Warning – spoilers ahead for ‘house of the dragon“ Episode four
Viewers were shocked by an incestuous scene in the fourth episode of the HBO blockbuster game of Thrones Prehistory, house of the dragon.
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) and her uncle, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), are intimate with each other in a brothel.
While the couple didn’t go all the way, the incestuous scene was enough to make some viewers uncomfortable, even though sex within the same family is something game of Thrones never shied away from it.
How similar is house of the dragon Incest scene to source material?
The two shows are known to be based on material by fantasy author George RR Martin, but are the HBO directors taking creative liberties to get a reaction from their audiences?
The short answer is no. In his material, Martin never shied away from scenes that would shock readers and drew inspiration from the brutality of the Middle Ages.
In fact, his version contains even darker details.
house of the dragon based on his 2018 book fire and bloodwhich tells the story of the Targaryen line.
The second half of the book is divided into the accounts of three chroniclers: Septon Eustace, Grand Maester Munkun, and Mushroom the Fool.
Eustace relates that Daemon seduced Rhaenyra and “claimed her virginity,” prompting Viserys to lock the princess in her chambers and banish her uncle from King’s Landing.
However, it comes from Mushroom’s more “salacious” account house of the dragon was inspired by the disturbing scene of the fourth episode.
According to Mushroom’s account, Rhaenyra lusted after her knight, Ser Criston Cole, but since Cole was noble, he remained true to his vows and never took any vows, nor did he return the princess’s affections.
Through this unrequited love, Daemon convinced Rhaenyra to allow him to teach her how to “make him see you as a woman”.
“Daemon taught the girl to undress enticingly,” Martin wrote, “sucked her teats to make them bigger and more sensitive, and flew with her on the dragon’s back to lonely rocks in Blackwater Bay, where they engaged in the whole day unobserved could have fun naked, and so on Princess could practice the art of pleasing a man with her mouth.”
This differs from the TV adaptation, which shows the sexual tension between Daemon and his niece slowly rising over the episodes, while there is less evidence that the princess might be romantically interested in Cole.
Martin writes: “At night [Daemon] would smuggle [Rhaenyra] disguised as a page from her chambers and secretly took her to brothels on the Silk Road, where the princess could watch men and women making love and learn more about these ‘feminine arts’ from the whores of King’s Landing.” From this account comes the events house of the dragon are exactly mirrored, and the incestuous scene takes place in the brothel.
Also, when Rhaenyra’s father, King Viserys (played by Paddy Considine), is told of the encounter, he confronts Daemon, who tells him, “Give me that girl to wife. Who else would take her now?” This line is saved almost exactly for the script used in the scene between actors Smith and Considine.
Many of Daenerys’ ancestors, apart from Daemon and Rhaenyra, practiced incest and polygamy – you can read all about the Targaryen family tree here.
house of the dragon airs weekly on Sundays in the US, with the UK premiere arriving on Sky the next morning at 2am. The episodes will then be repeated on Mondays at 9 p.m. and can be streamed on Sky and NOW after their first broadcast.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/house-of-dragon-incest-scene-rhaenyra-daemon-book-b2167391.html House of the Dragon’s incest scene is even darker in George RR Martin’s book