House of the Dragon season 1, episode 4 recap – who is Rhaenyra sleeping with?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 12, 2022 (Last updated: January 27, 2024)
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This has proven to be my favorite episode so far. While nothing overly dramatic happens, the story development is ace. The shocking relationship between Rhaenyra and Daemon is likely to be one of the biggest plots moving forward, and I, for one, cannot wait for the next episode. 

This recap of the HBO series House of the Dragon season 1, episode 4, “King of the Narrow Sea,” contains spoilers.

House of the Dragon season 1 episode 4 recap

Princess Rhaenyra sits as she watches men/children offer their hand in marriage. But so far, there’s been little to impress her, and she rejects them all. Shortly afterward, she sails across the sea and reunites with her father, Viserys, and brother, Daemon, who has decided to visit the Iron Throne. Daemon, who now calls himself King of the Narrow Sea, presents Viserys with another sword for the throne. Surprisingly, Daemon announces that he knows there is only one true King, and he bends his knee to Viserys. Viserys accepts his offer, and for now, it seems to be a happy family for them all. 

During the celebrations, Alicent once again tries to have a meaningful conversation with Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra asks how angry her father is over the doomed tour to find her a husband. When Alicent mentions how lonely she is, it seems to break the ice between her and Rhaenyra. Viserys learns that Corlys still has damaged pride from Viserys turning down his daughter in favor of Alicent. Meanwhile, Alicent struggles to calm her baby. As Rhaenyra walks through the town, an older woman asks if she wants to know her death, and as she asks, a dragon statue breathes out fire. 

Rhaenyra and Daemon watch a distasteful play that mocks their family’s tragedies. Later on during the night, when Viserys requests Alicent’s presence, it’s clear to see that she has little interest in the King. At the same time, Daemon and Rhaenyra start to have sex. Step aside, Cersei and Jaime, as there’s a new incestuous relationship in town. After Daemon deserts Rhaenyra, she goes back and kisses Criston. She then undresses him, and they have sex.

The ending

Viserys gets disturbed early in the morning with news from Ser Otto concerning Rhaenyra. He learns that Rhaenyra and Daemon were spotted being “engaged together” in a pleasure den. As Viserys hears the news, Alicent overhears. Viserys doesn’t want to hear the news, and he warns Ser Otto to get out at once. Alicent confronts Rhaenyra and asks if she was with her uncle. Rhaenyra denies such claims but admits to being in a pleasure den.

Shortly afterward, Daemon is brought to the Iron Throne. Viserys kicks Daemon in the gut and tells him he has “ruined Rhaenyra”. In exchange for giving Viserys the crown, Daemon tells Viserys that he wants to wed Rhaenyra. But Viserys will not allow it. Afterward, Alicent defends Rhaenyra by saying that it is not in her nature to be deceitful. Viserys reminds Rhaenyra that the secret they know is much bigger than either of them. And so she must marry Ser Laenor Velaryon, and without argument. But Rhaenyra has one demand, that Viserys takes care of Ser Otto. 

Viserys meets with Ser Otto and reflects how Ser Otto went from being a meaningless being to one of the most powerful beings in just five days. Viserys adds how he now understands how calculated it was for Alicent to become his wife. He then tells Ser Otto that he can no longer trust his judgment and takes away his key. Rhaenyra is handed a “tea” from a key that rids her of any unwanted consequences. 

What did you think of the HBO series House of the Dragon season 1, episode 4? Comment below.

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