House of the Dragon episode 4 — out now on HBO Max and Disney+ Hotstar — is all about how rapidly fortunes can change. By halfway by episode 2, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) had made an enemy of his brother, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), for stealing a dragon egg and styling himself Lord of Dragonstone. Daemon additional angered him in episode 3 by beginning a battle in the Stepstones and dragging the Crown into it. Yet, at the begin of episode 4, due to a victory he secured, Daemon is again in the king’s good graces. Publicly, at the least. BUT—by the finish of House of the Dragon episode 4, Viserys despises his brother and banishes him, due to his half in a royal scandal that has engulfed Viserys’ inheritor and daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock).
Speaking of the future potential Queen, Rhaenyra leads to a a lot greater quagmire by the time House of the Dragon episode 4 wraps. All gave the impression to be nicely between father and daughter after we final noticed them collectively. In the meantime — Aegon II has turned three, we’re informed, which suggests about a 12 months has handed — Viserys has organised a tour of potential suitors for Rhaenyra. It’s how House of the Dragon episode 4 opens, with males (and boys) of all ages making a verbal PowerPoint presentation on why they’re finest suited to be her husband. But Rhaenyra swipes left on all of them, and cuts the tour brief two months early. Viserys is “frustrated” that she has returned with out choosing anybody, Rhaenyra’s finest buddy Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) tells her.
“It’s rare for a woman to get a choice between two suitors, let alone two scores,” Alicent notes to the inheritor of the Iron Throne. “They only want my name and my Valyrian blood for their offspring,” Rhaenyra objects, to which Alicent replies on House of the Dragon episode 4: “I think it’s rather romantic.” The Targaryen teenager retorts close to immediately with out considering: “How romantic is it to be imprisoned in a castle and be made to put out offspring after offspring?” Rhaenyra has inadvertently neatly summarised Alicent’s state of affairs, and when she realises the unintended jab, she comforts her finest buddy by squeezing her hand.
But it is also clear that whereas Alicent is completely happy together with her place, Rhaenyra cares extra for journey. That has at all times been her. So later that night time in House of the Dragon episode 4, when Rhaenyra finds a observe and a bag full of commoner’s garments in her chambers, she jumps at the alternative. Slinking by a secret entrance in her bed room, Rhaenyra finds Daemon ready for her, who subsequently introduces her to the nightlife of King’s Landing. First up, they see a play — Game of Thrones did this very properly, so I’m completely happy to see the prequel spin-off proceed in that vein — that Rhaenyra would not take kindly to. Largely as a result of they’re mocking her feminine credentials (A woman inheritor?! Will she be feeble?), whereas noting that child Aegon II has a conqueror’s title and a penis. How does that depend for something?
The subsequent part of the Flea Bottom tour is way more risqué. For Daemon although, it is simply one other Tuesday. The Targaryen prince takes his niece into a pleasure den on House of the Dragon episode 4, opening Rhaenyra to a vary of sexual gratification she has by no means witnessed earlier than. Daemon then takes off her headgear — the very factor that aided in her disguise, conserving her unmistakably white Targaryen locks hidden — as they head deeper in. It’s like he needs everybody to know she was right here.
And then, in full view of everybody, Daemon makes a transfer on his niece. “Marriage is a duty,” he says to Rhaenyra, as House of the Dragon episode 4 intercuts with Queen Alicent silently taking her husband, who woke her up on a booty name in the center of the night time, “but that doesn’t stop us from doing what we want.” As he undresses her, Daemon turns her round and pushes her towards the wall, however when she turns round to face him and repeatedly tries to kiss him, he runs off. Clearly, the rogue prince has gotten too used to paying for intercourse, and would not prefer it when another person takes management.
When Rhaenyra will get again to her chambers, she’s nonetheless in a playful temper. She teases her bodyguard Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) by snatching his helmet, earlier than kissing him as he tries to take it again. The Kingsguard take a vow of chastity, so Criston is of course conflicted. He pauses to contemplate what he is entering into, earlier than giving into Rhaenyra’s very apparent wishes. What follows is one of the most tender moments in the historical past of Game of Thrones as a franchise. Though admittedly, that is a very low bar contemplating most sexual exercise is both violent, gratuitous, or each. It’s been mere minutes since the Queen was primarily pressured into intercourse on House of the Dragon episode 4 itself.
In the morning although, there isn’t any time for Rhaenyra to indulge in the afterglow. The Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower’s (Rhys Ifans), spies woke him up throughout the night time to inform him what the Princess was as much as. And Otto’s first motion in the morning is to barge into the King’s chambers and spew every thing he has been informed. Engaging in “behaviour unbecoming of a maiden”, Otto tries to place it respectfully on House of the Dragon episode 4, whereas nonetheless clearly punching down at Rhaenyra. But Viserys would not react properly — he thinks that is a plot on Otto’s behalf. Still, Otto will get what he needs, as a result of the inquisition begins the second he leaves.
A hungover Daemon is dragged into the Great Hall — his star has fallen rapidly, contemplating the place he was at the begin of House of the Dragon episode 4 — the place Viserys launches at him. The King is much more livid for a way simply the Prince accepts his actions, after which has the gall to suggest that he’ll take Rhaenyra as his spouse if no different lord would. Viserys has little interest in his needs. After all, it isn’t the Princess he needs, however the Iron Throne. Also, Daemon already has a spouse he is ignoring, Viserys factors out, and tells him to go to the Vale with the little shred of respect and dignity he has left. What a rollercoaster for Daemon — he has gone from outcast to being accepted to being thrown out.
First, Alicent confronts Rhaenyra who denies that Daemon even touched her. Though she’s sad that her finest buddy is accusing her of issues she “overheard”, the Targaryen inheritor does admit that she went frolicking about Flea Bottom with Daemon. “It was foolish of you to place yourself in a position where your virtue could even come into question,” Alicent finally says to Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon episode 4. This can be unsettling coming from anybody, however it’s much more so when it is uttered by a lady and one of her closest companions. Alicent is clearly not one to problem internalised misogyny. No one would even bat an eye fixed if Daemon was noticed in pleasure dens — he is achieved it a thousand occasions, the truth is — however we won’t have Rhaenyra lurking about such corners.
Rhaenyra factors out these precise double requirements to her father. “If I were a man, I could father a dozen bastards and no one in your court would blink an eye,” she says, after she’s summoned to his chambers in House of the Dragon episode 4. Viserys notes that she’s proper, however “you were born a woman.” The King is successfully saying that the universe dealt her a unhealthy hand — and now she should dwell with it. Rhaenyra’s late-night escapades have additionally blown aside the goodwill she had earned. Viserys has determined that she is going to marry Laenor Velaryon — the son of Princess Rhaenys “The Queen Who Never Was” and Lord Corlys “Sea Snake” Velaryon, simply as Viserys’ adviser informed him on episode 3 — to resolve what he notes has change into his “political headache”.
In return, Rhaenyra units out an ultimatum to her father. Otto should go, she says, for he is too dedicated to his private pursuits: to place his grandson Aegon II on the throne. And identical to that, one foremost forged House of the Dragon member is out, it appears, as a blindsided Otto is stripped of his Hand of the King place.
And although I’m certain there might be extra to this royal scandal, House of the Dragon episode 4 places a observe on it at the finish, as Rhaenyra is served a “special tea”. The King had it brewed, to make sure there are not any “unforeseen consequences,” the Maester tells Rhaenyra. What he is making an attempt to keep away from saying is that the tea acts as a morning-after capsule. It’s helpful for the Princess too — she might not have had intercourse with Daemon, however she did take her bodyguard to mattress.