House of the Dragon Recap With Spoilers: "King of the Narrow Sea"

WARNING: This article contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon's fourth episode... "King of the Narrow Sea" begins with Rhaenyra in a different part of Westeros, listening to proposals from suitors that her father has lined up for her. She's not interested in any of these men; some are much older, some are much younger, none are very appealing. A young man named Samwell Blackwood ends up in a duel after being turned down by Rhaenyra, and he surprisingly bests the much bigger, older man. He's a name to keep in your back pocket for later in the series.

Rhaenyra ends her tour early and heads back to King's Landing, even though she knows her father will be disappointed about the situation. While sailing in, Daemon's dragon flies over her ship, signaling that he has returned home as well. Daemon approaches the throne with a crown of his own on his head, and it is revealed that he was crowned King of the Narrow Sea, following his victory over the Crabfeeder and the Triarchy. A conflict with Viserys seems inevitable, but Daemon removes his crown and gives it to Viserys, claiming that he sees only his brother as king. They embrace and a celebration commences.

Rhaenyra isn't in her father's good graces. Daemon, however, is experiencing a better relationship with Viserys. The last time the two were together, they were at odds, but that was years ago, Winning a war quells a lot of issues, it seems. Alicent tries to get Rhaenyra to look on the brighter side of things, saying most people don't get a choice in who they marry. The friends have clearly missed one another as their lives have changed and grown apart in recent years.

Daemon is approached by Rhaenyra, who questions his motives for returning. He says that he missed "the comforts of home." He, like Alicent, attempts to tell her that this potential marriage isn't a bad thing, but he takes the political angle. She doesn't want to end up like her mother, who was killed trying to produce a male heir, but Daemon tells her she can't live her life in fear. She doesn't desire fear, only solitude.

The Crabfeeder may be dead, but Corlys is now ruling things in the Stepstones, and he could be causing trouble for the King. He's planning to marry his daughter to the son of the lord in charge of Braavos, which would be trouble for Viserys and Westeros. 

In her chambers, Rhaenyra finds a map that was given to her by someone in secret. It's a way to sneak out of the castle at night. She puts on plain clothes and follows its instructions, only to find Daemon waiting for her. He leads her through the streets and she sees how the common people live. Meanwhile, Alicent cares for Viserys, whose ailment is only getting worse.

Daemon takes Rhaenrya to a pleasure house, where he tells her that she's finally in a place where she can have and take what she wants. At the same time, Viserys has summoned Alicent to his chambers to have sex with him, and it's made clear that scene lacks all joy and passion. Daemon starts to get intimate with Rhaenyra but abruptly stops. He pulls away from her, slams his hand against the wall and leaves. When she chases after him, a young boy on the street notices who she is. She returns to her room and Criston is still standing watch outside, unaware that she had left. Rhaenyra pulls him into her room and has sex with him. 

Otto informs King Viserys of what the young boy saw. He is told that Daemon and Rhaenyra were in the pleasure house together, "engaging in behaviors unbecoming of a maiden." Alicent overhears the exchange and sends for Rhaenyra. She tells Rhaenyra what she was told and Rhaenyra denies it. Alicent insists that she only wants to help Rhaenyra. She tells most of the truth, leaving out the physical exchange with Daemon. "Daemon never touched me. I swear this to you on the memory of my mother." 

Daemon is dragged to the Iron Throne and left lying on the floor. Viserys claims that Daemon defiled Rhaenyra and kicks him while he's on the ground. Daemon tells Viserys that he wants to wed Rhaenyra, reminding the king that he said he could have whatever he wanted after he gave up his crown from the Narrow Sea. Viserys sends him away. Alicent works to convince Viserys to believe Rhaenyra's word over Daemon, given that he had made a habit of trickery. She believes Rhaenyra.

Viserys and Rhaenrya talk about Aegon the Conqueror and the prophecy of the Song of Ice and Fire. He tells her that the burden she bears is larger than her desires. "The truth does not matter, Rhaenyra. Only perception." He tells her that she will wed Corlys Velaryon's son and unite the two most powerful houses in the realm. Rhaenyra takes the opportunity to cast doubt on Otto Hightower, saying that he is doing everything he can to make Aegon the king, including spying on her. She agrees to the wedding but says he must handle the issue with Otto.

1comments

Otto and Viserys meet face-to-face and the king subtly suggests that his hand might have played a bloody part in acquiring his position. "I wonder, how long did it take to choose yourself over your king?" He realizes that Alicent was planted into his life at the right time, thanks to the work of Otto. Viserys removes the hand from Otto's chest. "The crown and the realm owe you a debt that cannot be paid, but I no longer trust your judgement." A maester brings Rhaenyra a tea that he claims is from the king, saying it will "rid her of any consequences" of the night before.