We Light the Way

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"We Light the Way"
House of the Dragon
Season 1  —  Episode 5
We Light the Way HOTD.jpg
Original air date September 18, 2022
Running time 60 minutes
Directed by Clare Kilner
Written by Charmaine DeGraté
Episode chronology
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"King of the Narrow Sea" "The Princess and the Queen"
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"We Light the Way" is the fifth episode of the HBO medieval fantasy television series House of the Dragon. The runtime is 60 minutes. It is written by Charmaine DeGraté, and directed by Clare Kilner. Music was composed by Ramin Djawadi.

The title of the episode is the motto of House Hightower.

Official synopsis

Daemon visits his wife in the Vale. Viserys and Rhaenyra broker agreements with the Velaryons. Alicent seeks the truth about the princess.[1]



Lady Rhea Royce goes hunting alone after refusing the company of her cousin, Ser Gerold Royce. On her way back to Runestone, she is confronted by her husband, Prince Daemon Targaryen. As Daemon approaches her, Rhea's horse is frightened, rears up and crushes her, leaving Rhea paralyzed. After Rhea insults him, Daemon kills her with a rock.


King Viserys I Targaryen makes the voyage to Driftmark to propose a marriage between his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lord Corlys Velaryon's son, Ser Laenor Velaryon. Corlys accepts the proposal after clarifying how the inheritance of the Iron Throne will be dealt with. Rhaenyra and Laenor make a pact to have an open marriage after they uphold their duties as spouses. While sailing back to King's Landing, Ser Criston Cole asks Rhaenyra to go into exile in Essos with him, to escape their respective duties and be able to marry for love, Rhaenyra refuses however.

King's Landing

Alicent Hightower meets her father, Ser Otto Hightower, one last time before his departure from court. Otto reiterates that Alicent has to choose between her children and her friendship with Rhaenyra. In the godswood, Larys Strong informs Alicent of the moon tea that has been given to Rhaenyra. Alicent then confronts Criston Cole and learns the truth about Rhaenyra's virtue and how she lied to her.

Viserys is treated by Grand Maester Mellos and Maester Orwyle after falling. Orwyle proposes to change the king's medication, but Mellos refuses and proceeds to leech the king. Viserys discusses his legacy with his new Hand, Lord Lyonel Strong, before dozing off to sleep.

A welcome feast is organized in the throne room to mark the start of the festivities for Rhaenyra and Laenor's wedding. All the lords in the kingdoms come in turn in front of the dais to pay homage to the royal family where Queen Alicent is noticeably absent. After the Velaryons make their grand entrance into the room and sit on the dais, Prince Daemon Targaryen arrives unexpectedly, but Viserys grants him a place on the dais as well. Viserys then stands up to make a speech but he is stopped by the entrance of Alicent who wears a beautiful green dress as a mark of defiance against Rhaenyra, green being the Hightowers' war color. By that action she makes it clear to everyone who understands the meaning of this color, that she is now at war with the princess.

During the feast, Lord Hobert Hightower tells Alicent he and Oldtown will support her. Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, Laenor's lover, figures out that Ser Criston is Rhaenyra's paramour. Thinking Criston is all in on Rhaenyra and Laenor's pact, Joffrey goes to Criston and speaks of their informal alliance. Criston does not approve of Joffrey's candor and takes this as a threat or a mockery of his Kingsguard vows. Ser Gerold Royce comes to the dais to confront Daemon about Lady Rhea's recent death. After some heated words are exchanged Gerold is forced to go back to his chair. Lady Laena Velaryon observes Daemon from the opposite side of the dais and shows interest in the newly widowed prince. The two dance for a time before Daemon leaves to dance with Rhaenyra. He tries to persuade her to call off her wedding to Laenor, but she does not back down and refuses his advances.

As Viserys observes his daughter and brother talking, screams can be heard from ladies on the dance floor and chaos ensues. There is some confusion about what is causing all this at first, but then it is revealed that Criston Cole snapped and is punching Joffrey to death. Lyonel Strong sends his son, Ser Harwin Strong, into the mob to retrieve Rhaenyra and guarantee her safety. After all this chaos, all the lords leave the room and Laenor finds the corpse of his lover on the floor and starts crying. Criston goes to the godswood to commit suicide, but he is stopped by Alicent. The festivities are called off and Laenor and Rhaenyra are married on the spot in the throne room by the High Septon. The episode ends with Viserys fainting.





The ratings rose 3% compared to the previous episode.[2]

Behind the Scenes

According to Steve Toussaint, a scene was filmed on his suggestion where Corlys grabs Laenor away from the corpse of Ser Joffrey Lonmouth and towards Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen to ensure the marriage take place. The goal of this scene was to show the darker side of Corlys, he prioritizes the access to the throne over his son's sexuality and grief.[3]

External links