‘House Of The Dragon’ episode four recap: caught in the act

**Spoilers for 'King of the Narrow Sea' below**

Things get a lot more fruity in this week’s House of the Dragon, with a multitude of bums popping up and wiggling around. Those who tuned in to a Game of Thrones show expecting to see tits, willies and arses will not be disappointed.

We open with the teenage Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) considering a long queue of potential suitors, all of whom are too old or too young for her. The c-word is deployed straight out of the gate when someone mocks a young boy’s promises to protect Rhaenyra by saying, “The Princess has a dragon, you dumb cunt.” These two then have a fight that seems to end in death but, walking off, Rhaenyra isn’t bothered enough about them to inspect the details.

Rhaenyra’s brother Daemon (Matt Smith) then swoops into Dragonstone on a massive dragon. It’s an ominous entrance but people’s fears are misplaced: Daemon seems to come brandishing an olive branch, as well as the hammer of the Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith), whom we saw him disembowel in episode three. He says he has staked 2,000 victims to the sand in the Stepstones – surely a feat of incredibly boring logistics – and kneels in respect before Viserys (Paddy Considine). They reconcile, Viserys grateful for his brother’s victory, and in the next scene Viserys farts drunkenly, so we know he must be happy to see him back. Others are less keen to take Daemon at his word or assume that all is automatically well.

Daemon returns to King’s Landing. CREDIT: HBO/Sky

Rhaenyra, however, does confide in her uncle, complaining to him of Viserys’ constant efforts to marry her off. “My father seems content to sell me off to whichever lord has the biggest castle,” she says – a constant source of irritation for her. Meanwhile, Viserys learns that Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) – who has left the King’s Small Council – plans to wed his daughter Laena (Savannah Steyn) to the son of the Sealord of Bravos.

Then, in a truly bizarre sequence, Rhaenyra dons some common clothes and escapes the castle to explore the town with Daemon, disguising herself among the locals and then – and here’s where it gets weird – going to a brothel together. After they’ve stared at bums and boobs for a while, uncle and niece start getting it on themselves. They don’t get beyond second base, however, and when Rhaenyra returns to the castle she teases and then has sex with her faithful Ser Criston (Fabien Frankel).

Unfortunately, her exploits catch up with her – word has spread – and Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) tells Viserys that Rhaenyra was caught “in the bowels of a pleasure den” snogging her uncle. Viserys doesn’t seem to believe his ears – or his Hand – but he then confronts Daemon himself, kicking him while he lies on the floor. He knows that what he heard is true. “I have spent a lifetime defending you but your heart is even blacker than I thought,” he says. Daemon proposes a marriage between him and Rhaenyra, given that she is sullied in the eyes of others. Rhaenyra denies everything with a straight face, to Alicent (Emily Carey) and to her father, but Viserys has had enough: Raenyra must do as she is told and marry Laenor Velaryon (John MacMillan). The princess throws Otto under the bus by saying that the condition of her marriage is that the King’s Hand be dismissed.

House Of The Dragon
Alicent and Rhaenyra at loggerheads in ‘House Of The Dragon’. CREDIT: HBO/Sky

Because he doesn’t wish to displease his daughter, Viserys agrees without protest and, telling Otto that his interests “no longer align with those of the realm”, he removes him as the King’s Hand. And, later that night, Rhaenyra is visited by an old maester, who gives her a tea that will, it seems, act as an ancient kind of morning-after pill. “It will rid you of any unintended consequences,” he says, acting on behalf of the king.

Key quotes

  • “It’s not my daughter you lust for, is it? It’s my throne.” Seeing through his brother, as he should have done at the beginning of the episode, Viserys knows that nothing excites Daemon as much as power.“
  • For men, marriage might be a political arrangement. For women it is like to be a death sentence.” Rhaenyra’s line to Daemon underline her objection to tradition, and sound refreshingly modern to a contemporary audience.
  • “The truth does not matter, Rhaenyra – only perception.” Viserys knows full well that once the people have started to believe something, the smell will always linger, however untrue the rumour.

‘House Of The Dragon’ releases new episodes at 2am every Monday on Sky Atlantic and NOW


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