HBO Dragon House began its fifth episode with a bang by immediately answering two major questions that have hovered over the series since its first episode in August.
One was about Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), the sinister brother of King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), while the other was about Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), the recently fallen Hand of the King.
The episode opens with Daemon visiting his ex-wife, Rhea Royce (Rachel Redford). The reunion is not a happy one and ends with Royce’s death, which Daemon perpetrated but staged to make it look like she was killed in a riding accident.
Before he dies, however, Rhea confirms that Daemon is having trouble in the bedroom by bitterly asking him if he is visiting her to consummate their marriage. Viewers will recall that Daemon apparently had some performance issues in the first episode when he couldn’t perform sexually for his prostitute mistress.
Even more recently, Daemon started seducing his niece Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) in episode four but stopped before he got too far. Although he may have broken off the moment because he reconsidered the incestuous union – or had a nefarious longer-term plan – his late wife’s comments suggest he may have a lingering problem regarding sex .
Episode five didn’t lose momentum as it tackled another lingering mystery regarding Otto Hightower. His daughter, Alicent (Emily Carey), is now Viserys’ wife, making her queen. She also gave birth to two children with the king, including a son, Aegon.
Of course, Viserys made the controversial decision to name his daughter, Rhaenyra, the successor to his throne. (This move prompted Daemon’s recent sinister behavior, but it was his general viciousness that missed him in the first place.) After Viserys’ first wife died in labor, Otto encouraged his young daughter to bring comfort to the king. It left viewers wondering if Otto pushed Alicent to Viserys in hopes that he would make her his next bride?
Viserys naming Rhaenyra as his successor sparked much debate among political players in Westeros as a queen has never ruled the kingdom. Rhaenyra was warned by Daemon and others that the people would not accept a female leader, and Viserys was asked to reconsider and nominate Aegon as the next one instead.
As Otto bids farewell to Alicent before leaving King’s Landing, he reveals that he too thinks Rhaenyra assuming the throne will result in a war. Instead, he argued that Aegon should rule.
When Viserys stripped Otto of his position as King of the Hand, he accused the advisor of plotting against Rhaenyra in favor of placing his grandson on the throne. Otto denied the accusation to the king but has now confirmed it to the queen.