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The final fourth episode of House Of The Dragon (HOTD) titled “King of the Narrow Sea” aired today on HBO. The tides that have so far stirred beneath House Targaryen are now slowly surfacing. The songs follow one another little by little, rivalries are created and the series is gradually heading towards its finale – the Dance of the Dragons. However, the latest developments have hinted that House Hightower will play a major role in the downfall of House Targaryen. Let’s see how this can happen.
Hightower House History
The history of House Hightower is explained in the famous series of books by George RR Martin – A song of ice and fire. The Hightower House of the Hightower is one of the oldest and noblest houses in the Seven Kingdoms. They were the kings of the First Men at the Dawn of Days. Inhabiting the chambers of the fortress, the Hightower family built a wooden beacon tower rising some fifty feet above to light the way for trade ships.
Later, Gyles I Gardener, King of the Reach, sacked Oldtown but was unable to capture Hightower. The Hightower and Oldtown were incorporated into the Kingdom of the Reach under the rule of the sea lion, Lymond Hightower. Across Westeros, Targaryens are often seen as outsiders. Hightowers are not coated with this same view and are therefore regarded with much more respect, partly attributed to their lineage. Their words are “We light the way”.
In the series game of thrones, the Reach and the city of Oldtown have been said to be under the control of House Tyrell, the family with which House Hightower later aligned itself. Margary Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and Loras Tyrell (FinnJones) are actually the children of Lord Mace Tyrell and Aleria Hightower. Additionally, in one of his flashbacks, Ned Stark briefly confronts Ser Gerold Hightower. (Eddie Eyre) and kills him at the Tower of Joy.
The Grudge of Otto Hightower
You ‘were’ a faithful servant, Otto. Both the crown and the kingdom 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 Otto Hightower’s manipulative methods 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 comfort in Alicent’s comfort and ended up marrying her. And now, when Aegon was born to the couple, Otto never gave a chance to tear down Daemon or Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne. Learning all of this, Viserys fires Otto Hightower from the duty of The Hand of the King, leaving him humiliated.
Otto, has in the past shown off his cunning methods of making wishes come true, much like Petyr Baelish in GOT. Now that his ego has been hurt, by none other than the king himself (and his son-in-law, of sorts), Otto is furious. In the promo video for the next episode, Otto can be seen telling Alicent that the king will one day die. He says Alice should prepare Aegon to be the next king. Otto is ambitious, smart, and ruthless enough to see his House rise, even if it means moving forward with House Taragaryen.
Alice’s High Tower
One of HOTD’s key characters, Alicent Hightower, initially turned out to be Rhaenyra Targaryen’s best friend. However, their relationship took a turn when Viserys announced his marriage to Alicent. Alicent obeyed her father’s orders, without even questioning his intentions.
While befriending Viserys, Alicent gradually developed an affection for him. Alicent even gave him good advice at various times. She was the one who convinced Viserys to send help to Daemon and the Sea Snake during the Battle of the Steps against crabbers. She even advised him to make a calm decision regarding Rhaenyra’s marriage.
The future of both houses is mentioned in George RR 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, when Laenor died, she remarried her uncle – Daemon Targaryen. With Daemon, Rhaenyra gives birth to two sons whom she names – Aegon III and Viserys II. Alicent became enraged knowing that Rhaenyra also named her son – Aegon. When King Viserys died, Alicent called the small council to crown his son – Aegon II as the next king. However, that didn’t go over well with Rhaenyra. This rivalry eventually led to the dragon dance, a brutal and bloody civil war within House Targaryen. This ultimately led to the decimation of the Targaryens.