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House Of The Dragon Episode 5 Just Broke George R.R. Martin's Canon

It only takes a prequel series and a cupboard full of awards to see that, divisive final season aside, "Game of Thrones" is a permanent part of popular culture. Now, details about characters, confrontations, and locations in George R. R. Martin's world have become ingrained in viewers' brains. The names of the Targaryen family and how much Jon Snow knows have as much chance of being forgotten as the Crazy Frog song. Yeah, we know. We apologize for the rest of your day.

Thankfully, these morsels of TV-related trivia have become an enormous help with our return trip to the Seven Kingdoms in "House of the Dragon." We might be invested in a story that begins a generation or two before the events of "Game of Thrones," but the world and the hot spots it's unfolding in are familiar enough to help us get the lay of the land. In the case of this week's episode, though, one notable landmark made an appearance that we've seen before and has a well-known history of its own. 

Daemon and Rhea's final meeting became a historical one in a spot we've seen before

At the start of "House of the Dragon's" fifth episode, "We Light The Way," we were introduced to the very shortlived debut of Rhea Royce (Rachel Redford), the estranged wife of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). The unhappy couple is reunited under the king's orders after King Viserys (Paddy Considine) commands his brother to return to the Vale following the recent scandal. However, it's the location of their meeting that holds the most significance.

For those that are only familiar with the adaptation of "Game of Thrones," you'll remember that the first time we saw The Vale in the show was when Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) visited her sister Lysa Tully in the show's first season. It's also where the friendship of Bronn (Jerome Flynn) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) began after the former fought in a trial by combat. The location was notorious for its impregnable castle, The Eyrie ("give me ten men and some climbing spikes, I'll impregnate the b***h"), and its high vantage points leading up to it against invading forces, which provided chokeholds to focus their attack. The location had a solid track record of maintaining the home turf against the enemy — that is until Daemon wandered through the land with nothing but a rock and an attitude.

Daemon's deed rewrote the history books in Fire and Blood

If we're going to talk in battle terms, Daemon Targaryen managed to infiltrate and kill the Vale's only defender, his wife, Rhea Royce. He even looks around the terrain above to ensure there are no witnesses and, by doing so, indirectly leaves the fortified kingdom's nearly flawless defense stat intact. His victory is never made official, which lines up with every other shifty deed that the rogue prince has done lately. It's also a significant change from George R.R. Martin's original works.

In the book, "Fire and Blood," which the show is adapted from, Rhea meets a similar end, albeit one that takes much longer. While she did fall from her horse and crack her head on a rock, she lived for another nine days bedridden. When she eventually did get up, she collapsed an hour later, succumbing to her injuries. While it's a minor tweak to the character's fate, it adds another layer of deception and cunning from Daemon. Just as brief, as she appeared in the show, Rhea was just another piece to move to how he saw fit. By the end of the episode, Daemon is already working not only in brushing off accusations regarding Rhea's death but also in making moves on Laena Velaryon (Savannah Steyn), daughter of Corlys (Steve Toussaint), who had already been used as a bargaining chip in the past. He's certainly not killing time, that's for sure.