Season 1, Episode 5: ‘We Gentle the Manner’
It’s not an actual Westeros marriage ceremony till someone begins screaming.
Truly the marriage of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Ser Laenor Velaryon hadn’t even begun when the wailing began, because the Rehearsal Dinner from Seven Hells erupted into paramour-on-paramour violence. By the point it was over, Joffrey (Solly McLeod), Laenor’s portentously named sparring companion, lay useless on the ballroom flooring with a face like a collapsed Jell-O mildew, and Ser Criston was able to fall on his blade.
They had been the most recent victims of Rhaenyra and Daemon’s huge night time out on the Road of Silk, the repercussions of which proceed to reverberate all through the realm. Final week, the fallout enveloped Otto, fired for revealing the transgressions to the king; Rhaenyra, lastly cornered right into a pressured marriage; and Daemon, banished but once more (solely to return but once more).
This week the toll was extra deadly. Ser Joffrey was joined in dying by the bronze bride, Girl Rhea (Rachel Redford), after Daemon determined killing his spouse was preferable to settling down along with her. (Opposite to what we’ve heard, she was fairly comely, however Targaryens choose blondes. And family.) These losses, in flip, upended the lives of Laenor, the grieving groom, and Rhea’s cousin, Ser Gerold Royce.
In the meantime, the slithery Larys Robust (Matthew Needham), who would possibly as properly have been carrying an indication round his neck that mentioned “Sinister Schemer,” was igniting the embers of Alicent’s suspicion within the royal backyard. I heard the princess was delivered some definitely-not-morning-after tea the opposite day, he instructed her, I hope she’s OK.
The revelation and Ser Criston’s ensuing admission despatched Alicent in the hunt for a Hightower Inexperienced wedding-crashing gown, which she debuted with a resolute magnificence that appears positive to make her father proud. Her strut by the ballroom, in the course of the king’s speech, doubled as an announcement of allegiance within the Iron Throne derby on the coronary heart of this story. Spoiler alert: it’s to not the aspect that was internet hosting the marriage.
Return to Westeros in ‘Home of the Dragon’
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All of which is to say: The scandal that started in that pleasure home is properly on its approach to enveloping everybody within the realm.
One factor I’ve all the time loved about George R.R. Martin’s storytelling is the way in which its momentous, world-changing occasions erupt from recognizable human impulses and flaws — jealousy, lust, insecurity, the need to guard your loved ones or conceal your shameful secrets and techniques. The sordid however real love between Cersei and Jaime Lannister animated “Recreation of Thrones”; the Pink Wedding ceremony was revenge for a damaged engagement; Daenerys’s sense of deep grievance drove her to traverse the globe and commit mass homicide. (OK, her impulses and flaws had been much less recognizable than others …)
Equally, the present throne battle was arrange by Viserys’s cussed, maybe misguided loyalty to his daughter, borne of his grief over his spouse. Now the fallout from Daemon’s lust and want to strike again at his brother, paired with Rhaenyra’s egocentric recklessness and dishonesty, have seemingly deepened the first rift to an irreparable diploma.
Did you purchase it? Alicent’s stridency appeared excessive in somebody who has up to now been circumspect and accommodating, significantly because it appeared motivated by the truth that Rhaenyra misled her — hardly a capital offense, however maybe it represented the ultimate break between the previous pals. Otto additionally terrified her on his manner out of city, together with his warnings concerning the close to future and the security of her youngsters, ought to Rhaenyra stay inheritor. Apparently all the above, mixed with the stark actuality of Viserys’s ongoing circling of the royal drain, compelled her to conspicuously stand tall, as her uncle put it.
Much less convincing was the collapse of Ser Criston, who went from stalwart defender to violent basket case inside per week or so. (The timeline was just a little fuzzy this episode.)
I suppose we’re speculated to consider that Criston had been pushed previous his restrict: His dalliance with Rhaenyra, in breaking his Kingsguard chastity oath, shattered his self-image, and the princess compounded issues by rejecting his marriage plan and dismissing his desires of Essos as little greater than “a bushel of oranges.” The queen already is aware of all about his dirty cloak, because of his sitcom-level misunderstanding of her question concerning the Silk Road night time. Maybe studying that the snide Joffrey knew too, that this secret would dangle over him without end, was greater than Criston might bear. The one answer, apparently, was to beat the person to dying on the dance flooring.
The velocity and scale of Criston’s decline strained credulity. Possibly he was simply that determined to maintain the key hidden, although the mania of his assault recommended a sort of psychic break. Possibly one other motivating issue will probably be revealed sooner or later. However from a story standpoint, the bludgeoning foreshadowed future bloodshed because it illustrated the unintended penalties of the royals’ actions and heedlessness.
Based mostly on Daemon’s recommendation, Rhaenyra thought she’d be capable of have her marriage ceremony cake and boy-toy too. (She promised Laenor one thing related.) What she received as a substitute was a wedding ceremony that was horrible even by Westeros requirements, with rotting meals on the tables, a passed-out dad and rats licking up the blood of her new husband’s freshly murdered lover. And mentioned boy-toy has now been claimed by her rival, who presumably plans to show him into a distinct sort of plaything.