House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode 4: The Clay Travis Review

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This was the best episode of House of the Dragon since the pilot, filled with political intrigue, scandal, conflicting loyalties, and intriguing decisions that helped to develop each of the main characters.

It also featured a lot of shadowed sex, such that I was never quite sure what in the world I was seeing. Was that a nipple or an elbow, a penis or a kneecap? I felt like I was watching scrambled Playboy television back in 1996.

So let’s dive right in and discuss what we learned.

1. It’s the Bachelorette: King’s Landing edition and Rhaenyra is surveying her options in the kingdom.

The episode opens with a telling shot, Rhaenrya twirling the necklace her uncle Daemon gave her in episode one, foreshadowing what we have thought for some time, there’s some deep incestual interest here. You know how those Targaryen’s are, they’re the Bama fans of the seven kingdoms, always banging their relatives.

The first contender for her husband is so old Rhaenyra mocks him by asking if she thought her great-grandmother was beautiful. The next contender is so young, he’s heckled by other contenders. When the kid says he’ll protect her, a heckler calls out, “She doesn’t need your protection, she has a dragon, you dumb cunt.”

This lead’s to a sword battle between the kid and the heckler, the kid wins and my wife compares it to when Kramer gets wrecked by the kid in his karate class.

2. Daemon returns to King’s Landing, where he walks into the court wearing a crown.

Daemon, having vanquished the pirates and cut the crab prince in half, has been named King of the Narrow Sea, but he hands over his sword and his crown, which leads King Visersys to embrace him and the court to applaud.

The brothers then have some drinks in the courtyard, whereupon Queen Alicent suggests Daemon might enjoy seeing the latest tapestry. King Viserys mocks the suggestion and Alicent and Rhaenyra have a moment of quiet contemplation as they discuss their current situations.

Alicent is the queen, which means she has no real friends any longer and she often feels lonely. As a result, Alicent finds Rhaenyra’s ability to pick her mate to be very romantic.

Rhaenyra isn’t having any of it. No one likes her, they just want her status.

3. Rhaenyra and Daemon discuss marriage in their Targaryen language.

Daemon says he has no children because his wife is awful, Rhaenrya says she wishes just to be left alone. The two discuss taking risks and this leads Daemon to show Rhaenrya how to sneak outside the castle.

The duo dresses in disguise and take in King’s Landing after dark on an incestual Targaryen romp.

They watch a play mocking who will sit on the Iron Throne, featuring the three contenders, a brother, a daughter or the three year old prince. It turns out the townspeople mostly don’t like the princess and this shocks Rhaenyra who has been kept inside the castle and has little knowledge of the outside world.

A disgusted Rhaenyra leaves the play and rebels by stealing something and Daemon, walking like a serial killer while his niece runs full speed, somehow knows exactly where she went and catches up with her.

From here they head to a strip club/bar and then make their way to the orgy chamber.

There are all sorts of naked people writhing on each other, but the way the scene is shot it’s almost impossible to see what’s going on. At least for me. And believe me, I was trying to figure it all out to make sure I didn’t miss any nudity.

We eventually reach the point where the two of them make out. Just as they prepare to have sex — what a way for the princess to lose her virginity, in an orgy house to her uncle, romantic! — Daemon pulls away and leaves Rhaenyra to her own devices.

A young spy sees what’s happened and runs off to report his discovery.

During this orgy scene, we see Alicent engaging in workmanlike sex with the king, which is most notable primarily because we can see many more sores now on the king’s back, his health is clearly not improving. And we can also see that Alicent doesn’t really like the king that much. Or at least, having given him two children, doesn’t have much interest in sex with him.

4. Fresh from the orgy house, a titillated Rhaenyra decides it’s finally time to hook up with her Jon Snow lookalike, Criston Cole.

She steals his helmet and seduces him via a disrobing scene that seems to take forever, off comes the knight’s armor and the two romp on her bedsheets.

This has been eminently predictable ever since we first saw the dreamy knight.

5. The spy informs Otto Hightower, the King’s hand, about purported sex in the orgy house.

But the king doesn’t believe Otto because Otto has already advocated for his own grandson to be put on the throne.

6. Queen Alicent overhears the allegations, sends for the princess, whereupon Rhaenyra denies anything happened.

“Daemon never touched me…I swear upon my mother’s memory,” Rhaenyra says.

Rhaenyra claims Daemon left her for whores and she came home on her own.

7. King Viserys confronts Daemon and like the gentleman that he is, he claims they had sex together.

Given how hungover Daemon is, it’s possible he doesn’t recall exactly what happened, but more likely he’s telling Viserys he took Rhaenyra’s virginity in an effort to have Rhaenyra pledged to him for marriage.

The king rejects this idea and sends Daemon to exile.

“Your heart is even blacker than I thought,” Viserys says.

On the floor with a knife finally removed from his throat, Daemon responds to his banishment, “As you wish, brother.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t buy any of the threats to Daemon’s life because the show isn’t interesting enough without him. So the stress here isn’t very pronounced.

8. Queen Alicent suggests Daemon might be lying as the king attempts to determine what is and what is not truthful.

“Whatever transpired, Rhaenyra is not innocent,” says King Viserys.

But the Alicent and Rhaenyra friendship appears real here, the queen, if anything, is actually working against her own children’s interests here. Maybe she’s already tired of the life of a queen and wants to escape for a normal life if the king dies, rather than have to raise the future king.

9. King Viserys summons Rhaenyra to his chambers, where he tells her once more of the white walker battle to come in 170 years.

Rhaenyra denies sleeping with her uncle, but the king cuts her off. “The truth does not matter, only perception,” he says. When she objects to the politics at play and questions Otto Hightower’s reliability, he says, “You are my political headache.”

Viserys tells his daughter that Bachelorette: King’s Landing is over, she will wed the Lord Corlys’s son. That way the dragons will be combined with the Sea Snake’s fleet of ships and the Iron Throne will be strengthened.

Rhaenyra agrees to the proposition on the condition that Viserys pull Hightower’s status as his hand because he can’t be trusted given his grandson’s status.

10. In a chilling confrontation, King Viserys pulls the hand lapel pin off Otto’s jacket and says, “I can no longer trust your judgment.”

He also implies that Otto previously helped kill the king.

I’m actually intrigued to see how Alicent will respond to this defrocking.

11. The episode ends with a late night knock on Rhaenyra’s door, the king has a special tea for her.

It’s the morning after pill of King’s Landing.

Will Rhaenyra drink it? Does she trust the king not to poison her? Stay tuned for next week’s episode to find out if Criston Cole slipped one past the goalie and sired a future king.

But for now we’re left with the haunting image of the tea on Rhaenyra’s stand as the episode ends.

This was, in my opinion, the second best episode so far. We’re finally starting to see some individual character traits emerge and the battle for the iron throne truly take flight.

I still would contend that Daemon is the only truly interesting character, but Rhaenyra, King Viserys, Alicent and Otto Hightower are all far more interesting after this episode than they were before it. Especially Alicent and Rhaenyra, whose relationship is intriguing.

I’m a bit surprised King Viserys didn’t order Otto Hightower killed, or do it himself, to end this episode. That would have created even more intrigue, but I feel like that may well happen in the near future, creating a huge disruption between the king and queen.

I also halfway expected for Rhaenyra to get medically examined by one of the old maesters to determine whether she was still a virgin. This seems like something they might well do on order of the king. And it would be incredibly uncomfortable television, but vintage Thrones.

Hell, what if you had two different “doctors” dueling over whether she was still a virgin or not and they were each arguing their cases in front of the king? Yes, it’s cringe worthy, but it would also be perfect Thrones dark humor. Which is, I’ll repeat, the thing this series is most missing so far.

There’s still no humor, no real opportunity to leaven the dead seriousness with an occasional laugh. We still need our Falstaff.

And right now there are no options for whom that might be.

But for the first time in a couple of weeks, I’m pretty intrigued to see this new wedding. It feels like we may be about to experience the Red Wedding part two.

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.


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  1. Agree on so many points, but don’t like the show nearly as much as GOT. This definitely has the feel of the girls version of GOT with the incessant talk of “men don’t like us” and the soap opera like love triangles. It was perhaps more interesting than Dak and the Cowboys looking like a JV squad, but this one is for the girls. Not as vile as the hilariously bad Lord of the Rings Wokefest, but what you are calling “politics” I think is more aptly described as “feminine drama”. Nothing wrong with giving some attention to your feminine side, Clay. But let’s call this spade a spade—this is a televised romance novel for renaissance fair, cosplay chicks.

  2. I quit watching after episode 3. Too much talking, too much CGI and zero characters I care about. Nothing near the original.

    TV sucks right now. Should be best tv ever, Halo, Wheel of time, LOTR, Obi wan, all ruined by feminist writing. I would not say House of Dragon is woke but it just isn’t good or interesting.

  3. The show isn’t the original, its not bad, its hollow. It suffers from a lot of “fast-forwarding” between each episode. Daemon and Otto are the only two interesting characters. But they are carbon copies of Jamie Lannister and Ned Stark. Now, I haven’t read the books, but I can imagine what will happen. Daemon is the disgusting cad who bangs his family who will invariably show us he has a good side. Otto is the faithful servant of the king who will likely meet an unfair death. Neither will get what they want and some other chump will rule the day.

    As for the female leads, Rhaenyra is a very blah, mostly difficult to look at, even more difficult to like, even more naïve and petulant version of Daenerys. I don’t really care about her daily boredoms of royalty. I care even less about her dragon riding skills or political ideas. Her banging Jon Snow’s body double was kind of creepy because she still feels 14 years old due to the constant fast-forwarding. I also don’t care that Alicent doesn’t really like sleeping with the King. Oh, so you’re not into banging your dad’s friend and best friend’s dad? You don’t say.

    With King Viserys, I want to like him but he’s such a wuss. He’s still his character from The Bourne Ultimatum who panics and gets killed in the train station. Man up, dude. Check your daughter and kill your brother. This is Game of Thrones.

    Lastly, I need more Billy Ocean. That guy felt like he had potential, made a deal with Daemon, then split.

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