The latest fourth episode of House Of The Dragon (HOTD) titled ‘King of the Narrow Sea’ premiered today on HBO. The tides that have been churning so far beneath House Targaryen are now slowly surfacing. The pieces are slowly falling into places, rivalries are being made and the series is gradually heading towards its finale – the Dance of the Dragons. However, the latest developments have hinted toward the fact that House Hightower will play a major role in the fall of House Targaryen. Let’s see how it can happen.
The history of House Hightower is explained in George R. R. Martin’s acclaimed book series – A Song of Ice and Fire. House Hightower of the Hightower is one of the most ancient and noblest houses in the seven kingdoms. They were First Men kings during the Dawn of Days. Dwelling in the chambers of the fortress, the Hightower family built a wooden beacon tower rising some fifty feet above to light the way for trading vessels.
Later, Gyles I Gardener, King of the Reach, sacked Oldtown but was unable to capture the Hightower. The Hightower and Oldtown were incorporated into the Kingdom of the Reach during the rule of the Sea Lion, Lymond Hightower. Across Westeros, the Targaryens are often viewed as outsiders. The Hightowers aren’t smeared with that same point of view and are thus looked at with far more respect, partially attributed to their lineage. Their words are “We Light the Way.”
In the series Game of Thrones, it was told that the Reach and the city of Oldtown are under the control of House Tyrell, the family that House Hightower had later aligned itself with. Margery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) are actually the children of Lord Mace Tyrell and Aleria Hightower. Also, in one of its flashbacks, Ned Stark briefly duels Ser Gerold Hightower (Eddie Eyre) and kills him at the Tower of Joy.
You ‘were’ a faithful servant, Otto. The crown and the realm both owe you a debt that can never be repaid. But I can no longer trust your judgment. – King Viserys to Otto hightower
In the 4th episode, King Viserys finally understood the manipulative methods of Otto Hightower to bring his house to the highest position in Westeros. Otto used his daughter, Alicent Hightower, to increase intimacy with him after his wife’s death. In grief, Viserys found solace in Alicent’s comfort and ended up marrying her. And now when Aegon is born to the couple, Otto never left a chance to demolish Daemon’s or Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron throne. Learning all this, Viserys sacks Otto Hightower from the duty of The Hand of the King, leaving him humiliated.
Otto, has in past shown his cunning methods to fulfill his wishes, just as same as Petyr Baelish in GOT. Now that his ego has been hurt, by none other than the King himself (and his son-in-law, in a way), Otto is furious. In the promo video of the next episode, Otto can be seen saying to Alicent that the King will die one day. He says that Alicent should prepare Aegon to be the next King. Otto is ambitious, clever, and ruthless enough to see his house rise, even if takes going head-on with House Taragaryen.
One of the key characters in HOTD, Alicent Hightower, was initially shown to be the best friend of Rhaenyra Targaryen. However, their relationship took a turn when Viserys announced his marriage to Alicent. Alicent was doing the bidding of her father, without even questioning his intentions.
While befriending Viserys, Alicent gradually developed an affection for him. Alicent even provided him with good counsel at various instants. She was the one who convinced Viserys to send help to Daemon and the Sea Snake during the Battle of the Stepstones against the Crabfeeders. She even advised him to make a calm decision about Rhaenyra’s marriage.
The future of both houses is mentioned in George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, on which HOTD is based.
(POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD!!)
Rhaenyra marries Ser Laenor Velaryon and has three sons with him – Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey Targaryen. However, upon the death of Laenor, she remarried her uncle – Daemon Targaryen. With Daemon, Rhaenyra gives birth to two sons who she names – Aegon III and Viserys II. Alicent became furious knowing that Rhaenyra also named her son – Aegon. Upon the death of King Viserys, Alicent called the small council to crown his son – Aegon II as the next king. However, this did not go well with Rhaenyra. This rivalry ultimately led to the Dance of The Dragons, a brutal, bloody civil war among the House Targaryen. This ultimately led to the decimation of the Targaryens.