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House of Dragon Episode 5 Review: It’s all brutal aside the Royal Wedding

House of Dragon: It seems like joyful wedding in Westeros is a myth. After watching the fifth episode of House of the Dragon, it certainly appears that way given that another royal wedding is taking place in Westeros following the tragic Red Wedding from Game of Thrones. Although it may not be as graphic, there is still plenty of death and destruction occurring once more. In the previous episode of the series, it was revealed that Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), who has been named the heir to the Iron throne by King Viscerys I (Paddy Considine), has agreed to forge a marriage with Laenor Velaryon (John MacMillan) in order to strengthen House Targaryen and her position as the successor.

Rhaenrya and Velaryon grow close

King Viscerys flies to Driftwood to speak with Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) and Princess Rhaenys in order to ensure that the match proceeds without incident because Velaryon is one of the most powerful houses in Westeros (Eve Best). King Viscerys travels to Driftwood to establish the important alliance between the two houses, and despite arriving there with his health in in disorder from seasickness, he does so effectively. In another scene, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Laenor Velaryon (John MacMillan) are shown spending some private time together and discussing their marriage. They concur that it is an act of obligation but choose to establish their own guidelines for when it comes to matters of love.

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Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) appears to be fairly taken with Rhaenyra (Alcock), the future Queen of Westeros, after their fling that was hinted to in the previous episode. After Rhaenyra has decided to marry Laenor, Cole makes her a pretty unexpected proposition. Given how masterfully he captures the simplicity of his character, it’s a scene in which Frankel absolutely shines. Love has a unique ability to impair judgement, and in this case it appears Ser Criston has forgotten that Rhaenyra is a real Targaryen who won’t let a passing fling interfere with her future. When King Viscerys leaves and Rhaenyra assumes the throne, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), who has been discharged from his job as the Hand of the King, informs his daughter, Queen Alicent (Emily Carey), that her future might not be as secure. Alicent has some unpleasant realities to discover as she struggles with whether or not to believe her friend Rhaenyra’s account of the events that led to her father’s removal as the King’s hand.

King Viscerys’ health worsens

The celebrations for the royal wedding in Westeros begin with a party where King Viscerys I’s bad health is still palpable. Meanwhile, in a somewhat unexpected action, Prince Dameon Targaryen (Matt Smith), who makes a brief appearance in the latest episode, removes one of the major obstacles in his path—his wife Rhea Royce, the Lady of Runestone—in a dangerous manner. Then, for reasons unknown, a widowed Daemon shows up for his niece’s wedding reception. There always seems to be blood during wedding celebrations in Westeros, and there’s a stunning twist that leaves Ser Criston Cole with blood on his hands. Rhaenrya and Laenor are married in a private ceremony following a bloody incident during the party, while King Viscerys’ condition appears to worsen during the event.

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For all of the characters in the show, the fifth episode marks a significant turning point. There are a number of significant changes in the dynamics of the main characters that are anticipated in the upcoming episode, from King Viscerys’ survival to Ser Criston Cole’s destiny and Alicent’s recently acquired perspective on things. While Rhaenyra and Daemon’s incestuous relationship was hinted at in the previous episode, the fifth episode also shows the pair getting caught in a situation where they provoke one another. It will be interesting to see how it develops after Rhaenyra’s wedding.

How does the actors fair in the episode?

Regarding the performance in the new episode, Fabien Frankel does a fantastic job of bringing out the two sides of Ser Criston Cole. It’s a sympathetic character, and Frankel does a good job of highlighting Cole’s feelings. Even though Emily Carey doesn’t appear in many scenes in the new episode, the way she walks as she arrives at Rhaenyra’s pre-wedding party while wearing green—a colour that the Hightowers view as a declaration of war—is noteworthy. With his superb portrayal of Daemon Targaryen, which is chilly and unpredictable, Matt Smith never ceases to astound.

At this point in its first season, House of the Dragon has succeeded in bringing us back to Westeros following Game of Thrones’ adventurous adventure. Even though the fifth episode’s first half starts out slowly, it’s a buildup to an unexpectedly gloomy climax. The fact that House of the Dragon’s creators are mostly staying true to the original Game of Thrones roots while still surprising viewers is undoubtedly what makes the show so far entertaining.

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