Three years have passed since episode two of House of the Dragon, and the war in the Stepstones is not going well. The Crabfeeder and his Triarchy forces are regularly beating Daemon and Corlys' forces, depleting their supplies, and destroying morale.
The episode opens with Daemon riding his Dragon, forcing the Crabfeeder, whose real name is Prince Drahar, to flee into the caves. A barrage of arrows forces Daemon to retreat, returning to where his army is headquartered.
We cut over to the name day (birthday) celebrations for Prince Aegon, Viserys' firstborn son with Alicent. Alicent is also pregnant with another child, leaving Rhaenyra questioning her place in this new order of the Targaryen family.
Otto and his brother Hobert, the Head of House Hightower, discuss what they both think the King will do next, given his new child. Hobert seems confident that Aegon will be the next King, but Otto is not so sure.
Tyland Lannister, the King's new Master of Ships now that Corlys is fighting in the Stepstones, tries to inform Viserys that things are going terribly there. With the Crabfeeder and his soldiers hiding in caves, the Dragon's strength has been nullified, and their foot soldiers, primarily mercenaries, are leaving. They see it as a losing effort, even if Corlys and Daemon do not. Otto argues that if the Royal army sent soldiers and ships to aid them, it would make the Crown appear weak.
Rhaenyra reads her books next to a Weirwood tree, listening to music, as any teenager would when they're mad at their parents and stepmom. I mean, wouldn't you be just a little annoyed if your father was now married and having children with your best friend?
Alicent wants to heal the rift between her and Rhaenyra, but she's hearing none of it. Rhaenyra doesn't want to attend the Royal hunt in honor of Prince Aegon, but upon hearing that the King has ordered it comes along reluctantly. Viserys offers to take Rhaenyra out on the hunt, but she passes on the idea, saying she doesn't care to hear the animals suffer.
Forced into a supporting role amongst the various gossiping ladies of the court, Rhaenyra is asked to give her thoughts on the war, given that she is Daemon's niece. Lady Ceira Lannister snidely remarks that Rhaenyra "supplanted" Daemon as the heir. Alicent defends Rhaenyra, saying that Daemon made his choices and that she is much more suited to the role of ruler. Rhaenyra shoots down another one of the royals, Lady Redwyne, when she suggests that despite what Viserys may think, the Crown is at war.
Jason Lannister, the head of their House, approaches Rhaenyra with a marriage proposal, telling her about Casterly Rock and how great it is. She naturally turns him down and confronts Viserys as she knows he's been receiving requests for her hand in marriage.
They argue, and Viserys says it's time for her, but Rhaenyra tells him she doesn't want to marry. No one exists above tradition, even them, and despite what Rhaenyra wants, it's no longer up to her. She gets on her horse and leaves the hunt in anger, with her bodyguard, Ser Criston Cole, giving chase.