Synopsis: In Season 1 Episode 5 of HBO’s House of the Dragon, a deal is struck between King Viserys and Ser Corlys Velaryon to join their two houses in marriage. And while Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor seem to have reached an understanding on how their marriage will proceed, others seem to have their own ideas on how to spoil the party.
If things had simply gone ahead the way Laenor and Rhaenyra planned, it would have been perfect. Their houses will have a stronger claim to the Iron Throne and that would have been the end of it. But this is Westeros and each action has a consequence. There’s politics and betrayal, and scandal and jilted lovers to consider. And with the first time Rhaenyra tried to play the Game of Thrones with dishonesty and political maneuvering, it blew up in her face.
The wedding feast was a magnificent event with each dramatic entrance topping the next (The House Valeryon’s entrance was epic), and all the fanfare and merriment made tragedy all the more palpalable as the night winded down. While I was lowkey shipping Ser Criston with Rhaenyra, I was disgusted by his naivete. He asked Rhaenyra to sail off with him to Essex not because he loved her but because he wanted to restore his honor by destroying hers. She was right on all counts. Her duty to the Throne weighs heavy. She made a lot of sense and she explained herself well to a person whose narrow mindedness made it impossible to accept. Whatever favor I felt for the character of Ser Criston disappeared after this episode.
Of course, the king of drama Daemon came to cause trouble again, because what event would be complete without the Rogue Prince stealing the thunder? Poor King Viserys. And his wife Alicent had her own axe to grind as well.
If there ever was a reason to go mad, Viserys should have have been the one. Not the Mad King Aerys II. Seriously, the Targaryens would have the Kardashians beat in terms of scandal and drama and the King trying to gloss things over with feasts and tourneys was really pathetic. Everyone knew he was being played from all corners and even if I wasn’t a big Viserys fan, I really felt bad for him seeing how his brother blatantly flirted with his daughter in plain sight, the lover of his daughter fatally beating his daughter’s bethrothed’s paramour to a pulp (definitely gross), and the chaos that resulted from what was a supposed union of two powerful families.
I liked how the series has confirmed some fan theories that have been circulating around Lady Royce’s death. It made the Rogue Prince more deplorable but he wasn’t one to be gunning for most well loved character anyway.
We Light the Way laid many foundations for the second half of the season. It seems that Rhaenyra made more enemies than allies with her marriage to Ser Laenor, and you can see the innocence of the first few episodes peel away with each heartbreak for both the Princess and ex- best friend, Alicent. To say that the episode was stressful would be an understatement. Still, it was a great set up for the excitement that is to come with each faction declaring war.
My only complaint about all the episodes of House of the Dragon — The episodes are all too dark. Get some lights in the Red Keep please.