Narrow house

“King of the Narrow Sea”

It’s a sign of this series’ strength that just four episodes away, there’s fittingly a gory, gutless chapter that settles last week’s violent finale. “King of the Narrow Sea” takes place almost exclusively within the walls of the Red Keep, save for a brief adventure in the city after hours.

While Rhaenyra has agreed to marry, albeit on her terms, her stubbornness does not soften as she returns to King’s Landing after cutting short a visit from Storm’s End, rejecting all suitors presented to her. Soon after, Daemon also returns from the Stepstones as a hero, pledging his long-term allegiance to Viserys. Beyond that, we’re immersed in what Game of Thrones has always done best – delivering trashy drama that draws on the best guilty pleasure characteristics of reality TV and soap opera relationships.

This largely centers on Rhaenyra and her connection to just about everyone within the Red Keep, never failing to emphasize her importance as heiress apparent, and ultimately to be seen, the central driving force of the series. It is also an opportunity to tighten certain plot threads to create an intimate circle of influence around her.

Her relationship with her father continues to be strained as she remains convinced that she is being usurped at any time by a favorite male continuation, and while the tension seems to have eased when it comes to Alicent, there is still a vibe of mother-in-law/best friend/unspoken lover is unavoidable, with prospects for further development in the years to come – especially considering that Viserys’ curious leprosy-like rot is sure to calm him down. here the end of the season. So what about Alicent beyond Rhaenyra’s accession? Could they co-queen? You certainly wouldn’t put it beyond House of the Dragon, if the growing willpower between Rhaenyra and her uncle is anything to go by.


Incest is nothing new in Game of Thrones. In fact, most earthly royal families of yore relied on some form of inbreeding to seemingly strengthen their bloodlines, although perhaps not as closely aligned as uncle and niece (but hey, anything’s better than brother and sister, right?) The main difference here, however, is that after seeing how unhappy Rhaenyra has been and how cold she can be to a potential partner, Daemon is narratively placed, with some conviction, as a suitable match if there was one. In fact, you’d probably be lying if you said you were totally against the idea of ​​them getting together.

If indeed we are in the last week or two of this current generation of central casting, Milly Alcock has been a privilege and has weighed the character perfectly. Emma D’Arcy has a tough act to follow given what we expect and admire from a character now firmly established in Targaryen lore. On the contrary, while Emily Carey has been okay as Alice, albeit a little flaky, you’d expect a veteran like Olivia Cooke to step in and really add some new dynamic to her after Viserys’ passing. . And, obviously, Matt Smith isn’t going anywhere, which is the biggest blessing, at this point, that House of the Dragon can continue to bestow. Long live the king of the narrow sea.

House of the Dragon continues Sunday nights on HBO.