‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 4 Ending Explained: Did Rhaenyra Have Sex With Both Daemon AND Ser Criston?

HBO Dragon House put an end to the rampant rumors and finally explained what happened between Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) and her uncle Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and what happened between the princess and Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel). Readers of George RR Martin Fire & Blood will know that the pages of the book are overflowing with salacious rumors about the sexual exploits of the teenage girl Rhaenyra. One account says that Daemon seduced his niece and “claimed her virginity”, while the Mushroom court gossip version shows Daemon giving Rhaenyra “lessons in kissing” and the like so that she in turn could seduce his white knight, Ser Criston Cole. Dragon House Episode 4 puts the rumors to bed, literally.

In Dragon House Episode 4, Prince Daemon returns to King’s Landing proclaiming himself the “King of the Narrow Sea”. However, he quickly defuses the tensions in court by bending the knee to big brother Viserys (Paddy Considine) and being nice to the family. However, Daemon soon lures Rhaenyra out of the castle using secret passages that lead into the city. With the two Targaryens wearing crude disguises, they can enjoy a night out passing as commoners.

Eventually, Daemon drives Rhaenyra to a brothel, where he takes her to a back room. He explains to Rhaenyra that marriage is a duty, but that sex is an important source of human pleasure. From there, the stage is set for some good old scary game of thrones incest. Uncle and niece start kissing… but do they follow through? Later that night, Rhaenyra certainly had sex with Ser Criston Cole, but did the girlfriend have two men in one night? She certainly swore to Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) that nothing happened between her and Daemon (or Criston). [Insert eye emoji here.]

But what exactly did Rhaenyra do and should she be in big trouble for it? Does Rhaenyra drink the moon tea her father sends her? And more importantly, what does this moon tea mean? Let’s break it down Dragon House Episode 4…

Rhaenyra in the Hot D 104 promo
Picture: HBO


The last moments of Dragon House Episode 4 shows Grand Maester Melios (David Horovitch) bringing specially brewed tea for Rhaenyra courtesy of his father. Rhaenyra looks confused and the maester explains in delicate terms that this tea is a form of birth control. Whether she takes it or not is left up in the air as the last shot of the episode is Rhaenyra staring at the bottle.

What we do know, however, is that despite what he said, Viserys believes his daughter had sex… with Daemon. He will defend her against outside intriguers and threaten to avert the eyes of anyone who has seen her, but he firmly believes that Rhaenyra has lost her V-card. Otherwise, he wouldn’t send her Moon Tea, Westeros’ favorite form of birth control.

The question, however, is who did Rhaenyra sleep with? Who could have gotten her pregnant?

Prince Daemon in House of the Dragon Episode 4
Picture: HBO


I don’t know about you, but the way the pleasure house scene is shot seems deliberately ambiguous. It’s so dimly lit that the battle scene in “The Long Night” is bright. There are quick cuts and hands moving off-screen. However, it seems that even if Daemon brings Rhaenyra to the pillow house to be publicly seduced – and we’ll get to that in a minute – he doesn’t have the strength to go through with it.

Daemon pitches the idea of ​​”fuck as fun” to Rhaenyra as he takes her through room after room of people enjoying sexy times together. The eroticism of this scene is juxtaposed with poor Alicent suffering from what is clearly marital rape with Viserys. She doesn’t want to have sex with this man right now, but she has to fake a smile and stare into the distance, her glass eyes dissociating all the time because he’s the king.

Rhaenyra and Daemon kiss at the same time, showing shared initial consent. As they kiss, Daemon explains that “marriage is a duty, but that doesn’t stop us from doing what we want and fucking whoever we want”. The kiss becomes heavier. Rhaenyra wraps her hand around Daemon’s neck and lets him lead her into a wall. He undoes his top and seems to lower his pants. We can’t see what’s below the waist, but Daemon is still dressed. When Rhaenyra turns to face him, he withdraws from her kisses. She tries to kiss him again and again and finally he breaks up in anger.

We watch him walk away, followed by a confused, capless Rhaenyra. A child sees it and slips away like a spy.

So it looks as if Daemon and Rhaenyra engage in some serious foreplay in a public setting – where they might be seen by other pleasure seekers and well-placed spies — they don’t have sex. Daemon seduces Rhaenyra in a way that denigrates her virtue so that Viserys has no choice but to let him marry his niece, Targaryen style.

However, things don’t quite work that way. First, because Daemon is already married to Rhea Royce, his “Bronze Bitch”. Second, Viserys is horrified by Daemon’s actions. And three, an excited and dissatisfied Rhaenyra decides to take…Ser Criston Cole…

Rhaenyra and Ser Criston at Storm's End in House of the Dragon Episode 4
Picture: HBO


Well, if you believe Daemon stopped short of having sex with his niece – what was my honest reading? – then Rhaenyra officially loses her virginity to Ser Criston Cole.

After Daemon leaves Rhaenyra all horny and alone, she sneaks into the castle and lets Ser Criston see her in her page boy disguise. Ser Criston realizes she has escaped as he stands guard at her door and understandably panics. She teases the knight by stealing his helm, forcing him to follow her. Finally she kisses him. He whispers “Stop” before letting her lead him closer to the bed. She begins to take off her armor one piece at a time. Once it’s off, it fully embraces the moment.

Bravo to Fabien Frankel for playing this scene with such tenderness because it is clear that Ser Criston is torn. He doesn’t want to break his Kingsguard vows, but he’s also clearly in love with his princess. The fact that she initiates things only serves as a greater temptation. Eventually, Ser Criston succumbs and the two make love in a romantic, sweet, and tasteful way that undermines how this is a consensual sex scene. (Although you could say that Ser Criston is coerced because he has to do what he ordered, but there is enough room for him to revoke his consent and he never does.)

Oddly, it seems that the account of the events of Mushroom was the correct one. Or the version Dragon House given the most attention in this adaptation.

Interestingly, Rhaenyra was probably emboldened by Daemon’s explanation that as Targaryens they can do what they want and take what they want. But will there be consequences for Ser Criston Cole’s seduction by Rhaenyra? Well this is the world of game of thronesso we’ll bet yes.


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