Major Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon’s episode four.
Unlike Game of Thrones, which had received quite a decent amount of backlash for the show’s graphic representation of sexual violence and murders, the recent episode of House of the Dragon has focused on the lead female character’s assertion of sexuality that we don’t get to see quite a lot amongst the women of Westeros, a century later.
We still remember Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) receiving a mixture of reactions (from shock to disgust) from the fans after she took charge in initiating sexual acts with her old friend Gendry (Joe Dempsie).
This stands contrary to Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) rape by Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) after their marriage and how the abusive relationship was later overlooked and transitioned into one of the most celebrated romances in the series.
House of the Dragon isn’t following the legacy of its popular counterpart in this respect (well, not yet) as the show seems to have made quite an effort in addressing the issue of female sexual subservience and women’s expected subjugation in the Westerosi society. The voice of reason, in this regard, is none other than the highly infamous crown Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock).
The episode named “King of the Narrow Sea” focuses on the princess’ venturing into activities that are regarded as unbecoming of a woman, especially a high-born unmarried female who had been appointed as the heir to the throne.
Well, the princess subverted the traditional roles by taking charge of her sexuality, hiding and lying about the scandalous truth from her judgemental courtyards, and dethroning a highly eminent figure who dared to nitpick her decisions.
She did this by engaging in sexual intercourse and losing her virginity before her marriage. Now given her sexual engagements with both Daemon (Matt Smith) and Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), the confusion is who exactly did she lose her virginity to? Let’s have a look at the same.
Who Did Rhaenyra lose her virginity to?
While sexual awakening forms a major part of episode four, it all started with her refusal to marry a chosen suitable suitor for her thus adding to her father’s disappointment. On the other hand, after defeating the Crabfeeder, Daemon returned to the King’s Landing victorious proclaiming himself as the “King of the Narrow Sea’, consequently earning the king’s as well as the council member’s accolades and words of encouragement.
This is the first time the viewers are introduced to a hearty conversation amongst the brothers. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mark the happy ending due to his very apparent feelings for his niece and the manner he acted toward them. Being an aggressive and impulsive personality himself, he seemed to be quite fascinated with Rhaenyra’s disinterest in marriage, as per her father’s wishes.
As a result, he lured Rhaenyra out of the Red Keep to wander around the streets of Westeros as commoners. They stumble upon a street play that mocked Rhaenyra’s selection as the heir by the king. Dressed as a boy, Rhaenyra enjoyed and took utmost advantage of her disguised form by freely traveling from place to place until Daemon led her to a brothel.
There, he educated her on the pleasures of sex and the significance of sexual expression by explaining that while marriage is a duty, sex is an important source of pleasure. Daemon takes her from one room to the other to show her how people around them indulged in sexual pleasures. Thereafter, the duo started engaging in sexual intimacy thereby addressing the speculations and rumors about the pair’s potential relationship.
The very scene showing Rhaenyra’s expression of sexual freedom was juxtaposed against Alicent’s submission to the king’s sexual demands. Both the sex scenes are significant as they align with Daemon’s statements of sex being pleasure in contrast to sex in marriage as a duty. The question is, how far did Rhaenyra and Daemon go? As soon as Rhaenyra began to take initiative, Daemon — possibly encountering conflicted feelings — turned back and discontinued the act.
What happens next is quite unexpected and something that fans of the series longed to see. Rhaenyra went back to the Red Keep where she was spotted by the Kingsguard Criston. She let him enter her room and started to seduce him and they went on to have sex later.
The much-applauded sexual encounter between the duo cleared a lot of speculations about their possible relationship. In the previous episode, we did get to see them onscreen spending time together away from the celebrations of royal birth.
Their encounter — although not completely expected — is not shocking either considering their close interactions. This clears the answer to the question. It was Criston Cole to whom Rhaenyra lost her virginity. While Dameon (literally and figuratively) introduced her to the world of sexual pleasures, it was Criston Cole who was the object of the expression of her desires.
House of the Dragon is currently streaming on HBO