House of the Dragon Review/Recap Roundup Season 1 Episode 5 – We Light the Way

1x05 King's Landing Red Keep Throne Room Wedding Laena Velaryon (Savannah Steyn), Daemon (Matt Smith) (1)Happy House of the Dragon Week episode 5 week, everyone! Remember me? It’s me from just last week! Guys, come on, this is getting old. I do this every week. Next you’re gonna tell me that you don’t refresh the WOTW page every hour on the hour….You WHAT?! Well, anyway. I’ll continue to remind you what I’m doing here. Every week, for each new episode of HOTD, I’ll be deconstructing the multitude of reviews out there, boiling them down to one short summary sentence that will perfectly encapsulate what the original author was saying, no questions asked…and by that I mean that I will deconstruct whole essays down to one sentence apiece, often quoting them verbatim.

What I will do is attempt to summarize the original review as best I can, and if my tease whets your appetite for their style of review, you are encouraged to head over to their site and let them know…after of course letting us know your thoughts in the comments below. At the bottom, I will summarize my review of the reviewers’ reviews.

All squared? Jolly good, let’s dive in.

What did the Internet think of HBO’s House of the Dragon episode 5, “We Light the Way”? Sue took the night off so I filled in last night. Hey, here’s a recommendation: Before you dive into any of these other critics I’ve rounded up (pfft – boring! Who would do that?), why don’t you check out my own recap of last night’s episode…Did you do it? Did it spark joy? It did? Oh, I’m so glad. Anyway, here’s what the rest of the Internet had to say about last night’s episode:

Alec Bojalad, Den of Geek – In which as a visual document, HOTD must depict certain moments onscreen, and must show something rather than leaving it to the annals of the Westerosi gossip mill, which for the most part, it has succeeded in filling in the details, but episode 5 fell short on several occasions.

Belen Edwards, Mashable – In which the ways by which Fire & Blood was changed on its journey to the screen as HOTD are broken down, most notably in this episode, the show version of Alicent delves deeper into her motivations in order to make her more of a compelling human being, rather than the book version of Alicent where she is villainous, self-serving, and the all-around worst.

Glen Weldon, NPR – In which the episode introduces two new characters and both of their murders bookend the episode.

Hillary Kelly, Vulture – In which HOTD is still learning how to pace itself.

Jamie Broadnax, BlackGirlNerds – In which Corlys and Rhaenys agree to terms.

Jeremy Egner, New York Times – In which momentous, world-changing events erupt from recognizable human impulses and flaws.

Jenna Scherer, AV Club – In which the episode has an ignominious ending for a character we’ve only just met, and it’s part of a persistent problem on modern television.

Kim Renfro, Insider – In which F&B is a subjective account written from the perspective of men, but HOTD is undoing that bias, and showing all the ways Viserys failed to ensure that the realm would remain prosperous without him.

Kimberly Roots, TVLine – In which Daemon does his best Obi-Wan impression.

Lauren Puckett-Pope, Yahoo – In which if we weren’t to love Rhaenyra and Alicent in their youth, there’d be little reason to love them in adulthood, when we can expect them to be more ruthless in the coming episodes.

Meghan O’ Keefe, Decider – In which it is clear that Ser Criston Cole is switching sides.

Rob Bricken, Gizmodo – In which Director Claire Kilner uses quick, tight shots to intensify the anxiety building both in the viewer and the characters when the fight between Criston and Joffrey suddenly breaks out and none of us see who’s fighting.

Sean T. Collins, Rolling Stone – In which this is a rich and complicated episode, in which virtually every main character has their story advanced in memorable and dramatic ways.

Summary: Episode 5’s We Light the Way seems to have been well received, though some were disappointed with the handling of the “bury your gays” trope, or the overbearing nature of the green-dress exposition of Alicent’s wedding arrival.

My Review: Thanks for asking. You probably already read it when you first clicked this page, since I advertised it up above, but in case you want to read it again, here you go:

Well, anyway what do you make of these reviews/recaps? Sound off in the comments below, politely, but with a firmly gloved hand. Just don’t throw any gloves.

8 Comments

  1. I am really enjoying how some characters are given motivations, and are more complex than what is depicted in the books because of the history book structure. The show managed to make us see why some would side with one faction over the other.

    I am curious to see what they will do with Larys and his motivations/plans. I’ve seen a lot of interesting speculation.

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  2. This show is a mess right now. The pacing is awful and the character development for the Velaryons is abysmal. The direction last episode was questionable at best. Hopefully Sapochnik can get this back on track next episode.

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  3. I kinda have to agree with Alicent’s dress exposition claim (I’d have liked to have that comment said in another episode so that in this one the nature of the entrance would be powerful on the visuals alone and not with the explaining), and I also agree with the confusing nature of the climax. It felt like a lot of things were just hung up in the air, and some things accelerated too much (like Criston’s breaking point) and I’m guessing next episode will solve some things but not all of them.

    Still, this was a very eventful episode and I hope the next one outdoes what we’ve seen so far.

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  4. Great episode.
    Typical GoT wedding, really.
    It all seems great, everything looks primed for a “happily ever after” (I know, obviously not gonna happen in this universe) and then it just starts unraveling itself and it just becomes a runaway train.
    Reminded me of the episode that introduced Margaery and Renly’s growing army. Finally a decent guy that will ally with Robb and rid Westeros of Joffrey etc, right? Well, not if Stannis has any say about it with a certain Red priestess.

    Either way, back to the episode.
    The moment Criston realised Rhaenyra’s just gonna use him and doesn’t care a bit for his feelings, it was obvious stuff was gonna explode.
    And throwing Criston, Daemon, Laenor and his cocky boyfriend into one room was never gonna go well.

    Also, wonderful shoot of the brawl scene. No idea if Criston was “defending” Rhaenyra from Daemon who decided to act at last, Daemon actually abducting Rhaenyra, Rhea’s cousin seizing the opportunity and attacking Daemon… Anything could have happened really (and myabe something did, before the eventual beating).

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  5. Ser Alan the Tall:
    I kinda have to agree with Alicent’s dress exposition claim (I’d have liked to have that comment said in another episode so that in this one the nature of the entrance would be powerful on the visuals alone and not with the explaining), and I also agree with the confusing nature of the climax. It felt like a lot of things were just hung up in the air, and some things accelerated too much (like Criston’s breaking point) and I’m guessing next episode will solve some things but not all of them.

    Still, this was a very eventful episode and I hope the next one outdoes what we’ve seen so far.

    They did go out of their way to add the extra explanation, and in the “about this episode” he sounded like he thought it needed even more explanation to make his point. I think they could have shown the Hightower banner colors more in previous episodes. She did make a striking entrance and interrupted the King’s speech. Most even somewhat familiar with the story would know about the Greens and the Blacks at the very least, so I’m not sure if it needed more explanation. I really don’t like when they have to explain things in dialogue instead of just showing us.

    Regarding Criston, I do think they built up that he lost his honor, and it was becoming too much for him. He could have said he was defending the princess by killing the boyfriend. He could have said the boyfriend was threatening the princess, which in a way was true, since he was planning on blackmailing him.

    I don’t think Alicent “loved” Criston as much as she is competive with the Princess and she also wanted to use him to her advantage. Poor Criston is being used by lots of people.

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  6. King Viserys focus is on Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra and Princess Rhaenyra is telling Prince Daemon exactly what he wants to hear.

    Then the chaos starts…

    I wonder if Prince Daemon somehow started the fight between Ser Criston Cole and Ser Joffrey Lonmouth to stop the wedding? Chaos is a Ladder

    We Light the Way 10/10

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  7. Tron79,

    Yes it needed that extra explanation. Even after reading ‘Fire & Blood’ I couldn’t remember who was green and who was black. With showing the banners I wouldn’t remember either. But the image of Alicent entering in her green dress will always be on my mind. And I would not have noticed the colour if it hadn’t been said few seconds later.

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