4. House of the Dragon episode 4: “King of the Narrow Sea”
Sex, lies, and betrayal! All in a day’s work in Westeros. Just when critics started to point out that House of the Dragon might have way less sex than Game of Thrones, the fourth episode premiered and reminded us just how provocative George R.R. Martin’s world can be.
“King of the Narrow Sea” is definitely a turning point in the season, seeing Daemon return from the Stepstones with all eyes on Rhaenyra. Fans of the book already knew an incestuous relationship between uncle and niece was coming, but I can’t imagine how those who weren’t in the know felt. Upon reuniting, the two are closer than ever and partake on a particularly wild night when sneaking out to explore the streets of King’s Landing.
It’s a completely liberating adventure for Rhaenyra, who passes for a common boy and gets to act in whatever way she wants when no one recognizes her. But things escalate when Daemon brings her to a brothel and seduces her. With less clothing on, people certainly start to recognize her. Daemon ends up storming off and abandons her before they have sex, and when Rhaenyra gets back to the Red Keep, she wants some action.
This time, it’s her turn to do the seducing and she has sex with Criston, which is a total 180 from her experience with Daemon. This episode is so great because of its unexpected events, but also because of how much power it brings Rhaenyra. She finally feels like she has a say in something, and that’s incredibly fun and freeing for her.
Gossip gets around quickly in King’s Landing and Viserys exiles Daemon yet again. He also tells Rhaenyra that she must marry Laenor. It’s a whirlwind of an episode that changes the course of the rest of the season.