House of the Dragon Star Addresses Major Changes Ahead for Criston Cole

Through the first four and a half episodes of House of the Dragon, the noble knight known as Ser Criston Cole became a major favorite amongst the show's fans. The loyal member of the Kingsguard and sworn protector of Rhaenyra won over the hearts of viewers with his big heart and admirable behavior. Criston's story took a massive turn in the fifth episode, however, and fans are already feeling very differently about him. According to star Fabien Frankel, the journey for Cole is just getting started.

WARNING: This article contains major spoilers from the latest episode of House of the Dragon! Continue reading at your own risk...

Near the end of the fifth episode, after having his heart broken by Rhaenyra, Criston brutally attacks and murders Laenor's secret love, Joffrey. He plans to end his on life after that, only to be stopped by Queen Alicent. Frankel recently spoke with EW about the wild evolution of his character.

"He's very much set up as one thing, and as the show goes on, changes a great deal. That was what was exciting to me," Frankel said. "He's very much set up as a noble, well-meaning knight there to protect Rhaenyra. And for those who've read the book, he isn't that by any means."

In George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, Criston kills Joffrey in combat as part of a tournament. The events play out in much more gruesome fashion on the show, and it makes Cole much harder to forgive.

"I don't think it's because [Rhaenyra] says she won't go away with him. I think it's the way in which she says she won't go away with him," Frankel continued. "That scene could so easily have been written [as] he asks her to run away with him, she understands why he feels this way, she can't give up her role as queen, but what she will offer him is an out if he would like to leave the Kingsguard. That very much could be the scenario that happens. It isn't. That to me is very interesting. She chose to keep him there. She made him stand through that wedding. That's where the animosity builds."

Cole's conversation with Alicent at the end of the episode sets in motion a series of events outlined in Fire & Blood. Those two characters will likely be working closely together throughout the rest of the series.

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