Discussing Season 1 Episode 4 of the House of the Dragon
As always, spoilers ahead, if you have not watched this episode, you probably should stop now.
“…A Contender For My Hand” — Princess Rhaenyra
King Viserys sent Rhaenyra on a tour of different parts of the Kingdom to find an acceptable suitor to become her consort. Not only did Rhaenyra refuse all of the suitors but a fight broke out between Samwell Blackwood (who looked to be a young boy) and Amos Bracken (also a young man, but much larger) after Bracken insulted Blackwood. The duel seemed to end with Blackwood seriously injuring or even killing Bracken but I am guessing that it was not a mortal wound because these two will meet again later during the Dance of the Dragons.
Meanwhile, the tension is ramping up for Rhaenyra to wed as Corlys Valerion has promised the hand of his daughter Laena to the son of the Sea Lord of Bravos but Rhaenyra still seems to have no desire to wed. Part of the reason for this is revealed in two discussions.
The first discussion was with Queen Allicent as the two talk after Daemon’s successful return from the Stepstones:
Allicent: “I surmise the tour did not go well”
Rhaenyra: “I enjoyed it as long as I could”
Allicent: “Have every young knight and lord in the seven kingdoms fawning over you…what misery”
Rhaenyra: “Those men and boys don’t fawn over me, they only want my name and my Valeryan blood for their offspring”
Allicent: “I think it’s rather romantic”
Rhaenyra: “How romantic it must be to get imprisoned in a castle and need to squeeze out heirs”
This discussion was important because it laid bare one of the reasons for Rhaenyra’s opposition to marriage.
In addition, it was an incredibly harsh and thoughtless thing to say to Allicent as it describes the path of her life in a brutally accurate fashion (later we actually see Allicent being used for sex by Viserys after being summoned late at night and nothing about it suggests enjoyment on the part of the young Queen).
The second conversation was with Prince Daemon when she is talking to him later, Rhaenyra said: