House of the Dragon Ep 4 & Ask the Maester | Crooked Media
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September 16, 2022
X-Ray Vision
House of the Dragon Ep 4 & Ask the Maester

In This Episode

Due to the glut of content, we’re releasing two episodes this week for your listening pleasure. The episode you’re currently reading about contains all things House of the Dragon.


On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight hit the streets of King’s Landing! In the Airlock (2:04), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeep) into House of the Dragon episode 4, recapping and discussing the drama, the power dynamics, and the Daemon. Then in round five of Jason’s classic segment Ask the Maester (1:13:15), he and Rosie answer listener questions about the history and lore of House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones. 


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Jason Concepcion Warning you are listening to the House of the Dragon episode of X-ray Vision. This week, and this episode contains spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode four. So be warned. Lots of spoilers. Many. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion and welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Podcast, where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. Special Episode disclaimer There is so much stuff happening right now, so much content, so many stories to talk about. So we will be splitting this week’s sessions into two episodes. Two easily digestible episodes. Part one Our continuing coverage of Hot D House of the Dragon, including recap of Episode four and the Ask the Maester segment. Part two will be all the Marvel announcements from D23, plus coverage of She-Hulk Episode five and an analysis of what all of that stuff means for the MCU going forward. In this part. In this part one, episode one for this week. House of the Dragon Episode four. Ask the Maester and if you want to jump around, check the show notes for timestamps. Joining me today to talk about all of the things that we are talking about is the great, the wise, the wonderful Rosie Knight. Rosie, how are you?


Rosie Knight Oh, hello. I’m so happy to be here with you.


Jason Concepcion And so happy to be here with you. We’re both back from travels. Hopefully, we have both avoided COVID. I’m knocking on wood.


Rosie Knight Yeah, me too. Knock, knock, knock.


Jason Concepcion And I can’t wait to talk to you about. So let’s just dive into it, because that’s not so much. Let’s open up the doors to the house of the Hot D, House of the Dragon. And we are stepping out of the airlock and into the streets of King’s Landing for episode four of House of the Dragon, King of the Narrow Sea, written by Ira Parker and directed by Claire Kilner. It’s marriage tour time. It’s time to find a mate for Rhaenyra. And we open at Storms End. It’s the first time seeing Storms End. The seat of House Baraetheon, the seat formerly of the Durand and Storm Kings before the Baraetheons. We are in the Storm lands. Rhaenyra is staggering, drowsily through various interminably long speeches about how such and such person and such and such person is the right person to marry her. There are bridges. There are there are speeches from the man woodies. And from the Mudd’s folks. It’s great to see House Mudd extinct. When we catch up with the realm in Game of Thrones era, but alive and well and kicking right now, the Mudd’s. Great to see them. Lord Dondarrion of of the Dornish Marches makes a speech and he is straight up elderly. Rhaenyra just resplendent in a strapless gown, Criston Cole, by her side, is just over all of this. She roasts Lord Dondarrion by asking, Hey, what was it? Do you remember what the what it was like when you met my great grandmother, good queen Alisaen? And and Lord  Dondarrion is like that was it was 50 years ago. And she’s like, yeah, exactly. You old. And then everybody’s like, whoa oh. And then Lord Boris Baraetheon is like that’s not, that was unkind. That was unseemly. And Rhaenyra is like, yeah, I would like I would like to be matched with someone who isn’t 40 to 50 years older than me. So let’s move on, shall we? Next up. A young nobleman, literally 12 or 13, perhaps 14, of House Blackwood of the Riverlands. Lord Boris is like a Raven Tree Hall. I know this guy looks young. But just so you know, Raven Tree Hall. They were kings before the conquest, which I got to say. Rosie, here’s the thing about Westeros, before the conquest and hundreds of years into history, previous history, there were a lot of like a lot.


Rosie Knight Everyone was a king. Everyone was their king.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. It’s like not everyone, but many of these houses were kings.


Rosie Knight Many people


Jason Concepcion They were all they can all say they were king. But that’s okay. Yes. Absolutely correct. House Black, where they were kings back in the day. And of course, a young lord of house Bracken pipes up to talk shit. Famously, the Blackwood’s and the Bracken’s have been at each other’s necks, going back to the age of heroes. Nobody actually knows how this started. And Lord, Young Lord Blackwood keeps, you know, soldiering on, despite the fact that he’s being heckled by Lord Bracken and he’s saying, you know, I promise you, Rhaenyra, you will be safe and under my protection as my lady wife, the young Lord of Bracken says, and I think fairly she has a dragon, dude. She doesn’t need your protection. I think it’s unnecessary. And then Lord Bracken calls young Lord Blackwood a cunt. And next thing you know, it’s Hatfields and McCoys. They’re fighting and shouts to young Lord Blackwood for killing his Bracken rival, something that will surely go down in Blackwood history forever and ever, ever. This kid’s going to be a hero. And the feud continues.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it was a bad ass move, I have to say, like, Rhaenyra does not have many good options here. And, like, yeah, marrying a kid unappealing. Especially when you’re like, a teenager coming into womanhood. But this kid is kind, he’s polite, and he does not fuck around like that guy chatted shit and he died. Like, the kid’s like 11, and he took down this, like, six foot four fucking nobleman saying some mad, rude shit. I was there for it. I was very happy. I would like to see the spin off and I thought is a really nice way, like you say to to build a little bit more context onto this kind of historic rivalry.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. And also what an example of what we are seeing, which is essentially the cycle of toxicity and trauma and patriarchy that goes on in Westeros, in this feudal society, where all the baggage of the adults and the parents gets passed down to the kids in the form of quote unquote, legacy. And they then have to carry that forward. Like, yes, it is like let’s let’s for a second step back and say, yeah, it’s actually it’s actually it’s actually fucked up that this young kid.


Rosie Knight Yeah, he was like 11.


Jason Concepcion Lord of Blackwood had to murder someone. But that’s how it goes in Westeros where all of this stuff gets passed down.


Rosie Knight That’s such a brilliant point, because that is absolutely this is one of this is one of my favorite episodes of any Game of Thrones because.


Jason Concepcion It’s great.


Rosie Knight It’s so good. And I think you’re right. This is essentially a very on the nose foreshadowing about what this episode is about, which is how they fucked you up your mom and dad.


Jason Concepcion It’s from the moment you are born, you are you are getting fucked up by your mom and dad in this world. On the boat back to the capital, Princess Rhaenyra is wondering how her dad, King Viserys, is going to react to her blocking every single marriage match like Dikembe Mutombo and cutting the great marriage tour short by two months. Criston Cole is like, I think he will react badly.


Rosie Knight We were we were ragging on Criston. Yeah. Because yeah, yeah. Because he was like he couldn’t give her the reassurance. But you know what? There is not very many people. Yeah, there’s really two and we’ll get to see the other one who we both love this episode, but there’s not really anyone in Westeros who is telling Rhaenyra the truth. So you know what? Criston Cole is probably not going to end well for you because that’s not how these things go.


Jason Concepcion We’ll see. We’ll see.


Rosie Knight Appreciate I appreciate the honesty in the moment. You know, he doesn’t give a fuck that he’s talking to a princess. He’s like, you fucked up. It’s goingto be bad.


Jason Concepcion I mean, there was there was two months left on this tour. Not to mention, not to mention all the planning and the fact that, like, you know, we had to, you know, we had to liaise with all these houses and these places you want to stop.


Rosie Knight Imagine how much money.


Jason Concepcion Their they’re are getting food. Yes. They’re planning for feasting. They’re planning for servants. They’re planning for. For all the things required to secure and safeguard and entertain a princess of the royal blood. And now all that stuff’s canceled. So that’s actually a big deal. All of a sudden the sound of a dragon reverberates across the sky. Here on the seas, heading back to King’s Landing and Caraxes drops out of the clouds to buzz the ship, almost knocking Rhaenyra overboard. Prince Daemon is home. We head to the Red Keep where King Viserys is donning his his crown, taking up Black Fire as he awaits Daemon’s arrival in the throne room. A whole court, the whole court of the royal court of people is is here to witness what is about to happen, including Rhaenyra who must have gotten there, you know, quite quickly and then sprinted from the ship. Daemon walks in. He is wearing a crown of Driftwood. And I just want to shout this out. Carrying the Crab Feeder’s hammer, which Daemon then says to Viserys, you should add this to the chair. What a cheeky move by the Crab Feeder to make his. I said this on the official podcast. I don’t know if they cut it out because I didn’t listen, because I can’t stand the sound of my own voice.


Rosie Knight Same.


Jason Concepcion But, What a cheeky move by the Crab Feeder to make his weapon. The thing that you use to crack open crabs like at a restaurant.


Rosie Knight It’s very witty. It’s extremely witty of him.


Jason Concepcion Like, does he carry, like, a little butter, like, on his belt? Like have a bib.


Rosie Knight Carry like a nut cracker for th legs?


Jason Concepcion Like. Yes. Yeah. Viserys asks about the crown. He’s like, Oh, I see. What’s up with the crown? And he says, My men named me King Of the Narrow Sea. But of course, there can only be one king in Westeros. And Daemon does homage to his brother, kneels, gives up the crown and Viserys is deeply pleased they embrace the realm it celebrates. Where’s Corlys? He asks. And we learned that Sea Snake went home to Driftmark. And as for who is defending the Step Stones at this very moment? No one. There’s just like rotting corpses there. Don’t worry about it. Yes, we fought over it for three years. But should we secure it? No. We’ll just leave that.


Rosie Knight It’s chilled. Don’t worry about it.


Jason Concepcion We embraced in the Realm, loves it. And that’s all anybody is thinking about later on at the feast, it’s actually great to see Viserys and Daemon back together. Like you get the just incredible performances, of course, by Matt Smith and Paddy Considine and you just get this feeling of how much, as young men, they must have enjoyed each other. It’s great to see Viserys happy for once. Reminiscing about Alicia Targaryen, his and Daemon’s mother, Rhaenyra comes over to congratulate Daemon, who we should say has gotten a haircut, has cleaned up quite well, and immediately a frost falls over the proceedings. The king is obviously quite, quite vexed at Rhaenyra, gives her the cold shoulder. Alicent comes over and tries to, like, break the ice. And is like, Hey, Your Grace, why don’t you take your brother to go see the tapestries? And then again, we get this wonderful warm moment between the brothers where Viserys is there laughing and Daemon is laughing with him. He’s like, He doesn’t want to. Are you crazy? He doesn’t want to see the tapestry. You stop this. You stop this stuff.


Rosie Knight Yeah. It’s like it’s really good because the that one, Paddy Considine, give him an Emmy. I’m already ready. I was. But this episode sold it for me. But it’s this great moment where. It’s so warm and and so offhand, it doesn’t even matter to the king. It’s just obvious. But to Alicent, it like cuts her to the core. She knows what her place is. You’re a woman. You want to see a tapestry. Rhaenyra wants to see a tapestry. You want to see a fucking tapestry? This is my fucking brother. This is the person who matters most to me. This was my heir. Or potentially could have been my heir, whom saw you. And. But it does lead to, like, one of my favorite moments in the show that seems like incredibly pivotal, so in its own way.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely.


Rosie Knight It’s really interesting that Viserys is kind of like. He, he again, we talked about this a lot, the underestimates Rhaenyra, but everyone underestimates Alicent and he underestimates her as an ally. And in that moment when he kind of slyly shades her or kind of demeans her, it pushes her closer to Rhaenyra again.


Jason Concepcion Alicent’s isolation is wrenching in this episode, and we see it with the very following scene. Alicent sits with her former friend. And they talk about Rhaenyra’s recent love tour around Westeros that has again been cut short. Alicent is like why are you complaining about this? This sounds great. And remember, of course, Alicent is locked in now to a many year marriage with a man much older than herself, where she has no agency. And her job is basically carry children to full term and then birth them. And so she is saying this sounds like really romantic, like you get to go around, choose the man that you’re going to marry. They pitch to you why they think they would be the perfect love match for you or you you get to be loved and desired. Are you kidding? And that’s kind of the ideal. And Rhaenyra is like I don’t know. This sounds like a prison to me. I don’t want to be, like, locked in this many years long cell, just pumping out babies. And that clearly strikes a nerve. You know, and we get it. Rhaenyra has the experience of her mother dying in exactly that way, in exactly that role. But to say that to Alicent is pretty unkind. And Rhaenyra, to her credit, sees that she has hurt her friend and she apologizes. It’s a sweet moment. And then she asks, Well, how angry is he? And then Alicent’s like, Well, you know, the king really worked hard to arrange this. He is frustrated. And then, Alicent, you feel like she wants to share more about what her life is like.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion And the moment just kind of passes, and instead, she, you know, they hold hands, and she just kind of makes do with the fact that her friend is back and they are sharing this peaceful moment. But you can feel how much more there is that Alicent wants to say. Rhaenyra and Daemon catch up. They’re in the God’s wood. It’s been years now since the confrontation on Dragonstone with the egg and she’s like, Why are you back? And he says, I need I needed the comforts of home. There is some flirting that is both gross, but also they are both clearly into it.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion You know, niece and uncle here, he remarking how much she has matured. In this very leering way. He then gives a lecture about, you know, political marriages and what they mean, because Rhaenyra is is kvetching about the fact that she’s being sold off to whichever husband is the most politically expedient. And Daemon says, you know, like once it’s a sham. Once the knot is tied, do whatever you want. Look at me. I’ve been married to Rhea Royce of the Vale for X amount of years and I haven’t been home ever.


Rosie Knight He’s like, I don’t know even know what she looks like. I’ve literally never seen her.


Jason Concepcion Who is she? I don’t have time. I just insult her openly to many people and I never go home. So like, you can do that, too. Such a future awaits you, the future queen of Westeros. Rhaenyra rightly points out. Dude. Obviously different rules for women. I mean, what are we even talking about? Right. Like that. Just the fact that I am the heir is is a huge controversy, which wouldn’t be a thing if I were you. Daemon is like, Oh, yeah. Well, he then goes into Rodney Dangerfield mode is like, Yeah, well, try having sex with my wife. There’s a prison sentence for you. Okay, well go home once.


Rosie Knight Yeah. When have you even never had sex with your wife?


Jason Concepcion Yeah, we don’t know.


Rosie Knight We need to see the proof.


Jason Concepcion And throughout all this, what’s clear is Rhaenyra is of course, afraid of the fate that befell her mother, Queen Aemma and Daemon then gives her a bit of life advice, saying You can’t live life, being afraid of things that might happen, which is just anytime Daemon is giving you advice and it sounds and you’re like, Wow, that actually sounds pretty wise. Just remember, this is Daemon Targaryen we’re talking about.


Rosie Knight Yes. She has an angle as we will soon discover.


Jason Concepcion Yes. In the small council chamber, the talk is of Corlys Valeryon, who, in a fit of pique, apparently abandoned the Step Stones. He is mad at Viserys for sprurtng the marriage offer between, you know, Viserys and Laena. And meanwhile, you know, Otto’s brother, Holbert is reporting from Old Town that Corlys apparently is now planning to wed Laena to sign the Son of the Sea Lord of Braavos. And this is, of course, very alarming because, as you know, in an alliance with the free cities, while war, a state of near war might or might not exist between the free cities and the realm. Not good. The council doesn’t quite know what to do. We fast forward to nighttime the hour of some animal, the hour of the bat. Who knows? Alicent is in her chambers trying to soothe a colicky princess Helaena. Elsewhere in the Red Keep, Rhaenyra is returning to her chambers, where she finds a rucksack of common clothes and a letter containing instructions how to access the secret passage behind her bed. Now pause here. I’ve said this many times on the official pod, here, in many places, in our Discord.


Rosie Knight Yep.


Jason Concepcion Maegor never completed the Red Keep now like 70, 80 years ago. Long time. It is time to map these passageways. It does not.


Rosie Knight At least one person could just be one person’s job to just go down there and map them.


Jason Concepcion It doesn’t make any sense that at any given time, you know, during the history of the realm, there’s always seemingly only like one, maybe two people who are familiar with the passageways in the Red Keep. And then that person is never working in the interest of the craft. You know, it’s like never. They’re always working against whoever is. We’re like, folks, we got to, we got to we got to map these things. The fact that a bunch of things we imagine are likely going to go down and and some of them will involve these passageways. And then 200 or so years later, Tyrion Lannister is going to crawl through one and kill his father, Tywin Lannister on the shitter, lets you know that these should have been mapped out long ago, but they aren’t mapped and Rhaenyra excited at the prospect of a little adventure. Slips into her disguise. Makes her way down, down down, down through Balaerion’s crypt, out to a landing overlooking the city where she finds her uncle Daemon. And together they go on a little dirt bag tour of the capital. And it is it is the folks it’s a lot. They they see street musicians. Buskers. There are street criminals. There’s a fortune teller. There’s people just fucking in doorways. You know, Rhaenyra, because she’s wearing a beanie, is thought to be a boy by many. Which leads me to wonder about vision care.


Rosie Knight And nobody has glasses.


Jason Concepcion In the capital yet. Nobody, nobody could see anything. Meanwhile, the king back in the Red Keep,  is soaking his rotten sores in a soothing bath as as the queen and the tasseled staff looks on. The Queen sends the staff away so she can kind of like soap down the king’s sores. Daemon and Rhaenyra are taking a little street theater. Who doesn’t love a little street theater? And it is a drama about King Viserys’s troublesome family. Rhaenyra realizes that, hold on, I don’t think the small folk want me to be heir. I don’t think they like me, in fact. And it’s obviously a very small sample size, but the commoners seem to prefer Prince Aegon. Their wants are of no consequence, Rhaenyra says, when to Daemon. And we will see about that I’m sure. Daemon then dropped some actual knowledge, says, Hey, the princess, you’re going to need to reckon with the reality of what people want when you, you know, are out here at actually sitting on the throne. Then Rhaenyra does some dine and dash shenanigans and runs off and Daemon runs after her.


Rosie Knight Yeah, this is a very interesting moment. One great throwback to like when Aria saw the play.


Jason Concepcion Yes, I love that.


Rosie Knight About the family. It’s so good. It’s so fun. And also. This is a really great Daemon moment because I think and please all caveats. This is a fictional show. We know he’s been grooming this kid for a long time.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely.


Rosie Knight He’s a terrible person. But this is a great character moment where Daemon is in this constant, chaotic struggle.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight It’s absolute self service, but actually, like giving a shit about Rhaenyra and occasionally trying to give her good advice. And Milly Alcock and Matt Smith have such unreal chemistry in these moments where it’s this constant push and pull between what this relationship is and where the power balance lies. And it’s that’s such a good scene because, like, I love Rhaenyra’s like, bad ass. I don’t give a fuck. Like, who cares what they think of me attitude. But we know historically that that does not end well. You actually do have to be loved.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely.


Rosie Knight And people do need to you do need to care about what people think. It’s actually one of the ways to stay safest on the throne. And I just find this to be such a interesting moment because. Also. Can I just say. Has. Has anyone ever fumbled the bag more quickly than Daemon when he comes back? Because literally, like he is in the king’s good graces, the king is like the kingdom owes you a debt. I love you. I’m so glad you’re back. All you had to do is make a fake crown and then put it down and kneel. And you didn’t mean any of that. But you know what? Everything’s going well for Daemon. Everything is Coming Up Milhouse. He’s loving his life, and he just fumbles it in, like, 24 hours.


Jason Concepcion Well, I completely agree. And. And it calls into question, like, is that. I kind of think that’s what Daemon is going for. Like Daemon is.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Daemon is a tension fiend.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion It’s it is jarring when he gives these moments that that feel very generated by sincere emotion where where he has these moments of, like, actual wisdom and self-reflection and acknowledgment about the structure of the society they live in. But at the same time, this is a guy his one like driving focus is I want to start shit.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And I want to and I want to be there when it shit kicks off.


Rosie Knight He is a shit stirrer. There is a moment that we will get to in one minute, where I’m like this motherfucker. Like he wants it to be a problem he wants people to know about.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight And the best thing is, he’s like you said, you you always coined this early and you were just right. He’s a troll. He lives for it. He doesn’t care about that. In fact, he likes the chaos ensues. But he doesn’t really ever think about consequence. He just likes to fuck around. And he also likes to find out, which is actually, you know, him.


Jason Concepcion Both of those things. He wants to be there to find out.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion So a city watchman recognizes Rhaenyra. But Daemon kind of reveals who he is. Gets the princess out of trouble. And again, you get the feeling that this is kind of Daemon we said this after episode one, right? And we said it again after the issue with the egg. Daemon wants people to wonder what Daemon is about.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion He wants rumors that he and Rhaenyra are running around in the streets to be circulating in the capital and for no one to really know the truth. He wants that. He wants people talking about him because he wants people wondering, what is Daemon capable of? What will he do next? How did he show up here? How did he sneak her out of the capital? How did he get in to get the Dragon’s egg? He wants to rub that in everyone’s faces. He is not like the thief who wants to sneak in and sneak out and leave no fingerprints. He wants to leave the fingerprints.


Rosie Knight Yeah. He’s obsessed with the personal myth that he creates. There’s a moment. So they run away, and he does the dumbest shit. But it’s not done because it’s actually exactly what he wanted to do. He makes them take off their caps.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight He wants everyone to see the white Targaryen hair as they head on to the next part of the Dirt Bag tour.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight I yelled. I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of this episode, but I yelled at the TV because I just thought, Rhaenyra, you should fucking know better. Like this guy wants people to know.


Jason Concepcion What do they call Rhaenyra? The realm’s delight. What do they call the Prince Daemon? The Prince of the city. This is because these are two of the three or four most famous people in the realm, certainly in King’s Landing, people would know either what they look like or understand. If I see that silver white hair, that’s a Targaryen, got to be.


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concepcion And so absolutely. Daemon wants these rumors out there. He wants that to happen. They head to a brothel where Rhaenyra says, What is this place? And Daemon is like, What do you think? And they then. In the words of Otto Hightower, couple.


Rosie Knight Yeah. This is this is an incredibly interesting moment as well, because so they walk through it’s a very extended Game of Thrones sex scene. But I will say something this episode does that is really interesting. There is a lot of background and text about the idea of like sex and how it is for women and the experience of whether sex is pleasurable or not. And we get that with these kind of dueling narratives of Alicent and and Rhaenyra. And, you know, she walks through like a two minute brothel where everyone’s banging. There’s all kinds of paranoia everywhere. Everyone’s coupling. And and she’s like, Oh, what’s going on? I know, you know, I know you know. But yeah. At Last they couple. But what I want to ask you. Okay, so we’ve seen that Daemon can struggle with stress in the bedroom.


Jason Concepcion Mm hmm.


Rosie Knight And it does seem like something happens. They they they hook up, but Daemon gets freaked out, and it kind of seems like he gets freaked out when Rhaenyra gets into it, which I found very interesting, but it doesn’t seem like they actually, you know, consumated. There’s there’s something that occurs. But Daemon, he gets freaked out and he runs away.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I think I believe they say in the aftershow that he could not perform in this moment, which we saw earlier in episode one with Mysaria and I think you’re absolutely right. I think that there again, I think that as fucked up as this relationship is, I think that there is sincere chemistry there.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion A real depth of feeling. And I think Daemon is used to a level of control. And I think when Rhaenyra seizes that control.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion That on top of the fact that there is real emotion there, for both of them. I think that freaks him out. He doesn’t quite know how to respond to that. And so he just stalks off.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And also. Okay, so do you think just on the tiny bit of empathy that we’re saying that we can see he has a sincerity.


Jason Concepcion Sure.


Rosie Knight Do you also think there’s a there’s a split second where he realizes that if he does this because he wants the rumors, but if he actually does it, that could impact Rhaenyra’s life just horrifically, even though the rumors will be the same thing. I wonder if to him that distinction between the action and the perception, which is a huge thing here about the perception and the truth. I wonder if that mattered to him in that moment.


Jason Concepcion I wonder, too. It’s hard. It it’s hard to unwind, but. I think my sense is that he thought that this was going to go one way and when it went another way. It. That’s what he’s worried about, because, I, as much as we acknowledge that Daemon does feel something, whatever that means. You know, sincerely for his niece.


Rosie Knight His niece. Can we remind him. His teenage niece, who is still being played by Milly Alcock, whose been playing this person since they were a child.


Jason Concepcion Teenage niece. That that at the same time I. I don’t think that the feelings, that any kind of empathy.


Rosie Knight No.


Jason Concepcion Ever really enters Daemon Targaryen’s worldview at all. I don’t think he ever wonders. I don’t ever. I don’t think he ever one, even if he cares about somebody. I think it’s in a way that is pure narcissism, where where it’s about their their interactions with him. It’s always him at the center. What it means for him and not what it means for the other. That’s just my read on it.


Rosie Knight I like that. And also we see and this is one of my favorite things about Daemon, his character. This was either a plan or in the fallout. He makes a very quick, very clever plan. So either way, it’s like either way he doesn’t give a shit about Rhaenyra when it really comes to the impact of this.


Jason Concepcion Agreed. So as they’re hooking up and then Daemon gets freaked out or whatever the case may be, and he walks away leaving. Leaving Rhaenyra there, very confused. We see a child who’s just hanging out in a brothel, as one does here in King’s Landing, where anything goes. We see a child get up and run away. Clearly an informant of some kind. Back in the castle, the king is apparently aroused after his bath, his soothing bath that Alicent performed for him. And now he is asking for the queen to come to his chambers. And it’s very late now since, like, it’s late, it’s like the hour of the wombat or the draft or whatever the fuck it is. But the lady in waiting, the courtier is like, Yeah, but it’s the king he’s asked, he’s asking for you. And so she absolutely has to go. And it is a, it is the awful scene.


Rosie Knight It’s so bad.


Jason Concepcion Of that of Alicent and the kind of gilded prison that she is locked in under this like, decaying man with disgusting sores on his back as she is just staring blindly up at the ceiling and seeing rats run across the top of her bedpost. It’s pretty awful. Rhaenyra returns to her chambers,  shocking Criston Cole, who’s like, How the fuck did you get out? And Rhaenyra is clearly excited. By the kind of freedom this like taste of freedom that she is experienced as just another person running around the streets of King’s Landing. And she then seduces this knight in a scene that is the polar opposite of what you just witnessed with Alicent and King Viserys. And you got it, man. It’s got it. What does it take 35 minutes to get that armor off? Like 45 minutes.


Rosie Knight I mean it’s so slow. Yeah, and the best. There’s a very interesting power dynamic that flips here, which is.


Jason Concepcion Oh, yes.


Rosie Knight We saw. Oh, yes, we’d seen before the Alicent was the queen and Alicent had the power to overpower what Rhaenyra wanted and to say, You must do this, the king. But this time we see that now being the Queen has isolated Alicent.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight To a point where she has no friends, she has no one she trusts, she has no confidants, and she doesn’t. She is in a marriage she didn’t want to be in. She was used as a political tool. So while she lays under this kind of, like you said, this kind of rotting elderly man. Rhaenyra is running around having the most unbelievable, ridiculous freedom to the point where it’s dangerous, but it’s amazing. She has a freedom in not being the queen, and she has a freedom and agency over her own body. And the choices that she’s making that are just it. It’s really well done to put those stark contrasts into play.


Jason Concepcion I completely agree. And then and then there’s an interesting power dynamic also with her and Criston Cole. Obviously, she is still a very young woman at the same time. She is, she’s offering Criston Cole something that could lead to his death, to his torture, to his death, to him being disrobed, cast out of the kingsguard at a minimum, and like have his dick cut off and his head cut off, tortured and killed. So a lot of interesting things going on here. On top of the fact that here we are with this. Leaning into this kind of iconic fairy tale trope of the princess and the shining knight in shining armor. And you just know, because this is Westeros and this is George R.R. Martin, and this is House of the Dragon that this cannot last. There’s no way this can last.


Rosie Knight And they’ve done a really great job in this first half of the season. You knew that this was why Rhaenyra picked him. She had a crush.


Jason Concepcion He was a good looking guy.


Rosie Knight And he was a he was like he came from exotic, faraway land and he fought in battles. And he was the prince who comes and saves you from your life. Imprisoned in the castle. But it’s really nice for once in the context of the show and the way things usually go. It’s nice for once to see a woman who is chasing someone that she wants, who gets it, who gets to have this moment, even though, like you said, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see that last in any long term way. I was happy that Rhaenyra got that moment.


Jason Concepcion Same. Very, same. Listen, it is rare in this world when we see characters have moments of actual, sincere, honest connection and happiness. And let’s take a moment to celebrate those things. When they come like Viserys and Daemon having that wonderful joke and in the gods wood. Like Rhaenyra hearing Criston Cole. Later sometime near dawn, Otto gets a message clearly from this boy coming through various channels and it’s delivered to him and we hear the person who deliver it say, this is from the White Worm, which book readers will know what that means. But let’s we can kind of dance around what that actually means for for people who don’t know. Daemon then wakes up in some shitty rooming house with Mysaria. Myssaria is and Daemon is extremely dismissive. Dismissive of her. You know.


Rosie Knight You can’t really believe it. You think there’s so much history in what has happened in these moments from the last time we saw them.


Jason Concepcion So, Daemon, we get the we get the sense very clearly that he plucked her from some terrible life as a sex worker and he still clearly sees her in that context. But she says, oh, no, no, no, no, no. No. I’m not I’m not a simple courtier or some simple brothel worker anymore. I’m much more than that. I’m doing things that you don’t even understand. And then a boy enters the room suddenly and then leaves. And then all of this completely over Daemon’s head. Daemon does not, is still drunk, obviously, from the night before and very tired. Does not even dene to explore whatever it is that Mysaria is talking so provocatively about. But we should add here. Let’s stop here. Boy enters the room. We saw a boy spying upon Rhaenyra and Daemon in the brothel. Mysaria is from Lys, the same city that later on when we meet Varus we learned that Varus, Master of Whispers is from. Varus how, how did he do his business? Right. He had a network of children that he had his little birds that spied for him. Little sparrows and one has to wonder, is this Mysaria, who is who is running this this kid as perhaps a network of spies? And if so, what’s your angle? What’s your angle in informing to Otto, if that is indeed?


Rosie Knight I was going to say, if she is the White Worm in the show, this is this is very interesting, because what we’ve learned about these kind of spy masters or masters of whispers in the past is like they usually have a loyalty, whether it’s to the crown or the kingdom. What is her loyalty? Because if it if she is the White Worm, she just, she just used her birds to potentially destroy Daemon. So is it revenge? She doesn’t she doesn’t have qualms about that personal connection, and rightfully so, because he sucks.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight The way he treats her.


Jason Concepcion Again, Daemon does not think about other people and what they need and want. I recall on Dragonstone he had ginned up this entire story about how they were going to get married and have a kid and needed to steal this egg because of the child that they were going to have. And all of that, when it was revealed in that confrontation, was absolutely news to Mysaria. She was like, What? You never heard anything about this? And I think it’s very interesting the way she says, Oh, I’ve been protecting you again Daemon.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion So what does it mean?


Rosie Knight I’m your protector


Jason Concepcion It will be very I have no idea what she means by that. And it will be fascinating to know.What it is she thinks that she’s doing, what her plan is, how she sees herself as protecting Daemon, because I have no doubt that she sincerely feels like she’s keeping Daemon, like from from a lot of trouble. So at the same time, clearly getting him into trouble.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion What that means? We don’t know, but it will be very, very interesting to find out.


Rosie Knight It’s really cool as well because I think it plays into one of Game of Thrones greatest strengths that we haven’t gotten the chance to see much of.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight In House of the Dragon so far. House of Dragons very much like a chamber drama. It’s a it’s a family story about a large but limited cast. There is not the hopping all around, seeing the different, the kingdoms. It’s very different families. It’s very contained. But as we know, like you mentioned, you know, Varus, some of the best characters in Game of Thrones are the people who have to live and survive these monarchs, who actually live and work underneath them or around them, whether it’s.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Strange religious cults or men with flaming swords or knights of the, you know, the the wall. And I love that this hints at that wider world of the working people who because Master of Whispers, Mistress of Whispers, potentially like that’s such a huge part of the power and the power struggle in in Game of Thrones.


Jason Concepcion So and to your point, in this world where you are born into this life of immense privilege and power. The people who manage to get into that world through the sweat of their own brow, through their own work, it it is fascinating to know their life and they always have a a a very accurate understanding of how this world works. Often a much more accurate and wide ranging understanding, even so than the people who are living the life, the noble people who are in that world. So can’t wait to to find out more about what Mysaria is about. Otto, with extreme hesitance, one must say, delivers the news to the king. The princess was spied last evening beyond the walls of the keep in a pleasure house. She was carrying on with her uncle. They were engaged in behavior unbecoming of a mate, of a princess. And the king’s. Like what? Like what?


Rosie Knight And the king is like I don’t care she was in a pleasure house. What was wrong  with you? What was it?


Jason Concepcion And Otto’s is like to I have to draw you a picture. And basically, yes, the king says. And so eventually Otto comes forth with it. What were they doing? And Otto says the the princess and Daemon were in the bowels of a pleasure house coupling in that wonderful Reese Woods, very throaty, clipped accent, incredible and Viserys flips out. Has Otto finally push it too far, and ironically pushed it too far by telling the truth.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s the truth. But also it’s.


Jason Concepcion Like the self-serving truth.


Rosie Knight The problem with Otto is this move makes his agenda too clear.


Jason Concepcion It makes it crystal clear.


Rosie Knight Viserys makes a really good point. He’s like, Who fucking cares if she’s in a pleasure house? You know, there’s there’s a version where you could deliver this news where you say that Princess was in a pleasure house. Somebody saw her, looked like her, and her and Daemon were a bit too close. Maybe have a word with her. You underplay it. The king. Men are allowed to do this stuff. Targaryens have long been incestuous, but he presents it in this unbelievable scene between fans and Constadine. It’s so drawn out. And like you said, Viserys just does not want to hear it. And it makes it this huge moment. And Otto doesn’t realize until later. But. But this is a it feels like a. A coin flip moment. It feels like something has changed. He should have been more hesitant. AKA not told him yet and played his hand a little bit slower.


Jason Concepcion And see. Yeah. See what? See what? How this develops. Viserys again loses it. He accuses Otto of trying to destroy Rhaenyra says You’ve been trying to do this for years.


Rosie Knight Why are you sending spies off to my daughter?


Jason Concepcion Yeah. How, how? How? For how many years do you have to try and destroy my blood so that you can place your blood on the throne? I see what you’re doing. And so Otto chased stocks off. Things between Cole and Rhaenyra are a little awkward in the light of day. Cole clearly feeling the danger of the situation that he is now in, while Rhaenyra is still flush with the excitement of what has happened. He brings a summons from Queen Alicent. That’s like, Uh-Oh, time. Alicent and Rhaenyra are meeting the gods wood. Alicent is like are you going to tell me what happened? Because she had overheard this conversation between King Viserys and her father, Otto.


Rosie Knight And potentially because she also somehow knows about some secret passages. I know she. She’s just behind where Daemon was behind when he was listening. So I’m saying.


Jason Concepcion She’s behind the scrim there. She’s behind.


Rosie Knight A scrim. But, yeah, you never know. She’s. She’s finding it easy to be in the room where she needs to be.


Jason Concepcion Yes. So Rhaenyra, Alicent is like so I don’t know. I heard that you were in a brothel with Daemon. A pleasure house with Daemon fucking. And Rhaenyra’s like no, no, no, no. I didn’t do that. And she also says, you know, I’m the princess to question my virtue is an act of treason. Kind of throwing down that gauntlet for the first time. Alicent tells Rhaenyra that, well, Otto reported it to your dad, to the king, and then Rhaenyra comes clean. She’s okay yeah, listen. I slipped out. I did sneak out of the castle. We went lots of places. We saw some street theater. I got drunk, we ate. We did end up in a brothel. Just for research purposes, but like nothing happened. And Daemon ended up in the arms of some whore. I don’t know what happened, but, like, we didn’t do that. Alicent is absolutely fed up. She sees this as a kind of betrayal. And also, remember, Alicent is, and feels rightly trapped by the life that she is leading. And here is her friend, Rhaenyra, who’s all the time complaining about the things that she has to put up with in the life that she has to lead. And, oh, they’re going to make me marry somebody and just have children. And what a terrible life that is. But meanwhile, what is she actually doing? Running around, having sex, potentially running off to pleasure houses, doing whatever she wants while trying to put forward this image of the honorable, rightful Princess Rhaenyra, the realms delight, who is trapped in this terrible thing. Yeah. Alicent doesn’t want to hear this shit anymore.


Rosie Knight I will also say this just we’ve talked a lot about this when we touched on it about how they’re doing such brilliant work. I wondered if Alicent’s characterization I mean, I love this scene so much because Alicent is rightfully pissed. But really, Alicent is fucking terrified for her friend. She’s like, Are you mad? Your uncle is a fucking tyrant. And not just that, but like, you’re going to ruin your life. You’re going to ruin my life. It’s going to. This is just a terrible choice. Like she comes to her as a friend.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight She betrays the trust of her dad and her king, her husband, who she overhears. And she still, even though she’s pissed, she comes to Rhaenyra and gives her a chance to be like, you are going to be in trouble about this. This is something you need to sort the fuck out. And like and Rhaenyra also like, Rhaenyra promises that nothing happened, like on her mother’s.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight Dead body. So she is ready to play the game. I think this is the moment where she understands what the game is, you know, the Game of Thrones. But Alicent, still the the MVP, in my opinion, she didn’t have to do this. And she went and she did this because she cares about Rhaenyra.


Jason Concepcion It would be. It is just extremely sad that Rhaenyra cannot see how much support her friend is giving her, under impossible circumstances. And it’s, it’s it is sad. Daemon comes staggering into the race. Even he is immediately seized by Sir Harold Westerling and the king’s guards dragged before the king. The throne room is cleared. Not a good sign.


Rosie Knight I was going to say that never happens. There’s literally always an audience of people hungry for Daemon’s drama in that room. So, you know, he’s in trouble.


Jason Concepcion That, you know, the Kings Guard is there between Daemon and the king. The king is on the throne with his crown, and he is grasping Blackfire, the sword of kings and then Viserys lays into Daemon. He puts the Cats Paw to Daemon’s throat, asks if it’s true about him and Rhaenyra and Daemon says Better she experience being with me then some whore. Again this is chaos. This is Daemon’s end game.


Rosie Knight Pure chaos.


Jason Concepcion This is what he had wanted to happen. Let’s face it, this is what he wanted to happen. The king is angry about, you know, everything, everything including what this would mean for any future marriage, deal with whoever he would wed to the heir to the Iron Throne. Daemon is like, Who cares? You tell them you and she can tell everyone whatever you want because that’s how it works. And maybe he’s not wrong about that. But at the same time, it is at least somewhat refreshing that King Viserys, has a more grounded humble. Humble view of how to wield power in Westeros. Even if what Daemon is saying is not necessarily untrue, Daemon then offers to marry Rhaenyra despite the fact that he’s currently married and then, you know, Targaryen’s do this, he says. But like also what?


Rosie Knight This is the moment where it’s like, was this the end game all along?


Jason Concepcion Was this end game.


Rosie Knight Even if Rhaenyra had turned you down, would you have spread the rumor that you were in the brothel together?


Jason Concepcion I think so.


Rosie Knight I think so too, because and if not, it’s just as much of a Daemon moment, because when he’s on that floor and he realizes what Viserys’ biggest fear is, he suddenly thinks, Oh, I can make this work to my advantage.


Jason Concepcion Now, Viserys then accuses Daemon of angling for the throne with this particular proposal.


Rosie Knight True.


Jason Concepcion And banishes Daemon. That said, I, I don’t think that’s necessarily unfair reading because clearly like he would be king consort in this in this reading of of a potential future. Right. And certainly many people in the realm would also see him as the legitimate ruler over Rhaenyra, should they be wed at the same time. I don’t think. My personal read on it is, is that Daemon does not want to be king. He doesn’t care about being king consort. What he wants is to be married to Rhaenyra, one, because I think he actually has feelings for her. And two, because if that happens. King Viserys, his brother could never get rid of him, could never send him away. Could never banish him.


Rosie Knight Not the throne. It’s like it’s about being by his brother’s side, having power, having leverage, having something to cement his place in the court. Even if he doesn’t actually care about sitting on the Iron Throne.


Jason Concepcion He wants to be around his family, specifically and uniquely his brother, but also Rhaenyra, and he wants them to pay attention to him and he wants to be his Joker-erific troll self all the time, with or without the ability of King Viserys ever to banish him from his sight. That’s what Daemon I think wants. Later, Alicent, again, showing this incredible generosity and the strength of her friendship and feeling that is probably something a little bit more something unrequited. I think that she feels for Rhaenyra defends her friend and says, Come on husband, you know, Daemon is a liar. He loves fucking with you. He loves getting a rise out of you. This is just what he’s doing now, you know, this is all Daemon’s fault. I believe that Rhaenyra is still a maiden. That’s, you know, just talk to her and work this out. But I believe her. I believe that she is telling the truth. And of course, she doesn’t know that Princess Rhaenyra had sex with Criston Cole. The night that everybody thinks that she had sex with Daemon. Rhaenyra is escorted by Cole and another guardsman to her father’s chambers. The Cats Pawl Valyrian Blade is laying in a brazier. It’s heating up, and King Viserys then tells her the story of the blade, which is actual, incredible new legendary marterial.


Rosie Knight Massive.


Jason Concepcion Great massive stuff.


Rosie Knight It’s so clever because it answers a huge question that this show posed. It also introduces a massive piece of law. But because of Molly Alcock and Pattie Constantine, it feels just like a very natural moment in this unbelievable father daughter kind of chaos that that they’re trapped in. And this scene is so good.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. And so he says before Aegon’s death, the last of the Valerian pyromancers hid his song in this steel and Viserys is pulls the blade out shows veneer of the writing now visible on the red hot plate. He says it and he reads it. From my blood comes the prince that was promised, and his song will be the song of Ice and Fire. I want to shout out quickly.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion Listener Nathan and also listener Heidi, who called this in emails.


Rosie Knight And Discord.


Jason Concepcion And Discord missives, respectively. This we wanted to know, like how it was possible that that this prophecies have been passed down from unbroken, from ruler to air. Right. It must have been written down somewhere. And here it is. We get that confirmation. So cool. It’s also cool to note, as Nathan did in his email, that.


Jason Concepcion Back in Game of Thrones when Sam is at the Citadel, reading up on the long.Night, he’s reading a book about, you know, what happened in that in that endless winter. And he opens the page and what is there but. But a drawing of that very dagger which is super, super, super cool. And of course, we’ve always wondered, like, how it was that much later, Rhaegar Targaryen came to believe himself to be the prince that was promised. Like, where did he get that idea? And. And here we understand how it happened. It’s all comes from Aegon. It all comes from this prophecy that he had. This is super cool stuff. Viserys then tells Rhaenyra, listen, your responsibility to this House and not just to this house, but to the world, is to carry this dream forward so that the apocalypse can be averted whenever this this confrontation between good and evil comes. You need to be serious about the family’s mission and you need to be serious about your place in this coming conflict. And the king says, now, listen, you’re right. If you were a man, you could do anything you wanted. I agree with that. That’s true. But you were born a woman. So we need to grapple with that reality and you need to take your responsibilities seriously. The King then says that you will marry Ser Laenor Velaryon, and you will do so without any protest, and you will unite the two most powerful houses of Valyrian blood in the realm. And Rhaenyra says, okay. But I have leverage, too, and and I have some things that I want to throw into this deal. What about Otto? She calls him the vulture who perches on your throne. And it’s perfect timing to raise this honestly, because King Viserys had already had his, you know, doubts about Otto and had this blow up earlier in the episode and had been going outside, you know, talking to to to Lionel Strong secretly when he did get asking for advice that normally he would seek out from Otto. So this is a been stirring. And she notes that, hey, hold on, Otto is spying on me. What the fuck is this? Why is Otto sending spies to follow me? He is working at every turn to put his grandson, your son, Aegon, on the throne. And so they make a deal. Rhaenyra will absolutely wed Laenor and Viserys will fire Otto. Which he does. He does it kind of graciously says, you’re the man who taught me to be king, but you got to go. Otto is shocked. Viserys accuses Otto of being overly ambitious, which is true. Of angling for the throne, which is true. Of placing Alicent in his path during his time of weakness, which is absolutely true. You were a faithful servant, he says. The crown of the realm owe you a debt that cannot be repaid. But I can no longer trust your judgment. And he takes the hand of the hand of the king pin from Otto’s chest, and then we go to Rhaenyra’s Chambers, where Grand Maester Mellos comes with a tray of plan tea, Moon Tea.


Rosie Knight Sent by her dad. Very progressive guy.


Jason Concepcion Very progressive guy. And a sad statement about the freedoms enjoyed iL Kings landing in Westeros that are not enjoyed in many parts of our real, very real world. What an amazing episode. An amazing episode.


Rosie Knight So good. I love that the scene between Rhaenyra and Viserys where they’re negotiating about the marriage was so good. I was just like, oh, this can’t be topped. And then Reese and Paddy in that scene, the pure energy and love and anger and decades of friendship and like the sly kind of insinuations by Viserys that Otto might have, like, murdered or planned to murder other rulers or other hands. And there’s just so much to it. And I just yeah, this is this is up there with my favorite episodes of the whole Game of Thrones series because it’s just so good. And I love the Alicent- Rhaenyra relationship so much and I love that the, you know, the creators and the and the cast, the especially I think it was Olivia and and Emma who play the older girls from episode six. They talked about how the Sapphic vibes were like intentional. And I mean, when you were when you’re young and you have a close friendship, those lines can be blurred. And also, yes, this is a world, as we saw today, where in certain parts of even King’s Landing, we’ve seen it in Dorne in the way that equality in sex is treated differently. But in parts of King’s Landing, there are people just fucking. There are pleasures that people take. There is a.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight There is a lack of boundaries around that. So it’s very interesting to see that and to see the kind of that rekindling of it today between Alicent and Rhaenyra, when they kind of grasp hands and they and they realize that they’re this kind of rock in this horrible ocean.


Jason Concepcion Agreed. It makes what’s what we all expect to become, which is this, this conflict between these two former friends, still friends at the at this moment anyway, even more tragic because it wasn’t because of anything that they really did. It is this world that is tearing them apart. It is the baggage placed on them by their parents. It is the expectations put on them by this world. By the responsibilities they bear that have no connection with the wants and dreams and desires and fears that they personally have. They just can’t. There is. There’s almost no possible world in which they could bridge the divide that is yawning between them and getting bigger and bigger and bigger every day. And it’s really, really sad. It’s really sad. They should be great friends. Wonderful friends, but they can’t be.


Rosie Knight Yeah, they do such a brilliant job like Emily Carey and Milly Alcock. They’re just so. There’s so much complexity and debt and history between them just in these kind of four, four episodes that we’ve seen. And it’s yeah, it’s really heartbreaking because we can assume, you know, we know what the show is about. We know where this journey is going. But they play it so well that it’s kind of like I always think about this when I watch, like Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. There’s always a moment just before Juliet wakes up.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Where I always have that split second of, like, oh, maybe she’ll wake up in time this time and this similar feeling, right? It’s like, I know where it’s going to go. But they sell it so well that I’m like, maybe George has a secret in-store. Maybe they’re going to twist something and do something where we’re not expecting because there is so much there. And it’s going to be just heartbreaking to see that deteriorate as the show goes on.


Jason Concepcion Somebody posted on on Twitter and I’m sorry for not remembering who did this, but it was something to the extent of like, I know that I’m into House of the Dragon because I’m so annoyed at the decisions everyone is making. And it’s it it’s kind of like that. Like I just sit there going, God, if they only did this, if this person only did this, if King Viserys only like not just named Rhaenyra heir, but then actually did the work all the time to shore up support for her and increased support for her. And like, there’s so many like, listen, I believe in the freedom of expression, the First Amendment and the importance of of artists being able to express themselves. At the same time, like you feel like it’s a wasted opportunity for the for the crown not to have like a state sponsored theater group that, like, puts on the stories that support what they’re trying to do. Like, why isn’t there a pro-Rhaenyra stage group out there, like running, running plays about how, oh, it’s great. Isn’t it great that the realms, the light is going to be our queen like.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.  And you do think like.


Jason Concepcion Why isn’t that a thing?


Rosie Knight It’s actually really interesting to look at how much that has changed by the time we get to Game of Thrones, because then there is far more understanding of how to play the people in your favor. But it doesn’t seem like we are there yet because it would be so easy. They already yeah. They might not fully support Rhaenyra as heir and they kind of find that to be an easy target. But no one in those plays was saying anything damning. They still see her as someone that they could grow to like. You know what they do like they have a fondness for her. So, yeah, it’s it’s very interesting. But I do also think that speaks like Patty is so great and this story they’ve given Viserys is so great, but it does speak to something that I did feel like was clearer in the first two episodes that I think is still an underlying issue for him, which is. He is quite. He can’t help but sort of take his status for granted. He doesn’t understand how, he sees the bigger picture, the prophecy, but he is not constantly striving for the Targaryens to stay in power because he doesn’t think they need to.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight And that, I think, is the thing that as we watched the downfall of the family is going to come to bite him because there is an aggressiveness and a constant struggle that you need to be in to stay in power and to protect your family.


Jason Concepcion I mean, he says, you know, in the in the opening episode, you know. We never dragons never should have existed. They never should have happened. And yet that is the basis of their power. So he’s you’re absolutely right. He has this. Honestly pretty natural. Like natural fear and revulsion of the very thing that has placed his family in the position that they are in. And that they need to carry forward the mission that he so desperately wants to, you know, to carry forward. So the show’s good. The show continues to be good. Up next, more House of the Dragon in Ask the Maester.


Jason Concepcion <A.D.>


Jason Concepcion To celebrate, we’re going to answer your questions. We’re returning to the Citadel. Here we go. Ask the Maester. Starting now.


Rosie Knight First question comes from Kellen. Where did Jason and the Lannisters fit in the grand scheme of the realm? Are Corlys and the Hightowers richer and more powerful than them?


Jason Concepcion This is a good question. I think, first of all, we should say that House Valeyon currently is the richest house in the realm, and that is due to a variety of factors, mainly Lord Corlys’ nine incredible sea voyages from which he returned with all manner of rare items that he then sold at tremendous profit. There’s also the fact that, you know, there’s like some exigent circumstances. Also, like House Valeryon also makes a nice penny on taxing Narrow Sea trade. And also in the Jaehaerys years, Lord Ed Well Celtic are who’s the master of coin during that time and is known as one of the worst, if not the worst master of coin in the history of the realm. This is during the Regency of King Jaehaerys. He like hiked taxes it the realms biggest ports, Lanniss Port, King’s Landing, Old Town and that led to a windfall for Driftmark and other ports. So this has been building for a while. It’s side note, King Jaehaerys, as soon as he came in to his power, fired Lord Edwell and undid all of his tax acts. Anyway, it’s it is absolutely conceivable that the Hightowers, as of right now are richer than the Lannisters. Again, we don’t know. The Hightowers are an ancient house descended from the blood of the First Men. Old town. The city they rule is a massive economic power. It is the richest city in the realm itself because of all the economic activity that goes on there, of which certainly House HighTower gets a piece because of the taxes that they would levy there. In Feasts for Crows, Obara Sand says that she’s trying to convince Prince Duran to let her attack Old Town. And he’s like, What are you? It’s like, how are you going to hold it? You know, what does it matter if you attack it? You can’t hold it. And she’s like, It doesn’t matter because the wealth they are just to sack it would be enough because there’s so much money there, because of the tradespeople who inhabit Old Town and all the ships coming in, out, etc.. SAMWell Tarly’s father, Randall Tarly, told Sam as he recounts also in Feasts for Crows, that the Hightowers were as rich as the Lannisters, with the ability to field a massive army, the largest by far of any of the houses sworn to the gardeners of the reach and their strong at sea. You know, though, it’s likely that the Arbor’s fleet is larger than the Old Town fleet, and the Hightowers are also very, very careful. The Lannisters tell everybody how rich they are.


Rosie Knight All the time.


Jason Concepcion All the time. It’s it’s. It’s their branding, right? They wear the gold on their cloaks and their, you know, their words, their unofficial motto is just about money and debts. And like everything is gold and lion based. And they love to tell people that they’re rich. The Hightowers don’t do that. They move very quietly. They prefer often to wield their power economically and politically, rather than to fuel this enormous military that they could call on if they needed to. And part of their staying power has been. Over the years that they make the smart, cost effective decision at the at the pivotal moment. They probably could have been the high kings of the reach if they wanted to. If they wanted to be instead of they pledge their banners to the gardeners through marriage. So like not by being conquered by the gardeners by by basically like brokering a favorable deal for themselves and then left all the headache of managing the reach to the gardeners. When the Andals invaded, rather than go to war. They cut favorable deals with the invaders on on terms that were very beneficial to House Hightower. When the gardeners march to war against Aegon the Conquerer, alongside the Lannisters at the head of the largest army ever assembled in Westeros. Did the Hightowers answer the call? No, absolutely not. They did the math. They saw, okay, 55,000 soldiers of the Reach. And the Westerlands again, the greatest army ever fielded in Westeros versus three Dragons. Yeah, I think this is a loss. We’re not going. House Gardener gets wiped out goes extinct and Lord Manfred Hightower, hince needs Aegon, each House Hightower rolls down almost unscathed into the Targaryen era. And does so in a way that actually gives them a better position going into this new era as patrons of the Masters of the Citadel, they wield tremendous influence all across the realm. And then, of course, because the Starry Sept is in Old Town, that gives them a lot of influence as well. And that is where Aegon was and anointed and crowned king. So just incredible gamesmanship and game playing by house Hightower. And of course, in terms of passive income, nothing really beats the Lannisters who live in a gold mine, live in a gigantic gold mine like a 400 foot tall gold mine. And the Westernlands, in general, are laden with mines and deep veins of gold and silver. The abundance of gold controlled by the Lannisters is famed all throughout the world. In the world of ice and Fire, it’s mentioned that Lomax Long Strider, who’s this like famous travel diarist, traveled to a sky where he heard that, you know, merchants there are asking if it was true that there was a lion lord who lived in a castle made of gold. So these stories travel. And, of course, also the Lannisters control lands part, which is a thriving port. Now, if there was a moment where we could say for sure that the Lannisters probably passed House Hightower, indeed. The Velaryons to become the richest in the realm. It was probably during the reign of Lord Gerald the Golden. This is Tywin Lannister’s grandfather. Under his wise management trade flourished, coffers overflowed. And though his son, Tywin’s dad, Tytos, was dangerously weak and lent a lot of money and because he was weak, people didn’t pay it back. His son, Tywin, when he came into power, quickly reversed all of Casterly Rock’s kind of fortunes. He called in outstanding debts, took hostages to enforce payment. And under Tywin’s extremely hard leadership, the Houses Tarbuck and more famously Rayns were totally wiped out, which just from the loot alone, probably added a lot to the Lannister treasury. So we should assume again that that by that time so again, you know, 70 years, 50 years ish, before before the events of Game of Thrones, we should assume that Casterly Rock then vaults to the top spot in terms of wealth. But but let’s remember a couple of important things. One by Game of Thrones, right? I forget what season, but Tywin has that, you know, heart to heart talk with Cersei, where he admits that the mines had gone dry like three years earlier. Now, what does that mean? Does that mean there’s no gold? Probably not. What it probably means is, one, House Lannister is not as rich as everybody thinks. And two, you know, they bankrolled Robert’s Rebellion. And then when Robert became king, he was just an irresponsible spender who didn’t know anything about economic restraint. And of course, Littlefinger, as master of coin, like, helped him spend money he didn’t have. And who bankrolled all of this? Who gave loans to the crown that were never going to be paid back? It was House Lannister. So that was probably pretty destructive to their finances. And of course, they covered it up pretty well. Which leads me to the second thing. As we mentioned, House Lannister  loves telling everybody how rich they are. Are they as rich as they say? Are they just fronting or are they just putting on? You know, it’s it’s unclear, but we should assume that certainly by the by the time Tywin Lannister becomes, you know, Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden of the West, that the Lannisters are the richest in the realm. But it is it is fair to assume that the that the Hightowers are right there at this particular time.


Rosie Knight Okay. Jay asks, Is there anything in Targaryen history that would indicate an immunity to grayscale? Because Daemon did not seem overly concerned.


Jason Concepcion That’s right. That was confirmed that the that the Crab Feeder has grayscale. And, of course, Daemon chopped him in half and was carrying his body around. No, on the contrary, we talked about the wars between old Valyria and the Rhoynar, when we talked about Nymeria. The Rhoynar were people that lived along the banks of the Rhoynar River who were kind of like water sorcerers. Could control water magic. Had this really highly advanced society. And they came into conflict with Old Valyria, who eventually wiped them out after sending hundreds of dragons after their last city. Now as a doomsday weapon of sorts, the Rhoynar are in their last moments, like the cast, some kind of spell that caused the river to flood. And shortly thereafter, a, a kind of vile fog rolled in. And everybody in that fog, many in that fog, we don’t know the actual numbers, but the people in that fog, Valyrians then fell ill with grayscale. So we know that Valyrians could get grayscale and were indeed vulnerable to it because of this event. And so we should assume that Targaryens could can catch grayscale as well. Why did Daemon do this? Probably because he doesn’t understand infectious disease and was just being irresponsible and was all caught up in the moment. My sense, though, is that Daemon is going to be fine.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it definitely seems like. That was a cured or untransmissible act, currently. But that’s just the theory. We could see. We could see.


Jason Concepcion Well, whatever the case, he shouldn’t have touched it.


Rosie Knight He shouldn’t have touched it.


Jason Concepcion But I guess I wouldn’t. Right. I would heavily doubt that Daemon gets grayscale. But you never know.


Rosie Knight You never know. I mean, this is good. This touches on one of our our moments that we were talking about the way you really like Brian and David ask, was that supposed to be bloody Ben Blackwood that killed the Bracken kid or his dad?


Jason Concepcion That’s great. So the books mention that there is there was a Samuel Blackwood who fought and Amos Bracken over the hand of Rhaenyra Targaryen when she was during these kind of like marriage tours around and this was in the riverlands. Sam would later become Lord Blackwood and his son was Ben Ben Draycott, a.k.a. Bloody Ben, who would go on to have a little written about but very, very interesting career that we should mention because it’s probably spoilers. Now, IMDB has our belligerence in this episode, listed as Willam Blackwood and Gerald Bracken. So two names that do not appear in the books. So it would appear that that is no relation or at least no direct relation to Bloody Ben Blackwood. That said, you could see a world in which in which this comes into play.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion If we should meet Bloody Ben Blackwood, this particular event. It becomes part of the ongoing feud between those two houses. We should also say also about the story about Samuel and Aemmus, their feud there, the duel that they fight, which is not deadly in the books, is is appears in the source material for a House of the Dragon, which is a history books written by these fictional unreliable narrator. So it also might be that whoever wrote these histories just got the name wrong. They got the names wrong. So it, it’s still it is possible that we could have watched a relation, a direct relation to Bloody Ben Blackwood, but those characters are not the characters that appear in the books.


Rosie Knight Okay. Petula asks. I had always assumed that Moon Tea was like plan B, which is used for contraception, not abortion. However, the way it’s described in the books and the related GOT wiki entries appears to be considered as an abortifacient.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, the books describe planned tea as as being used for both contraception and abortion, but mostly the latter, mostly for abortion. One example of it being used as a contraceptive. And this is, and it’s it’s kind of implied, but it’s not clear. But it seems to me that that’s what’s being said is from Feast for Crows. Ser Aerys Oakhart of the Kingsguard is sent to Dorne as Princess Marcella Baraetheon’s protector. He is swiftly seduced by Princess Ariane Martell of Dorne, who uses him and manipulates him for her own means. If you haven’t read that book, I won’t go further, but it’s a fun little plot line. And in one of their conversations, you know, he’s talking about how, oh my God, I’ve already broken my vows for you. And she says, no, because, one, you can’t marry me, right? I can’t marry you because I’m a princess. So that’s fine. So you’re not going to break that one. And two I, and quote, drank my Moon tea. So I’m not going to get pregnant, is what she’s saying. So that would seem to imply to me that she’s like drinking this as a contraceptive. But but again it seems mostly that, as it’s depicted in the books, that it is used as as something to to have an abortion with. That said, it’s also clear that they’re using it for both.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Something I found really interesting about the use of it in this episode as well as like what does it say about Viserys and his belief in Rhaenyra?


Jason Concepcion Yeah. I know right.


Rosie Knight Cause she said no. And he’s like, here, have the abortion tea.


Jason Concepcion Well, I think it’s also just like a no harm, no foul, right? Yeah, I say no, but also, let’s just make sure.


Rosie Knight Let’s just make sure. Conner has a as an interesting one. One thing I find myself wondering, as we see Otto Hightower begin to fall from the King’s Grace, is does Otto have any holdings bestowed on him by either Viserys or his brother? Since Otto has been the hand of the king and presumably lived in the Red Keep for so long. Does he have his own hold fast to return to or any other source of income? Or will he simply return to Old Town and be the unemployed younger brother who has come to crash on the couch of his more successful older brother?


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I’m sure that. First of all, there’s no way that Otto would get this job without bringing to it extensive personal connections that would allow him to give the king the best possible advice. And those connections, you know, with the way this feudal society works, economics, finances and personal relationships are all bound together. Now, we don’t know for a fact what Otto has as his own personal income, but we should assume that he’s got something of his own, certainly nothing on par with, you know, what we expect Hobert, Lord Hobert, to have as as Lord of Hightower. But I’m sure that that again, that, that the Lord of Hightower of the Lord of of the Hightower would have would provide something for his brother. So his brother is not just like living, you know, on a couch somewhere. And also, you know, I would assume that coming back to Old Town, you got the hand of the king back in town, you’d also want Otto in your court giving you advice, providing the kind of insight that he once provided to the king with an understanding up close of how, you know, royal politics in King’s Landing works. That would just he would just come home with with a rich like, you know, treasury of of experiences and advice to provide for his brother. But so all of which is to say, like, he’s fine. He’s not broke. But it’s we shouldn’t expect that he would have income, you know, on par with his brother. That said, it’s also we should also expect like a good ruler. As many characters in this world often say, a good ruler is open handed with their servants. And I would assume that over the years, King Viserys had gifted stuff, you know, maybe not land, but moneys or jewels or whatever to Otto in terms of like rewarding somebody with like actual land. Usually that happens after a battle like you’re not. Viserys, would not reach into Old Town or the Reach going over the head of the Tyrells or of his brother and say, I hear, I decree that you have this castle in this land in the Reach and I’m giving it to you. Even though all the Lords hold their lands and titles from the King, the king provides those things. He can take them back any time. He wouldn’t do that, you know, that would that would be like overstepping and would cause problems. He could if he wanted to, but it would be seen as bad king. Usually when a Lord or a king is giving their supporters land, it’s because they just fought a war against traitors or somebody. And now there’s they’ve killed a bunch of people. And there’s all this land that’s now available that they can then give over. But I would heavily doubt that Viserys would give tracts of land to Otto, unless it was stuff in the Crown lands, like directly around the Red Keep, the region that the Red Keep is the direct capital of which the king could give freely without having to worry about stepping on the toes of any other High Lord.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I would be very interested to see if that did happen, because I feel like the King kind of felt like Alicent was it was a love match, and I’m sure his happiness made him even more open handed. So I’ll be very interested to see how that plays out. Mario begins with a lovely shout out to you. He’s a big fan and then asks something that I feel like is one of my favorite things to talk about in the show. I’ve always wondered, who are those people who watch events in the throne room?


Jason Concepcion Yeah, so it’s a great question. So, you know, this is the seat of government and as we have seen in this world. Right. Often Lords will if if there is friction with another House, with that House, that may be the king or a high Lord doesn’t trust. Right. They’ll send their kids to leer toward at a particular castle. You know, we saw this with the Starks and Theon Greyjoy right to the Greyjoy were defeated in a rebellion. And so you send your kid to Winterfell, where technically they’re a hostage, but they’re treated really well. So some of it is that right? Wards and people that are sent to King’s Landing officially to kind of observe what’s going on and be brought up, you know, in in the court. And these are often, you know, second and third sons and second and third daughters, people that you’re hoping will like will have a wedding match to one day or you’re hoping will be knighted by the king himself and that kind of stuff. Other people would be ambassadors. You know, this again, this is the seat of government. There’s a lot of trade going on. You would imagine that there would be ambassadors from Braavos, from different places, from from other noble houses that are just there in order to foster connections with the king and with the king’s advisors, in order to keep money in the economy flowing. And then, as we saw, there are also people who are just like invited to court to stay there as a as a point of honor, you know, if you’re going to make an alliance. You know, why was Alicent there? Right, Alicent was there, one, because Otto wanted her around, like as a chess piece. Right. But also, she became close with Princess Rhaenyra was friends with her. These are, you know, like the king and various people who live in the in the castle would be concerned about. Their kids, their family members, meeting other people of similar station. And so if it was okay, certain families would, as a point of honor, be invited to send their kids to live at the castle. So those are all that. There’s just fairies. And then there’s Knights of the Kingsguard Guard, you know, various fighting people, probably hedge knights, looking for gigs, looking for someone to hire them. But again, this is a place of business, is the place of of high government. And so all those kind of business people, all those people looking to to foster connections throughout the realm would just be there.


Rosie Knight Yeah, we’ve talked quite a lot about like the influence of a real history, like Henry VIII, for example, comes up a lot. And that notion of having core and having this huge community that lives within your palaces is very, very real to that kind of time period in the way that politics and machinations were done. Okay, Camilla’s going deep. You’re going to love this one.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Now that we got to see on episode four that quite a few things that Mushroom said regarding these specific events were, in fact true. How much of a reliable source do you think the testimony of Mushroom will be? After all, anything you specifically believe he was wrong and right about, other than what we’ve already gotten to see?


Jason Concepcion The short answer, I think, is that Mushroom is mostly wrong. But that. There is a grain of truth in nearly everything that he has to say. So Mushroom for those unfamiliar, is one of the major sources for the histories of the Dance of Dragons. The Dance of Dragons in book form is written as a fictional history written from the perspective of various unreliable narrators. Of which Mushroom is one. Now Mushroom had a theoretically, if you believe him, a front row seat to a lot of the stuff that happened. He was the court jester starting during the reign of Viserys and and going forward for many years. So he was right there when a lot of this stuff was happening in the Red Keep and you know, important figures, including Princess Rhaenyra and others apparently felt that they could speak freely around Mushroom because they, one, considered him to be dimwitted, mentally challenged. And and also because this is on top of, you know, being a a patriarchy, it’s also an extremely ablest society where someone who doesn’t look like or have the abilities of, quote unquote, normal people would be seen as below everyone’s notice. Right. So Mushroom, according to himself. We do we always have to say that, this is according to him, got a lot of the real scoop about stuff that was really going on. Like he was there in the room, he says, when some of the most lurid and lascivious stuff happened and all. And again, often his stories are the most, you know, sexually suggestive, the most titillating, the most violent, etc., showing the worst side of of all these people. He talks about Baelor, the Blessed. Targaryen king, who is very, you know, like a very faith obsessed person, ordered that every copy of the Testimony of Mushroom, Mushroom’s book be burned. But of course, some got through. Mushroom was again clearly very, very wrong about a lot. But there’s a lot and there’s a lot we can’t talk about because of spoilers for stuff later on series. But we can mention some of the things that that he wrote about that have come to pass. For instance, he said that King Viserys and Alicent began their relationship while Queen Aemma was alive. Clearly he got that completely wrong. That’s absolutely false. And even when he’s kind of right, he’s wrong. For instance, Mushroom writes that Rhaenyra was in love with Criston Cole. Like a crush, maybe in love is very strong, but and was constantly making advances towards him. Not true. But because Cole was true to his vows, she couldn’t get any traction. He continues that it was Prince Daemon who offered to train Rhaenyra in the Carnal Arts. And it says and this is from Fire and Blood quote, At night he would smuggle her from her room dressed as a page boy and take her secretly to the brothels on the street of silk, where the princess could observe men and women in the act of love. Okay. Kind of, right? Certainly not multiple times, but like one time it it did happen sort of that way. And then Mushroom continues that Cole rejected the princess when she tried to put these techniques to use. And that, again, clearly false. So how much did Mushroom know? I don’t know. It seems to me that Mushroom just kind of heard a lot of the gossip that was around King’s Landing at that time. And that there is a grain of truth to it. But that Mushroom was, again, mostly and vastly wrong.


Rosie Knight Okay, Jake asks. In two of the four episodes thus far, there’s been major scoffing at Daemon for attempting to, quote unquote, remarry. Arguably, the biggest shift in the show thus far has been King Viserys choosing to remarry Alicent supposedly for the good of the realm, what and who dictates who can and cannot remarry, whether it be for an additional partner like Daemon or your partner has passed like Viserys’. Where does realmly responsibility come into the equation?


Jason Concepcion Well, the king. It’s important, number one, to remember, even though, again, Daemon has never spent time with his wife.


Rosie Knight Has he ever met her?


Jason Concepcion He’s, we don’t know if he’s ever met her. The lady, Rhea Royce, he is married to her. He is wedded to her. Now, King Viserys could, if he so wished, put that marriage aside by royal decree. But Daemon can’t, and he can’t simply divorce her either. Like he people are scoffing because Daemon is fucking married. He’s still flat out just married. And the king’s not going to put that wedding aside because that was an important alliance with with the Lords of the Vale. And so, yeah, people are scoffing because Daemon has a wife. That’s why they’re scoffing, he can’t get married because he’s wed. Now go home and be with your fucking wife, Daemon


Rosie Knight Yeah. And Viserys he could get, he had to get remarried to continue his legacy and his family, his wife and have an heir.


Jason Concepcion His wife had passed away. Now also Targaryen Kings which should, you know, Maegor married three women at once. You know, Aegon the Conquerer had two wives who were also sisters like there’s that the ruler can do stuff. Now we should add also that they did that not without intense blowback from the realm writ large, like when Maegor married his black brides. It was it was not viewed suddenly by the realm. People were disgusted by this. And and it was taken as more evidence that Maegor was an accursed figure. Aegon got away with this because he had multiple dragons and was and was beating the shit out of the entire realm. So everybody was like, okay, we’ll just let this go. When Aenys, King Aenys came in and and tried to do similar stuff and have, you know, it was seen as an abomination. That he was very confused as to why all of a sudden like Aegon could have his dad could have gotten away with with certain marriage things that he got away with and he wasn’t. So, the King can occasionally marry more than one of the of his own relatives. But only, you know, that is a step to be taken, you know, only after much consideration because the realm won’t like it. So the, you know, the, you know, Viserys could take multiple wives, but he shouldn’t and thankfully didn’t. But and certainly Prince Daemon cannot do that.


Rosie Knight Okay, so Criston’s going to give you one. I know you’re going to enjoy diving deep into. Quick question about the Crab Feeder. HBO confirmed in one of the behind the scenes features that he’s wearing a piece of the Sons of the Harpy mask, which you had mentioned. My understanding was that the Sons of the Harpy didn’t form until the time of Daenerys’s his reign in Mareen. Am I wrong about that? Or are we assuming that the masks existed long before the events of Game of Thrones for a different purpose? Thank you.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, yeah. You’re not wrong about that. But I would liken it to when we see bagpipes, like at a parade. We see those and we understand that’s a reference to Scottish Highland culture, to an ancient warrior culture in medieval times, right. And Scottish society and and not originating at the parade. And we should think of the Sons of the Harpy in a similar way. So they are the Sons of the Harpy. Rebelling against Danny’s rule, Danny had done things, cancel certain privileges that the Sons of the Harpy felt were integral to their culture. And their culture descends from the old Ghist empire, which was this kind of like slave holding empire that was a rival to Valyria. Eventually, the Valyrians wiped them out and colonized the area. But as happens in real life, the Valyrians that then colonized that area, then it became took on the old Ghist culture. Right? So what we should assume is that the Sons of the Harpy were using a symbol that was a symbol of this kind of ancient Ghist culture that they were saying was being trampled on, that was being deconstructed unjustly by Daenerys Targaryen And the masks were a part of that protest against that and a reference that we don’t understand but is clearly like a much older symbol, right? So, yeah, so what we should assume is this is a symbol that’s been around. It’s, it’s has something to do with all the old Ghist empire and the culture of Slavers Bay. But that it’s an old one, not necessarily created by the Sons of the Harpy, but one that was adopted by them to reference their kind of ancient bloodline. This ancient society that they were feeling was being unjustly pushed down.


Rosie Knight Okay. And finally, Kim asks, What’s the date in Braavos?


Jason Concepcion It’s a good question. Obviously, like in Westeros, we’re using Aegon’s invasion as an Aegon’s conquest, you know, AC. They’re saying, you know, 101 AC Or, you know, r 102 AC, After conquest. We don’t know, is the answer. And of course, like all the cities in Braavos have, you know, different cultures, different societies. But I think I would assume that most, I would find it likely that the free cities. The various cities of Essos would use the doom of Valyria as kind of like the starting calendar, because that was such a huge event. And of course the Braavosi descended from slaves that escaped from Valyrian, the Valyrian yoke. They would have hated Valyria. So I would assume it would be kind of cool for them to be like, Hey, it’s the year after these motherfuckers all got wiped out. So that’s my assumption. We don’t know that to be the case. There’s other you know, it could also be that that they start their calendar when they found Braavos and were able to establish their society after escaping from of the Valeyian yoke. But I like to think that that a lot of those cities use the doom of Valyria as the start of their calendar. That’s it for this episode of Ask the Maester. Don’t Miss the new HBO original series, House of the Dragon, now streaming on HBO, Max. And don’t forget your questions. We love answering them. Send them to A big thank you to Rosie Knight for joining us on X-ray Vision. Rosie, what do you have to plug? You’ve been writing so much about D23, about other things. What do you have to plug for the people?


Rosie Knight You can find a ton of She-Hulk stuff, if you, like, everyone else, is in love with Madisyn. Me and Zig had a great chat about her last week. I interviewed Jessica GAO about introducing Maddisyn. Teaming out with Wongers, as that’s it. Nerdist. I did a rad Polygon piece that kind of lists the most anticipated comics that I think you should check out for the rest of the year. That was a really nice big one. Got a ton of stuff going on. IGN If you are so inclined to read about my thoughts on Lord of the Rings, you can find them there. Also, a lot of manga and anime lists. So yeah, just good stuff. And then obviously here with you, yeah.


Jason Concepcion You can catch our next episode on September 23rd with more House of the Dragon stuff, more She-Hulk stuff, plus a return to a galaxy far, far away. And our good friends from from the Spy Star Wars feature, Andor that I am very, very excited to to watch the lies, the deception and more. Don’t forget to drop your queries for House of the Dragon. And don’t forget, this episode is the House of the Dragon episode. The next episode is going to be D23 and our She-Hulk content. Don’t forget to leave us a five star review. We love to get those five star reviews. That’s what we want. That’s what we need. That’s what we got to have. And we told you we were going to read five star reviews that you send us. And here’s one from Byron. The absolute best. Loved the show. Always insightful, full of joy. Thank you, Rosie and Jason. The whole team. Short and to the point. And that’s exactly what we need. And of course, right on top of that, what do you got? You got the five beautiful stars. Love it, baby. See you next time. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vasquez for our theme music. See you next time. Bye bye.


Clip What must I say? Your price. You went to my bedchamber, accusing my daughter of something. now speak it plainly.


Jason Concepcion Prince Daemon and Rhaenyra were seen together in the bowels of the pressure den. Okay. And what were they doing? Your Grace, they were coupling. What? Well, I. Your Grace. They were amidst the writhing bodies in the pleasure house. And they had taken a one way ticket to poundtown. What? Otto, what are you? What are you talking about? They had ridden the snake, your grace. And the snake cried Milk. Otto, what? The gates, your Grace.,The gates of old little vulveria were left open. Otto, what? They were playing hide the purse, your Grace. What are you talking about? Your Grace. They were in the bowels of a pleasure house. Playing Spank the Maester. I do speak plainly. What are you saying? Your Grace. They were. In the bottom of the most vile and lurid brothel in King’s Landing playing Twisty, twisty, titty, twisty, dragon misty titty twisty. What?