House of the Dragon Recap: Episode 4, “Dragon Sky”

Last week on Dragon House, house head King Paddy promised Rhaenyra she could choose her own husband. This week, as the episode opens, she quickly learns exactly what that entails—and it’s basically a primitive version of Bumble.

The king has quite literally lined up some potential suitors, and as the line progresses and the guys read their terrible bios, Rhaenyra swipes left or right.

Unsurprisingly, she never swipes right.

So, no Netflix and chills planned, she gets back on a ship toward home. And, man, the boat scenes are always the shittiest looking parts of this show, right? It’s like, there’s no swaying, it’s completely evenly lit, everyone’s silhouettes are all blurry at the edges—you can so obviously see these people are on a green screen with a fan in front of them. That’s all for this week’s “why does this look so bad?” section. We’ll try not to harp on it too much in the future.

Soon after, in what seems like a pretty needless ceremony in the throne room, the princess has returned and Daegon struts up. Like, really struts up. He is doing some textbook sauntering. 10/10 saunter. He does not need the crude crown he struts up wearing to identify him as King Shit. This guy is really owning the room, just as actor Matt Smith is really owning the show. And now he’s back in his Doctor Who haircut! Albeit white, obviously

He’s brought with him the warhammer or whatever of Crabman, and he says, “Add it to the chair,” which is so good. Nobody wants the Iron Throne more than this guy, yet he calls it “the chair,” and it’s funnier than anything I’ve ever said about the Iron Throne. I’m stealing that, Doctor Who.

Doctor Who himself sacrifices more than just his phrase, though: he also gives up his King Shit crown, assuring his brother he isn’t trying to be king of those garbage islands or anything.

Following this big welcome that, again, probably didn’t need a full court, there are some post-ceremony drinks on the lawn where the tree with a face grows. There, Rhaenyra reminds us that she has a very close, vaguely clandestine relationship with her charmingly rakish uncle. (This will grossly come up later, so pay attention.)

Royalty’s work is never done when it comes to rotating among the same few sets scene after scene, so now it’s time to return to the Red Keep council table. Immediately, Rhys Ifans has some bad news to tell everyone: in the absence of Doctor Who and the late Mr. Crab, Sea Snake has laid claim to the Stepstones. What’s more, Sea Snake is looking to marry off Sea Snake Jr. to some Triarchy-affiliated girl. Rhaenyra is silently like, “Oh, great, now I’m supposed to marry this dude instead, right?” And indeed she is.

For now, she heads off to her chambers, where she finds a little sack of raggedy clothing that she immediately smells. As one does when given a sack of old clothes! They apparently smell fine—not crapped in or anything—but someone did leave something else: a little map with a secret escape route from her room. So she puts on the clothes that no one shit in and heads out.

Who does she find at the end of this escape path? None other than Uncle Who. It’s time for these two to have a night on the town, amongst the wretches, with nothing but some slight head-coverings concealing that this lot are two of the most famous, uniquely odd-looking motherfuckers in the kingdom.

Anyway, they hit the town; they have some drinks; they take in a self-referential performance; and, as so many a drunken night ends, they hit the Fucknasium.

Strolling through what must be a godawful stench of sex, the uncle and niece move past room after room of nakeds to finally arrive at their destination: the caboose of this orgy train. It’s there one may fuck, get fucked—whatever you want to do, this the last room before you get off.

Game of Thrones has of course never been shy about fair-haired incest, and here it seems that neither are these two. They start making out, grinding; they’re pretty clearly ready to make the most of the Fucknasium. But, abruptly, the good Doctor remembers his Hippocratic Oath—to “abstain from all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the bodies of man or woman.” Perhaps he realizes that having sex with his teenage niece might sort of be a wrong-doing that abuses the body. Orrrrrrr, yet again, he just can’t really get it going for himself.

Either way, he fucks off instead of fucking her.

Rhaenyra heads back to her room, feeling rejected but still horny as hell. Wait, but who’s that guarding her door? It’s that dreamboat knight that is basically a more rugged version of Ben Barnes’s Prince Caspian! It’s Prince Caspiain’t.

She lures him into her room, seducing him, undressing—but he says, “Stop.” Presumably because it must take him like half an hour to get out of all his full-plate armor anyway.

She does not stop, though. And, oh my god, we actually have to watch him get out of the armor! It indeed takes so long!

Finally, after this Curb Your Enthusiasm-inspired D&D bit about trying to get this guy out of his costume quick enough for Rhaenyra to remain horny, they fuck.

That’s not the big, horny story the next day, though.

Instead, this little Dickensian urchin boy brings Rhys Ifans word that it was Doctor Who who screwed his niece in the Fucknasium caboose. Ifans takes the gossip to the king, the queen overhears, and so what was once more of a Hamlet thing now evolves into a different Shakespearean mode of more of an uncomfortable farce.

Queen Whoever confronts Rhaenyra, who is like, “Did I fuck my uncle? Nahhhhh. We just got drunk and hung out; had a good time. Who said we fucked? That’s crazy.” It’s a pretty spot-on teenage reaction. This is exactly what a 17-year-old who cheated on their boyfriend at a party but didn’t quite escalate to proper sex would defensively say.

Meanwhile, King Paddy confronts his brother, who takes a different position, refusing to deny anything about his physical relations with his niece. Rather, he asks to continue the incestuous tradition of this and other, real-life royalty and marry Rhaenyra himself. Paddy isn’t having it, and he sends Doctor Who back to his TARDIS.

Finally, the king and his daughter meet up and discuss the situation themselves. She defensively reiterates her uncle position but changes her husband position, saying she will marry Sea Snake Jr. if that’s how things have to be. BUT, she emphasizes, since Rhys Ifans is definitely working toward his and his heirs’ own end, he’s gotta go. It’s agreed and, soon after, it is done. The firing of Rhys Ifans bit, at least.

Later, in her chamber, Rhaenyra is delivered a late-night tea that is the Game of Thrones version of the morning-after pill. Looking at the brewed abortion, she visibly ponders her father’s obvious distrust and controlling hand. Yet, given her vocal distaste for being a baby-making machine, she probably also ponders whether she should throw it back anyway.

After all, Prince Caspiain’t did Dawn Tread ’er.

Please help these sad nobodies and: