House of the Dragon Episode 5 Recap: “We Light the Way”
A Dramatic Mid-Season Episode Sets the Stage for Conflict
In the fifth episode of House of the Dragon, titled “We Light the Way,” the series bids farewell to two talented actresses, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, in an explosive mid-season installment that builds anticipation for future conflicts. As the episode begins, we are transported to Runestone, the seat of House Royce near the Vale of Arryn, where we finally meet Daemon’s wife, Rhea Royce. Daemon, played by Matt Smith, has been referring to her as his “Bronze Bitch.” Rhea, portrayed by Rachel Redford, is seen riding alone without any guards, except for her cousin Ser Gerold. However, Daemon surprises her on her way back to the castle, leading to a tragic incident that leaves Rhea paralyzed. This chilling scene reminds viewers of the dark fate that often befalls weddings in the world of Westeros.
In the Red Keep, Alicent, played by Emily Carey, faces the consequences of her decision to support Rhaenyra in the previous episode. Rumors circulate about her relationship with her uncle Daemon, and with her father Otto Hightower being relieved of his position as Hand of the King, Alicent fears being left vulnerable among the Targaryen family. Otto, in a somewhat blaming manner, urges Alicent to consider the question of succession. He raises the possibility that if the lords of the realm reject Rhaenyra as their Queen in favor of Alicent’s firstborn son Aegon, Alicent might be forced to eliminate any threats to her son’s claim. This revelation plants a seed of doubt in Alicent’s mind and strains her friendship with Rhaenyra.
King Viserys I Targaryen and Rhaenyra embark on a journey to Driftmark, the seat of House Velaryon, to propose a marriage between Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor. The reception they receive at the island is rather cold, with only Laenor and his sister Laena present to welcome them. Corlys Velaryon, Laenor’s father, begrudgingly accepts the King’s proposal but attempts to convince Viserys to allow their future children to carry the Velaryon name. Viserys firmly asserts that the Targaryen name will prevail, setting the stage for potential conflicts around succession.
Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Larys Strong approaches Alicent in the Godswood, sympathizing with her over Otto’s departure. This leads to a discussion about moon tea, a medical drink used to prevent or abort unwanted pregnancies. Alicent deduces that Rhaenyra may have used moon tea, further deepening the rift between her and her once-trusted friend.
As Rhaenyra and Laenor navigate their complicated relationship, they agree to