House Of The Dragon Episode Five Review - 8 Ups & 2 Downs

It ain't a Westerosi wedding until somebody dies.

House of the Dragon
HBO

House of the Dragon's fifth episode We Light The Way is an absolute masterpiece.

Such lofty praise is rarely warranted for a show just five episodes into its run, but the undeniable fact remains that last night's latest offering from HBO was absolute mind-blowing in the sheer quality of the television viewers found themselves witnessing.

The story hurtles along with its usual riveting twists and turns as this week's outing turns to the fallout from Rhaenyra's night in King's Landing with Daemon. The Princess and heir apparent is to be wed to the son of the Sea Snake, Laenor Velaryon, and of course in Westeros, that means a ridiculously lavish wedding celebration. The costumes and the set design absolutely dazzle as the intricacies of court politics insidiously play out against a seemingly innocent backdrop of laughter, dancing and celebration.

This all may sound relatively benign to those who have not seen the episode but the conclusion to We Light The Way - and indeed the rest of the episode - is a heart-pounding, adrenaline drenched twenty minute sequence; beginning with a slow burn and building to rollercoaster-during-a-lightning-storm levels of intensity. Indeed, just reading about this week's events are likely to get viewers hearts thumping once again.

10. Down - Losing Paddy Considine

House of the Dragon
HBO

It speaks volumes to the quality of this week's episode that one of the only downs is simply as a result of fate, rather than any fault with the show itself.

There is a palpable sense of melancholy as a result of the on-screen deterioration of Paddy Considine's Viserys. The Targaryen King has been, in essence, a dead man walking ever since he first made his onscreen bow. His eventual demise is written in stone as a result of Martin's canon; the great looming conflict cannot break out if the King is still alive and the end appears near as the King's strength finally gives out and he collapses at Rhaenyra's wedding ceremony.

Rather, the sense of melancholy is a result of losing Paddy Considine from the cast. The Englishman has been exemplary as Viserys; he was phenomenal as a duty torn, legacy obsessed monarch at the show's onset and has excelled even further in bringing the agonizing dying days of the Targaryen monarch to life. Considine has made viewers care about his character deeply during his brief time on the show, and viewers cannot help but feel a pang of sorrow every time his condition visibly worsens.

Mark Addy set the bar high in the "Westerosi Kings who meet an early end" category as the jolly, hot-tempered drunk Robert Baratheon, but Considine, through a polished and diverse performance that has been met with unanimous acclaim by the fanbase, has somehow eclipsed him. They don't make actors like the Peaky Blinders alum anymore and House of the Dragon will miss Considine's mercurial Viserys when he inevitably bows out.

 
Posted On: 
Contributor

Law graduate with a newly rediscovered passion for writing, mad about film, television, gaming and mixed martial arts. Can usually be found having the snot beaten out of him at Team Phoenix MMA or playing with his golden retriever.