The following article contains spoilers for Episodes 1-4 of House of the Dragon. In Game of Thrones, wise men pay the price for their loyalty to their service. Joffrey, his grandfather, is later forced to guide his ignorant grandson into making decisions that will benefit the kingdom.
Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) serves as the Hand to King Viserys I (Paddy Considine). While Otto has given the King valuable information about his enemies' movements, Viserys generally prioritizes personal desires over the good of the realm. In last weeks episode, The King of the Narrow Sea, Viserys fired Otto after receiving word that his brother, Daemon (Milly Alcock), and his daughter, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock
Otto Pushes The King Into An Unstrategic Marriage
Viserys made the correct decision in dismissing Otto. Every man in his council strives to improve their situation in some way or another. However, Ottos personal desires have caused significant damage to Westeros and weakened the Kings stronghold on the Seven Kingdoms. Viserys has become a shadow of the man his predecessor, King Jaehaerys I, was; he has allowed the pirates to take over the Stepstones, causing havoc on Westeros' economy.
Viserys should have been guided into forming an alliance that might help in the outgoing conflict. A marriage to Laena Velaryon (Nova Foueillis-Mose) might have been beneficial; Laenas father, Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint), might have given him the chance to put an end to Craghas Drahar (Daniel Scott-Smith) and his pirate army once and for all.
Otto manipulates Viserys to marry his daughter, Alicent (Emily Carey), instead. He sends Alicent to the King when he is grieving, and suggests to him that he should choose his personal happiness over the good of the realm. House Hightower is already loyal to Viserys, and even worse, it insults House Velaryon.
Viserys The Stepstones By Sacrificing A House Velaryon Alliance
Corlys chooses to pursue Daemon instead, because he admires him for his gallantry. Daemon earns him the nickname The King of the Narrow Sea.
Otto Initiates The Conflict of The Series
When Daemon and Rhaenyra participate in a comic play in The King of the Narrow Sea, Otto is the first one to approach the Kings council with his concerns about Daemon. This allows the Iron Throne itself to become a mockery; how does this suggest that the House of the Dragon remains unconcerned about the succession debate?
Spying on the Princess Is a Sign of Disrespect
Ottos decision to disclose Daemon and Rhaenyra's affair to the King may have been intended with fond intentions; an embarrassing familial incident might discredit House Targaryen in the eyes of their allies. Rhaenyra is required to be seen as virtuous and pure because of the patriarchy. If Rhaenyra is exposed before she even wears the crown, her rule would be doomed.
We know that Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno), who goes by the codename White Worm, has the most powerful spy network in Kings Landing; her personal connection to Daemon also suggests that she is aware of his motives; Daemon believes she is the better, interesting alternative. Even if Otto wishes to replace Rhaenyra, it would do the realm no good to make her a disqualified leader.
The King chooses the best decisions based on the wealth of information at his disposal. Even if every member of his council has their own reasons, the King can parse through different opinions to come up with solutions that will benefit the kingdom. Otto has allowed Otto to filter every article that he reads, and it has only created further difficulties.