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House of the Dragon Episode 4 Review: Matt Smith and Milly Alcock Shine as the Prequel Takes Peak Game of Thrones Level Twists

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In the fourth episode of House of the Dragon, Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen takes center stage once again.

Episode 4 of House of the Dragon

Watch House of the Dragon Episode 4 with Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, and Paddy Considine

TVLine

House of the Dragon Ep 4 Director: Clare Kilner

Streaming service: Disney+, Hotstar

While it seems a bit surreal how House of the Dragon has been advancing considering the impact that Game of Thrones had left behind, it almost seemed impossible to recreate something similar again after it. Fortunately for us, the prequel has been a blessing as it not only brings us back to Westeros, but is also in many ways a better version of it. The third episode was by far the bloodiest one so far in which Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) had his competitor, the crabfeeder, eliminated in the Stepstones. Following his victory in the Battle of Riverrun, Daemon is expected to be met with newfound respect, and appear as a viable contender for the throne. However, he showed that he won’t hesitate to achieve power in any way in the fourth episode.

The fourth episode of the show, King of the Narrow Sea, is about Daemon’s (Tom Smith) return to King’s Landing and the dangerous plan he is about to execute. In the meantime, for Princess Rhaenyra (Elizabeth Rowlings), it’s a tough task to find a suitor who is not older than her father or who is not a child. In her (once again) unsuccessful quest to find a suitable partner who will help bolster her family’s status and position at the Iron Throne, the Princess finds herself at an increasing disadvantage when King Viscerys’ (Paddy Considine) councilors push the idea of her marriage to Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan).

The episode begins with Daemon Smith, on his dragon, descending on King’s Landing, meeting the King and commenting that it was the people, not just the lords of the Stormlands, who named him the King of the Narrow Sea after his victory over the Crabfeeder. The daemon that has come back is not the same as the man we have met before, and he even put on a little show for everyone in the vicinity, as he did not only kneel before the king and his brother but even gave them a hug when he finally made it back, thus displaying that he harbours no bad feelings with the king and his brother, not because of the succession.

This can be talked about with or without spoiling anything, but episode four is filled with things to talk about when scandalous happenings take place that all stem from the villainous mind behind the tricks that are done. The episode doesn’t have to be shocking, it has a lot more nefarious tricks up its sleeve. The climax of the episode packs a serious punch and it’s probable that this is where the game becomes truly serious. As you know, this episode features Rhaenyra (Alcock), Daemon (Smith) and King Viscerys (Considine), and the three Targaryens will surprise you in ways you wouldn’t expect. The episode shows us some different sides of Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) in the sombre moments as we see her internal struggles as the heir-delivering wife to Viscerys. Carey beautifully describes how Lady Alicent’s actions have led to the Queen Alicent’s replacement as only the Queen Alicent remains. There are numerous things the Lady has lost, and one is the idea of ever experiencing true female pleasure. This is best illustrated through the character Carey, who lies dead while serving Viscerys as her wife.

Though they continue to produce some amazing performances, Matt Smith and Milly Alcock are once again the two actors that will leave you mesmerized with their performance in the new episode. The more we love Alcock’s take on Rhanyra, the harder it will be to let her go when the timeline shifts with Emma D’Arcy taking charge of Rhanyra’s next stage. As for Smith, the actor seems like a perfect fit for Daemon and his attractive portrayal of the Targaryen Prince is what really hooks viewers.

Unlike its predecessors, the newest episode also takes on a wide variety of nude scenes and provides more insight into intimacy, something which was not as evident in Game of Thrones. There is an aesthetic to the latest one that’s different than in past episodes.This season, the twists and turns left me feeling more stunned by mental episodes than bodily ones. The final episode, running for about an hour and two minutes, is just the kind of surprises I have been waiting for.

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