House of the Dragon Episode 5 is the perfect dispatch for young Rhaenyra and Alicent

Editor’s Notes: The following article contains spoilers for episodes 1-5 of House of the Dragon.


“Light the Way” Episode 5 of Dragon HouseAnd the Represents the midpoint of the epic Game of thrones prefix. As fans of the series know – or as the unsuspecting audience will be surprised – Episode 5 is the final episode featuring Rhaenyra Targaryen (Millie Alcock) and Alicent Hightower (Emily Carrey) as young women. In keeping with the season’s time-jumping structure, Episode VI will push the story forward nearly a decade to find both characters as adults (played by Emma Darcy And the Olivia Cook, Straight). This may be disappointing for viewers who want to keep watching the younger versions of these characters zip through Westeros or those who have become entangled with the performers who embody them (unsurprisingly thanks to Alcock and Carey’s amazing performances). However, because “We Light the Way” is the culmination of each protagonist’s coming-of-age story, Episode 5 is actually the perfect place to leave behind these characters’ youthful incarnations.

Today’s video collider

Rhinera matures through her experiences with her family

When Rhaenyra was first introduced in Dragon HouseIn the first show, she flies on the back of her dragon, Syrax. Flying just for fun, Rhaenyra is a spirit of action, seeking the thrill of adventure. Several scenes in the first episode emphasize her youth, perhaps not as explicit as if she was being read under a Weirwood tree, like a child. Throughout the episode, she wore unadorned clothes, expressing the simplicity of her current life. However, the end of the episode sees her crossing the threshold towards adulthood. King Viserys Targaryen (Buddy Considine) calls her the heiress to the Iron Throne, which leads her to Game of Thrones.

Each of the following episodes features Rhaenyra as she faces obstacles that force her to mature. In Episode 2, she posts a feud between her father and Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) through careful rhetoric. In Episode 3, a wild boar attacks her and takes her anger out on the slaughtered animal. In Episode 4, Daemon provokes her sexual vigilance, and uses her new erotic desire to seduce Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankl). At the beginning of Episode Five, Rainera shows her ability to politics, her commitment to survival, and her awareness of the link between sex and power. Early in Episode 5, Rhinera unfolds all the skills she has harnessed in orchestrating a strategic pairing arrangement with her soon-to-be husband Lenore Villarion (Theo Nate). Understanding the necessity of a strong union between the two, she matures and successfully influences Lenore to accept an open marriage, in which both can pursue their preferred sexual pleasures while creating a binding and politically powerful alliance. Everything Rainera learned in her youth leads to this Iron Throne mentality strategizing.

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Aliscent matures through her separation from her family

Like Rhaenyra, Alicent is introduced in the scene where Rhaenyra flies on the back of Syrax. Significantly, when Rhaenyra suggested that there would be room for both on the dragon’s back, Alicent refused her friend’s suggestion, and instead claimed that she preferred to watch. This first introduction compares Rhaenyra’s young and adventurous spirit with that of the inexperienced and cautious Alicent. Like Rhaenyra, Alicent entered Game of Thrones in the first episode through the politics of her father, Otto Hightower (Rhys Evans). Knowing that Viserys is grieving the loss of his late wife, he sends Otto to Alicent to console the king. Aliscent replied that she was not sure what she would do in his rooms, showing her naivety. Otto orders her to wear one of her mother’s dresses, noting that this is the moment she leaves her youth behind on the path to adulthood.

Although Aliscent matures differently from Rhinera, her evolution through the following episodes also shows the evolution of her character. In episode 2, Alicent is announced as the new queen by Viserys, a man she doesn’t necessarily care about. In the third episode, Alicent is pregnant with her second child, and performs the necessary duties of the Queen without critically assessing her situation. Episode four shows Aliscent, turning away from the King, searching for society, and capturing her unit in Rhinera. When Rhaenyra gets exposed to an incest-based scandal (which is mostly true), Alicent goes to her in search of the truth. Although she lied to her, Aliscent naively trusts her friend, and invites her to Viserys.

Unlike Rhaenyra’s more tactful maneuvering of her circumstances, Alicent’s style is more innocent – she simply does what she believes is right by her family, while remaining loyal to the Targaryen. However, Episode 5 presents a drastic change for Alicent. Early in the episode, Otto is banished from King’s Landing and separated from her father. Following her intuition, she continues to interrogate Rhinera’s scandal and finds out that her friend lied to her. She entered the first night of Rhaenyra’s wedding wearing an emerald green dress (symbolically indicative of her full commitment to House Hightower), severing her allegiance to the Targaryen. Despite being propelled on her journey into adulthood, Aliscent is no longer the innocent child she once was.

Rhaenyra and Alicent have both gone on to adulthood

Rhaenyra’s marital strategies and Alicent’s iconic announcement in “We Light the Way” serve as each character’s official arrival moment. Most importantly, the climax at the end of the episode is indicative of their inability to return. “We Light the Way” ends in bloodshed when Sir Creston brutally murders Lenore’s lover, Geoffrey Lonmouth (Sully McLeod). As both Kriston and Joffrey are custodians of women’s strategic policies, they are forced to face the costs of playing the game. Faced with these consequences, Rhaenyra and Alicent have no hope of ever returning to their former youth. as Cersei Lannister (Lina Headey) He once said, “When you play Game of Thrones, you win or you die.” We Light the Way culminates in the official characters losing innocence, and it only makes sense not to see the characters portrayed as children as they once were. As adults in the game, women have no choice but to move forward until they win or die.

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