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[Spoilers] Episode 105 Discussion


Ran
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In a very real sense, "We Light the Way" is the end of Season One of House of the Dragon and in a more just world where HBO had more faith in the series then it would have been Episode 10 rather than Episode 5. The series has been rushing through the majority of the story about the Dance of the Dragons in Season 1 with numerous time skips as well as signs that another lengthy one is ahead. They seem to want to desperately get to the actual Targaryen Civil War and unwilling to give any time to rest to the plots going on. I think the show would have strongly benefited from letting them have an additional five episodes to soften the characters up.

I have somewhat mixed feelings on this episode as a result as it resulted in the jumping past of several more points in the story as well as signals the end of our current crop of actresses. Milly Alcock and Emily Carey did fantastic jobs as both Princess Rhaenyra and Queen Alicent. While neither of them can pass for mothers of twenty-year-olds, I think their absence from future episodes is part of the reason that I am so down on this episode. They did an amazing number of changes to the status quo but no room for following the consequences up.

The episode opens up with what I suspect will be one of the two major controversial scenes of the episode with the introduction of Lady Rhea Royce, Daemon Targaryen's wife, who makes a great first impression. Unfortunately, Lady Rhea Royce taunts Daemon one too many times and he either causes her horse to rear or takes advantage of it doing so to kill her. This is the darkest action Daemon has taken yet and I wonder if any of the fanboys or girls will change their minds about supporting him.

Rhaenyra accepts the marriage proposal of Laenor Velaryon and the two of them discuss their impending nuptials. The problem being that Laenor is gay as the day is long and Rhaenyra is aware of it. However, they're cousins and good friends so they decide to make the most of their marriage by agreeing to have an open relationship. This IMMEDIATELY backfires with the fact that Ser Criston Cole has fallen deeply in love with Rhaenyra. He's crippled with guilt over breaking his oath of celibacy and the idea of being Rhaenyra's lover while she's married to another man disgusts him.

Viserys Targaryen is on his seeming last legs both heath-wise and monarchy-wise, so he's doing his best to marry Rhaenyra off to a house that will support her claim. Lord Corys is kind of iffy about the whole thing, far more so than you would have imagined for a man being offered the chance to make his grandson or daughter ruling monarch. It's clear that not even Corys has much faith in Rhaenyra's ability to keep the throne.

Ser Otto, by contrast, is someone who holds the blame for his dismissal on everyone but himself. Particularly, he blames his daughter for siding with Rhaenyra and says that her children would be murdered by the Princess if she were to ever ascend the throne. It implies that Otto would have the same sort of view to any children of Rhaernya and shows the man to be truly contemptible. Alicent also lets the poison sink into her soul due to both her father's influence and Ser Criston Cole confessing, unprompted, that Rhaenyra slept with him.

This leads to the mother of all awkward feasts as everyone has started plotting against one another openly for what amounts to no reason whatsoever. The friendship of Alicent and Rhaenyra is severed because the former is jealous of the latter's freedom as well as a willing pawn in her father's games. The latter is not really aware how the hurricane of her actions has affected the people around her and enjoys stirring the pot more, including teasing her uncle who wants to wed her.

I have some issues with the wedding itself as it seemed like murdering a man in the middle of one would have more consequences than it does. Then again, Ser Criston Cole is a Kingsguard so I'm sure the Kingsguard union will come to his defense. He might end up on Administrative Leave for a month with pay thanks to Alicent's involvement. I'm sure Laenor's lover will be found with a sword in hand and some milk of the poppy sprinkled over him. AKAB.

Oh well, we'll see how the next massive time skip of about fifteen years or so goes.

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The Mulvaleys flower from Braavos growing in KL... was it a reference to Lemongate lol? 

The whole duck and goose conversation was so much cringe

Found it so unnatural and contrived, the way Rhaenyra, Allicent, Viserys, Daemon and Criston talk about 'the sin', conveniently telling the truth at every point. Someone should be lying in this situation. How Joffrey was so sure that Criston was Rhaenyra's paramour seemed too unrealistic to me. It is okay to speculate with Laenor, but accosting Criston directly was a bit too much, and also very dumb. 

Then Criston goes on to commit seppuku, and is magically saved by Allicent. That was so incredibly random. 

Also, who were those two who randomly fought Laenor and why?

They changed the design of Caraxes! His legs do not have those fish-like flares any more.  

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5 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

Starting with that ending, I guess this is where we hit the budget limitation, as instead of seeing Ser Criston beat Ser Joffrey to death in a tournament setting, which the show had already established it could get bloody, he commits murder at a feast. I'm sure Alicent will give a perfectly legitimate excuse for Criston's behavior in the next episode, unless we get a time jump, but right now it's ridiculous. As was the rushed wedding in the throne room without the hall even being cleaned. I don't know why we couldn't have had another quick tourney, maybe a melee to change it up and show more pageantry and great costumes (seriously, this show really has had great costumes) and have Joffrey get pummeled there. And we also would have gotten Breakbones beat the crap out of people in armor. oh well

I think it was a deliberate choice and not a budget limitation, have to see what happens to Criston in the next episode. But yes, the whole thing was ridiculous. 

6 hours ago, zajaz said:

So, the writers seem to continue going for espectacle and drama over internal consistency. Criston would have been thrown out of the Kingsguard for doing something like this in the books, right? At a wedding reception, no less. A tourney is more acceptable because "accidents happen", but... this?

Yeah, that's right, they are throwing consistency out of the window here. 

5 hours ago, Mark Antony said:

Place could use a rat catcher.

Enjoyed the little bits of Harwin. Finally can see why he got his nickname. Him and Larys seem to get on pretty well. I can’t wait to find out who set the Harrenhal fire, Larys was my main suspect but idk, 
Alicents entrance was a great scene. 

Looking forward to the episode with a 1000 cats! It is gonna be epic. 

3 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

Did they film a scene of Laena claiming Vhagar and they cut it?

I was wondering about this too... right now they have shown only one dragon on screen... and they are saying they control half the dragons? Something does not add up here. 

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12 minutes ago, slant said:

The Mulvaleys flower from Braavos growing in KL... was it a reference to Lemongate lol? 

The whole duck and goose conversation was so much cringe

Found it so unnatural and contrived, the way Rhaenyra, Allicent, Viserys, Daemon and Criston talk about 'the sin', conveniently telling the truth at every point. Someone should be lying in this situation. How Joffrey was so sure that Criston was Rhaenyra's paramour seemed too unrealistic to me. It is okay to speculate with Laenor, but accosting Criston directly was a bit too much, and also very dumb. 

Then Criston goes on to commit seppuku, and is magically saved by Allicent. That was so incredibly random. 

Also, who were those two who randomly fought Laenor and why?

They changed the design of Caraxes! His legs do not have those fish-like flares any more.  

I don't think caraxes was shown this episode. Only the valeyron dragons. 

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I think they've also set up the Lannister support of Rhaenyra purely out of spite for the fact they were passed over for House Velaryon.

I like the making of the Greens less motivated by Aegon's sex than disgust at personal slights.

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it's such a shame . this episode had so much potential. the music was great , character interactions were mostly good , High Tide was alright... BUT there were a couple of big problems that I did not expect to see :/ and that makes me see all the small details I usually ignore . 

  1. Joffrey Lonmouth's death was the stupidest thing that had ever happened in the show . the book's tourney works so well because it is not really apparent to a contemporary that it's not much of an accident . only in hindsight a historian can put things together and see Criston Cole was pissed at Rhaenyra and Laenor and hurt Joffrey and Harwin in the process. to say they killed Joffrey in that brutal manner in the wedding because of budget makes no sense . because they didn't need a tournament , just not this. I expected Ryan Condal , the devoted book reader that he is, knows that for a new up-jump Criston Cole to murder a ser Joffrey Lonmouth in the royal wedding out of the blue and to throw away new prince consort in the process means dire consequences !
  2. the other big problem of the show is Daemon wife killer . this makes absolutely no sense in the show . if he was willing to kill Rhea , he would have done so before he asked for Rhaenyra's hand . and the manner of it? did Daemon somehow bewitched the horse or something?.... but worse than this is his future marriages , one could argue that Rhaenyra would be foolish enough to marry Daemon wife killer later but it makes no sense for Laena to marry him considering it's Corlys who is going to agree with the match despite the accusation he is well aware of . in addition to that , Rhea issue could bite them in the ass when Jeyne Arryn supports Rhaenyra . murder of her cousin is so much more than treating her unfairly .

 

then there are some problems  I could have ignored , if the first major flaws hadn't been there :

  • firstly , is Driftmark empty? where are all the knights practicing in the yard ? does it make sense that there are only Laenor and Joffrey there ? 
  • I think the problem of Laena's age comes to surface now . she is clearly more mature than Rhaenyra and Laenor who stands by his friend and doesn't utter a word when king comes in.
  • I'm surprised that they are going to resolve the problem of Laena's betrothed in the time jump . especially that they did not really establish any connection between Laena and Daemon. they could have Daemon go to Driftmark instead of Vale and connect with Laena . then  have the sealord's son challenge Daemon in the wedding. this would have been in character for Daemon not to give a fuck and they would have had their precious chaotic wedding .
  • how come Joffery thinks Rhaenyra match is better than they hoped for? if anything it's the worst for the two of them . Laenor is heir to Driftmark , he'll be the wealthiest lord in the realm and his lady wife would have to obey him. Rhaenyra Targaryen would be the only woman who could question him if she wishes so . 
  • not enough time has been invested on Cole's conflict . 
  • it's silly for Joffrey to approach a clearly upset Cole as such.
  • aren't there other rooms to perform the ceremony in?
  • can't the king shout : enough ser Christon stand aside?!
  • also , are we going to pretend Vhaegar isn't a Velaryon dragon? did Laena swim to Kingslanding? where the hell is her dragon?

 

 

Edited by EggBlue
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I didn't enjoy that one much. After all that buzz about how the constant time skips are harming the show, it's fun that the weakest episode so far was the one that started immediately after the last.

Good things:

  • They've updated the opening credits with Helaena's birth. A pity they forgot to use this version in the previous episode, but better late than never. And of course, that ensures that starting next episode we should expect major changes.
  • Cole and Rhaenyra's scene at the ship was well-written and acted. It worked fine for both characters. The best part, I think, is that Rhaenyra doesn't even realize how much she has alienated Cole.
  • Alicent's entrance at the party was cool too. And the bit of the Hightower burning green when the Hightowers call their banners to war is not from the books, but I think it fits quite well.

Things I didn't like:

  • I didn't like anything from Rhea Royce's death. It doesn't work for the story (it turn Daemon into an irredeemable monster), it doesn't work with what has happened so far (if Daemon was willing to do this, he passed much better opportunities), and it doesn't work with what will happen in the future (no one would willingly marry someone suspected of killing his wife). It was also shot very badly (Rhea should have been able to flee easily. The horse's reaction and Rhea falling underneath were absurd luck), Rhea's reaction was stupid (no one would incite anyone to go ahead in her situation), and there's no chance that this could have passed as a "hunting incident" .
  • I'm OK with Viserys ensuring the Velaryons that Laenor and Rhaenyra's offspring will get the Iron Thone, but saying that "firstborn child, regardless of gender, will inherit" doesn't feel right to me. Viserys shouldn't be a proto-feminist that fights for equal right. He didn't chose Rhaenyra with the intention of setting a precedent, and many factors other than her being the firstborn also played a part (such as having Targaryen blood on both sides).
  • A poor knight from the Dornish Marches should not have "deep knowledge" of the port of Sunspear in those times. This, combined with him supposedly being easily identifiable as a "Dornish", makes me wonder what's the writers idea of his background.
  • I thought that Cole confessed too easily to Alicent. Perhaps he went from heartbroken to suicidal a bit faster than I'd liked.
  • They are going too far in showing Viserys' deterioration. Someone in his state that is constantly passing out shouldn't last a month. How are they planning to make him after the time skip? Also, he should be very aware that he is going to die very soon, and act accordingly.
  • In any serious court would Ser Gerold Royce be allowed to pass in front of the Lord of Oldtown. This outrageous behaviour should not have been ignored.
  • Much has been said already in this thread, so I'm not going to reiterate all the arguments, but Ser Joffrey's death didn't work at all.
  • They have a Grand Sept, and surely also a private sept at the Red Keep. Why would they choose to marry on a Throne Room, without attendance, and UNCLEAN! They have dozens of servants that where able to produce a chair and cutlery in a matter of seconds after Daemon's unforeseen arrival, but they are not capable of cleaning the blood of a murdered noble and clean up the tables a little bit?!

Random thoughts:

  • Larys' motivations are an enigma in the book, but I thought that for the show they would feel the need to clarify them a little bit. It doesn't seem that they are choosing that path.
Edited by The hairy bear
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7 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

And the bit of the Hightower burning green when the Hightowers call their banners to war is not from the books, but I think it fits quite well.

It actually is. George introduced the idea in The World of Ice and Fire, specifically in "The Sons of the Dragon" material where it's stated that the Hightower's flame burned a "baleful green" as Lord Hightower gathered his banners.

5 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Daemon didn't go to kill his wife.

Yeah he did. His ominous silence the entire time makes it plain enough. I'm guessing he was planning to pull her off the horse to kill her, be a shame if anything happened to a fine horse like that.

Edited by Ran
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9 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Daemon didn't go to kill his wife.

The horse was spooked, it knocked her over and she was paralyzed.

He finished her off with a rock after one too many insults about his ED.

it sure looked like it! if he didn't plan on killing her , why the creepy silence ? why the disguise ? and why not entering Runestone from the front door?

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2 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

it sure looked like it! if he didn't plan on killing her , why the creepy silence ? why the disguise ? and why not entering Runestone from the front door?

I was reading it as Daemon was returning home in disgrace. He was in the ultimate black mood.

His wife's taunts pushing him over the edge.

It was her drawing her sword that caused the horse to rear, though.

Edited by C.T. Phipps
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30 minutes ago, EggBlue said:

I think you should watch the scene one more time my friend. 

Yeah, he's silent and beaten down as well as arriving disguised.

Lots of ways to read it

1:00

Inside HBO says it's confirmed as deliberately ambiguous and not that he went there to kill her.

 

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3 hours ago, Ran said:

Making him literally the direct cause of it is new, but I think they've made the point about this that their Daemon, like Jaime, generally does his own killing.

Funnily enough out of all the mysterious deaths that Daemon benefited from in F&B I always thought Laenor was the most likely Daemon had a hand in. And there’s zero chance he did his own killing for that except to dispose of Qarl Correy. 

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2 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Yeah, he's silent and beaten down as well as arriving disguised.

Lots of ways to read it

1:00

Inside HBO says it's confirmed as deliberately ambiguous and not that he went there to kill her.

 

so , they wanted us each to feel different about it . I gotta say , this is somewhat smart to adapt F7B and manage to maintain some ambiguity to it . although , I'm personally no fan of it . I think most of my disappointment is because of other things regarding Rhea which I have explained in this thread.

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3 minutes ago, Mark Antony said:

Funnily enough out of all the mysterious deaths that Daemon benefited from in F&B I always thought Laenor was the most likely Daemon had a hand in. And there’s zero chance he did his own killing for that except to dispose of Qarl Correy. 

quite the contrary , I thought the idea that Daemon has Laenor killed didn't make sense in the light of the fact that Corlys and Rhaenys never doubted him , despite the fact that he had the most to gain . but this show-Daemon has gone further than I imagined and Cole has already showed us that there aren't consequences for your murders . 

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7 hours ago, Daeron the Daring said:

This makes no sense to me. 

If Daemon was willing to kill his wife to marry Rhaenyra, why not do it earlier and not risk anything? I mean, he could've easily made Rhaenyra choose him (when she still had a choice), and he didn't have to risk anything with the whole taking a second wife sidenote if he widowed himself earlier. Not sure why they had to whitewash Daemon only so that they make him do things he actually didn't in the book, so much so that they may have ruined the character.

Sidenote: Episode 10 is called "The Black Queen", so they will go with the greens vs blacks narrative as far as colors are concerned. It's just that they choose a different route to present this.

Another sidenote: All the rats in the episodes are the foreshadowing of Jaehaerys' death, the Blood and Cheese incident, since Cheese was a ratcatcher.

And another one: Just realised Daemon was doing magic tricks for Rhea's horse, and Rhea's line of "I knew you couldn't finish" is just another hint of Daemon having issues with, well, finishing.

Before being exiled from the court, Daemon wasn't desperate. Plus, he's clearly not the kind of man that puts a lot of thought into things.

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