House of the Dragon actor weighs in on incest twist as fans left ‘physically uncomfortable’

Photo of Rhaenyra dressing in a traditional off-white smock, standing in a grand palace room

House of the Dragon took a gruesome turn in episode four with a graphic incest scene. Warning – spoilers follow.

The Game of Thrones prequel series reminded fans that if there’s one thing you can count on from George RR Martin, it’s incest.

Episode four showed Daemon (Matt Smith) and Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) – uncle and niece in Westeros’s most powerful family – starting to have sex.

During the episode, Damon and Rhaenyra sneak beyond palace walls to experience life outside being royals.

The two visit the theatre and watch a play about a young woman being named heir to the throne – which Twitter has had its own hilarious reactions to – before visiting a brothel.

Damon and Rhaenyra begin kissing and removing each other’s clothing before the former has second thoughts and leaves his niece standing pant-less in a room of gyrating bodies.

Milly Alcock, who plays Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon, described the scenes as “pretty gnarly”.

“Rhaenyra is at an age where she can’t tell the difference between platonic love, romantic love and lust, because she hasn’t lived long enough and gone through those experiences,” she told The New York Post.

Milly Alcock and Matt Smith and Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen in House of the Dragon (Ollie Upton/HBO)

Alcock said that director Clare Kilner “made sure that [they] hadn’t seen any of the brothel stuff until we were shooting.”

“So, that was our first time walking through the brothel, and he’s guiding her through the room with all of these other bodies. So, that was quite shocking. You’re like: ‘This is kind of weird and silly.'”

“There were extras who we had just met who were like, 69-ing for 12 hours,” she added.

“It’s pretty gnarly. We felt pretty overdressed, because everyone else was nude.”

Game of Thrones earned a reputation for graphic sex scenes and uncomfortable incest plots – the Targaryen family is known for its inbreeding, while the very first episode of the show saw twin siblings Jamie and Cersei Lannister getting it on.

House of the Dragon is certainly upholding that precedent, and fans are more “uncomfortable” than ever.

One fan tweeted: “OK, you House of the Dragon people go waaaay too hard for incest. This s*** is making me physically uncomfortable.”


House of the Dragons had to let us know they ain’t lose a step with the incest,” another tweeted.


Whilst incest is commonplace in the world of Westeros, it’s dangerous for Rhaenyra to be having sex with anyone before her father marries her off; much less his brother, who has a bad reputation.

House of the Dragon has been praised by queer fans for its inclusion of a non-binary lead and its ‘seriously gay vibes’.