Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole looks down on the battlefield at Rook's Rest in House of the Dragon

Somehow, ‘House of The Dragon’ Found a Way To Make Ser Criston Cole Look Even Worse

Is there anyone who doesn't hate Ser Criston at this point?

There isn’t a single House of The Dragon fan right now that doesn’t hate Ser Criston Cole. It’s not just because he’s Team Green or laid the trap that killed Rhaenys and Meleys. It’s because he’s a hypocrite and chooses to be an incel.

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The man was rejected by a woman once, for a very valid reason. It is true that Rhaenyra seduced him, and the skewed power dynamics between a princess and her Kingsguard meant that Cole probably thought he couldn’t say no. But he became an enthusiastic participant in their affair right away, and eventually fell in love with her.

However, when he asked her to run away with him, it wasn’t just about his love for her. He thought that by marrying the girl who made him break his oath of celibacy (that every knight of the Kingsguard takes) and who must now marry not for love but for a political arrangement, he could somehow restore his honour.

Rhaenyra, who has been told by her father the secret of Aegon The Conqueror’s dream of A Song of Ice and Fire, knows that she is more than just an heir to the Iron Throne. She is to be a future Protector of the Realm, and therefore cannot abandon it all for a man she had a casual fling with. But instead of understanding her and respecting her choice of not abandoning her position or giving up a powerful future, Ser Criston Cole begins hating Rhaenyra for not choosing him and a future of possible poverty. And his antics at her engagement feast? The drama queen, this dude!

Would that it could’ve ended there. But oh no! Ser Criston Cole has now resorted to calling Rhaenyra a “whore”—not a false queen or pretender to the throne, but a downright character assassination based on sex! Ironic, since he himself is now sleeping with the Dowager Queen Alicent in Rhaenyra’s old bedroom, an act that no one forced him into, and breaking his oath over and over. But sure, it is Rhaenyra who deserves to be called “a whore!”

What Criston Cole could learn from Willem Blackwood

In season 2 episode 4, “The Red Dragon and The Gold,” Cole once again calls Rhaenyra “the whore of Dragonstone.” Surprise Surprise.

But in the same episode, we meet Willem Blackwood, who is at Harrrenhal at the summons of king consort Daemon Targaryen to talk about his allegiance to the Blacks. You’ll remember that in the previous episode, “The Burning Mill,” the Blackwoods and Brackens fought each other over the Blacks and the Greens. The Brackens are Green supporters, while the Blackwoods are Team Black. The fight results in heavy casualties on both ends, also because there’s already an age-old feud between the houses that further aggravates the matter.

Daemon then questions House Blackwood’s allegiance to Rhaenyra, wondering if it is merely another excuse for them to antagonize their arch enemies, the Brackens, to which Willem Blackwood replies that he actually met Rhaenyra years ago. In season 1 episode 4, “King of The Narrow Sea,” he was a young lad who proposed marriage to her. And even though she rejected him, he liked her spirt, which he called “the true spirit of the dragon.”

Blackwood was rejected by Rhaenyra too. But clearly, he isn’t out there besmirching her name and assassinating her character for it. There isn’t a case of sour grapes here. He’s being a true gentleman, a secure man able to take rejection healthily, and not an incel like Ser Criston is. Maybe this is something he could learn from Blackwood!

Is Willem Blackwood a cool guy or what?

Well, he isn’t mentioned in the books, but he is definitely going to play an important role for the Blacks in the upcoming battles. He is most probably going to be playing regent to Lord Benjicot Blackwood, son of the lord of House Blackwood who died during the battle of the Burning Mill. And Benjicot goes on to make some pretty big moves in the Dance of the Dragons!

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Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.