House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4 review: The dragons finally face off in the best episode of the show so far

House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4 review: The dragons finally face off in the best episode of the show so far

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For the last three episodes of House of the Dragon Season 2, it was all about the web of lies and power play, with characters trying to sneak into dangerous territories. Episode 4 chooses to break out, and does not play in the dark anymore. With stakes higher than ever as war is declared, men in armour hit the battleground. It culminates into a stunning battle sequence, where the dragons finally have their own dance but pay a terrible cost at the end. 

Daemon's demons

Before the mayhem begins, the scene stars with Matt Smith's Prince Daemon Targaryen, who is still very scared, very sleepless in the dark castle in Harrenhaal. Still daydreaming, his horrors find shape of the Iron Throne, where he finds a younger Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) throwing accusations at him. What can he do to get rid these visions? Gather an army as fast as he can and get going.

Either way, things have taken an horrid shape in this time. There's another delusional man in the form of King Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), who finally comes to realize during a meeting that a scheme is being schemed behind his back, orchestrated by Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) and Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel). It is Alicent (Olivia Cooke), who gives this petulant man-child a necessary dressing-down, telling him: “Do you think wearing the crown suddenly imbues you with wisdom?” Is she also processing the part of that inevitability to herself? “The war will be fought, many will die, and the victor will eventually ascend the throne. The significance of Viserys’ intentions died with him,” she adds.

War is inevitable

So what can be done now? Nothing at all, as Alicent correctly reminds. There's no way out except war, and both sides know that hard truth. Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) had tried her best, as she fiercely reveals to her kin. Jace (Harry Collett) is angry at her careless and shocking decision to not inform anyone about this meeting. But that is done, and she knows that there is no other decision to be taken now except what suits best for the immediate next move.

This culminates to the final half hour of the stunning episode, where the dragons finally have a face-off. It is mayhem first channeled by Ser Criston's foolishly egoistical moves, which creates the vacuum for more destruction. There's something he is still not telling his warriors- and in extension, to us. Meanwhile, Rhaenys (Eve Best) volunteers from the Blacks to ride Meleys. But an unannounced arrival, sparked by the seed of rage and vengeance, will rule out any space for rationality in the face of war. What's left? The land, the ruins and the banality of war. It is a terrific, devastating sequence which makes up for creating one of the best episode of the series so far.

House of the Dragon Season 2 premieres a new episode every Monday morning on JioCinema.

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