House Of The Dragon Fans Had Big Reactions To Criston Cole And What Happened At Rhaenyra’s Wedding

Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

I’ve watched every episode of Game Of Thrones and now House Of The Dragon multiple times. You would think I would be prepared for anything and everything to happen at weddings, but let the record show, I certainly was not ready for the nonsense that went down at Rhaenyra and Laenor’s ceremony. Judging by the reaction on Twitter, I wasn’t the only fan that was blindsided either.

A ton happened in the fifth episode of House Of The Dragon. You can read Laura's more extensive write-up on "We Light The Way," but the clear standout, at least from a WTF perspective was obviously Ser Criston Cole. It was just one WTF after another the entire episode. He confessed to sleeping with Rhaenyra under like 2/10 levels of pressure when the Queen wasn’t even talking about him. He tried to get Rhaenyra to renounce the throne and run away with him in a complete and utter failing to read the room, and to top it all off, he beat Laenor’s boyfriend Joffrey to death for unclear reasons at the wedding. It was just one embarrassing L after another.

And, of course, Twitter had a field day reacting to all of it in real time. First, after he confessed to Alicent, the reaction was just a steady stream of “seriously, bro?” People could not get over how poorly he navigated that conversation and how easily he just blurted out exactly what happened when she was talking about Daemon. Here’s an example…

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And look, characters are gonna take Ls on Game Of Thrones/ House Of The Dragon. I can’t think of a single major character in 8 seasons of Thrones that didn’t take at least a few big losses. Poor Tyrion took like two years of Ls at the end. If this had been the only mistake Criston Cole made last night, we all would have just shrugged our shoulders and moved on, but the Alicent conversation was just the tip of the blade. He also, inexplicably, decided to ask Rhaenyra to renounce her throne and run away with him.

How did that seem like a good idea? What has Rhaenyra done that makes it seem like she’d want to abandon the throne and go live like a commoner? Nothing. But that didn’t stop Criston from giving his big Meredith Grey speech. Of course Twitter was having none of that and laughing about how thoroughly he got rejected.

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Those first two mistakes painted him as a naive fool, but they were nothing compared to his failure of a performance at the actual wedding. Criston spent the early part of the ceremony angrily shooting death looks at everyone because his heart was sad (and maybe because he spends too much time in that armor). Then he was approached by Joffrey, Laenor’s lover who is in the exact same position as him, and instead of commiserating or giving him a little bit of shit back, he decided to beat him to death in front of everyone.

I still have no idea what was said or what happened to lead up to the fight, but from Twitter’s vantage point, as well as my own, it seemed like a 10/10 overreaction. 

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It seemed like Criston Cole was going to take his own life at the end of the episode, but he was stopped by Alicent Hightower. The implication was that he’s going to be around more moving forward, and if that’s the case, barring any dramatic change in behavior, expect Twitter to continue absolutely crushing him just as hard as they've been rooting for Rhaneyra

Mack Rawden
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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.