War is coming to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, this we know for certain and every episode since the premiere of the House of the Dragon has been preparing us for the clash. The fourth episode of the series seems to have been the calm before the deep plunge. Titled King of the Narrow Sea, episode 4 saw the return of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) to King’s Landing where he reaffirms his loyalty to his king and brother, Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine). Daemon’s return has caused a bit of an upset in the delicate balance of perception in King’s Landing. His late-night adventure with his niece, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) has seen the heir’s virtue called into question and now she must marry.
For fans of the original show, Game of Thrones, a royal wedding is not something new. We all can remember the infamous Red Wedding. This new preview to the prequel’s next episode does offer up a royal wedding, the union of Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan) though a serious quarrel does seem to have tainted the festivities in typical Westerosi style. The union between the two houses is a play by King Viserys to appease Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) after rejecting his daughter’s hand. The Sea Snake is the wealthiest man in the realm and of Valyrian blood, allowing his son to be a solid match that will help seat Rhaenyra on the Iron Throne, but as we see from the trailer, this will not go down well with everyone.
The fifth episode is titled We Light The Way and the preview shows the health of the king declining, so much that Lord Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), the king’s former Hand tells his queen and daughter, Alicent (Emily Carey) to “Prepare Aegon to rule” in the wake of the king’s death. Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best) is back in King’s Landing most certainly for her son’s nuptials but she warns her husband, Lord Corlys that should the king die and Rhaenyra succeed him, “Knives will come out” and war will follow.
The king had hoped to usher in a second age of dragons with the union of House Velaryon and House Targaryen but based on this preview, that vision will not succeed. The next episode will also give viewers a chance to further understudy the seeming love triangle that exists between Princess Rhaenyra, Prince Daemon and Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel).
Episode 5 could also be the last time viewers get to see Alcock and Carey portray the characters of Rhaenyra and Alicent. With their relationship seemingly mended in episode 4, a rift is almost sure to reappear when they are replaced by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke portraying older versions of their characters.
House of the Dragon follows the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of Dragons which occurred almost 200 years before the ascension of Daenerys Targaryen to the Iron Throne. The prequel series has so far done an effective job of keeping viewers locked in on its rapidly evolving plot, especially considering the fact fans of Game of Thrones all know how the Dance of Dragons ends.
Episode 5 will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on September 18. Take a look at the trailer below: