House of the Dragon’s ‘White Worm’ Is Somebody You’ve Already Met
Spoilers follow for House of the Dragon Episode 4, and the book Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin.
Coming hot on the heels of Daemon’s attack on the Crab Feeder in Episode 3 of House of the Dragon, Episode 4 lacked the violence and bloodshed which we have come to associate with all things Game of Thrones—but it packed in the shock value in the form of a time-honored HBO tradition: sex scenes.
“King of the Narrow Sea” delivered a series of royal hookups which ranged from the deeply depressing (poor, rotting Viserys has never made Alicent climax, has he?) to the downright disturbing (uncle-on-niece action right in front of my salad??). And because Daemon and Rhaenyra’s ill-advised pleasure house tryst took place in King’s Landing, it was only a matter of time before word of their antics got back to the Red Keep.
Palace intrigue, after all, is like all good gossip: it thrives on new and scandalous information. And nobody knows this better than Otto Hightower, the soon-to-be-deposed Hand of the King, who is alerted to the incestuous coupling at the behest of somebody known only as the “White Worm.”
Who is the White Worm in House of the Dragon?
While the identity of this shadowy figure is not directly revealed in the episode, it is heavily implied that Otto received his intel from Mysaria, the sex worker whom Daemon took as an unlawful second bride in Episode 2. The morning after Daemon and Rhaenyra’s big night out, Mysaria is shown to be increasingly contemptuous of her lover. In the same scene, she has a wordless interaction with the young boy who was spotted tailing Rhaenyra out of the pleasure house, and money changes hands, making it pretty clear that Mysaria was the one who paid him to follow the princess.
This is all backed up by George R.R. Martin’s fictional history of House Targaryen, Fire & Blood, in which it is confirmed that Mysaria is also known as the White Worm. In the book, that is on account of her pale skin, although in the show she is portrayed by Japanese-American actress Sonya Mizuno (who you might remember from modern sci-fi classic Ex Machina or Crazy Rich Asians).
During the Targaryen war of succession, known as the “Dance of the Dragons,” Mysaria is also referred to as the mistress of whisperers, and she functions as a royal spymaster akin to Varys in Game of Thrones. So far in House of the Dragon, Mysaria appears to be a seller of seedy secrets more in the vein of Littlefinger, although if her character follows the same arc as the book, then she will play an integral role in the fate of House Targaryen, ultimately allying herself with Rhaenyra.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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