Episode 4 of House of the Dragon has gotten a mixed response from fans due to the Targaryen predisposition for incest. The episode detailed Princess Rhaenyra’s (Milly Alcock) search for a suitable husband, which is expected of her if she is to become the Queen of Westeros.
There were plenty of men offering to marry the young princess. Some of them were even younger than her, but most appeared to be much older.
All of which Rhaenyra rejected.
When her uncle, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) returned to King’s Landing and made up with his brother, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), for that shocking comment about the king’s dead son, Rhaenyra was glad to see her long-time friend and relative. After that, the pair chatted about how marriage is for duty and nothing more.
Then Daemon helped his niece sneak out of the castle and she got to enjoy the nightlife — as well as share an intimate moment with her uncle.
And this is where many viewers are torn.
House of the Dragon’s Rhaenyra and Daemon share a secret tryst
Rhaenyra dressed as a page, sneaked out of her room via a secret passageway, and joined Daemon for some fun.
They took in a show and then wound up at a brothel where the princess’ eyes were likely opened to many a varied act.
While there, the pair engaged in some kissing and what may, or may not have been a sexual act. While Digital Spy insists the pair did have sex, many fans disagree and believe that the pair merely kissed before Daemon got cold feet and disappeared.
In today’s society, incest is forbidden, and for various excellent reasons. However, in the fantasyland of Westeros, as well as in medieval cultures, marriage between relations was not entirely frowned upon, particularly in royal families where there was often the notion of keeping the bloodline pure by marrying relations.
In the Targaryen tradition, marriage and physical relations between relations such as siblings and uncles are expected and it is canon in the book series on which the TV show is based.
Fans react to Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen
There were basically two strong reactions to Episode 4 of House of the Dragon: those who shipped Daemon and Rhaenyra as “Daemyra,” and those who abhor incest.
“After watching the last episode of house of the dragon and being reminded of all the incest of the royal family I just got to know, why are y’all like that??? Like even in fantasy it’s happening??? Sick,” one person wrote on Twitter.
We really need to have a conversation about Game of Thrones/House of Dragon whatever and the absolutely appalling glorification of incest. It’s NOT ok. It’s HARMFUL,” another viewer commented.
For every person that was vehemently against the portrayal of incest in House of the Dragon, there were plenty of fans defending the relationship.
One viewer wrote, “the way he looks at her, I’m just very unwell.”
Of course, from here on in, it is expected that there will be more Targaryens bedding and wedding each other in House of the Dragon.
House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.