House of the Dragon viewers were getting red wedding flashbacks during Episode 5 titled “We Light the Way” Sunday night, when the royal nuptials between Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Lord Corlys Velaryon’s son and heir, Ser Laenor Velaryon, ended in a gruesome affair.
Earlier in the episode, it had been decided that Rhaenyra would wed Ser Laenor to join the two most powerful houses: House Targaryen and House Velaryon. While King Viserys ironed out the details with Lord Corlys and Princess Rhaenys, Ser Laenor and Rhaenyra took a walk on the beach, where they came to an agreement that they would perform their political duties as man and wife, but their marriage would remain open to their separate tastes.
In case you missed it, in the previous episode, Rhaenyra took to bed Ser Criston Cole. Meanwhile, we found out Ser Laenor is gay and his secret lover is a knight, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth.
Jumping ahead to the pre-royal-wedding dinner, the night already took a dramatic turn as soon as Viserys’s brother Daemon showed up to sit at the head table, followed by Queen Alicent Hightower, who showed up in an emerald green gown, the color of House Hightower when its beacon declares war.
However, it is when the guests are dancing, that Ser Laenor’s secret lover Joffrey approaches Rhaenyra’s secret lover Ser Criston and threatens him with blackmail, that triggers Ser Criston into ultimately beating him to a pulp and to the point of his face being completely mangled.
Weddings in Westeros are very rarely nonviolent. It’s almost expected at this point, which is why some viewers were triggered before anything even went down. And even though Ser Criston’s meltdown didn’t end with nearly as high of a body count as the red wedding, it was still shocking and jaw-dropping, and fans loved it
— soph:)))) (@STimbario) September 19, 2022
This wedding is right up there with the Red Wedding: The growing unease, the music, and the shocking end. #HouseOfTheDragon
— Ashley Maxwell (@tardisteacher) September 19, 2022
— αѕн 🧸🤎✌🏽 (@ashleybrantley1) September 19, 2022
Even more savage, despite Ser Laenor’s secret lover being brutally murdered, the wedding to join House Targaryen and House Velaryon still took place, while Ser Laenor weeped through the entire ceremony. And at the very end of the episode, Viserys passes out, leaving his fate in question as we head into Episode 6 and its big jump forward in time, introducing new actresses Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra and Olivia Cooke as Alicent.