“The king will die. And if Rhaenyra succeeds him, warfare will observe. Do you perceive? And to safe her declare, she’ll need to put your kids to the sword. Either put together for Aegon to rule, or cleave to Rhaenyra and beg for mercy.” Otto Hightower, shorn of his Hand standing, stays savvy to Westerosi politics, and his admonishment to his daughter the queen informs Alicent’s choice making in “We Light the Way,” the apex fifth episode of (*5*). She believed the princess, that nothing occurred with Daemon throughout their dalliance in the pillow home. (And in a means, nothing did, on account of Daemon’s own issues.) But when the queen questions Ser Criston Cole on the matter, on the princess’s “lapse of morals,” he can solely assume it’s him she’s speaking about, as a result of Criston is oblivious to the sly uncle-niece hookup. “It occurred, Your Grace. The sin you allude to. I’ve dedicated it.” And with this second piece of info on her former BFF Rhaenyra, Alicent decides it’s time to go Team Green, and go all in on retaining energy.

By the time of his admission to the queen, Ser Criston’s personal choice to shoot his shot with Rhaenyra had been decidedly blocked in the paint. “I’m asking you to come back with me, away from the burdens and indignities of your inheritance. We’ll be anonymous, and free. In Essos, you might marry me.” But for Rhaenyra, her duties as inheritor dovetail along with her personal goals at energy. She likes kicking it with Criston, however to not the level that she’d change into a commoner. And upon her denial of his love, the Kingsguard knight closely stews.

Besides, Criston’s transfer was at all times going to fail. King Viserys was at sea, crusing to Driftmark to promote Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys on marrying Rhaenyra to their son Ser Laenor. The royal puke bucket was shut at hand, as was the model new Hand of the King Lord Lyonel, who donated his handkerchief to a visibly spent Viserys. He wasn’t simply seasick. King V has change into a multitude of congestion, grey pallor, and irritability; no matter he has, leeches can’t repair, however he compelled himself to make the trek with the intention to resolve the mess of Rhaenyra’s marriage earlier than he dropped useless or disintegrated. 

In a present of pressure, Corlys didn’t welcome the king and his entourage as they arrived at High Tide. Instead, he waited on the Driftwood Throne, controlling the vibe. A sweaty and phlegmy Viserys satisfied Corlys of the match, although. He additionally assured him that any offspring of Rhaenyra and Laenor would bear the beginning identify Velaryon, and Targaryen in the event that they ascended to the Iron Throne. It was deemed an equitable compromise to reunite in blood the final pillars of Old Valyria.

Outside the throne room, there was one other compromise afoot. “I do know that no matter settlement being struck up there is not going to change your appetites, nor will it change mine,” the princess advised her betrothed throughout a seaside stroll – that Laenor is homosexual is well-known in royal circles. But taking a web page from the Prince Daemon handbook, Rhaenyra then proposed that the younger couple publicly carry out their duties to the realm and their fathers’ political ends, however privately keep true to their respective sexual appetites. And Laenor was down. As for Laenor’s lover, “The Knight of Kisses” Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), he was equally cool with it as he questioned out loud about the identification of the princess’s paramour. He’d quickly be extraordinarily much less cool with it. 


While King V was at sea and Rhaenyra was providing Ser Criston the esteemed place of clandestine royal fuck toy, Prince Daemon was in the Vale of Arryn, attending to the homicide of his spouse. Yes, in “We Light the Way” we briefly meet Lady Rhea Royce (Rachel Redford), who stays proud and defiant at the same time as she lies immobilized after Daemon unhorses her. “I knew you couldn’t end!” she spits, and that’s when the prince picks up an enormous rock. 

The king’s return to the Red Keep is accompanied by his bodily collapse, one thing Alicent witnesses from a excessive window and undoubtedly additional contributes to her choice to go on an influence offensive. Potions, poultices, parasitic worms: none of it would carry again his vitality, or his fingers. Flying dragons, the Velaryon fleet, and all of the lords and women of the realm arrive at King’s Landing for Rhaenyra and Laenor’s marriage ceremony celebration, which kicks off with a lavish feast in the throne room. Prince Daemon even reveals up, and silently takes a seat at the head desk. But Queen Alicent’s chair is empty, till her entrance interrupts King V’s welcoming speech. She’s wearing resplendent emerald inexperienced, the conventional Hightower shade for warfare, and it’s on like Donkey Kong. Alicent doesn’t take part in the group dance, and as an alternative stands along with her household; she doesn’t even acknowledge Rhaenyra. Lines, as they are saying, have been drawn.

At the feast, the king is coughing up blood and Ser Criston continues to be stewing. And when Ser Joffrey determines that he’s Rhaenyra’s paramour, their temporary alternate is steeped in the threatening tone of blackmail. Criston is 2 issues, a lover spurned and a person enraged, and in the custom of Game of Thrones, the marriage ceremony celebration takes a flip for the ugly when he bashes in Joffrey’s cranium to the horror of the realm’s elite. That’s sufficient to hurry up the marriage course of, and as an alternative of seven days of carrying on, Rhaenyra and Laenor are wed privately that night amid the ruins of the feast. Exchanging her vows, the princess seems like she lastly understands {that a} marriage can by no means be simply political. And King Viserys collapses once more as rats feast on swimming pools of Joffrey’s spilled blood.

So the princess is wed, and with Targaryen dragons and Velaryon sea energy in her nook. What does Queen Alicent have, moreover a baby together with his personal claims to the Iron Throne? She has a rising listing of allies, one which looks like it’d embrace clubfooted court docket whisperer Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), however one which positively consists of Ser Criston Cole, who she stops from committing seppuku in the godswood. He had requested for a sentence of loss of life after his admission; as an alternative, the Queen is retaining Criston alive. Her Green Team wants gamers.  

Johnny Loftus is an impartial author and editor dwelling at massive in Chicagoland. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, All Music Guide, Pitchfork Media, and Nicki Swift. Follow him on Twitter: @glennganges

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