House of the Dragon viewers are feeling conflicted over a storyline involving two of the show’s main characters.
Episode seven of HBO’s Game Of Thrones spin-off was broadcast in the US on Sunday (2 October), and saw tensions between Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent (Olivia Cooke) reach a new high.
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
But, it was an incestuous sex scene involving Rhaenyra and her uncle Daemon (Matt Smith) that left many of the show’s fans feeling uncomfortable.
After beating Daemon for “abandoning” her to marry the now-deceased Laena Velaryon, Rhaenyra makes it clear that she has feelings for her uncle and wishes to strengthen her position in Westeros by marrying him. The pair then have sex.
The scene follows on from one in episode four that showed young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) being intimate with Daemon in a brothel.
Viewers were hugely divided over the scene on social media, with many saying they found it “gross” and many others highlighting the quality of the pair’s scenes together.
“As gross as it is, I love Rhaenyra and Daemon together,” one viewer said, with another adding: “Did I really just celebrate incest…? House of the Dragon is some crazy show.”
A more critical fan commented: “The whole Rhaenyra-Daemon thing is never not gonna be uncomfortable to watch,” with another adding: “I am aware of Targaryen customs and Fire and Blood backstory but, this whole Rhaenyra and Dameon thing is disgusting. I really can’t stand it.”
Many said the scene left them feeling “uncomfortable”, with one fan adding: “Rhaenyra and Daemon had sex and she’s still calling him uncle, that’s so weird.”
Speaking about the character’s bond, D’Arcy told The Independent: “I suppose I read the sexual tension [between Rhaenyra and Daemon] from quite early. This isn’t something I know a lot about, but I do know that something very electric and erotic can happen between people who share genetic material and don’t grow up together.”
However, she also described the power imbalance between Rhaenyra and Daemon in earlier episodes as “essentially a grooming scenario”.
The latest episode of the series surprised readers of George RR Martin’s source material, Fire & Bloodafter the series changed the book’s most brutal moment.
‘House of the Dragon’ continues in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Monday 29 August at 2am, before repeating at 9pm later that day. It is also available to watch on NOW.
Find the biggest talking points from episode seven here