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'House of the Dragon' S1E5 'We Light the Way' is edge of your seat TV
HBO

Television

‘House of the Dragon’ S1E5 ‘We Light the Way’ is edge of your seat TV

‘House of the Dragon’ S1E5 ‘We Light the Way’ reveals the politics of love within the confines of kingdoms.

After the wildly horny House of the Dragon episode last week, fans are reeling from the power dynamics shifting in the series. Will princes take the crown for themselves through their sisters, will the king die from a mysterious disease, and will dragons make more than bit-part appearances in every other episode? Find out in House of the Dragon episode five, which turns up the heat when it comes to relationships, jealousy, and arranged marriages.

The episode titled “We Light the Way” opens with Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) confronting his wife. He hates her, but surely he wouldn’t do anything rash to ensure his newfound love for his niece Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock), right? Wrong! It’s a bold opening that shows how evil Daemon is and how death will follow when acquiring power and maybe even an entire kingdom.

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One very clear thing is King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is looking far sicker in this episode of House of the Dragon. We’ve known his body is rotting in certain places, but his general look and pale completion are showing more than ever. Early on, we see he’s pretty sick while riding on a ship, and while there’s a lot of rocking, one can assume others not being so sick is a sign he’s falling apart. It’s becoming clear after this episode ends that he may be the only person with all the info to know what is going on, but with his health failing, he’s likely to be picked off before he can do anything.

Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) gets a lot more to do in this episode after making the hard choice to side with her father, who was also The Hand of the King Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans). She sees her father off early but must also come to grips with the fact that she may have backed the wrong horse. She’s one of the only purely good characters in the show, and the corruption in her morals is apparent. It’ll be fun to see how she reacts, knowing she may have damned her father unfairly. She’s also an excellent example of how the queen has little power or control over things ultimately but still has influence.

Fans looking for backstabbers and plots thickening will be happy to know Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) gets a visit from the King Viserys, and the scene is quite tense. We know Corlys met with Daemon about something, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat wondering if a knife will pop up to stab any of the characters. Throw in the wrinkle that his wife, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), was passed over as ruler even though she was first born, and you can see the drama is quite thick between these families.

The cinematography of this episode of House of the Dragon is excellent. Sweeping shots of castles, well-lit interior shots, and some great beach scenes. In one scene, Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate) and Rhaenyra walk along a beach, and some epic shots show just how small they are, which is an excellent metaphor for where they stand as their fathers plan their future.

It’s funny how much sex was popping up in the last episode when you compare the lack of it in this episode. There’s tons of sexual tension, like Jacaerys and his male lover or Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel ) stupidly in love with Rhaenyra. Seeing these relationships play out helps connect the viewer to their positions, yet we know when it comes to royalty, none of them have control of their lives.

If you’re looking for confrontations, expect them to start midway through the episode! Ser Harwin has an intense one. Though there are no swords, it’s a scene involving words. He admits to something that should get him killed, but instead, it gives Queen Alicent new ammo to use against Rhaenyra. The showrunners have layered this series so well that it’s hard to know how this information will be used or if it will simply guide the character’s actions. Scenes like this are delicious for audiences as we get to ponder what we’d do in their shoes and how things might play out.

HBO House of the Dragon S1E5 Review

To be wed, or not to be wed.
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Everyone will be talking about a banquet scene, which, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, know is an excellent location for death, blood, and violence. Things are boiling over into this scene, starting with Queen Alicent, but Daemon shows up too. It’s a beautifully choreographed scene with the drama of multiple characters crossing paths and becoming a real boiling pot of dramas.

Maybe after the events of this party, a new rule will take place demanding better crowd control at parties. The violence is quite well choreographed here, as we aren’t sure who has been being attacked for quite some time. This allows the creators to focus on characters around the room and see how they worry, judge, or relish the chaos on the floor. I won’t spoil it, but I will say this, Ser Harwin isn’t the hero I thought he was, but boy, is he a knight that is quite true to the passionate depiction we’ve seen throughout history.

House of the Dragon S1E5 “We Light the Way” is an excellent example of the complexities of this show coming together beautifully. Even in chaos, the creators have a handle on every aspect, from how it’s shot to the actors playing their roles to perfection. It’s an excellent drama done well, combining character, melodrama, and high emotion into an impactful sixty minutes. It’s edge of your seat TV.

'House of the Dragon' S1E5 'We Light the Way' is edge of your seat TV
‘House of the Dragon’ S1E5 ‘We Light the Way’ is edge of your seat TV
House of the Dragon S1E5 'We Light the Way'
House of the Dragon S1E5 "We Light the Way" is an excellent example of the complexities of this show coming together beautifully. Even in chaos, the creators have a handle on every aspect, from how it's shot to the actors playing their roles to perfection. It's an excellent drama done well, combining character, melodrama, and high emotion into an impactful sixty minutes.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Great look at various characters and how they are reacting to a chaotic party scene gone wrong
The process of royalty being wed shows how messy it can all be
It's a touch slowly paced a third of the way through, but picks up at the halfway point
9.5
Great

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