Lists Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers
Recap

House of the Dragon recap: Princess Rhaenyra bears the brunt of a smear campaign

Milly Alcock stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, as seen in Episode 3 of HBO's House of hte Dragon Season 1
Milly Alcock stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, as seen in Episode 3 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Episode 3 of House of the Dragon saw King Viserys (Paddy Considine) remarried and a royal prince being born that could usurp Princess Rhaenyra’s (Milly Alcock) stake on the Iron Throne.

And, because the princess is next in line to rule, it also means she is next in line to be married — something she is dead against.

Meanwhile, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) took the Stepstones when his brother, the king, couldn’t be bothered. Killing the Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith), he claimed victory there.

In Episode 4, Daemon returns to King’s Landing and publically gives up that crown to his brother.

This settles the rift between the pair that was torn asunder years earlier when Daemon referred to the king’s dead son as “Heir for a Day.”

So, let’s take a look at what else unfolded in the latest installment of House of the Dragon.

Julian Jones as Boremund Baratheon, Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, as seen in Episode 4 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Julian Jones as Boremund Baratheon, Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, as seen in Episode 4 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Everyone wants to marry the princess

Young and old — and not many in her actual age bracket — have arrived to try and win Rhaenyra’s hand in marriage.

She doesn’t care for any of them. Not even the child who kills the adult that picked on him.

Throughout this episode of House of the Dragon, the princess struggles with being a piece of meat ready to be sold at market. Because of this, her Uncle Daemon dresses her up as a boy and sneaks her out of the castle so that she can have a good time before settling into whatever god-awful choice she settles for.

And that’s when the s**t really hits the fan.

The most discomforting news

The thing about Daemon and Rhaenyra’s trip into the seedy underside of King’s Landing is that it starts off as anonymous and chaste. But, you know those damned Targaryens and their love of all things familial.

Winding up in a pleasure house, Rhaenyra and Daemon end up getting frisky.

While they don’t wind up sleeping with each other, that’s beside the point now as a spy has seen them and reports back to Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). This is one of Whiteworm’s spies which fans of the book will know more but a scene with Daemon and Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) is also quite telling.

Being Hand of the King, Otto takes this news straight back to the king but, of course, it has been twisted — beyond the incest — to also include actual intercourse.

Before the king has a chance to discuss it with anyone, Alicent (Emily Carey) has already spoken to the princess to find out the goss.

Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower and Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen, as seen in Episode 4 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower and Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen, as seen in Episode 4 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Meanwhile, the real news is the fact Ser Criston got lucky

The princess spills the beans about her uncle (as well as laying in some furphies that she swears upon the memory of her mother are true) but refrains from mentioning that while she didn’t score with Daemon, she did actually get lucky.

After being dumped by Daemon, Rhaenyra returns home and quickly seduces Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel).

How this little tryst will play out as House of the Dragon continues remains to be seen but I can’t imagine King Viserys will accept Criston as a suitable husband for the princess.

Also, that regained friendship with his brother? Well, that is dust now that he has sullied Rhaenyra’s name.

Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, as seen in Episode 4 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, as seen in Episode 4 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Trouble still brews at the Stepstones

While Daemon managed to kill the Crabfeeder, a new trouble has been planted there by way of the Sea Snake AKA Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint).

It seems Corlys is still p**sed at the fact the king did not marry his 12-year-old daughter, Laena Velaryon (Nova Mosé-Foueillis), back in Episode 2 of House of the Dragon.

Now he wants to wed her to the Sea Lord of Braavos. If this marriage goes ahead, it will place House Velaryon in alliance with the Free Cities and quite the large force to be reckoned with.

Now, who would they possibly marry off into House Velaryon to make sure Corlys keeps in line?

You guessed it, Rhaenyra is the perfect candidate to marry Laena’s brother, Laenor (Theo Nate).

And now that Rhaenyra has become a “political headache” to her father, he can make sure she weds exactly who he wants her to.

Otto gets demoted

While the king may seem somewhat not in the loop at times, it turns out he knows exactly what Otto is.

Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. It takes Rhaenyra calling him out as a vulture that gets the king thinking about his Hand.

Calling a private meeting with Otto, the king lays it all out and then takes away Otto’s title as Hand of the King.

So, does this mean that Otto is Whiteworm? Or has he just been framed? Only by tuning into further episodes of House of the Dragon will it all be revealed.

House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x