The tables turn as fans praise ‘House of the Dragon’ for a tasteful sex scene

Still image of HBO's 'House of the Dragon'

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 4, ‘King of the Narrow Sea’

Well, what do you know, it seems that the Seven Kingdoms aren’t all about that grimdark garish violence, whether we’re talking about men exchanging blows with steel or women being frightened senseless when they’re bedded for the first time. As unlikely as it might sound, the latest House of the Dragon episode featured an intimate scene that was surprisingly tender. Too tender, going by Westerosi standards.

When Daemon Targaryen returned to the court of his brother, King Viserys, the Rogue Prince rekindled his relationship with Rhaenyra, his niece. This led to the pair having a fun night out in King’s Landing, but things got weirdly hot and heavy — as it does with Targaryens — and Daemon ended up almost taking her maidenhood. The Rogue Prince stops himself at the final moment, leaving Rhaenyra’s now zestful self to seek company in other places.

And so it was that the princess ended up sleeping with his bodyguard, Ser Criston Cole. Though unlike the previous scene, where Daemon showed his skill in the art of seduction, theirs ended up being quite tender and wholesome, a sight that many are not used to when watching Game of Thrones.

The juxtaposition between Viserys and Alicent and Rhaenyra and Criston is one other thing that makes this scene stand out.

And the princess had a lot of agency — for lack of a better word — in this experience, another rarity in Martin’s world.

Is this the first time we’ve seen a woman receive proper satisfaction in Game of Thrones? It sure feels that way.

Of course, whether an intimate scene is tender or not doesn’t change the fact that you might still not be comfortable watching it with other people present.

House of the Dragon fans wanted things to get frisky, and by the Lord of Light, they did. But hey, at least it was much more palatable than what we’d grown to expect.