Spoiler alert: this recap is for individuals watching Home of the Dragon. Don’t learn on except you might have watched episode 5.
‘A darkish day for the realm’
Home of the Dragon is just not Sport of Thrones, that’s abundantly clear. This new sequence doesn’t have its ancestor’s geographic scope or grand narrative sweep; it doesn’t have its rambunctious sense of journey or its scabrous humour. It’s restricted each in its array of characters – they’re all noble, not less than within the courtly sense – and in its places. However what it does have is an ominous, trudging depth, a sense that terrible issues are coming not as a result of anybody needs them to, however as a result of they’re inevitable. It’s not precisely a barrel of enjoyable – however it’s more and more compelling.
This doleful episode, referred to as We Gentle the Manner, suffers barely within the wake of its hanging predecessor, however there’s nonetheless a lot to chew on. It begins with a breath of recent air: a rolling hillside, a swooping digital camera and a woman – Rhea of the Vale (Rachel Redford) – on horseback. There’s one thing of the Yara Greyjoy about her – she’s frisky and sharp-tongued. A brand new heroine, maybe? Don’t be absurd. Inside minutes she’s flat on her again, backbone shattered by her personal horse on the whim of her estranged husband Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), who hefts a bloody nice boulder to complete the job. Only one extra crime so as to add to this monster’s ever-extending rap sheet.
‘Is that this how Home Velaryon greets its King?’
Subsequent we’re at sea, the place uneven waves are inflicting King Viserys (Paddy Considine) greater than just a little bodily discomfort. It’s absolutely unattainable that the writers can have seen this 12 months’s controversial Cannes movie pageant Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Unhappiness earlier than penning this episode, however the parallels of in-your-face oceanic vomiting are uncanny. Anyway, the King and his daughter Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) are on a marital mission to Driftmark, island seat of these lords of the Slender Sea, the Velaryon clan. However the welcome they obtain is past frosty – you wouldn’t greet the tax inspector this manner, not to mention the ruler of the realm.
The temper thaws considerably when Viserys reaches a compromise over marriage phrases with Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and his Targaryen spouse, Woman Rhaenys (Eve Finest), each of whom relish the prospect of seeing their potential grandchild ascend the throne. There’s even a sure heat between the bride and groom to be, Rhaenyra and Laenor (Theo Nate) – childhood buddies who’ve since gone their separate methods. The scene the place they attain an “understanding” about their marital obligations was oddly cute – she will get to maintain boffing Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) and Laenor will stick with it seeing his floppy-haired secret lover, Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod). The stage is ready for a lavish marriage ceremony the place the whole lot goes precisely to plan, everybody has a beautiful time and nobody will get brutally face-smashed in entrance of the assembled visitors. Certain, certain.
‘Allow us to depart all of it behind and see the world collectively!’
You do need to surprise why they even hassle to have weddings in Westeros, once they all the time appear to go so murderously improper. The issue right here is Ser Criston, who’s lower than thrilled on the prospect of changing into a glorified fuck-buddy for the subsequent monarch, particularly because it represents a significant betrayal of his vows. Various commenters identified final week that the consummation of Rhaenyra and Criston’s flirtations left the Kingsguard knight in a bind, powerless on the whim of his mistress. Nicely, he tried to reclaim his energy this week in more and more determined vogue, from pleading with Rhaenyra to desert the throne and run away to Essos to sort-of-unintentionally revealing their tryst to Queen Alicent (Emily Carey), who correctly squirrelled this data away for later.
In spite of everything, Alicent was busy making strikes of her personal to regain some sense of company, following a dire warning from her father, the outgoing Hand of the King Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), that Rhaenyra’s ascent to the throne would depart each the Queen and her kids weak. Additional darkish whispers from the scheming Larys Robust (Matthew Needham) – appearing with or with out the data of his personal father, the newly minted Hand, Lord Lyonel Robust (Gavin Spokes) – solely deepened Alicent’s sense of unease. However not less than she now has Ser Criston’s act of contrition in her pocket, ought to issues flip nasty – and maybe even Ser Criston himself.
‘Marriage is barely a political association’
However first the marriage occasion, and a sequence of grand and never so grand entrances. The Velaryons placed on the perfect present, sweeping down the steps like a flock of proud birds, resplendent of their New Romantic finery. Prince Daemon opted for a subtler however no much less impactful arrival, stalking into the room as whispers rose round him, forcing his brother both to make a scene or knuckle beneath and fetch a chair. Viserys, unsurprisingly, selected the latter. Lastly, it was Alicent who set tongues wagging, each with an emerald inexperienced costume – the battle colors of her home, based on Larys – and along with her interruption of her husband’s speech, an influence play that left Alicent wanting extra regal and decided than she has within the sequence to date.
Then, after the speeches, music and dancing! Or not less than, a disturbingly avant-garde approximation of each: the droning cacophony appeared to lack both a way of rhythm or any definable tune, whereas the dancing largely concerned waving the arms about and shouting “Hey!” at random intervals. No surprise Ser Criston misplaced his rag. The confusion as to what, precisely, was spooking the visitors was fantastically dealt with – we assumed it concerned Prince Daemon, who had simply tried to make a closing transfer on his betrothed niece. However no, it was the love-struck Kingsguard, lashing out dementedly at his brother-in-paramourship, leaving Joffrey horribly overwhelmed on the ground. After all, the marriage ceremony nonetheless went forward, because the rats lapped up the blood – although whether or not the bride’s father survived stays to be seen. Given how arduous Viserys hit the deck in these closing moments, it appears unlikely.
The Velaryons need to be probably the most glam household in Westeros – not simply the glittering frocks and platinum locks, however the decor: their fort of Excessive Tide was kitted out like an oceanic goth’s mad fantasy, with helmeted skulls, painted ships and candles by the thousand.
Doubtful casting alert: are we actually anticipated to swallow the concept shifty Larys Robust is the son of Viserys’s new Hand, Lord Lyonel? As a result of from what we will glean on-line there’s a couple of seven-year age hole between the 2 actors, and you’ll see it.
It was a pleasure to witness the return of Jason Lannister (Jefferson Corridor) – and to catch a glimpse of his equivalent twin brother, Ser Tyland – if solely to see the open contempt on Rhaenyra’s face as he approached the dais. If Ser Otto was proper and the realm does stand up towards her, that dismissive sneer may cost many lives.
One other chaste week, although these raunchy tapestries in Alicent’s quarters did get another look-in. Critically, how can she eat breakfast in there? And what about poor little Aegon?
Once more, the episode was topped and tailed with damaged bones – first the again of Woman Rhea of the Vale and at last the face of poor Joffrey Lonmouth, smashed to a bloody pulp by the enraged Ser Criston.
Random Brit of the week
Talking of younger Joffrey, he could not have lasted lengthy in Westeros however we’ll be seeing actor Solly McLeod once more very quickly, taking part in the title character in a four-part ITV adaptation of Henry Fielding’s lusty 18th-century picaresque novel Tom Jones, due on our screens earlier than the tip of the 12 months.