Summary of the fifth episode of “House of the Dragon”: An ominous message hidden in a dress

WARNING, SPOILER: We will discuss the events of the fifth episode of the House of the Dragon. If you haven’t caught up yet, stop reading!

First, as usual, let’s recap the situation at the end of the previous episode.

Rainier took a short tour of the streets of King’s Landing with her uncle Damon. The pair ended up in the back of a brothel where they had some sex and groping, though Damon angrily left before things got any further.

A spy working for Misaria, Damon’s former lover, now known as the “White Worm,” Raynirou remarked. Rumors returned to the King’s Hand, Otto Hightower, who then told King Viserys of his daughter’s alleged misdeed.

Meanwhile, Rhaenyra took care of her sexual frustration with her bodyguard, Ser Christon Cole, who, as a member of the Kingsguard, was sworn to chastity.

When confronted by Queen Alicent, with whom she was just beginning to reconcile, Reynira lied, swearing on the memory of her dead mother that Damon “never touched” her. She also strongly hinted to her that “virtue”, as it is called here, remained intact.

Believing her friend, Alicente vouched for her before the king.

Meanwhile, Viserys confronted Daemon and banished him from the city before ordering Rhaenyra to marry Corlys Velaryon’s son, Laynor. She agreed on the condition that her father dismiss Otto as Hand.

The episode ended with Rainier reading in her quarters. The Grand Maester surprised her with “tea” brewed by order of the king, which would remove any “complications”—a sure sign that Viserys did not believe her denials.

And with that, on episode 5 recap.

The episode begins with Damon wearing a comically large hood, heartlessly killing his wife Rhea Royce. Thoughts and prayers with all demons.

Rhea exits with a deliciously well-aimed insult, telling her husband that she knew he “couldn’t finish”. It’s probably heartbreaking, given… the problems Damon has struggled with on more than one occasion.

He hits Rhea’s head with a rock. Luckily, this happens behind the scenes.

Back in King’s Landing, the now former Hand of the King, Otto Hightower, prepares to leave. He shares the last conversation with his daughter. It includes a key quote.

“The king will die. It may be months or years, but he will not live to be old. And if Reynira succeeds him, war will follow. The state will not accept her, and in order to secure her rights, she will have to put your children to the sword. She won’t have a choice. You know it. You’re not stupid, and yet you prefer not to see it. The time has come, Alicent. Either you groom Aegon for power, or you cling to Rhaenyra and beg for her mercy.”

And with these comforting words, he leaves the capital.

It is worth noting one tiny detail: when her father leaves, we see one day Alicent, who resists biting her nails. So far, this has been a sign of her anxiety throughout the show.

Some time later, Alycent in the garden meets Larissa Strong, son of Lionel Strong, who replaced Otto as the Hand. Through Laris, she learns about the “tea” that King Viserys sent to Rhaenyra’s quarters at the end of the previous episode.

Meanwhile, Viserys and Rhaenyra traveled to Driftmark, the island seat of House Velaryon, to formally propose marriage between the princess and Corlys Velaryon’s son Laynor.

The king looks unhealthy and extremely fed up with life.

Corlis agrees to the marriage. In conversation, Reynira and Laenor agree to do their “duty” to the kingdom by “dining as they see fit”. In other words, Laenor gets Joffrey’s lover and Rainier gets her lover Kriston Cole. Everyone is happy.

Well, not everyone, actually. Kriston, as it turns out, disagrees with the plan. In love, he unsuccessfully tries to force Reynira to run away with him.

Kriston is about to become a much less likable character, so while we have a chance, let’s isolate a quote explaining his position.

“I swore an oath as a knight of your royal guard. An oath of chastity. I broke it. My sword, my white cloak, is the only thing I have besides my fucking name. I thought if we were married, maybe I could restore it,” he says.

Kriston broke his vow of chastity, um, to be with Rainier. He convinced himself that running away with her would restore his honor. She has no interest in this. This is not a recipe for a peaceful breakup.

As Viserys’ ship returns to King’s Landing, Alycente summons Kryston. She intends to interrogate him about the rumors about Rainier and her uncle Damon. Instead, she accidentally stumbles upon the revelation of Rainier’s little affair with Kriston.

This is not what Alycent expected to know, but it confirms her suspicions: Reynira blatantly lied to her in the previous episode.

Kriston demands a death sentence, otherwise he is castrated and sent to the Wall. Instead, Alicenta fires him without punishment. With the departure of her father, she begins to think strategically.

Fast forward to the feast that is to precede the wedding of Rhaenyra and Laenor. All the great houses have gathered in King’s Landing, which adds to its awkwardness. But a particularly unwanted guest arrives: Damon, who was recently banished from the city.

A member of Rhea’s extended family confronts Damon, blaming him for her murder. It’s no good.

As Viserys rises to address the hall, he is interrupted by Alicente, dressed in an emerald green dress. Her appearance attracts everyone’s attention.

“Lighthouse on a high-rise tower. Do you know what color it glows when Oldtown calls his banners to war? – Laris Strong asks her brother Harvin.

“Green” is the answer.

Arriving at the high table, Alycente coldly refers to Rhaenyra as “stepdaughter”.

This scene is a declaration of war. Any attachment left between Alicente and Rayneera was severed.

During the subsequent feasting and dancing, three important things happen.

First: Damon flirts with Laena Velaryon. The last time we saw her, she was a small child. This time the courtship is less creepy.

Second: Damon asks Reynira if her upcoming marriage to Laenor is really what she “really wants”, saying that her marriage will “wear her out of her mind”.

Third, and most fateful, Joffrey pleads with Kriston to help him keep Laenor and Rhaenyra’s secrets, revealing that he is aware of Kriston’s vow-breaking affair with the princess.

This prompts Criston to go insane and attack Joffrey in front of everyone, horribly beating him to death.

The episode ends with Rainier’s wedding to a heartbroken Laynor and Alicente stopping Christon before he can commit suicide.

Episode MVP

I believe the only candidate here is Alicent, who gets valuable information from Christon and then rallies the Hightowers to her cause.

Episode Villain

Christon. Dude is the personification of an embittered ex-boyfriend, moreover, with an evil character.

@SamClench

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