‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 5 Recap

Talk about making a fashion statement! Credit: Ollie Upton/HBO

The latest installment of, House of the Dragon, “We Light the Way,” was more dread wedding than, “Red Wedding,” and it was delicious. I absolutely feasted on the wedding between Rhaenyra and Laenor to join the two great Houses of Targaryen and Velaryon together.

First, you had Daemon enter late, unwanted and without any announcement from the knight guy saying who he was, as he had done for all others who entered. Not to mention, Daemon came to the wedding after killing his wife, Rhea Royce, at the beginning of the episode. Which, by the way, all the plaudits to Rachel Redford for her portrayal. She was on screen for what couldn’t have been more than three minutes and it was a show-stealer up until the wedding itself. When Daemon spooks the horse into crushing her and then begins to walk away, she lashes out, “I knew you couldn’t finish.” At the wedding, Gerald, Rhea’s cousin, confronts him about this and levels the accusation that Daemon killed her. Daemon, confident and looking ever-more like Draco Malfoy to me (yeah, I’m going with the Harry Potter analogy, sue me), retorts that with Rhea dead, he inherits all of Runestone. Womp womp for poor Gerald.

Then, you have Queen Alicent, who has just heard from Ser Criston Cole that Rhaenyra slept with him, breaking his oath of chastity as knight of the Kingsguard — even though the Queen was hinting at Rhaenyra sleeping with Daemon — entering not only late to the proceedings, but interrupting the King’s speech to the gathered audience. In addition, she makes a statement by wearing green. Larys Strong, who is like Littlefinger and Varys from Game of Thrones in terms of being a whisperer of secrets and gossip — and he is the one who put it in Alicent’s head that Rhaenyra probably received a medieval abortion tea at the direction of the king, indicating Rhaenyra lied to Alicent in the prior episode —, points out that green is the color the Hightowers fly when they’re going to war. When your dress tells the story …

Third, you have Ser Criston Cole shooting his shot with the heir to the Iron Throne, Rhaenyra, by saying, hey, what if we forget all of this, run away and enjoy oranges, spices and such? She denies him, obviously. It is her duty to marry. It is her duty to be on the throne. He goes from suggesting that, to blathering to the Queen, to then pummeling to death Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, the secret lover of Laenor. At the wedding, Lonmouth had ascertained that Cole and Rhaenyra were sweet on each other, so he basically went to Cole and said, “We know the other’s secret, so keep that in mind and let’s protect the one’s we love.” Instead, Cole snapped and kill him, much to the heartbreak of Laenor, who screams in agony over Lonmouth’s dead body.

Fourth, if that wasn’t enough, King Viserys, who seems near death the entire episode and who begins to wonder about his legacy, if peace will make him a forgotten king they won’t sing about and ruminating on how he would have been forged had he been tested, is at the point where he ignores Daemon’s unwanted entrance, the Queen’s late entrance, and even Lord Corlys obvious thirst for the Iron Throne, until it comes to Daemon trying to make a pass, again, at Rhaenyra right there on the dance floor amid the wedding in front of him. But that’s when all hell breaks loose with Cole.

Fifth, that leads to instead of seven days of feasting and games for the wedding, we get a wedding in the dark with both Laenor and Rhaenyra crying and the King collapsing, with a helluva shot of a rat licking up the fallen blood of Lonmouth to close the episode. Just prior to that final shot, Cole seems like he’s about to “fall on his sword,” as it were, before the Queen stops him. That brings us back around to what Larys surmised earlier in the episode: The Queen has no allies; now she does. She has Cole, while also sticking it to Rhaenyra.

So no, it wasn’t a violent, shocking affair like, “Red Wedding,” but it was delightfully messed up in every other way, but also still included brutal violence. Scheming, political marriages, duty above love, lust for power … it all erodes friendships, kills kings, and is fated to cause a civil war after a century of peace. Moral of the story: Don’t get married in the realm of the Seven Kingdoms.

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