King of the Narrow Sea (TV)
|"King of the Narrow Sea"|
|House of the Dragon|
|Original air date||September 11, 2022|
|Running time||63 minutes|
|Directed by||Clare Kilner|
|Written by||Ira Parker|
|List of episodes|
"King of the Narrow Sea" is the fourth episode of the HBO medieval fantasy television series House of the Dragon. The runtime is 63 minutes. It is written by Ira Parker, and directed by Clare Kilner. Music was composed by Ramin Djawadi.
This episode takes place one year after the great hunt (episode 3), as Aegon Targaryen is now referred to as a "princeling of three" and Daemon reflects on Rhaenyra growing up since the last time they saw each other four years ago (episode 2).
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen tours the realm, as organized by King Viserys I Targaryen and Queen Alicent Hightower, to meet suitors and select a spouse for herself. Rhaenyra is hosted by Lord Boremund Baratheon at Storm's End where she meets with several candidates for her hand: Beric Dondarrion, Willem Blackwood, Jerrel Bracken and members from Houses Frey, Mallister, Mooton, Mudd, Strong, and Swann. Rhaenyra is not impressed by her suitors, refusing Beric for being too old and Willem for being too young. When Bracken and Blackwood start a duel and Willem kills Jerrel, Rhaenyra prematurely leaves Storm's End for the harbor to go back to King's Landing, despite the tour being planned to last another two months.
When Rhaenyra approaches the capital, her uncle Daemon flies over them on Caraxes, rocking the ship. Everyone at court gathers in the throne room to see Daemon's return. He enters the room with the Crabfeeder's hammer in hand and a makeshift crown on his head. Tension grows in the room as everyone wonders what the Rogue Prince will do. In the end, Daemon gives both the hammer and the crown to Viserys and bends the knee to his brother. Viserys welcomes him back and hugs him. A welcome party is organized in the godswood, where Viserys is pleased to spend time with Daemon and drink. He is colder towards Alicent, whom he rebuffs, and towards Rhaenyra, as he is frustrated with her decision to cut her tour short. The two young woman bond on the side and rekindle their friendship. In the aftermath of the party, Daemon and Rhaenyra discuss marriage and the pleasures of life.
On the small council, Ser Otto Hightower brings the news that Lord Corlys Velaryon has started negotiations with the Sealord of Braavos to wed his daughter, Laena, to the Sealord's son. This worries Otto as it would force the Crown to seek an alliance with a Free Cities to counter balance the growing power of House Velaryon.
That night, Rhaenyra finds a strange bag in her room. She empties it on a table to find a boy's set of clothes and instructions written in High Valyrian on how to escape her room through Maegor's secret passages. After putting on the clothes and following the instruction, she finds Daemon waiting for her. He takes her through the streets of the city to show her the pleasures he alluded to earlier. They watch a street play depicting the issue of succession for the Iron Throne, they drink, they stop at a vendor, and finally they enter a brothel. Daemon leads Rhaenyra into the basement of the establishment, where they end up flirting and kissing. Daemon leaves before they can have sex, however. He continues his night on his own, drinking, while Rhaenyra returns home where she seduces Ser Criston and has sex with him instead. A spy working for Mysaria relays what he saw at the brothel to Otto.
The next morning, Otto goes to Viserys to expose Rhaenyra and Daemon while Alicent is listening in the background. Alicent decides to warn Rhaenyra and seek the truth directly from her. Rhaenyra convinces her that she did not have sex with Daemon but leaves out what happened with Ser Criston. When Daemon returns to the Red Keep still heavily hungover, the Kingsguards bring him to the throne room where Viserys confronts him. Daemon does not deny the accusation and proposes that the now "sullied" Rhaenyra should marry him. Viserys banishes him from court. When Viserys later confronts Rhaenyra, he is angry and does not want to know the truth as only perceptions and reputations are important at court. He is done with trying to find a match for her and commands her to marry Ser Laenor Velaryon. Rhaenyra accepts to do her duty and marry Laenor on the condition that Viserys fires Otto from his office of Hand of the King. She points out to her father that Otto will do everything he can to undermine her position of heir to the throne to replace her with his grandson, Prince Aegon Targaryen. Realizing how self serving Otto has been of late, Viserys agrees. At night, Grand Maester Mellos brings moon tea from the king to Rhaenyra to get rid of "unwanted consequences".
- Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen
- Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen
- Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower
- Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole
- Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria
- Milly Alcock as Young Rhaenyra Targaryen
- Emily Carey as Young Alicent Hightower
- Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling
- Jefferson Hall as Ser Tyland Lannister
- Gavin Spokes as Lord Lyonel Strong
- David Horovitch as Grand Maester Mellos
- Bill Paterson as Lord Lyman Beesbury
- Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin Strong
- Chris David Storer as Lord Humfrey Bracken
- Gabriel Scott as Jerrel Bracken
- Alfie Todd as Willem Blackwood
- Toby Dixon as Mysaria's messenger
- Minnie Marx as Woman in black
- Jonathan Jaynes as Theatre player
- Samuel Sargeant as Vendor
- Clea Martin as Royal handmaiden
- Paul Leonard as Lord Beric Dondarrion
- Ben Dilloway as Ser Soren
- Philip Young as Silk Street drunkard
- Julian Lewis Jones as Lord Boremund Baratheon
The viewership of this episode went up 5% from the last episode who had lower ratings than the first two episodes due to airing during Labor Day weekend.
- "King of the Narrow Sea" at HBO
- "King of the Narrow Sea" at the Game of Thrones & House of the Dragon Wiki
- "King of the Narrow Sea" at the Internet Movie Database
- "King of the Narrow Sea" on Wikipedia
- HBO.com: House of the Dragon Season 1
- Variety: House of the Dragon Viewership Up 5% With Episode 4 (September 13, 2022)