Welcome to another week and another Ending Explained for House of the Dragon, the hit fantasy TV show from HBO. Today, we will be talking about everything that happened in Episode 4 of the first season of the show. The episode is titled “King of the Narrow Sea” which is, of course, a reference to Daemon Targaryen after his victory at the Stepstones. Daemon and Rhaenyra are the focus of the episode, and what happens will certainly have important consequences for the future of this story.
Episode 4 focuses a lot more on politics and leaves the spectacle of the previous episode’s battle for another time. However, the conversations are just as interesting and important as ever, and the decisions that the characters have to make in this episode will have long-term consequences. It is quite fascinating how the episodes are almost completely devoid of filler. Each scene is essential to further the plot or develop the characters, and that is as it always should be.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for “King in the Narrow Sea” Episode 4 of House of the Dragon. Read at your own risk.
Why Did Daemon Lie About Him And Rhaenyra?
In last week’s episode, we saw how Daemon Targaryan basically ran face-first into the enemy lines at the Stepstones in order to finish that battle once in for all. The possibility of Viserys coming to help him and stealing the victory from his hands was a threat enough that dying trying to kill the Crab Feeder was worthy before the humiliation of being saved by his older brother. Now, Daemon returns to King’s Landing, and he is looking for something.
When Daemon arrives at the Red Keep, everyone is expecting something bad to happen, especially when Daemon appears with a crown of bones on his head. The people in the Narrow Sea have seen his exploits and have crowned him King of that region. However, in an unexpected event, Daemon bends the knee in front of his brother Viserys, saying that there is only one true king. Everything seems to be going fine, too fine, actually.
Daemon is not there only to pledge loyalty to his brother, he wants something else. Viserys, of course, was suspicious of this, but he could never have thought what his brother would do. Daemon’s plan involves Rhaenyra. He helps her escape to the safety of the Red Keep for one night. On this night, they walk through King’s landing, and they end up visiting a pleasure house. There, people go to have sex. Daemon and Rhaenyra kiss each other, but he leaves before anything else can happen.
However, the next day we see that Mysaria, Daemon’s lover, has paid a child to go and inform us that he has seen Daemon and Rhaenyra having sex. The rumor reaches the ears of Otto Hightower and then the ears of Viserys. He confronts his brother, and Daemon doesn’t deny the rumor. It is all part of his plan. If Rhaenyra is ruined, then Daemon can marry her in the tradition of House Targaryen, and then he can become King without spilling one more drop of blood.
What Will Rhaenyra Do Now That People Think She Is Not A Virgin Anymore?
House of the Dragon takes inspiration from real-life medieval traditions. Included in these traditions is the one that says that the virginity of a woman should be something that is sacred, and something only a husband could take away. If a woman lost that before getting married, then she would be “ruined” and no one would want her. Daemon, of course, counts on this tradition so that he can marry Rhaenyra and take the throne now that she is the heir.
However, for Rhaenyra this entire situation is so much more than that. As a woman that is growing, she has particular needs and clearly cares for her uncle, Daemon, in the ways people care about the people they like. Does Daemon care for Rhaenyra that way? Or is he only using her to achieve his goals? Time will tell, but Rhaenyra’s little adventure in King’s Landing has opened the young heir’s eyes to so much more than she knew.
In his trip to the streets of King’s Landing, Rhaenyra realizes that not even the people want a queen, they want a king. Daemon wants to show her this because, in that way, she will accept their marriage much more quickly. She would have no alternative. Of course, the other thing that Rhaenyra comes to realize is that sex is a pleasure and not something that she should be scared of. Daemon doesn’t go all the way with her, but she wants it, she wants to feel desired.
To achieve that, she goes back to her room in King’s Landing and basically makes Ser Criston Cole have sex with her. We know that Rhaenyra thought he was handsome when she picked him up for the King’s Guard. They are both young, and attractive, so the event doesn’t come as a bit of a surprise. They both enjoy the night. However, the consequences will be dire. People will know Rhaenyra is “ruined” and this opens up Daemon to take her hand in marriage as no other man would once they know she is not pure anymore.