House of the Dragon ReWatch - S1E4 - King of the Narrow Sea

1h 2m | Apr 25, 2024

On a realm-wide tour to choose a spouse, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, accompanied by Ser Criston Cole, has travelled to Storm's End. With Lord Boremund Baratheon's guidance, she meets and rejects countless suitors. Rhaenyra abandons the tour while a fight erupts between two suitors, in which one, an adolescent boy, kills another by sword. As her ship approaches King's Landing, her uncle, Prince Daemon, flies past on his dragon, Caraxes, victoriously returning from his three-year military campaign in the Stepstones.

Daemon enters the throne room, wearing a crown and claiming the title "King of the Narrow Sea". He gives up the crown to his brother, King Viserys, swearing his allegiance. As the reconciled brothers celebrate at a feast, Queen Alicent confides her loneliness to Rhaenyra, who also admits missing their friendship. Daemon speaks to Rhaenyra, advising her to indulge her desires while fulfilling royal duties.

Late at night, Rhaenyra, disguised as a boy, sneaks out with Daemon to explore King's Landing's seamier areas. They drink, attend a bawdy play, and visit a brothel, where Daemon removes Rhaenyra's disguise and seduces her. Although she is willing, he is unable to consummate the affair. A frustrated Daemon leaves. Returning to the Red Keep, Rhaenyra seduces Criston, who is initially reluctant due to his Kingsguard oath of chastity, but they ultimately fornicate.

Ser Otto Hightower learns about Daemon and Rhaenyra's exploits from a spy called the White Worm. Otto informs Viserys, who reacts angrily to the news, as well as Otto's apparent spying on Rhaenyra. Alicent overhears their conversation. She confronts Rhaenyra privately, inadvertently revealing Otto's spying to Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra denies having sex with Daemon. Viserys angrily confronts a disheveled and hungover Daemon, who seemingly confirms the accusations and proposes to wed Rhaenyra. Viserys claims Daemon only wants the marriage to gain the crown, and exiles his brother back to the Vale. Alicent tells Viserys her belief that Rhaenyra is still a virgin.

To avoid scandal, Viserys orders Rhaenyra to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon. In exchange, she demands her father dismiss Otto as his Hand, claiming he manipulates the king for personal ambitions. Viserys does so. He later sends Grand Maester Mellos to give her an abortifacient drink to prevent any "unwanted consequences."

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