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House of the Dragon Episode 5 Ending Explained: Did Viserys Die? Who Did Ser Criston Cole Kill at Rhaenyras Wedding?

House of the Dragon Episode 5 We Light just how ironically brought a huge amount of darkness to the nuptials of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) and Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate). That which was meant to be considered a lavish welcome dinner kicking off weekly of tourneys, balls, and festivities converted into a nightmare for House Targaryen. First Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) chose this night to declare herself a dynamic player in the overall game of Thrones by arriving late dressed up in her familys war color, green. Then Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) went berserk on the Knight of Kisses, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), beating the person to death for no apparent reason. Finally, King Viserys (Paddy Considine) himself collapsed during Rhaenyra and Laenors hastened private wedding.

Is Viserys dead? Did House of the Dragon just kill off the king? Why did Ser Criston kill Laenors boyfriend? (Yes, in the event that you didnt catch it, Rhaenyras new husband Laenor is certainly gay.) And whats going on with Ser Criston and Alicent in the godswood by the end of House of the Dragon Episode 5?

Heres all you need to know in what just transpired on House of the Dragon on HBO

Viserys collapsed in House of the Dragon Episode 5
Photo: HBO


Well, it really was a rough week once and for all old King Viserys I. After puking his solution to Driftmark and collapsing in the courtyard, his health only got worse at the welcoming ceremony for Rhaenyras wedding to Laenor. Through the chaos that ensues when Ser Criston starts beating Ser Joffrey to death, the camera cuts to a struggling Viserys at the high table. The king is apparently bleeding from his nose onto his platter. A whole lot worse, Viserys ruins Rhaenyras somber marriage ceremony by collapsing once again onto the bottom. Everyone understandably freaks out while rats feast on a puddle of Ser Joffreys blood.

So did Viserys die by the end of House of the Dragon Episode 5?

Spoiler alert: Viserys isn’t dead. (Not dead yet!) He could be obviously doing very poorly, though. His cuts from the Iron Throne have spread around his back, hes lost fingers, and is currently experiencing some additional illness.

Maybe probably the most shocking thing about Viseryss health is he it’s still alive once the show jumps ahead a decade in to the future in a few days! Yes, there exists a big style jump approaching in House of the Dragon Episode 6. Older actors Emma DArcy and Olivia Cooke will undoubtedly be overtaking the roles of Rhaenyra and Alicent respectively from Milly Alcock and Emily Carey. And somehow maybe because of Maester Orwyles poultices? Paddy Considines Viserys it’s still rattling around.

Joffrey Lonmouth talking to Ser Criston Cole in House of the Dragon Episode 5
Photo: HBO


Probably the most shocking moment of House of the Dragon Episode 5 is without a doubt when Ser Criston Cole beats Ser Joffrey Lonmouth to death before everyone in court. Why is the Kingsguard lose his temper and literally murder a dude? Wellmaybe because he cant lash out at who hes really mad at Rhaenyra.

We learned the other day that Rhaenyra lost her virginity to Ser Criston Cole. That scene was filled with heartbreaking tension as Ser Criston took a beat to meditate on his white cloak symbolic of his virtue before succumbing to his desire. This week, though, Ser Criston makes his feelings for Rhaenyra known. He shows that they elope to Essos together. They are able to get married and explore the planet unfettered from their duties to the Iron Throne. Rhaenyra isn’t down with this particular idea. She explains that she actually is the crown and her duty is more vital that you her than any kind of love match. She also clearly wants the trappings of power that include being queen. Ser Cristons pitch is not attractive to Rhaenyra.

So Rhaenyra has broken Ser Cristons heart. Then she does something even worse. Rhaenyra explains that she and Laenor have decided to have an open marriage so she and Ser Criston will keep boning should they want. Ser Criston is disgusted by this. He explains that he’s got in life to his name is his Kingsguard appointment and the only path he could morally redeem their own name is by marrying Rhaenyra. He also realizes that Rhaenyra will not love him as he loves her. She really wants to use him for pleasure, and nothing more.

For more insight into how this devastates Ser Criston, we are in need of only to consider the scene where he reveals hes slept with Rhaenyra to Alicent. Alicent, needless to say, is trying to determine if anything happened between Rhaenyra and Daemon. Ser Criston literally asks Alicent to be merciful by killing him instead of gelding him. (For context: There have been a Kingsguard member named Ser Lucamore Strong yes, linked to those Strongs during Jaehaeryss reign who was simply discovered carrying on with three different women. He was castrated and delivered to the Wall as punishment. Ser Criston is let’s assume that is how he’ll be punished.)

So essentially Ser Criston would prefer to be literally dead. But what sets him off may be the proven fact that Ser Joffrey Lonmouth understands his secret and throws it in his face. Ser Joffrey thinks he could be buddying around someone else who’s down because of this open marriage situation. Actually, he could be mocking Ser Criston and underscoring that their collective secrets could find yourself killing all involved.

While we dont know just what was said or done that resulted in the altercation between Ser Criston and Ser Joffrey, Laenor is initially swept up inside it. Ser Cristons rage compels him to physically destroy this one who represents his greatest shame in mirror form. Its worth noting that while Ser Criston Cole does kill Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, the Knight of Kisses, in George R.R. Martins Fire & Blood, he waits until following the wedding. Ser Criston loses control at a tourney mele and kills Ser Joffrey there. House of the Dragon clearly made a decision to change the timeline to provide us another Game of Thrones bloody wedding

Alicent approaching Ser Criston in the godswood in House of the Dragon Episode 5
Photo: HBO


The ultimate moments of House of the Dragon Episode 5 intercut Rhaenyra and Laenors somber marriage ceremony with Ser Criston Cole making the motions to die by suicide in the Godswood. As Rhaenyra pledges her life to Laenor, Ser Criston requires a dagger to his belly and prepares to get rid of his life. However, he could be stopped at the final second by Alicent arriving, still in Hightower green, saying only his name.

While well never know very well what was said next, whats clear is that Ser Criston Cole is switching sides. His loyalty is not any longer with Rhaenyra, the princess who made him a Kingsguard and then sully that honor, but with Alicent, the queen who showed him mercy by keeping his secret and saving his life. One mystery in Fire & Blood is how and just why Ser Criston switched sides and today we realize why.

In the weeks ahead, be prepared to see Ser Criston as Alicents sworn protector and an integral member of what’s referred to as Team Green.

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