How Were Rhea Royce And Joffrey Lonmouth’s Deaths In ‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 5 Different From The Book?


There were a couple of deaths that took place in the “House of the Dragon” Episode 5. The nature of these deaths and the motives of the characters behind them had a stark difference from what was mentioned in the novel written by George R.R. Martin, “Fire and Blood.” So, let’s analyze the deaths of Rhea Royce, the lady of Runestone and the first wife of Daemon Targaryen, and of Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, the Knight of Kisses and the lover of Laenor Velaryon. Also, let’s try to understand the transformation the characters went through, who was responsible for these deaths, and what it says about their sensibilities and behavioral traits.

The Death Of Rhea Royce

Daemon always referred to his wife as the “Bronze Bitch,” and we realize early in the series, “House of the Dragon,” that the man had little or no affection for her. He indulged in a lot of illicit affairs and didn’t treat his wife with the respect and dignity she deserved. Now, according to the book, “Fire and Blood,” Lady Rhea Royce had fallen from horseback, and her head directly hit a stone. She suffered for nine days before she finally succumbed to her injuries. At this point in time, Daemon was in Bloodstone, fighting against the Triarchy. When he got the news of his wife’s death, he immediately went to Vale to take part in her last rites. The narrative has been altered in the series, and the motive of Daemon’s character was quite different from the accounts mentioned in the book. In the 5th episode of “House of the Dragon,” Daemon had direct involvement in the death of his wife. After getting expelled from King’s Landing, Daemon had gone to the Vale. He had asked King Viserys, his brother, for the hand of his own niece, Rhaenyra Targaryen, in marriage. The king was shocked that an already wedded Daemon had the audacity to ask for the hand of the heir to the Iron Throne. Viserys believed that his brother only wanted to get married to Rhaenyra because he craved power and wanted to sit on the Iron Throne. But as a matter of fact, Daemon actually had strong feelings for Rhaenyra, and she reciprocated it equally. He cited the example of Aegon the Conqueror, who had two wives, but Viserys told him that he couldn’t compare himself to the likes of such a great ruler when he lacked Aegon’s qualities. Daemon was fuming with anger when he reached the Vale. He came in front of his wife, who was rather shocked to find him in the Vale as he seldom visited there. Rhea started taunting Daemon. She mocked how he was thrown out of King’s Landing.

When Rhea saw her husband directly in his eyes, she sensed a malicious intent. Her hand, in defense, went to her small armory, which she was carrying on the horse’s back. Before she could pull out her weapon, Daemon pulled her horse and she fell down. She fell on her back and lay on the ground in a miserable state. At this point in time, you are bound to feel sad about Rhea. The makers somewhat transformed Daemon into a complete evil antagonist. What had the poor woman done to deserve such treatment? She didn’t have a happy marriage, and now, for no rhyme or reason, she was being subjected to violence just because her husband, a maniac, wasn’t satisfied with his life and was looking for ways to vent out his anger. Daemon was going away when a fierce Rhea spoke once again. She mocked and scorned him. Daemon picked up a stone and came back to kill his wife. “House of the Dragon” does not clearly state if Daemon had come with the intention of killing his wife or if it was a decision taken in the spur of the moment. The one thing common to the character of Daemon Targaryen in the book and the series is his lack of emotions for his wife. The manner of the death might be different in the series, but in both places, Daemon started flirting with Laena Velaryon almost days after his wife’s death. He was more interested in claiming her lands than paying homage to her memories. Maybe he was married to Rhea Royce against his wishes, and maybe the Lady of Runestone didn’t treat him properly, but she didn’t deserve to be treated in such an appalling manner and cruelty as Daemon had subjected her to.

The Death Of Joffrey Lonmouth

In Episode 5 of “House of the Dragon,” we are introduced to the character of Ser Joffrey Lonmouth. He shared a rather romantic relationship with Laenor Velaryon, son of Lord Corlys Velaryon. Everybody in the kingdom knew about the inclinations and likings of the young prince, but nobody spoke about it. According to the book, “Fire and Blood,” when Rhaenyra was told to get married to Laenor Velaryon, she told her father, Viserys Targaryen, that the 20-year-old prince would rather like to enter into a matrimonial alliance with her half-brothers (Rhaenyra referred to Alicent’s sons as half-brothers) rather than with her. It is indicative of the fact that even in King’s Landing, everybody knew that Laneor Velaryon was interested in men. But still, Viserys had proposed to get his daughter married to the heir of Driftmark because he knew that House Velaryon was one of the strongest allies he could ask for. The accounts mentioned in the book and the series are a bit different from each other when it comes to the death of Joffrey Lonmouth. The series perceives it in a more dramatic manner. Rhaenyra had shared an intimate moment with Ser Criston Cole and used him as a rebound after Daemon had left her in the dingy alleys of Flea Bottom. Criston had started entertaining a possibility that he could have a future with Rhaenyra. But for Rhaenyra, it was just good fun; she had never intended to get married to Ser Criston Cole. When Criston got to know about her intentions, he was infuriated. He also felt guilty for breaking his vows for no significant reason. At this fragile moment, Joffrey Lonmouth went and spoke to Criston Cole. He told him that he knew about his affair with Rhaenyra Targaryen. Something snapped inside the guilt-laden knight, and he smashed Lonmouth’s face in front of the whole gathering and killed him in the process.

Later, Criston was about to end his life when Alicent Hightower came and stopped him, and since then, he swore his allegiance to the queen. In the book, though, the accounts are a bit different. Lonmouth never instigated Criston Cole and met him face-to-face in the tourney which was held during the royal wedding. As per “Fire and Blood”, Criston Cole never slept with Rhaenyra, which ultimately led to the princess detesting him. That is why she denied him a favor during the tourney, and he turned towards Alicent Hightower, who granted him one. The wrath of the Lord Commander fell on the other competitors in the tourney, and Lonmouth was one of his victims. He used a weapon called the Morningstar to severely injure Joffrey Lonmouth, who was alive for seven days before ultimately succumbing to his injuries.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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