Warning: This text contains spoilers for "House of the Dragon", including the current third episode. If you haven't seen all the episodes yet and would rather be surprised, you should stop reading here.
The suffering of the young princess continues. After Rhaenyra Targaryen actively opposed the wish of her father, King Viserys, to finally find a husband in the last episode, she now has to hold court in Drachenfels after all. But among the applicants from very young to very old nothing wants to be found. The interest is so low that the princess even leaves for lunch, bored, when a candidate is insulted in the worst possible way - and then rams the sword into the provocateur's stomach.
Back in King's Landing, the next drama follows immediately. With a homemade crown, the fallen Prince Daemon struts through the throne room as if it were his own. He has now been appointed "King of the Straits," he lets his brother know in his usual arrogant manner. Only to bow down and acknowledge him as the only true king.
As the brothers reconcile, the princess and her former best friend turned stepmother, Alicent von Hohenturm, reconnect. The feeling of no longer being seen as a person, but only for their position, brings the quarreling friends back together.
Ironically, with Daemon, after all one of her competitors for the throne, the princess finds an ear for her problems. Marriage is just a political decision, he believes. "Once you're married, you can do whatever you want." But Rhaenyra knows that's less true for women. "My mother was forced to bear heirs so long that it killed her," she admits, disillusioned. And makes it clear: "I will not submit to this fate." That is why she would rather live alone than in fear.
But Dameon has much darker reasons for showing the princess a glimpse of freedom. While Alicent endures the king's lust in bed, the prince shows his niece that marriage isn't a bad thing - by seducing her himself during an orgy at the hotel. In the incest tradition of House Targaryen. Only to finally pull in the tail. But the desire is awakened. And so, in a less surprising twist, bodyguard Ser Criston Cole has to be used to give the princess her first time.
But it's too late for gossip: The spies of the King's Hand, Alicent's father Otto von Hohrenturm, have observed the two - and so the King also finds out about the approach of his two blood relatives. Without the addition that this was ultimately not carried out. But this backfires for the hand: the king suspects him of an intrigue.
This again drives a wedge in the friendship between the two daughters. "You accuse me of these things because of rumours?" Rhaenyra makes her friend feel guilty. But she manages to turn the tables: "It was foolish to put yourself in a position that could raise doubts about your virtue," she rebukes her stepdaughter. Chances on the marriage market would be ruined by such rumours.
The completely hungover Daemon doesn't fare so well. "You have spoiled her! What lord will marry her in this condition?" the king reproaches his brother. His answer doesn't make him any less angry: he promised him every wish - and he wants the hand of the princess, the prince suggests. In this way, the splendor of the house can be restored in the old tradition. "Of course, it's not my daughter you desire. It's my throne," hisses the king with a dagger at his brother's neck. And sends him back to the green valley. "Restore what little honor you might have had. Or don't. I don't care. As long as you never set eyes on me again." That backfired.
But Rhaenyra is also disciplined by her father. The throne and the prophecy are greater than they are, he teaches them. It doesn't matter whether she ultimately tells the truth or not. "The truth doesn't matter," he counters. "Just the perception. You made yourself vulnerable." Seizing the opportunity by the forelock, he wants to make the princess pliable again for his own plans: he wants to unite the old houses with a marriage to House Valyrion. Surprisingly, the princess agrees – as long as schemer Otto no longer remains in the hands of the king.
In fact, shortly afterwards, Viserys parted ways with the loyal advisor who had already stood by his grandfather. Also because he himself recognized the marriage to daughter Alicent as part of Otto's intrigues afterwards. However, the night is not entirely without consequences for the princess. At the end of the episode, a potion brewed at her father's request reaches her chambers. He should eliminate "undesirable side effects" of their escapades, the maester explains to the visibly shocked Rhaenyra.