Last week’s episode of House of the Dragon ended with King Viserys Targaryen ordering Rhaenyra, her daughter and heir-to-be, to wed Laenor Velaryon, son of Corlys and Rhaenys. Doing so has set the wheels in motion for the Dance of the Dragons to unfold in this series. We take a look below at this House of the Dragon episode 5 ending explained to shed more light on what happened.
House of the Dragon episode 5 ending explained
This week’s episode of House of the Dragon starts in the Vale as Daemon Targaryen meets his wife, Rhea Royce. After being insulted, Daemon causes Rhea’s horse to go wild as his wife takes a nasty fall. He takes a sharp rock as the scene abruptly cuts, implying that he killed his wife.
Over in the open seas, Viserys is seen sailing to the Driftmark, home of House Velaryon, along with Rhaenyra. While the king is away, Queen Alicent Hightower confronts his father about trying to sully Rhaenyra’s purity. Otto, for his part, admonishes his daughter by saying there will be war if Rhaenyra becomes queen and orders Alicent to prepare Aegon to rule.
Viserys and Rhaenyra finally arrive and are greeted by Laena Velaryon. Ser Lyonel Strong gets angry because Corlys Velaryon isn’t present to receive the king. In King’s Landing, Lord Larys Strong speaks to Alicent and mentions drinking moon tea at the king’s orders. He adds that the princess might be unwell due to drinking the tea meant to abort any potential baby inside her.
Inside Driftmark, Corlys and Rhaenys mention that Rhea Royce has passed away due to a hunting accident. In turn, Viserys presents his proposal to wed Laenor and Rhaenyra to unite their houses. Before he agrees, the Sea Snak questions the succession and what name shall be taken for their possible children. The king answers that Rhaenyra will succeed him and that their children will bear the name of Velaryon until one of them ascends the Iron Throne. When that happens, that child will bear the name Targaryen.
On the beach, Rhaenyra and Laenor take a walk and speak about their impending union. She proposes that they do their duties to the realm and after which, they would prefer to do so as they please. This conversation implies that both Rhaenyra and Laenor will go on with their preferred lovers. Meanwhile, Corlys and Rhaenys take note of Laenor’s preference for men over women. They also speak about the succession and the danger Rhaenyra faces.
Out in the open fields, Laenor speaks to Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, his male lover about his future as king consort. They also speak of Rhaenyra’s lover and wonder who he is. Back on the ship, Ser Criston Cole speaks to the princess and wonders if Rhaenyra would want to escape with him to Essos. Rhaenyra reluctantly brushes Criston off by choosing duty over love. The princess adds that she and Laenor have the understanding to continue having lovers, even if they are married. Criston grows angry because he is a sworn Kingsguard and sleeping with the princess spoiled his honor. He thinks that by marrying Rhaenyra, he could restore his honor.
Returning to King’s Landing, Viserys is visibly ill. He is attended by several maesters to relieve him of his pain. He asks Lyonel about his legacy as a king as the new Hand assures him that he has done well. Ser Criston is then summoned by the queen who speaks to him about Daemon and Rhaenyra. The knight then admits that the lapse of morals happened between him and the princess.
Sometime after, the royal wedding celebration is commenced with all the houses of Westeros in attendance. House Velaryon then arrives in full force as Daemon is seen shortly after. The prince walks up to the king and instantly causes tension. As he’s addressing the court, Viserys stops when he sees Alicent entering alone. She congratulates the princess as the king goes back to his speech about the upcoming wedding and the celebrations that come with it. Meanwhile, Ser Gerold Royce confronts Daemon about the death of his cousin, Rhea. In turn, he asks about his inheritance seeing that Daemon and Rhea have no heirs.
In another part of the court, Laenor speaks to his lover and deduces that Criston is Rhaenyra’s lover. For his part, Ser Joffrey speaks to Ser Criston to come to an agreement about their secret affairs with the king consort and the future queen. Meanwhile, Daemon speaks to the princess and convinces her to take him as husband instead. A commotion ensues as Joffrey and Criston fight with Laenor getting involved at some point. The knight, in his anger, kills Joffrey, leading Laenor to grieve in the middle of everyone.
Laenor and Rhaenyra are wed after everything as Criston lays down his white cloak and sword before a Weirwood tree. The knight attempts to commit suicide but Alicent stops him from doing so. While the wedding is being held, Viserys collapses and the episode ends.
What just happened? A House of the Dragon episode 5 recap
After several episodes of resolving the princess’ marriage, Viserys finally finds a match in Laenor Velaryon, son of Corlys and Rhaenys. Much of this week’s installment deals with the impending union of the two powerful houses as other plot points, such as Daemon killing his wife and the respective affairs of Laenor and Rhaenyra, all converge towards the climactic ending.
With Rhaenyra finally wed to Laenor, it would seem that all is well with Viserys’ plans, even as he collapses towards the episode’s end. Alicent taking hold of Criston before he kills himself is something to look forward to, along with Daemon’s machinations and Rhaenyra’s dissatisfaction with Laenor. All of these elements will play a huge part as House of the Dragon hurtles through its second act next week. In any case, it would be best to keep a close eye on this series as the end of season one inches closer.