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House of the Dragon Episode 5 Review: We Light the Way

Source: HBO

Overall: 9.3/10

Story 9.0/10

Viserys goes to the Sea Snake to mend a rift that would unite the two most powerful families in Westeros. The Sea Snake is in a generous mood. Festivities to celebrate the joining of the two families ensue.

But there is fallout from the dismissal of the King’s wicked Hand. Alicent learns something that causes her to throw down the gauntlet. And Daemon, who outmaneuvers his brother at every turn, shows up newly single and ready to strengthen his claim to the Iron Throne. Right beneath his brother's nose, he attempts to secure two paths.

Character 9.5/10

Daemon is dangerous. He knows no bounds and will stop at nothing to sit upon the Iron Throne. Perhaps that is his only interest in Rhaenyra. This viewer is unsure. But one thing is certain. Daemon is unpredictable. Is he making moves based on whims or playing the long game? It's hard to say. Either way, a dragon that plans to sink its fangs into you is the same as the one that does it on a whim. The damage is no different.

After making so many great decisions and picking her moments, it would seem that Rhaenyra has made a terrible mistake. Ser Criston Cole is a volatile man. She can’t have known that. But she could’ve controlled herself. One poor decision with unforeseen consequences could be her undoing. This viewer hopes not.

A cursory glance shows Alicent has finally decided to enter the Game. She comes into knowledge that makes her turn heel. But a deeper look shows that a wicked man whispers in her ear. She's still just as weak. Only the manipulator has changed. Her father has moved on. Time will reveal what has been left in his stead. But this viewer fears that whatever it is, it will not be good for Rhaenyra.

Meanwhile, Viserys' body grows weaker by the day—a reflection of his resolve to get his house in order. He rambles about how he was never tested. Yet he does not see the test in front of him. He has failed. And he continues to fail miserably.

Final Thoughts

The house is crumbling right before Viserys' eyes. He doesn't have the wisdom nor wherewithal to stop the bleeding. A wicked man has his wife's ear. She has cast down the gauntlet of war. And he doesn't even realize it. His brother secures his own path to the Iron Throne. Viserys doesn't see. Even if he did, would he do anything about it? It would appear that Viserys doesn't have eyes or a backbone. This viewer would wager both kings and dragons need those.


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