The ending of the fifth episode of House of the Dragon was full of events that will surely be of great importance and have a huge impact on future developments in the show. With Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor’s wedding feast at hand, it was only a matter of time before something will escalate. It’s the tradition inherited from Game of Thrones when it comes to weddings. And for sure, that happened and yet another gathering in Westeros ended in bloodshed. But the question remains, why did Criston Cole kill Joffrey, and that is what we’ll discuss in this article.
Criston Cole killed Joffrey to protect Rhaenyra and because he reached his breaking point due to all the pressure he must have felt. Joffrey found out that Cole is actually Rhaenyra’s love interest and if that information were to come out, it would put Rhaenyra in grave danger. Ser Cole was also very ashamed and tense because he considered he dishonored himself and his oath to the realm.
But it wasn’t just words that were said by Joffrey to Criston that triggered Criston to kill Joffrey. It was more of the way how Joffrey said it, and what he meant by them. It’s clear that Cole and Joffrey have very different views on what is right and moral and what is not, so when Joffrey said to Ser Cole that they should keep their secrets and continue with their love affairs further on, Cole probably realized that he would have to live the life he is disgusted by if he were to continue with all of that.
The events that led to Criston Cole killing Joffrey
In the fifth episode of House of the Dragon, there is a wedding feast celebrating a marriage between Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor. When all the guests have gathered and the King gave his speech, the feast began and Rhaenyra can be seen dancing in the great hall of Red Keep. Meanwhile, Ser Criston is at his duty as a knight of Kingsguard but noticeably moody. Joffrey noticed that and realized that he must be Rhaenyra’s paramour.
Joffrey approached Ser Laenor and said to him that he found out who Rhaenyra’s love interest is and that it was Criston. The two of them continued discussing it and Joffrey said he believes that Ser Cole bloodied his white cloak with Rhaenyra’s maidenhead. However, Ser Laenor urges him to stop talking about it as it can get them all in trouble. But eventually, they both agree that it is a good thing that they know Rhaneyra’s secret because now they also have some ‘dirt’ on her that can be used in their favor if needed.
Ser Laenor and Joffrey are lovers and Rhaenyra knows that. She even proposed to Laenor that after they get married, both of them should be free to pursue their own love interests as they please. When they found out that Cole is actually Rhaenyra’s secret interest, it was a good thing for them because now they have leverage that could be used against her if needed, so their secret about their affair is automatically safer.
Later on, Joffrey approaches Cole, introduces himself, and starts explaining how he is very fond of Ser Laenor and that he knows that Cole is also fond of Princess. He explains to Cole that they are both deeply invested in this union between Rhaenyra and Ser Laenor and that is in their best interest to keep their secrets safe for all their sake.
How did Criston Cole kill Joffrey?
In a crowded room, Rhaenyra and Daemon danced and argued in a way that could be described as teasing and flirting, and then suddenly screams and shouts were heard. A large group of people was gathered around the undistinctive event and some cheered while others were scared. Suddenly the guards started rushing toward the place where some kind of riot was happening. Rhaenyra started shouting and calling Ser Laenor who can be seen a few moments later pushing Ser Criston who is clearly in a fight with someone. Cole got up after he was pushed and punched Laenor in the face and then we can finally see what’s really happening.
There is Joffrey laying on the floor holding a knife in his hand and Cole is sitting on him and punching him with all of his might. Joffrey tried to fight Cole off of himself but he was not able to do that. At some point, Cole simply snapped and started hitting Joffery with his fists so hard and so fast that he crushed his skull leaving Joffrey dead with disfigured face and blood all over.
When Criston realized that it was over and Joffrey was dead, he calmed himself down, slowly got up, and just walked away. Ser Laenor started sobbing and yelling as he lost the person dearest to him. The main question that remains is why all of this happened.
Why did Criston Cole kill Joffrey in House of the Dragon?
When Joffrey approached Cole, he started teasing him about how Rhaenyra and Laenor are great together. He then stated that he knows that Cole is fond of Rhaenyra as he is of Laenor. Joffrey advised Cole that those secrets should be kept because if those are kept safe, then they are all safe also.
Cole must have realized at this point that Rhaenyra’s position is threatened by the fact that Joffrey knows about him and the Princess. Not only that, but he also reminded him of the great shame and dishonor he brought upon himself and his duty as a member of Kingsguard. Eventually, everything culminated inside Ser Criston until he snapped and started punching Joffrey so vigorously that he killed him eventually.
So, Criston Cole killed Joffrey to protect Rhaenyra and because he reached his breaking point due to all the pressure he must have felt. Joffrey found out that Cole is actually Rhaenyra’s love interest and if that information were to come out, it would put Rhaenyra in grave danger. He was also very ashamed and tense because he considered he dishonored himself and his oath to the realm.