House of the Dragon season 1 episode 5 recap & review: We Light the Way

Tensions build as the royal wedding of Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor Velaryon takes place, with unexpected guests making their presence felt in the fifth episode of House of the Dragon, streaming now on HBO Max.


Daemon returns to the Vale and reunites with his wife, Rhea Royce. The latter senses danger, but before she can make a move, Daemon attacks, leading Rhea to fall from her horse.

Daemon picks up a rock, big enough to bludgeon her head as we cut to the next scene.

Alicent bids adieu to her father in tears, who tells him what’s to come. Once King Viserys dies, who is sick at the moment, Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne will not be accepted. Especially with Alicent’s son around.

Rhaenyra may opt to put the sword on Alicent’s son in order to claim the throne. So Alicent has to choose. She can either prepare her son to be the king or side with her friend, Rhaenyra.

Alicent later finds out from Lord Larys that Rhaenyra was served a special tea on the night Viserys dismissed her father. With that, she starts suspecting Rhaenyra’s innocence.

Meanwhile, King Viserys and Princess Rhaenyra sail towards Driftmark to propose Rhaenyra’s hand to Ser Laenor Velaryon, the son of Corlys Velaryon.

Corlys continues to question the succession. Viserys makes it clear that the children born to Rhaenyra and Laenor will bear the name of Velaryon at birth, as per the tradition. But if one of them is to ascend the throne, the name will be Targaryen.

Laenor and Rhaenyra get along, as the latter knows about his taste. Laenor is in love with a knight named Joffrey Lonmouth.

So they came to an understanding. They will see this marriage as a political arrangement and perform their duties as promised. Once they are done doing that, they will pursue their other interests.

Alicent isn’t the only one worried about the throne’s claim and her son. Rhaenys Targaryen also believes that she is placing her son in danger by marrying him off to Rhaenyra.

On their way back from Driftmark, Ser Criston Cole approaches Rhaenyra and asks her to run away with him to a place where nobody recognizes them. They can marry and live a happy life away from all of this drama.

Rhaenyra, however, chooses her duties to the realm over her feelings for Ser Criston. She tells him about her arrangement with Laenor, but Ser Criston is not pleased. For him, it feels like Rhaenyra is using him for her own desires.

In order to inquire about Rhaneyra’s adventure with Daemon, Alicent summons Ser Criston Cole, as he is Rhaenyra’s sworn protector and her white knight.

Ser Criston Cole admits to sleeping with Rhaenyra, leaving Alicent startled. She thought Rhaenyra was only with Daemon that night, but now it was the white knight too.

King Viserys’ health continues to deteriorate and he wonders if he will be remembered as a great king.

The royal wedding begins with guests such as Jason Lannister, Ser Gerold Royce, and Daemon making their presence felt.

Alicent comes late and interrupts the King’s speech, wearing an emerald-colored dress that catches everyone’s attention. When Oldtown calls its banners to a war, the beacon at the Hightower glows green.

As the celebrations continue, Ser Gerold Royce confronts Daemon and accuses him of killing his own wife.

Daemon doesn’t care about his accusations and is more interested in inheriting all of Runestone, as he and his wife had no heirs.

Laenor’s love interest Joffrey Lonmouth notices the tension between Rhaenyra and Ser Criston Cole. He is happy to inform Laenor about this. Now Laenor knows her secret too, while she knows his.

Daemon joins the dance and flatters Laena Velaryon and then moves to Rhaenyra while King Viserys closely observes.

Daemon wonders if this is what Rhaenyra wants and tells her about his marriage’s dissolution. Rhaenyra challenges him to take her by force if he wants her so badly.

Joffrey introduces himself to a furious Ser Criston and tells him about their arrangement. Ser Criston gets fed up and takes the fight to the dance floor and kills him in front of everyone.

Despite the event ending in a mess, the marriage carries on. Both Rhaenyra and Laenor seal their union and moments later, they watch King Viserys collapsing to the ground.

In the courtyard, Alicent stops Cole from killing himself for what he did at the wedding.


  • The fifth episode serves as a good and bloody wrap to Rheanyra’s marriage arc, which has been in question for the past two episodes.
  • Alicent has shown quite a growth and with her father out of the picture, it’s interesting to see how she is taking the charge now. She is certainly all in for war after showing off her emerald dress at the wedding.
  • Ser Criston Cole is a pretty likable character and his arc is now on a wild turn. It seems like he has a bigger role in the show ahead with Alicent approaching him towards the end.
  • Rhea Royce and Joffrey Lonmouth are two characters worth knowing more about, but they are killed off pretty quickly.
House of the Dragon season 1 episode 5
House of the Dragon season 1 episode 5 recap & review: We Light the Way 1

Director: Clare Kilner

Date Created: 2022-09-19 06:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: White Worm in House of the Dragon explained

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