'House of the Dragon' Episode 9: Mysaria, 'The White Worm,' Explained
Mysaria had a huge part to play in episode 9. Let's discuss her return and everything else to know about the mysterious character.
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
After going missing from a few House of the Dragon episodes, Mysaria -- who appears in earlier episodes as Daemon's lover (and almost-wife) -- made a blink-and-you-miss-it comeback in episode 8. Now that we've seen the ninth installment, there's little doubt that she's the face behind the name "The White Worm." But her role on the show going forward remains unclear.
Here's a guide to who she is, the significant scenes she's been in and what we learned about her in episode 9.
Who is Mysaria?
Mysaria is a pleasure house worker, but that's hardly all there is to her. In episode 2, Daemon causes a stir when he steals a dragon's egg and announces in a letter that he's marrying Mysaria. He also says she's "with child" (she isn't) and that he intends to place the egg in the cradle of the baby. Young Rhaenyra confronts him at Dragonstone to get it back. In that episode, Mysaria becomes frustrated with Daemon. His announcement put her at risk, when he had promised to keep her safe.
A turning point for her character seems to come in episode 4. Mysaria wakes Daemon up after the night he almost seduced young Rhaenyra. During their short, passionless chat, Daemon calls Mysaria a whore, and she reveals, "I've left that life behind."
"I learned that skin-trade could only take me so far in this life," she says, adding no more details about what she's dedicating herself to now.
But there does seem to be another clue. In the scene right before this one, a kid brings Otto Hightower "word from the White Worm." The kid appears to be the source that informed Otto about Rhaenyra and Daemon's pleasure house visit. During the scene with Daemon, Mysaria collects money from a kid that looks a lot like the one who dished to Hightower -- money that seems to be payment from Otto for Mysaria's secret-sharing.
That's the last we see of her… until episode 8.
What happens in episode 8?
Mysaria appears on screen briefly near the end of episode 8, after the relatively peaceful dinner party with Viserys, Rhaenyra and Alicent. She's looking out of a building as a cloaked figure below hurries toward her. We soon see the hooded figure is Talya, Queen Alicent's red-haired lady-in-waiting.
"It's been quite a night at the castle, it seems," she tells Talya, who replies, "Yes, my lady."
Talya appeared earlier in the episode, bringing Alicent the special tea for Dyana, the traumatized serving girl who was sexually assaulted by her son, Aegon.
What about episode 9?
In episode 9, Mysaria meets face-to-face with Otto, who's eager to track down the missing Prince Aegon. He asks if she's the White Worm, and she comments on the very recent death of the King. Otto is visibly startled -- that's not something anyone's supposed to know yet. Mysaria wants something in return for handing over the prince -- the end of children being "forced to fight, and worse" in Flea Bottom.
He gives her his word in exchange for the prince's whereabouts. She tells him to remember, "There is no power but what the people allow you to take."
The White Worm, while not mentioned by name, is the subject of a conversation between Alicent and Larys later on in the episode. Yes, I'm talking about that foot scene. Larys reveals how Otto found Aegon: "There is a web of spies at work in the Red Keep." It includes servants like Talya and it's helped those, like Otto, willing to "feed the weaver," he says. The queen gives Larys the OK to "take it out at the head."
Following this, we see Mysaria's building from episode 8 on fire, and a hooded person walking away from the scene.
What is Mysaria's deal?
So here's what we now know at this point. Mysaria goes by the name the White Worm. She's a similar figure to Varys in Game of Thrones, aka the master of whispers in King's Landing. At the very least, Talya and several kids are keeping her informed on things happening in the Red Keep and beyond.
She also seems to be a pretty moral person. She pays the young girl who sets up the meeting between her and Otto. Her request to Otto was pretty selfless.
It's unclear how -- and if -- she'll take a side in the bubbling conflict between Alicent and Rhaenyra. She's exchanged information with Otto for payment, but she's not allies with him. We haven't seen her and Daemon interact in a long, long time, so it's unclear what their relationship is like right now. Part of me wonders if she'll even choose a side to support... or if she'll just continue supporting "the people." Maybe Sunday's season finale will bring some clarity.