From the first chapter of The House of the Dragon we have observed the character of Rhaenyra under the feminist shadow of Daenerys. Already at the start of the series and in the following episodes we verified that the engine of the (for now) protagonist of the prequel to Game of Thrones is very different from the first Targaryen that blew our minds: what moves her is not the ambition to conquer the kingdom, but to conquer her own freedom. Chapter 4 delves into the construction of that fierce and unstoppable desire that will be one of the most important keys to the entire first season.
All comments on The House of the Dragon had pointed out until now that it is a more political and less sexual series than Game of Thrones. But there is a radically important objection to that premise. Yes, maybe it’s less sexual in the sense that there’s less explicit sex (in this fourth episode that rule is broken somewhat), that is, it’s less erotic than the first seasons of the original series in a basic sense. what it does The House of the Dragon it is to blur the distinction between sex and politics. Sex is politics. It is a perspective of a much more current feminism: the body is the first battlefield in politics.
Let’s get the theory down to the facts. When Daemon returns to King’s Landing after splitting the Benefactor of the Crabs in two at the Stone Steps, he stands at Viserys’s feet and plots his new strategy: if he can’t be the heir, he will conquer the land. heiress.
Since he knows his niece well, he executes his plan in a subtle way. He first plants a seed in Rhaenyra that will soon take root in the depths of his being: one thing is marriage, obligations, and quite another is pleasure. A powerful narcissistic hedonism that, in the case of Rhaenyra, she connects with her most visceral fear, that of becoming a used woman who is robbed of the reins of her own destiny. In literal words, she does not want to die giving birth to heirs like her mother. She prefers solitude.
The most exciting part of this vital blossoming comes when Daemon sneaks Rhaenyra away to experience the city’s luxurious nightlife. They first watch a play that reminds the heiress that she will never be accepted by the town for a big little reason. He doesn’t have a penis. And then they enter a brothel that serves as a catalyst for all the thoughts that are seething within Rhaenyra.
The core of this ‘Rhaenyra and sex’ that we are proposing is in the look of the teenage princess on the bodies and attitudes of those present. What turns her on like nothing has ever turned her on before is not the naked bodies, it’s not her multiple fucking. It is the defiant freedom that such acts exude. In fact, her gaze is the same on men as it is on women, on women who touch themselves or on men who have sex with other men. It’s a pansexual awakening that also connects with the sentimental tension we’ve seen between her and Alicent.
“Fucking is a pleasure for both the woman and the man,” Daemon tells Rhaenyra, reinforcing that idea that obligations and carnal desire go their separate ways. Actually it is understood and at the same time it is a contradiction since, as we see at the end of the chapter, Daemon does intend to marry Rhaenyra and join these two ways. But the young woman does not know that important detail, so that, at that moment, Daemon is for her more a guide in her discovery than a potential husband for her. And here comes another nuance: Daemon lights the spark so that it is Rhaenyra who burns in the fire. Come on, a microwave of all life, because it heats what is not going to be eaten. Why don’t they end up “copulating”, the crime that the Hand of the King later accuses them of? Is it because Daemon has a trigger again? Because he’s afraid of taking things too far? From the conversation he has later with Viserys, in which he lies when he says that they did have sex, everything indicates that his plan was to consummate that political-sexual rebellion, but that he was not capable.
That coitus interruptus has a multiplier effect on Rhaenyra. The change that erupts in her like a volcanic eruption has a lot to do with sexual awakening and even more with the awakening of her consciousness as a woman. As a woman, she does not accept the role attributed to her gender and is going to break those barriers no matter what. She consumes it, and this is what is controversial, what is substantial, what really makes The House of the Dragon be a quality series, in the most politically incorrect way: incorporating into her personality the libertarian, selfish and harmful essences of that patriarchal machismo that suffocates her. It is a pact with your inner devil. It is not that she literally wants to be a man (her transsexual vision is beyond the codes of the series), it is that she wants to act like a macho man. May her desire be the center of the universe and the consequences of it blow her away. It’s not so much about fucking who you want, but about fucking because you want and because you can.
It manifests itself instantly when she seduces Sir Criston without caring about the consequences, which will always be worse for him than for her because of her social scale. Although her sexual scene is shown in a romantic and tender way (here we go now), it is still a capricious act of which she feels invulnerable. And she is finished off when she lies to Alicent about her night of lust. “I swear on my mother’s memory that Daemon has never touched me,” she says without flinching. Such easy access to the lie, and her utter lack of remorse, confirms that the apprentice (Rhaenyra) has surpassed the master (Daemon), underlined by the fact that Alicent is in the opposite process of fulfilling her marital obligations even if they are extremely unpleasant. Again a very powerful twist worthy of a great series: your protagonist, dear viewer, is a brave and charismatic woman, yes, but also selfish, a liar and inconsiderate.
We need your perspective, dear viewer, of this ‘Rhaenyra and sex’. Because it is a curious equation. It is assumed that about a year has passed since the events of the previous chapter, so we can estimate that Rhaenyra is 15 or 16 years old at this time. A very normal age to lose one’s virginity in our days, and even late for the schemes of the series (when Viserys proposed to marry Laena Velaryon, it was agreed that they would not marry until she was 14 years old).
But a mainstream series cannot afford to show the sexuality of a minor in an overly explicit way, which is why in this episode there is a curious paradox: what they want to tell is the awakening of lewdness and cloudy freedom. on a girl, but you can’t show it with that lewdness and turbidity because it could cause a lot of trouble. They have taken that risk in a very measured and subtle way, with that semi-incestuous kiss in the brothel surrounded by naked bodies, but they make up for it right away with a romanticized and corny “make love” that, we warned you, is not going to be very justified. The tightrope walks required to survive in these times.