After the shocking events of episode five of House of the Dragon, in which Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) bludgeoned Laenor Velaryon’s lover to death at his wedding to Rhaenyra, the audience may be wondering how – after the ten year time-jump to episode six – Criston is still in good standing with the King (played by Paddy Considine).
Well, this very question was posed to Ryan Condal, the series’ co-creator, by Entertainment Weekly. They asked him; “How in the hell does Ser Criston Cole still have his job, after punching the future king consort (Laenor) in the face and also bludgeoning his sworn protector (Joffrey Lonmouth) to death?”
And the explanation is that it’s all down to Alicent (now played by Olivia Cooke). “There were mistakes made. It was a different time. Alicent saves his life. That’s what that final scene is telling you. Alicent goes in there and saves his life. She begs for his life and honour with the king and wins. And then he is absolutely, as we see in episode six, 100 percent devoted to her.”
Episode six was absolutely packed, even aside from the time-jump – and there is an unbelievable amount to cover – from Leana Velaryon making the decision to self-immolate, using her dragon as an assist, to everything going on with Larys Strong (Matthew Needham).
Laena’s tragic death wasn’t the only fiery event of the episode. Larys conspired with Alicent to have his father and brother killed in a fire so Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) could serve Viserys as Hand of the King again.
Moving forward, the audience will be keen to find out how Daemon copes as a widowed father, and how quickly he’ll be remarrying. Alicent will be continuing to plot with her two confidantes – Criston and Larys – to try to usurp Rhaenyra and have her own children become heirs to the throne. We’ll have to keep tuning in to find out how the brutal civil war – known as the Dance of the Dragons – will ultimately be sparked.
If you’re confused by any of the one thousand plot-lines in House of the Dragon, we’ve got you covered with explainers for many of the characters and what exactly is going on with them. Check out our guide to Daemon and Rhaenyra’s relationship, explained.