‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 4 Recap: “The King of the Narrow Sea”

In Dragon House, we’ve already seen a king offer the hand of a twelve-year-old child in marriage, and heard the suggestion that Princess Rhaenyra marry her half-brother Aegon II as political security against any claimants to the Iron Throne. We also get a hint of future history regarding the actions of those close to power. In game of thronesset 200 years after the events of HOT, Jaime Lannister throws Bran Stark out of a tower window when the boy walks in on Jaime having sex with his sister Cersei. And so there is precedent when Daemon Targaryen, “the King of the Narrow Sea” himself, seduces his niece Rhaenyra Targaryen into the bowels of a King’s Landing pleasure house. “You Targaryens do have strange customs,” Queen Alicent notes to her daughter-in-law after learning about the drunken canoodle from Daemon and Rhaenyra at owl hour. “You have defiled her! bellowed King Viserys as his brother was dragged before him into the Great Hall. But Daemon’s answer, basically, is who cares? His endgame securing power is revealed. “Marry her to me,” he said to the king. “I will take her as she is and marry her in the tradition of our house.” But Viserys is not going there. He kicks his brother in the kidneys, calls him a plague.

“Surely there’s more to your return than just taunting my father,” Rhaenyra observed to Daemon-Up Valyrian after arriving at the doorway of the Red Keep at the start of episode four of HOT. And damn it, she was right. Of course, the prince brought the defeated Crabfeeder’s hammer to the king – “Add it to the chair”, he said, throwing the weapon with a snap – and he swore fealty on his knees. But his supposed humility was a Trojan horse. (Remember Daemon’s false flag of truce in the Stepstones?) The prince’s piece was for the restless, chaotic dragon blood that he and Rhaenyra share. And while it didn’t work out for Daemon, his actions ignited a fire in the princess. At the start of the episode, she was abruptly unplugging her “marriage tour”, disgusted by the endless lines of suitors for her hand. In the end, she had explored carnal pleasure with her uncle, taken Ser Criston Cole to his bed—their foreplay included the exciting removal of her gorget and a contest to untie their foals—and agreed to her father’s request that she marries Ser Laenor. Velaryon on condition that he sack the hand of King Otto Hightower.

The last time we saw Ser Laenor was in the Stepstones, where he discussed tactics with his father Lord Corlys before helping secure victory over the Crabfeeder with gusts of dragon breath from his Seasmoke mount. . And a Targaryen-Velaryon marriage will unite the might of dragons with naval might and protect the Seven Kingdoms from attack. But it will also secure the knowledge Viserys entrusted to Rhaenyra, in the inscription dropped by her ancient Valyrian steel dagger. “Out of my blood came the promised prince, and his will shall be the song of ice and fire.” The dreams and prophecies of Aegon the Conqueror, the first Targaryen king, will be Rhaenyra to watch, regardless of the immediate political gains of marrying a Velaryon.

power and politics. That’s the whole story. But Rhaenyra will not resign herself to her mother’s fate, dying in the birthing bed. She recognized him in Daemon. “For men, marriage could be a political arrangement. For women, it’s like a death sentence. She understands her father’s angle, giving her hand to Laenor Velaryon. But she also knows that in these high places of power, the tradition is that women are imprisoned in castles and forced to oust the heirs. And she doesn’t come out like that. His blood is too chaotic. As Princess Rhaenyra escapes the Red Keep using Daemon’s Secret Passages Map and samples with her uncle the many vices of King’s Landing’s red light district, wrestles with him in lust, then warmly lures Ser Criston in her boudoir, Queen Alicent is forced to submit to the desires of her husband’s battered body. She looks up, imprisoned beneath him. She has already given the king two children; there will be two more. For Alicent, her royal womb is held in power. What form will Rhaenyra take?

For now, the king and his little council are not taking any risks. As Rhaenyra relaxes in her room – alone this time – Grand Maester Mellos arrives with a special delivery. “Tea, princess. Of the King. This will rid you of all… undesirable consequences. Viserys agreed to her request that Otto should leave – “I can’t trust your judgment any longer”, he told her, slipping the mark of the Hand from Otto’s tunic – but he took no chances. with the roaring manifestation of his adolescence. wishes of his daughter. If the princess consumes this bauble full of moon tea, she will eradicate everything she has done with Daemon. (It’s her actions with Daemon in particular that have the king worried; he doesn’t even know she’s going after Criston!) Viserys understands there’s too much at stake. There’s too much to waste. There’s too much power to keep. What Rhaenyra keeps and what she gives up is always up to her.

Johnny Loftus is a freelance writer and editor living in Chicagoland. Her work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glenganges

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