House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4 recap: Daemon's visions continue as the Battle at Rook's Rest takes place

Daemon suffers more visions and hallucinations in Harrenhal, while Rhaenyra and Alicent deal with the aftermath of their conversation in House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4.
Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen and Sir Simon Russell Beale as Simon Strong in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4
Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen and Sir Simon Russell Beale as Simon Strong in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4 /

The first major battle in the Dance of the Dragons takes place in House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4, and it brings some devastating consequences. Meanwhile, Daemon struggles with more hallucinations and visions, which seem to foreshadow that his death is coming.

Caution: This post contains major spoilers for House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4.

While this episode is the shortest of the series so far, it sure packs a punch. Everything picks up off the back of Rhaenyra and Alicent meeting in secret. In King’s Landing, Alicent is getting a potion to prevent pregnancy (or maybe to cause a miscarriage), and she asks the maester what he believes of Viserys’s dying wish. Did he change his mind?

Of course, this is on Alicent’s mind right now. She pushed for Aegon to be crowned King of Westeros because of what she believed Viserys told her. Now she knows that he didn’t likely change his mind after all.

Alicent stays away from the Small Council throughout the episode, but it doesn’t stop Larys Strong from visiting. And he certainly knows everything that is going on with Alicent. He is far too observant.

Daemon has more visions at Harrenhal in House of the Dragon

Meanwhile, we see Daemon continue to do his work at Harrenhal. He wants the Strongs to gather those who support Rhaenyra. The problem is the Greens are decimating the Riverlands. They are executing those who stand with the Blacks, and that is causing some of the Riverlands to switch sides.

The Tullys remain on the Black side for now, but it may not be for long. It doesn’t help that Lord Tully is old and ill. In fact, he’s close to death, but not close enough for Daemon’s liking. The lord’s grandson is unwilling to make decisions for his grandfather, despite being the heir to the title. Daemon isn’t happy about that, either. What use is the boy if he won’t speak in place of his grandfather?

Daemon is plagued with visions still at Harrenhal. He gets a chance to speak with the woman he saw. She is Alys Rivers, and she has taken over the maester role at Harrenhal since the maester left. We get a little information about Alys, but one thing is clear. We need to watch out for her. She may be the reason behind the visions. Or maybe she can interpret them.

What we do know is that Daemon is struggling with his internal feelings. The visions are the best way to show us this on the screen since it’s not like he can tell us any of this. There is some jealousy over Rhaenyra being chosen as the heir, and now it seems like he may have some guilt for that. Or maybe he just knows that he could lose it all if Rhaenyra does.

Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen and Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4 /

Rhaenyra returns from King’s Landing

Rhaenyra needed to know one thing when she met with Alicent: was there a way to prevent a war with dragons? That’s not the case. Now she knows that Alicent made a mistake, but that mistake is too late to rectify. Now she needs to focus on the war efforts to make sure she wins this Dance of Dragons. It’s time for “Rhaenyra the Cruel” to really show up in the series.

With Ser Criston Cole leading his army through the Riverlands, Rhaenyra needs to figure out a way to stop them. She finds out that they’re not heading to Harrenhal, though. Cole has chosen to head to Rook’s Rest. This is smaller, and it will help to cut off travel to Dragonstone by land. It is a smart tactical move on Cole and Aemond’s parts.

Rhaenyra needs to send a dragonrider to Rook’s Rest. Jacaerys wants to go, but Rhaenyra won’t allow that to happen. She will go, but everyone else stops her. It’s Rhaenys who volunteers to go. The show has changed the book storyline a little here, as in the books, we’re told Rhaenyra tells Rhaenys to go. Instead, Rhaenys decides that it is time for her to do her part to bring this war to an end.

Just earlier in the episode, Rhaenys saw Alyn of Hull at the docks. She noted how beautiful his mother was, and we learn who his father is through this interaction and the next with Corlys. Alyn is an illegitimate son of Corlys, and we can expect that to come up later in House of the Dragon season 2. There’s no way that it can’t!

Back to Rhaenyra, though. While Rhaenys heads to Rook’s Rest, Rhaenyra pulls Jacaerys into a room to talk to him privately. She shares with him the story of the Song of Ice and Fire. Jace is smart enough to put this together with the story Cregan Stark told him at the Wall. He’ll know that there is some truth to all of this, just like Rhaenyra is now figuring out. The Targaryens need to do more than just unite Westeros. It’s up to them to keep Westeros safe from the dead.

The Battle at Rook’s Rest takes place in House of the Dragon season 2, episode 4

Just as we knew it would, the Battle at Rook’s Rest takes place this episode. Cole’s army started the attack, with Rhaenys showing up just as Cole suspected would happen. Well, he knew a dragon would show up.

It's time for the plan. After all, it was clear from the Small Council meeting and Aemond talking to Aegon in Valyrian that Aemond and Cole had some sort of plan. We see Aemond and Vhagar camoyflagued in an opening ready to attack. Only, Aemond doesn’t want Vhagar to go right away, especially when we see Sunfyre fly over.

Aegon is done just sitting around. He wanted the army to head to Harrenhal, and he wanted to go out with them. He does eventually agree with Aemond for them to go to Rook’s Rest, but he still wants to go out. And so, off he goes.

Only Aegon isn’t the most skilled warrior. Sunfyre is also much smaller than Meleys. So, when the two dragons meet in the air, things don’t go all that well for Sunfyre. Meleys is able to grab one of Sunfyre’s wings, which is an important note for later in the story.

Aemond eventually appears with Vhagar. Not caring about his brother or Sunfyre, he orders Vhagar to fire upon the two fighting dragons in the sky. Aegon and Sunfyre are hit with dragonfire, but Rhaenys and Meleys get away.

If only that’s the way it could remain. Rhaenys knows that she has to make sure this time she finishes the job, and so she goes back. Vhagar hits in a surprise attack in the air, pulling Meleys (and therefore Rhaenys) up into the air. Vhagar has the smaller Meleys by the neck, crushing it and killing Meleys thousands of feet in the air. As Meleys dies, Rhaenys knows what it means. She simply closes her eyes as she falls to the ground with her dragon, and we know there is no way of surviving that. It’s the first major character casualty in a battle of the Dance of the Dragons, and it’s going to have some devastating consequences.

As the book tells us, Aemond and Vhagar get away without a scratch. They do land next to where Aegon and Sunfyre land. Criston Cole, who is knocked out during the battle, wakes and stumbles over to the fallen Sunfyre. We can see Aegon lying on the ground, but it’s not clear if he’s dead or not. Aemond doesn’t care, but Cole realizes that he has failed to protect his king.

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