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House of the Dragon recap: It’s a royal wedding, so you know it’s going to get deadly

Milly Alcock stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 5 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Milly Alcock stars as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Episode 4 of House of the Dragon saw Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) partaking in some scandalous activity.

Some of this was uncovered by a spy for White Worm. Most notably, the fact that Rhaenyra went to a brothel with her uncle, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), and partook in some classic Targaryen behavior.

Some of it also went entirely under the radar. Like bedding Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel).

Because of the rumor mill regarding Daemon, though, Rhaenyra was forced to bend to her father’s will and is looking forward to a wedding in her near future with Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate).

This means that in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon, the preparations for fancy royal nuptials get underway.

And we also discover that Ser Criston should really learn to shut up and listen.

A royal wedding is planned

While Episode 4 only introduced the idea of Rhaenyra and Laenor getting married, Episode 5 sees the king, Viserys (Paddy Considine), traveling with his daughter to Driftmark in order to make things official.

It’s here that fans discover that the king is really quite sick. It might be sea sickness, it might not but, as the episode progresses, we find out that he really does seem to have ailing health.

Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Theo Nate as Laenor Velaryon, as seen in Episode 5 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Theo Nate as Laenor Velaryon, as seen in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

It is also revealed that Laenor is not very excited to be married. Not because he doesn’t like Rhaenyra but because he doesn’t like girls in general.

But, don’t worry, Rhaenyra is totally okay with this and an arrangement is set in motion that they will get married but pursue who they really love afterward.

Daemon enters villain territory

Before we get to the royal wedding, let’s stop for a moment and be reminded of the fact that we all really shouldn’t be falling for bad boy Daemon.

While Twitter is positively thirsting over Prince Daemon and overlooking some of his ghastly behavior, Episode 5 gives us nowhere to hide once he takes a quiet visit to see his wife, Rhea Royce (Rachel Redford). You know, the one who is apparently so ugly that the sheep look good?

Well, Daemon was lying about that. Rhea is awesome.

However, this is a TV show that originated in the mind of George R. R. Martin so don’t get attached.

Daemon turns up in a cloak and when her horse is startled and rears back onto her, breaking her spine, Daemon finishes her off with a large rock.

Now, he can marry whomever he wants. It’s a shame his niece is now promised to someone else.

Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, as seen in Episode 4 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole, as seen in Episode 4 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Ser Criston struggles with Rhaenyra’s nuptials

While the wedding is now set in stone, Criston is struggling with losing his main squeeze and he’s come up with the perfect solution: sneak off to Essos with Rhaenyra where they can live the lives of peasants.

Except Rhaenyra is not willing to give up the crown just for a man and tells him as much.

Criston is devastated when she suggests they can continue as they are. He won’t be anyone’s “whore” and it looks like that fledgling relationship is over before it really began.

Seven days of Wedding festivities begin

Now, let’s get to that wedding, shall we?

Seven days of festivities are set to unfold before the actual wedding and this starts with the arrival feast.

Daemon turns up even though he wasn’t invited, and he and Rhaenyra have some choice words under the pretense of dancing.

Emily Carey stars as Alicent Hightower in Episode 5 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Emily Carey stars as Alicent Hightower in Episode 5 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Alicent (Emily Carey) is fashionably late to the event, turning up eventually in a stunning green dress. But, as is pointed out by Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), green is the color for war and Alicent looks anything but happy to be there.

Of course, she is s**ty that her husband fired her father, Otto (Rhys Ifans), from the prestigious role of Hand of the King.

Added to that is the fact that she has since found out (from Larys as well) that Rhaenyra has been taking the morning after tea and basically lied to her about canoodling.

Criston is an idiot

But it’s not until Alicent speaks to Ser Criston that she realizes what exactly is going on. You see, Criston doesn’t know to just keep his mouth shut when someone is trying to draw a secret out of you.

Alicent thought he would know if Rhaenyra was cavorting with Daemon but is so long-winded about it all that Criston ‘fesses up to it being him that the princess is sleeping with.

Alicent plays it cool but you just know that she is just about to burst under the weight of it all. And, seriously, Rhaenyra probably needs to watch her back from now on.

Introducing Joffrey — but not for long!

Episode 5 of House of the Dragon also introduces a new character. Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod) is the boyfriend of Laenor and he is already trying to find out who Rhaenyra’s beau is.

And, it takes him all of one vast scan across the great hall to work out that Criston is crazy for Rhaenyra.

Except that maybe he shouldn’t have rubbed that knowledge quite so much in Criston’s face.

Speaking to the Kingsguard, Joffrey points out that they both have a vested interest in the marriage of Rhaenyra and Laenor.

Things seem okay after that but something else must have been said to Criston because a fight between the two breaks out and before viewers can even work out what they think of another character called Joffrey, he is dead anyway, his face beaten to a pulp by Criston.

It seems that if your name is Joffrey in Westeros, you should never accept an invitation to a wedding.

Laenor is obviously distraught about this but the king decides that seven days of celebrations is too long — and too much of a risk — so orders Rhaenyra and Laenor to be wed there and then without even bothering to wash away Joffrey’s blood and brain matter from the ground.

And, before you can even be angry at Viserys, he is passing out on the floor and now viewers have to wait until next week to find out if he is okay or not.

House of the Dragon airs every Sunday night at 9/8c on HBO Max.

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