We light the way forms the end of the great prologue. After this episode, the series will make its first major leap in time and tell the truth about "Dance of the Dragons". However, this also means that we have to say goodbye to two leading actresses forever.
Milly Alcock as Rhaenyra and Emily Carey as Alicient will be replaced by their older doubles from the next episode. But both actresses should be proud of themselves, as their performance over the past five episodes has helped earn this franchise respect again after the Season 8 debacle.
In fact, episode 5 also follows the quality of the last episodes and actually serves us another wedding, which can also be associated with a color: the "green" wedding.
Like the "Red" and "Purple" Weddings, the Green Wedding occupies the last third of its episode and spirals wildly towards the end. But before we anticipate the highlight, let's not overlook the great scenes that unfold beforehand.
The encounter between Viserys and Corlys, like every scene with Paddy Considine, is a prime example of subtext in storytelling. Thanks to the script, cinematography and acting, we feel the collapse of King Viserys and his inability to resist the control of those around him.
But precisely because of this "forgiving" quality, Viserys is not necessarily a bad king, at least not for times of peace. His new hand, Lory Lyonel Strong, sums this up very well. Not every king has to be so extreme in his actions to make it in ballads of the future. What a great character King Viserys is; it cannot be stressed enough.
Otto Hightower is also convincing in his last scene and issues a warning to his daughter, which makes our blood run cold and increases the excitement immensely for what may come next. Will Queen Alicient have to face off against her old friend Rhaenyra to ensure the survival of her children?
Ser Kriston Kraut, who after the last episode came to the conclusion relatively quickly to elope with Rhaenyra, gets a lot of time. Their futureless love story is elegantly synchronized with the banter between Laenor and Joffrey.
The misunderstanding between Queen Alicient and Ser Criston may be a bit contrived, but it's still within the realms of believability.
But now we come to the wedding. In addition to fantastic costumes, we are also offered atmospheric music that lets us wallow in an illusory nostalgia for the Middle Ages. There's real Game of Thrones vibes, because alongside the lavish name-dropping and forbidden gossip, we're at a wedding. That fact alone gives us a kind of meta-suspense, because we know that nothing good happens at weddings in this universe.
While the catastrophe at the end of Green Wedding isn't as big as past weddings, it still forms the perfect ending to the series' five-part prologue. The marriage seems born in unhappiness and dissatisfaction, Kriston owes Alicient's life and a rat feasts on the victim's blood. While the last metaphor seems a bit on-the-nose, it underscores the care that went into the series' script.
We light up the path has only small weaknesses that are more than made up for in the last third of the episode at the latest. Atmosphere, complexity and suspense culminate in a tragedy that, while not quite as colossal in scope as a blood wedding, closes the series' prologue with flying colors. The big time jump and cast change makes me a little nervous, but I'm confident House of the Dragon will stay on the best course.