House of the Dragon Ep 4
House of the Dragon Ep 4 Cast: Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, Paddy Considine
House of the Dragon Ep 4 Director: Clare Kilner
Streaming Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
It still seems a bit surreal how well House of the Dragon has been advancing ahead considering after the impact that Game of Thrones had left on its audience, it nearly seemed impossible to recreate something similar again. Lucky for us, the prequel has been a blessing so far as it not only takes us back to Westeros but also, dare I say, in many ways a better version of it as well. The third episode of the show was its bloodiest so far as we saw Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) emerging victorious after his long battle against the Crabfeeder in the Stepstones. Targaryen's victory is expected to find him respect and make him look like a worthy contender for the throne but with the fourth episode, it's evident that Daemon won't hesitate using other ways to seek the same power.
The fourth episode of the show titled, King of the Narrow Sea is all about Daemon's (Smith) return to King's Landing and the dangerous plans he is about to execute. In the meantime, for Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), it's a rather tough task to find herself a suitor who is neither older than her father nor a boy who is yet to hit puberty. In her yet another unsuccessful attempt of finding herself a match that will strengthen her family's position and her place on the Iron Throne, the Princess finds herself in a tighter spot as King Viscerys' (Paddy Considine) council continues to push the idea of her marriage to Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan).
The episode takes off with Daemon (Smith) making a rather powerful return to King's Landing, riding his dragon and as he makes his way to see the King, the Prince proudly wears a crown, stating that it was the people who called him the "King of the Narrow Sea" after his victory over the Crabfeeder. Although the Daemon that returns is a different version of the man that we have met before and he doesn't forget to put on a spectacle for everyone as he not only bends the knee in front of the King, his brother but also shares a hug on his safe return, thus showcasing how there's no bad blood between the brothers over the succession.
Without going into any spoilers, if there's one thing that can be discussed about the fourth episode of the show, it's that it embraces peak GOT-level drama this time around as scandalous incidents happen and they are all the products of the deceitful minds of those involved. This episode needs no deaths and blood to insert some shock value for its viewers because it has far more sinister stuff to offer. The climax of the episode also packs a massive punch and it's probably from here on that the true game begins. The big players in this episode are Rhaenyra (Alcock), Daemon (Smith) and King Viscerys (Considine) and the three Targaryens promise to shock you in ways you would not have expected. In some of the sombre moments of the episode, there's also a different side of Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) in that we see her internal struggles of being the heir-delivering wife to Viscerys. In a conversation with Rhaenyra Carey beautifully puts it how Lady Alicent seems to have gotten lost as only the Queen Alicent remains. The Lady has been robbed of several things including the idea of ever experiencing true female pleasure and it's conveyed rather notably by Carey who lays lifeless while being a dutiful wife to Viscerys.
Continuing to deliver their best, Matt Smith and Milly Alcock are once again the two actors who will leave you beyond impressed with their performance in the new episode. It's a shame that the more we get fond of Alcock and her take on Rhanyra, it's going to be hard to let her go once the timeline shifts with Emma D'Arcy taking over the Princess' next phase. As for Smith, the actor seems to be a perfect fit for Daemon and it's his delectable act as the Targaryen Prince that has us all hooked to the show.
Unlike its predecessors, the new episode also delves into nudity and intimate scenes and it's evident how careful the makers have been this time to not make it as salacious as Game of Thrones. The aesthetic is different this time. It's the scandals of the mind that shock you more than the actions of the body this time. With a runtime of an hour and two minutes, the fourth episode of House of the Dragon leaves us with a lot of questions about what lies ahead and it's exactly the kind of twists and turns we have been waiting for.