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Monday, September 12, 2022

House of the Dragon 1.4: Lust and Tea

Push really comes to shove in the lustful, pivotal episode 1.4 of House of the Dragon on HBO Max tonight, in which ...

[of course, spoilers ahead]

Daemon takes Rhaenyra to a brothel, makes like he's going to ravish her, can't do it, but leaves her in the mood, so she seduces Ser Criston back in her room.  And then the strategic chess game starts.  The Hand tells the King that one of the Hand's informants saw Rhaenyra and Daemon going at it.  Rhaenyra denies it.  The King doesn't believe her (in the very last scene, the Grand Maester brings her a tea that takes care of "any unwanted consequences" of the tempestuous evening), but the King uses the occasion to order her to marry Ser Laenor.  The King also fires the Hand for spying on his daughter.

So where does that leave us?  First, we don't see Rhaenyra drink the tea.  The episode ends with her looking at it.  If she concludes before she takes the tea that she might want those consequences, well, that would move the narrative in a whole different direction.  If she marries Laenor and gives birth to Criston's child ... I can't recall whether Game of Thrones "science" has anything akin to DNA testing, but we certainly haven't seen any evidence of it in House of the Dragon.

And who will be the new Hand?  Daemon's been banished again, and I assume Ser Criston does not have a high enough rank.  How about Ser Harrold?  That would be fine with me.

As I mentioned in my review of the first three episodes last week, the King is getting more impressive in every episode.  His actions tonight were both shrewd and powerful -- using his anger at Rhaenyra to pressure her to get her betrothed, which is just what he wants.  He didn't look too good in the coming attractions.  But those could be deceiving, and I hope we get to see him in all the episodes this season.

See also House of the Dragon 1.1-1.3: Drawing Me In

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