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House of the Dragon shocker: Criston Cole breaks bad

So much for Criston Cole being Rhaenyra Targaryens prince charming. That didnt last.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of House of the Dragon.]

On Sunday nights fifth bout of the overall game of Thrones spinoff series House of the Dragon, the dreamy Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) breaks bad. So, to any viewers hoping that Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) may have a happily ever after with her sworn protector who she lost her virginity to, wave goodbye compared to that possibility.

In this episode, Cole gets furious that Rhaenyra rejects the thought of abandoning her crown to perform off with him. So he reacts in a calm and logical way by dramatically murdering a person who doesnt deserve it thus ending anyones hopes of maybe Criston may be the nice guy who Rhaenyra should end up getting!

Heres what goes on. Rhaenyra would go to marry Laenor (Theo Nate), Corlys Velaryons (Steve Toussaint) son, in a political arrangement that both families have decided on. As it happens that Laenor is gay and contains a boyfriend, Joffrey (Solly McLeod), so Rhaenyra and Laenor concur that theyll have their marriage for show, and both date other folks privately.

Unfortunately, Cole isnt thinking about this. He wants Rhaenyra to perform off and marry him and create a new lease of life together a long way away, but shes unwilling to ditch her crown. Instead, she tells him about her arrangement with Laenor, and explains they can continue seeing one another.

Cole is indeed enraged You need me to be your whore? he sneers he betrays her immediately.

Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) with her fiance, Laenor (Theo Nate) on a beach on
Rhaenyra with her fianc, Laenor (Theo Nate) on House of the Dragon.
HBO
Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) standing close together looking flirty in
Rhaenyra and Cole internal of the Dragon.
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

When her former companion and current stepmother, Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey) asks him about Rhaenyras activities during the sex-fest last episode, he confesses they were intimate. This shocks Hightower, since she tried to greatly help Rhaenyra (when rumors were flying around about her sex life) and she now knows that Rhaenyra lied to her (when she denied taking part in any hanky-panky whatsoever).

Later at the marriage feast, Coles true colors turn out a lot more. Laenors boyfriend, Joffrey, makes a fatal error of not realizing what story hes in. (Doesnt he understand that nothing good ever happens to guys named Joffrey at weddings in Westeros?) Joffrey tries to bond with Cole about both being the medial side partners to the groom and bride as of this wedding.

Cole responds to the rationally. Just kidding, he responds just like a psycho, brutally murdering Joffrey before everyone because the crowd panics and the party dissolves into chaos.

Fabien Frankel as Ser Crison Cole on
Frankel as Cole on House of the Dragon.
Thanks to HBO
Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) entering a room looking serious.
Cole is not any longer Prince Charming on House of the Dragon.
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Later, Cole is shown taking his knife to his chest, apparently likely to kill himself after going off the rails, but Hightower appears and stops him.

[Warning: Spoiler alert from book source material.]

In the George R.R. Martin book Fire & Blood that the show is founded on, this story is resulting in a civil war between factions which are basically Team Hightower and Team Rhaenyra. So, even though scene ends there, this paves just how for Coles loyalties to be on Team Hightower.

Its worth noting that Rhaenyra didnt even outright reject Cole she was just unwilling to stop her lifes ambitions for him. She was available to a workaround to keep seeing him. But, because the situation didnt go exactly his way, Cole violently lashed out.

King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) at her wedding feast sitting at a table.
King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and Rhaenyra at her wedding feast that Cole ruins.
HBO
Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) with Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) during happier times walking with a horse between them in a forest on
Rhaenyra with Cole during happier times on House of the Dragon.
Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), Rhaenyras other love interest, is inappropriate in a slew of ways (hes her uncle, hes significantly older, and hes also a psycho who murders someone this episode too his wife!) but at this time, hes beginning to look like an improved choice on her behalf than Cole.

Star Alcock agrees, since she recently told The Post about Cole, I believe that she genuinely likes him. But I dont think she’d pick him over Daemon, ultimately.

Sorry, fans of Cole, as it happens that hes wii dude. Hes the type of guy who reacts to a woman rejecting him by doing something utterly unhinged.

House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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