I picked the wrong week to watch House of the Dragon with my parents. I’m only joking; I was out of town a week ago, and since my whole family is watching we caught episode three together. That episode was much safer and more family-friendly than this week’s King of the Narrow Sea. Last week we saw some action towards the end of the episode; everything this week was conversations in rooms. I found the acting to be the best we’ve seen to date for the series, but I did find it to be a bit of a bore. This was the quietest week leading up to the episode airing. No big story about how many people have been tuning in, no showrunner exiting the next season, overall quiet.
Best opening so far; watching two kids fight to the death for the right to marry a woman that doesn’t want to marry either of them is the funniest part of King of the Narrow Sea. Nothing else brought a laugh this week.
King of the Narrow Sea is short lived
I don’t even know where to start with this man. Daemon thinks rules were made for others to follow. He walks into Viserys’ throne room while wearing a crown. He continues to do anything to get a rise out of his brother. As much as Daemon wants to be the heir, he seems to care about his brother. Viserys feels the same, choosing to make fun of his wife and daughter, to their faces no less, all to entertain Daemon.
It’s impossible to avoid talking about Daemon and Rhaenyra. Daemon looked to be in conflict with himself. He wants to do what needs to be done to get a better chance at once again becoming the heir, but not at the expense of Rhaenyra. He also seems to genuinely care for his niece, not in the healthiest ways, but he cares. Once again the episode was named after Daemon, but King of the Narrow Sea but Daemon felt like a bit player this week.
Viserys finally opens his eyes
Viserys continues to either be the smartest villain ever or a complete bozo to me; he’s impossible to read. His motivation for doing anything continues to make no sense. At some point this week Viserys is once again played the fool by nearly everyone around him. His wife and daughter tell him nothing happened with Rhaenyra and her uncle Daemon. However, he knows something, or he wouldn’t have had the maester come visit Rhaenyra.
His wife and daughter do their best to convince him that Rhaenyra and her uncle have done nothing to sully her reputation. Viserys doesn’t believe either of them, as he then chooses to assault Daemon, banishing him, again. Is it shocking he’s banished as soon as he returns?
A few scenes later Viserys is starting something up with Otto Hightower. While he might not believe everything Rhaenyra says, something broke through when it comes to Otto. This wasn’t Otto’s best performance; he seemed caught with his tail between his legs. Viserys had some pent-up rage he needed to let out, clearly been holding it in since his own father’s death.
Seeing Viserys covered more and more with cuts, the throne doesn’t feel he’s suited to be king. I’m guessing he doesn’t have long to live. He’s gotta be dead before the season ends, probably in the penultimate episode, which is traditionally the biggest episode of the season with the original show.
Ser Christen Cole was in a bit of a situation. Last week he mentioned, to Rhaenyra, that he owes everything to her. His situation became a bit of a screwed if you do, screwed if you don’t. Even if Cole has feelings for her, he had little choice in how that scene would play out. Knowing what I already know from Fire & Blood I am not surprised where this relationship ends; I’m looking forward to watching it unfold. I thought the power dynamic between the two was worth noting; it is typically seen from the other way around, where the man has all the control.
I feel that House of the Dragon loves to do comparing and contrasting. Every week there’s a new Venn diagram to compare how similar or different two characters are. This week it was comparing and contrasting Rhaenyra and Alicent. One was trying to do her duty, the other doing what they were feeling in the moment; Rhaenyra could care less what her duty was. I don’t feel that Alicent is in love with her husband, but is doing what she is supposed to. Seeing one in a brothel, the other in their marriage bed. One of them was happy, the other not. Alicent is a duty, Rhaenyra is love, or lust; pure emotion.
King of the Narrow Sea shows that maybe Viserys isn’t the villain I thought he was in the first few episodes. Perhaps he’s just lazy. Makes sense. He waits until he has to make a decision; when he finally does something, the dragon comes out. But the dragon only comes out towards family members or people he’s close to, never on an actual enemy. That’s why the throne sees him as being unworthy.
Everyone seems unhappy this week. Daemon wants something he knows he shouldn’t, Viserys is once again being played by everyone, Rhaenyra finds rejection, Otto finally gets the boot. I’m just waiting for the matchstick to strike.
Bored, but not by the acting, the plot was not moving fast enough. We’ve had time jumps every week until now. I’m guessing another jump will take place before the start of next week’s episode
And lastly, the show once again brings up the song of ice and fire, the prophecy that played out horribly in the original series. I can’t tell why they want to keep bringing it up, but I’m sure there’s a reason for it.