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House of the Dragon – Episode 5 Review

Warning: The below contains full spoilers for Episode 5 of House Of The Dragon, which aired on HBO on Sept. 18, 2022. To refresh your memory, check out our review of last week’s episode.

Last time we saw Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen, he was having seven bells kicked out of him by his brother’s Kingsguard. But you can’t keep a good(?) man down for long, and sure enough he’s back on his feet in no time, quietly murdering his wife to leave the way open to marry his niece. Think family values, Targaryen style – and believe it or not, that’s not even the worst marriage-related decision of the episode. Gotta love Westeros, where you have about a 50% chance of surviving any given wedding.

So we open as Daemon puts on an improbably large hoodie and goes to kill his missus, Lady Rhea Royce (Rachel Redford, evidently an alliteration queen). He could just have applied for an annulment or its local equivalent, given that they apparently never consummated their marriage, but perhaps that would hurt his male pride, or it’s a land grab for her wealth. Better to cut straight to murder – though his animosity to Rhea is odd, since “actively hostile” seems to be his type. Alas, his timing is off: Viserys (Paddy Considine) has taken ship for Driftmark to arrange the engagement of Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate), son and heir to Lord Corlys (Steven Toussaint). Laenor Velaryon is gay, but dynastic marriages rarely care about such details. In any case, the young couple both promise to look the other way and get on with their lives.

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