House of the Dragon | Season 1 Episode 4 King of the Narrow Sea | Recap & Review

House of the Dragon | Season 1 Episode 4 King of the Narrow Sea | Recap & Review;- Rhaenyra begins Episode 4 of House of the Dragon by listening to a variety of potential husbands as they come forward and make their case. The chosen suitors aren’t exactly ideal candidates for marriage, whether they are too young or too old.

King of the Narrow Sea

Rhaenyra decides enough is enough and takes ship for King’s Landing as a quarrel breaks out. With only two months left in their tour and Rhaenyra flatly rejecting every suitor, the group muses on Viserys’ likely reaction.

Daemon enters the main throne room with a swagger, brushing off the King’s Guard as they approach with drawn swords. His own is dropped, and he says, “Add it to the chair.”

Daemon, who has been called “King of the Narrow Sea,” wears his own crown. He lowers himself on his knees, however, and discards the crown, proclaiming Viserys to be the legitimate monarch. Right now, it’s unclear what kind of game (if any) he’s engaged in, and the tension is at an all-time high. Viserys tells Daemon that the realm owes him a big obligation as the two embrace.

Daemon and Rhaenyra then discuss their new lives in this realm, including the latter’s numerous suitor approaches. All of this is obviously done in the name of power and titles; it has nothing to do with love.

Speaking of authority, Viserys calls the little council together in the royal room where they are dealing with more pressing issues. Lord Corlys and the Sealord of Braavos are negotiating. He intends to marry the son of the Sealord with his daughter Laena. Why is that awful, then? In any case, the Free Cities would be compelled to seek out their own marriage contract in order to fortify their frontiers if Velaryon formed an alliance with them. And of course Rhaenyra is the source of that “nuptial agreement.”

Rhaenyra and Daemon slip out that evening. The couple travel through the bustling streets, finally stumbling onto a stage play re-enacting the birth of her brother, Aegon. She seems to be unable to escape throne politics even from this location.

Alicent is asked to go back inside and visit Viserys in the middle of the night, but it appears that his back injuries have gotten a lot worse since they were last seen in an earlier episode. This might have consequences for the plot moving ahead.

Anyhow, Viserys eventually engages in sexual activity with her. Given how apathetic and bored she appears, it’s clear that she isn’t making love, but it contrasts brilliantly with Daemon and Rhaenyra showing up at a club where everyone is naked.

As she is told by Daemon that “fucking is as much a joy for the woman as it is a man,” soft moans can be heard echoing down the hallways. And with that, the actual Targaryen destiny is brought into view as Daemon and Rhaenyra finally share a kiss—for a little while, at least. Eventually, Daemon skips away, leaving Rhaenyra all by herself.

However, Rhaenyra pays attention to Daemon’s advice and finds herself back in the palace with Ser Criston Cole. She spends the night with this person in bed.

Otto learns through a courier what Daemon and Rhaenyra have been up to in detail. Viserys eventually receives the information from Otto, and Alicent meets Rhaenyra and demands an explanation. Naturally, there was only kissing involved; Rhaenyra is eager to clarify that these allegations are false and defamatory.

The fact that Daemon is carried into the throne room in the morning and put on the floor doesn’t augur well for him in particular. While kicking him, Viserys demands the truth. Viserys is advised by Daemon to allow Rhaenyra and him to wed because doing so will restore the House of the Dragon to its former splendor.

Viserys tells Daemon to leave and get out of his sight after recognizing this as a plot to seize the throne.

That evening, Alicent defends Rhaenyra by telling her husband that she believes her after their conversation in the courtyard. Because Viserys is unsure of what to do, he eventually invites Rhaenyra into his office so they can chat.

After referring to her as his “political problem,” Viserys decides that they should arrange to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon. That would bring together the two most influential houses. As Otto is attempting to install Aegon on the throne, Rhaenyra is quick to point out that Otto is the true vulture and opportunist in this situation.

Viserys brushes it aside until Rhaenyra gives him an order to get rid of Otto Hightower because Hand and Rhaenyra are getting married.

Viserys takes a significant action. He considers how Otto got inside and planned everything with Alicent and Aegon. The Hand is astonished and taken aback as he takes the title and declares that he can no longer trust Otto’s judgment.

The King gives Rhaenyra a tea at the end of the episode in an effort to “rid her of any undesired effects.”

The Episode Review

Typically, sex scenes in TV series serve only to fill time or provide no context at all. House of the Dragon, however, does not. It is so masterfully done to contrast Viserys and Alicent’s kissing and sexual activity with Rhaenyra and Daemon/Criston Cole. It serves as a metaphor for the distinction between obligation and enjoyment as well as the suffocating and passionless nature of some arranged marriages.

Finding a program that doesn’t waste a single scene while packing as much as possible into its runtime while leaving lots of room for ambiguity in its discourse is really rather refreshing. HOTD is easily winning this “fantasy war,” in contrast to something like Rings of Power, which continuously repeats the same material and compromises strong storyline for good graphics.

The program manages to combine politics, drama, and fantasy without ever sacrificing its plot or pacing, and it also has a really good ebb and flow. The show’s ability to survive its impending time jump will be the real test in this situation. We’ll just have to wait and find out!

Read more: House of the Dragon Episode 5 Preview: Release Date, Time & Where To Watch

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