Monday, October 3

House of the Dragon Episode 4 Review: Double Standards Cause a Royal Scandal

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House of the Dragon episode 4 — out now on HBO Max and Disney+ Hotstar — is all about how rapidly fortunes can change. By halfway by means of episode 2, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) had made an enemy of his brother, King Viserys (Paddy Considine), for stealing a dragon egg and styling himself Lord of Dragonstone. Daemon additional angered him in episode 3 by beginning a struggle within the Stepstones and dragging the Crown into it. Yet, at first of episode 4, due to a victory he secured, Daemon is again within the king’s good graces. Publicly, no less than. BUT—by the top of House of the Dragon episode 4, Viserys despises his brother and banishes him, due to his half in a royal scandal that has engulfed Viserys’ inheritor and daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock).

Speaking of the longer term potential Queen, Rhaenyra results in a a lot larger quagmire by the point House of the Dragon episode 4 wraps. All gave the impression to be properly between father and daughter once we final noticed them collectively. In the meantime — Aegon II has turned three, we’re informed, which suggests a couple of yr has handed — Viserys has organised a tour of potential suitors for Rhaenyra. It’s how House of the Dragon episode 4 opens, with males (and boys) of all ages making a verbal PowerPoint presentation on why they’re greatest suited to be her husband. But Rhaenyra swipes left on all of them, and cuts the tour brief two months early. Viserys is “pissed off” that she has returned with out selecting anybody, Rhaenyra’s greatest buddy Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) tells her.

“It’s uncommon for a lady to get a selection between two suitors, not to mention two scores,” Alicent notes to the inheritor of the Iron Throne. “They solely need my title and my Valyrian blood for his or her offspring,” Rhaenyra objects, to which Alicent replies on House of the Dragon episode 4: “I feel it is relatively romantic.” The Targaryen teenager retorts close to immediately with out pondering: “How romantic is it to be imprisoned in a fort and be made to place out offspring after offspring?” Rhaenyra has inadvertently neatly summarised Alicent’s state of affairs, and when she realises the unintended jab, she comforts her greatest buddy by squeezing her hand.

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Emily Carey as Queen Alicent Hightower, Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon episode 4
Photo Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

But it is also clear that whereas Alicent is glad along with her place, Rhaenyra cares extra for journey. That has at all times been her. So later that night time in House of the Dragon episode 4, when Rhaenyra finds a observe and a bag filled with commoner’s garments in her chambers, she jumps on the alternative. Slinking by means of a secret entrance in her bed room, Rhaenyra finds Daemon ready for her, who subsequently introduces her to the nightlife of King’s Landing. First up, they see a play — Game of Thrones did this very properly, so I’m glad to see the prequel spin-off proceed in that vein — that Rhaenyra would not take kindly to. Largely as a result of they’re mocking her feminine credentials (A woman inheritor?! Will she be feeble?), whereas noting that child Aegon II has a conqueror’s title and a penis. How does that depend for something?

The subsequent part of the Flea Bottom tour is far more risqué. For Daemon although, it is simply one other Tuesday. The Targaryen prince takes his niece right into a pleasure den on House of the Dragon episode 4, opening Rhaenyra to a variety of sexual gratification she has by no means witnessed earlier than. Daemon then takes off her headgear — the very factor that aided in her disguise, maintaining her unmistakably white Targaryen locks hidden — as they head deeper in. It’s like he needs everybody to know she was right here.

And then, in full view of everybody, Daemon makes a transfer on his niece. “Marriage is an obligation,” he says to Rhaenyra, as House of the Dragon episode 4 intercuts with Queen Alicent silently taking her husband, who woke her up on a booty name in the course of the night time, “however that does not cease us from doing what we would like.” As he undresses her, Daemon turns her round and pushes her in opposition to the wall, however when she turns round to face him and repeatedly tries to kiss him, he runs off. Clearly, the rogue prince has gotten too used to paying for intercourse, and would not prefer it when another person takes management.

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Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon episode 4
Photo Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

When Rhaenyra will get again to her chambers, she’s nonetheless in a playful temper. She teases her bodyguard Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) by snatching his helmet, earlier than kissing him as he tries to take it again. The Kingsguard take a vow of chastity, so Criston is of course conflicted. He pauses to think about what he is stepping into, earlier than giving into Rhaenyra’s very apparent wishes. What follows is among the most tender moments within the historical past of Game of Thrones as a franchise. Though admittedly, that is a really low bar contemplating most sexual exercise is both violent, gratuitous, or each. It’s been mere minutes for the reason that Queen was basically compelled into intercourse on House of the Dragon episode 4 itself.

In the morning although, there is no time for Rhaenyra to bask within the afterglow. The Hand of the King, Ser Otto Hightower’s (Rhys Ifans), spies woke him up through the night time to inform him what the Princess was as much as. And Otto’s first motion within the morning is to barge into the King’s chambers and spew every little thing he has been informed. Engaging in “behaviour unbecoming of a maiden”, Otto tries to place it respectfully on House of the Dragon episode 4, whereas nonetheless clearly punching down at Rhaenyra. But Viserys would not react properly — he thinks this can be a plot on Otto’s behalf. Still, Otto will get what he needs, as a result of the inquisition begins the second he leaves.

A hungover Daemon is dragged into the Great Hall — his star has fallen rapidly, contemplating the place he was at first of House of the Dragon episode 4 — the place Viserys launches at him. The King is much more livid for the way simply the Prince accepts his actions, after which has the gall to suggest that he’ll take Rhaenyra as his spouse if no different lord would. Viserys has no real interest in his needs. After all, it is not the Princess he needs, however the Iron Throne. Also, Daemon already has a spouse he is ignoring, Viserys factors out, and tells him to go to the Vale with the little shred of respect and dignity he has left. What a rollercoaster for Daemon — he has gone from outcast to being accepted to being thrown out.

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Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon episode 4
Photo Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

First, Alicent confronts Rhaenyra who denies that Daemon even touched her. Though she’s sad that her greatest buddy is accusing her of issues she “overheard”, the Targaryen inheritor does admit that she went frolicking about Flea Bottom with Daemon. “It was silly of you to put your self able the place your advantage may even come into query,” Alicent finally says to Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon episode 4. This can be unsettling coming from anybody, however it’s much more so when it is uttered by a girl and considered one of her closest companions. Alicent is clearly not one to problem internalised misogyny. No one would even bat an eye fixed if Daemon was noticed in pleasure dens — he is accomplished it a thousand instances, the truth is — however we will not have Rhaenyra lurking about such corners.

Rhaenyra factors out these actual double requirements to her father. “If I had been a person, I may father a dozen bastards and nobody in your court docket would blink an eye fixed,” she says, after she’s summoned to his chambers in House of the Dragon episode 4. Viserys notes that she’s proper, however “you had been born a girl.” The King is successfully saying that the universe dealt her a foul hand — and now she should dwell with it. Rhaenyra’s late-night escapades have additionally blown aside the goodwill she had earned. Viserys has determined that she’s going to marry Laenor Velaryon — the son of Princess Rhaenys “The Queen Who Never Was” and Lord Corlys “Sea Snake” Velaryon, simply as Viserys’ adviser informed him on episode 3 — to resolve what he notes has grow to be his “political headache”.

In return, Rhaenyra units out an ultimatum to her father. Otto should go, she says, for he is too dedicated to his private pursuits: to place his grandson Aegon II on the throne. And similar to that, one important forged House of the Dragon member is out, it appears, as a blindsided Otto is stripped of his Hand of the King place.

And although I’m positive there can be extra to this royal scandal, House of the Dragon episode 4 places a observe on it on the finish, as Rhaenyra is served a “particular tea”. The King had it brewed, to make sure there aren’t any “unexpected penalties,” the Maester tells Rhaenyra. What he is making an attempt to keep away from saying is that the tea acts as a morning-after capsule. It’s helpful for the Princess too — she could not have had intercourse with Daemon, however she did take her bodyguard to mattress.

House of the Dragon episode 4 is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar in India, and HBO Max wherever accessible. New episodes launch each Monday at 6:30am IST/ Sunday at 9pm ET.


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2022-09-12 01:00:01

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