House of the Dragon: Season 1/ Episode 4 “King of the Narrow Sea” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Daemon triggers an awakening in Rhaenyra, creating the kind of trouble Otto has longed for.

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Rhaenyra and Daemon before they kiss

Daemon triggers an awakening in Rhaenyra, creating the kind of trouble Otto has longed for.

Aired (HBO) 9/11/2022
Director(s) Clarke Kilner
Writer(s) Ira Parker

This content contains pertinent spoilers.


A Return In Good Graces – Daemon, Viserys, Rhaenyra

Daemon’s return means the Stepstones are now secure, and while he has been crowned a king, he has bowed to Viserys, which allows for the healing and reconciliation both have long sought out. However, while those two get on well, Rhaenyra and her father are again at opposing ends. Her tour to find a suitor was cut short by months, and he grows increasingly tired of her.

Daemon encouraging Rhaenyra to be a bit more fearless
“Daemon encouraging Rhaenyra to be a bit more fearless,” House of the Dragon, ” King of the Narrow Sea,” directed by Clarke Kilner, 2022, (HBO)

Luckily, Daemon is far kinder but rarely in ways that aren’t self-serving. He pushes Rhaenyra to be bold, messy, and perhaps even act like a man. All ideas that Rhaenyra is forced to reject due to society, but once the seed is planted, it begins to grow.

Like A Switched Turned On – Daemon, Rhaenyra, Ser Criston, Mysaria

In fact, that night, Daemon takes Rhaenyra out to see King’s Landing beyond the Red Keep and see the people she could one day rule. People who have sex in the streets, curse at strangers and ridicule the idea of a female ruler. But, alongside exposing her to that, he exposes her to his favorite brothel. One seemingly ran by Mysaria, who has what would eventually be known as a little bird watching and taking note of a niece and an uncle in such a place, especially as they kiss and Daemon decides to be his niece’s first.

However, before being consumed by lust and taking things too far, Daemon abandons her, leaving her sexually frustrated. This leads to her seducing Ser Criston, who, while hesitant at first, finishes what Daemon started.

Pain Comes With Pleasure – Daemon, Rhaenyra, Otto, Alicent, Viserys

Otto hears about Rhaenyra’s sexcapade with Daemon, and with that comes him telling Viserys, who is displeased at hearing about this, and Rhaenyra putting herself in the position for this to potentially become public perception. Naturally, Rhaenyra denies any relations with Daemon, and hopes as Daemon reconciled with Viserys, she may use what lingers between her and Alicent for protection. However, Viserys has made his decision, and with that, Lord Corlys’ son, Laenor, is made to be the one who will be Rhaenyra’s husband.

But, in return, and for his pushing of a narrative, Otto is removed from being Hand to the King. Not just because he spread the rumor Rhaenyra had sex with her uncle, but because Viserys questions whether Otto may have killed his father to become hand to Jaehaerys. And then finally, to make sure this is all put to bed, the maester brings Rhaenyra some kind of tea, seemingly acting like Plan B would in our world.

Though with knowing the existence of this drink, which apparently hasn’t been perfected yet, could this mean Rhaenyra continuing to be reckless and find pleasure in the few things a princess can?

Things To Note

Episode Content

  • Dialog: Cursing, as usual
  • Violence: Mild violence – nothing notable
  • Sexual Content: Incestual sex scene between Daemon and Rhaenyra and her having sex with Criston. Also, Alicent and Viserys having sex. Not to forget, scenes with extras having sex and being nude – both men and women.
  • Miscellaneous: The usual drinking

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. The tea the maester gave Rhaenyra, when did they make that, and is it proven to work? Also, who asked for it to be created first and why considering no king seems to care strongly about the creation of bastards.

What Could Happen Next

  1. Otto spreading rumors from King’s Landing to his home to sow the seeds of rebellion so no one would accept Rhaenyra as the ruler of the seven kingdoms

Collected Quote(s)

Hard lessons are not welcomed but suffered.
— Mysaria

You cannot live your life in far, or you will forsake the best parts of it.
— Daemon


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Ser Criston and Rhaenyra’s Love Scene

Rhaenyra and Criston before they kiss
“Rhaenyra and Criston before they kiss,” House of the Dragon, ” King of the Narrow Sea,” directed by Clarke Kilner, 2022, (HBO)

After 8 seasons of the original “Game of Thrones,” the TellTale Games production, and now “House of Dragon,” I can recall very few sex scenes with the vibe of making love. Arya and Gendry had something close to that, Jon Snow and Ygritte, but you’d be hard-pressed to name others who made love and weren’t just slamming their genitals into one another. If not a man getting his rocks off while the woman waited for him to be finish – see Alicent and Viserys.

So it was nice that one of the first sex scenes of the show, notable ones anyway, was something that had a bit of innocence to it. Yes, Rhaenyra might have had whatever the female version of blue balls is, but the playfulness of her encounter with Ser Criston isn’t a norm in the “Game of Thrones” franchise. We don’t even see couples who appear to be happy to be teasing and cute like that with one another.

Which makes it sad that, considering Rhaenyra’s fate is likely set in stone, this is but one of the many mistakes that will ruin her.

4 Years In, And Alicent Still Longs for Rhaenyra’s Friendship

Alicent’s longing for the friendships she had when she was but a lady is saddening. Here she is, considered one of the most protected and potentially powerful women in the world, and yet she longs for true companionship. And the one person who can give it to her is touted as an enemy by her father and stands in the way of her son having the Iron Throne.

But, you can see that, while willingly a pawn to her father in some ways, Rhaenyra was that escape. So even if the door is only cracked, you can see Alicent wants to peer at what they could be, what they have been, and so badly wants Rhaenyra back in her life, she’ll believe bald-faced lies. It helps you understand, whenever the show decides to time jump, why Alicent and Rhaenyra increasingly become distant.

Rhaenyra noting she missed Alicent
“Rhaenyra noting she missed Alicent,” House of the Dragon, ” King of the Narrow Sea,” directed by Clarke Kilner, 2022, (HBO)

Yes, Alicent found herself jumping to the end of the chessboard and becoming queen, but it was never her intention to make a move to put Rhaenyra off the board. And yet, there is a lack of trust as if she is as ambitious and conniving as her father.

On The Fence

Shouldn’t The Stakes Feel Higher?

It’s weird to say that a series associated with “Game of Thrones” is playing it safe, yet that does feel like what’s happening here. Daemon, despite all his transgressions, is still alive. Yes, Viserys wife died a bloody death, but it doesn’t necessarily have the impact of losing Ned Stark. Which didn’t come until later in the first season, but still, there was a lead-up that made every move feel important.

Yet, “House of the Dragon” lacks this. Otto might be calculated, but Viserys isn’t a murderer. He can barely kill something he can eat. Daemon and Lord Corlys can undermine him, and all that happens is Viserys gives them the silent treatment. Heck, Rhaenyra has, time and time again, made him look weak and unable to command his own child, a girl at that, and what happens? She is forced to marry someone – that or he doesn’t talk to her.

It makes me hope that, as we approach the handoff to older versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent, they can remind us of what it means for things to not be so sure, so safe, and brings some much-needed life to “House of the Dragon.” For a handful of sex scenes surely isn’t enough to keep things interesting.

[ninja_tables id=”69249″]

Rhaenyra and Daemon before they kiss
House of the Dragon: Season 1/ Episode 4 “King of the Narrow Sea” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Four episodes in, and while you can see some positive changes with “House of the Dragon,” there is a need to question if this new tale lacks an edge. Specifically, the kind that pushes you to consider aging shouldn’t be the only thing anyone should have to worry about.
4 Years In, And Alicent Still Longs for Rhaenyra’s Friendship
Ser Criston and Rhaenyra’s Love Scene
Shouldn’t The Stakes Feel Higher?

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