‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 4 Recap: Rhaneyra Targaryen’s Downfall Begins, The Thing You Were Afraid Of Is Here

Episode 4 of House of The Dragon goes full Targaryen, from the “queer practices”, pulling strings for political gain to conquering new lands. The King had sent off Rhaneyra to travel across the seven kingdoms and find herself a husband but it’s not going according to plan. Not only is she unhappy with all the suitors but in the opening episode, she can be seen mocking most of them. On her long trip, Rhaneyra is accompanied by Ser Criston who often reminds her of her duty, but drunk with power of the Heir to the Throne, she decides it is time to return to King’s Landing without the King’s permission.

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On the way back, Rhaneyra is more than happy to realise her uncle Daemon has returned. Daemon makes his grand entrance with a new haircut and a makeshift crown on his head as the King of Narrow Sea. The move does not sit well with the council or the King until he presents his crown to the King and pledges his loyalty. He also presents the King with Crabfeeder’s sword and says “Add it to the chair”. After a very long starring showdown, between Daemon, Viserys and Otto, he finally welcomes his brother back to the court, to their home. However, the friendly demeanor doesn’t last long, not after what Daemon does to his niece.

For now, the house and its council gathers for a celebration of Daemon’s return. Viserys continues to parade his brother around. On the other hand, Rhaneyra’s return without a husband is more than upsetting, she is almost dead to him. Alicent, as always attempts to make peace. Their small talk about how nice it must be to have men line up for her doesn’t end well when Rhaenyra describes her future as, “How romantic it must be to get imprisoned in a castle and squeeze out heirs…” It is about the same as her mother, he best friend, and a true possibility for her own future.

The most disturbing part about the show, one that everyone has been dreading since its announcement finally appeared in the episode. Daemon takes one look at Rhaneyra and gathers that she can be his way to the throne, that she is now a woman, old enough. Their attraction was wilding known before the show aired and also featured in the first episode when he presented her with the Valyrian steel necklace. However, things go way too far in episode 4, far enough for Daemon to question his conscience. But it’s too late by then.

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In the hour of the owl, he takes her on a trip across the King’s Landing, showing her a glimpse of everything her life can be including the whore house, as Westerosis would call it. After a few successful advances, it becomes obvious to Daemon that his brother will have his head if he defiled his niece. So he does something worse, he leaves Rhaneyra in the middle of nowhere, alone to find her way back to the castle. Rhaneyra also a Targaryen uses her charm or mostly her power to play ‘hide the helmet’ with Ser Criston, which does end with at least one of their virtues stolen.

Otto Hightower however, finds out that Rhaneyra has been spotted at the whore house with Daemon. Viserys unhappy with the news sets out to kill anyone who would say, or think about his daughter. Despite placing his faith in Rhaneyra, Viserys expresses his displeasure with Daemon asking him to leave the King’s Landing. Meanwhile, Alicent worried about her best friend’s uncertain future asks her for the truth, to promise that she wasn’t with Daemon. She point-blank lies, “Daemon never touched me. I swear this to you, upon the memory of my mother.”

It does not do her much good, as she is ordered to marry Sea Snake’s son as a political ploy to save the throne and to produce pure Targaryen heirs.

Cover artwork by Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India


John Colin

I am a technology journalist with over two decades of press experience. I have spent much of the last ten years, focusing on open source, tech gadgets, data analytics and intelligence, Internet of things, cloud computing, mobile devices, and data management. I'm a senior editor at Mashable's covering data analytics, venture capital, (SaaS) applications, cloud and enterprise software out of New York.

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