Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Television Shows

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained: Why did Criston Cole Kill Joffrey Lonmouth?

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Recap
House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Recap

House Of The Dragon Episode 5, what an hour it was. It was definitely the best episode of House of the Dragon Season 1 so far (episode 3 being the 2nd best, you know the reason. This episode really gave us that Game of Thrones shocking vibe and that feeling that we get – as to what the f*** just happened – after finishing the episode.

Episode 5 had many things going on from Viserys condition worsening to him proposing the marriage of his daughter Rhaenyra Targaryen to Corlys’ son Laenor Velaryon. Rhaenyra and Laenor made a deal that they will do their duties and marry each other but and do as they like. Meaning Laenor can secretly be with Joffrey (his lover) and Rhaenyra can be with Ser Criston.

Everyone was happy with the deal except for Ser Criston Cole. At the end of the episode, he goes on to kill Joffrey by smashing his face with his punches. But why did Criston Cole Kill Joffrey Lonmouth? We talk about the reason deeply. Also, why has Ancient’s character changed in the episodes, and now she is acting like a queen?

Did Daemon Kill Rhea Royce?

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 opens with Rhea Royce, Damon’s wife, out hunting near her home at Runestone. House Royce are an ancient and storied house in the Vale and they pop up all over the place in George RR Martin’s work. You may remember the “Noble who was killed by the others” in the prologue to A Song of Ice and Fire was Waymar Royce. There was also Yohn Royce who was prominent in the TV show Game of Thrones and they will make an appearance again later in this story. In World they are probably most famous for the runes they inscribe on their bronze breastplates that are supposed to keep the wearer from injury, we see that in this episode.

House Of The Dragon Episode 5

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained – Daemon Kill Rhea Royce

Unfortunately for Rhea Royce in this case it isn’t particularly effective. Daemon turns up and without a word, her horse rears up and throws her, he smashes her head in to finish the job. It’s not a hundred percent clear how he makes the horse rear up, let me know in the comments if you know, but his intention and execution are clear. In Fire and Blood, this is left a lot more open, it’s clearly all very convenient for Daemon that she dies, but there’s no evidence that he actually did it, indeed he was elsewhere at the time.

Before we leave this there’s one other thing we should note as a theme here, Daemon not being able to finish as it were. Rhea confirms that they never actually consummated their marriage, hence the lack of children, but throws the accusation at him as she thinks he is about to leave her to die. This comes on top of him apparently not being able to finish with Myseria and walking out on Rhaenyra in the last episode. This isn’t something in the books, so let’s see where it goes from here.

The Targaryen-Velaryon Union

Another theme we should acknowledge is Viserys not being well. It started off with just a few cuts and infections from the iron throne but now it’s a lot worse, he’s coughing all the time, has nosebleeds, and he collapses at the end of the episode, and people have started to notice. The issue of succession is not just a theoretical point anymore as Otto puts it to Alicent “the king will not live to be an old man” and both sides think the other will start a war over it. Otto tells Alicent that Rhaenyra will have to kill her children to assure her succession.

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained – The Targaryen-Velaryon Union

Rhaenys tells Corlys as she told Rhaenyra that the powers that be will never accept a woman on the iron throne and will go to war to prevent it. But Viserys is in this episode at least doing his best to secure Rhaenyra’s succession by marrying her off to Laenor Velaryon. This is sensible politics it brings The Velaryon’s fleets, money, and influence back into the fold. And at the time of the episode, it means that all of the Dragon Riders if you include Daemon are now team Rhaenyra.

Corlys is a proud man though and pushes a hard bargain. First, there’s a bit of a snub not meeting them at the door instead sitting on his throne while Viserys has to approach him like the lesser man, and then he demands a discussion about succession Laenor and Rhaenyra’s firstborn child will inherit the throne Viserys assures him. And what about their surname? Children should be named after their father so… Velaryon.

He’s basically asking for the ruling House of Westeros to change from Targaryen to Velaryon, a massive demand. Viserys compromise here is that the children will be born Velaryon but when they become ruler changing their name to Targaryen is a reasonable one, all be it coming from a position of weakness, as I said this is all about sensible politics.

Why Criston Felt Betrayed?

But beneath the politics, there’s a reality Rhaenyra and Laenor know each other and seem to get on okay, but he’s gay and in love with someone else and she seems to be quite taken with Criston Cole. She suggests a very pragmatic approach they do what they need to do to keep their fathers happy, marry and produce an heir and probably a spare, then they will each dine as they see fit. This comes almost verbatim from what Daemon was saying to her last episode. A marriage need not be the end of things, she should do as she wants, and Lane all goes with it. Joffrey his lover seems to love the idea, even more, the only problem is Sir Criston.

House Of The Dragon Episode 5

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained – Criston Felt Betrayed

On the way home he suggests something else entirely, they could elope, forget the marriage they could go to Essos, and just be together, the two of them. They could marry each other there, leave all of this behind. Rhaenyra puts back to him the idea she pitched to Laenor, they could still be lovers but she does have to marry Laenor. She even seems about to tell him the big Targaryen secrets that they have to keep the family line going because of Aegon’s Prophecy, but he storms off.

It seems that he has been harboring a lot of guilt about what’s been going on with Rhaenyra. We touched on this last time, he’d come from nowhere promoted to the King’s Guard and swore sacred vows of Chastity, which he has repeatedly broken. In his mind the only honorable way out of this is to marry Rhaenyra, they could be husband and wife and he could be at peace with his life choices. So all he hears from her is her saying no to that. The only way she wants it is to carry on in secret, with him continually breaking his vows. We’ll pick up on what happens next with him in a moment.

The Pre Wedding-Ceremony

Now we come to the wedding feast and a whole host of people making grand entrances, as is the way at weddings. First Jason Lannister, he’s still the same and Rhaenyra visibly rolls her eyes at his Antics. The Velaryons turn up, this is their big moment and it’s noticeable that they have brought Joffrey Lonmouth Laenor’s lover. With them Daemon strides in silent and brooding, he’s still banished remember and apparently not invited, but it’s a wedding and Viserys doesn’t want to make a scene so he gets a seat at the top table.

House Of The Dragon Episode 5

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained – The Pre Wedding-Ceremony

Sir Gerold Royce confronts Daemon and accuses him of killing Rhea Royce, which he did and pretty much everyone else kind of assumes it as well even if they don’t say it out loud. Daemon doesn’t deny it and rubs salt in the wound by announcing that he intends to go back and claim Runestone, house Royce’s seat, one to watch out for next time.

Why Alicent Is Hating Rhaenyra?

Because then Alicent arrives, Alicent has been busy behind the scenes this episode. First she gets her father’s warning to ready baby Aegon for kingship because the king won’t last forever, a point underlined by her seeing him collapse on his return to the red keep. She clearly feels alone in the red keep and without allies. Then we get the intervention of Larys Strong, we touched briefly on him last time as he made an under-the-radar bow just listening in to everyone’s conversations.

Now here he takes a moment to drop a bit of information in Alicent’s lap, the king ordered rhaenyra be given some herbal tea made quietly and delivered by the Grand Maester himself. Larys is quite obvious here but perhaps that’s partly because Alicent seems a little slow to pick up on it, this was Moon tea for preventing unwanted pregnancies. So Rhaenyra must have slept with someone despite her swearing on her mother’s life to Alicent that she hadn’t.

House Of The Dragon Episode 5

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained – Alicent and Ser Criston

Given the rumors, Alicent naturally assumes it was Daemon, and wanting to corroborate the information she summons Criston Cole to delicately ask what happened with Rhaenyra and Daemon. But he thinks she is talking about him and Rhaenyra and overcome by the guilt he confesses all. One of the most fun parts of the book is trying to figure out exactly which side Larys Strong is on but here he certainly seems to be starting out on team green or at least trying to gain Alicent’s trust.

But the important point here is that Alicent is now on the warpath, her previous affection for rhaenyra is now burned up. She enters the Great Hall at the precise moment she knows that everyone will be looking at her and when she gets a moment goes over to talk to her family The Hightowers who assure her of their support, this is a change from the old humble, dutiful Alicent is gone.

Why did Criston Cole Kill Joffrey Lonmouth?

But now we get the real drama because the dancing starts, people mingle and we might even have had a glimpse of Mushroom the legendary fool in the kings and queens’ courts of Westeros and a massive book favorite. Layna Velaryon and Daemon flirt, keep an eye on that. And Daemon goes on to confront Rhaenyra, ‘does she really want to marry Laenor?”. She pushes back just as hard if his game really was to marry her then why doesn’t he do something about, it right here and now?

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained – Ser Criston and Joffrey

This is all dramatic stuff but the real spice is when Joffrey figures out that it is Criston Cole who is Rhaenyra’s lover. Joffrey is really up for this idea of Rhaenyra and Laenor technically being married. But both are able to carry on with their lovers as well and want to make contact with Criston Cole, they have a shared interest they should look out for each other.

But Joffrey obviously doesn’t know all that has transpired and that Criston really doesn’t want that and that he’s fresh from admitting his guilt to Alicent and doesn’t know what she will do with the information. The anger and frustration is just bubbling under the surface and he lets it out on Joffrey, killing him. He retreats to God’s word to commit suicide, but Alicent stops him.

This whole incident of Why Criston Cole, who had been Rhaenyra’s closest companion, abruptly changed his sides just before her marriage to Laenor is one of the most intriguing passages in the book. We are given several possible explanations each of which has elements of plausibility to them but doesn’t really seem to fully answer the circumstances, there the reader is left to decide. Here on the show we get an answer Criston Cole was racked with guilt over what had been going on with Rhaenyra, he wanted to elope with her but she said no. Instead suggesting something that would only make Criston’s guilt great.

House Of The Dragon

House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Explained – Criston tries to commit suicide

Alicent stumbled across the truth or was pushed that way by Larys and made the most of it, being the understanding forgiving one, giving him another chance So Criston now both hates Rhaenyra, like a wronged lover and is grateful for Alicent’s apparent kindness. As George RR Martin has recently confirmed that in his mind there are two canons book Canon and show Cannon. So this isn’t so much confirmation of the truth of what happened in the book as letting it remain a mystery in the book well here we know what happened, and the outcome is the same in both.

Almost as an afterthought Rhaenyra and Laenor do get married, this is politics after all, and all of the emotions around the outside matter little. Joffrey’s blood is still on the floor Laenor can’t stop crying Rhaenyra was only saved from the mini Riot by the decisive action of Harwin Strong (another strong to keep an eye on) and Viserys collapses, it’s hardly an auspicious start to their marriage.

Also Read: House Of The Dragon Episode 4 Easter Eggs: Arya’s Valyrian Dagger, Moon Tea, And Secret Passages

Written By

I'm gonna put some dirt in your eyes.., yeah I'm a Bully Maguire Stan. I love movies(Spiderman), Series(The Boys), Anime(AOT) and Music(Zayn & One Direction). If you are the same then we can be Besto Friendo.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2 + three =