade on the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard (Graham McTavish) after executing Beesbury, ostensibly out of loyalty to Alicent, which only alienated more fans because the bulk of the public agreed with Beesbury’s plea for justice in that scene.
Source: The New York Times