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An MMA specialist analyses the battle at House of the Dragon’s wedding

An end-of-game TKO


House of the Dragon this week brought a lot to the ceremonial table, including power couples plotting, daring outfit choices, and, in the end, a very vicious brawl.

We’re here to talk about that last part today.


Important House of the Dragon fifth-episode spoilers are included below.


The marriage of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor Velaryon, which solidifies the relationship between the two influential Westerosi houses, is one of the most significant events of the episode. The spouses are looking elsewhere, as is common in political unions, specifically at their respective loves, Sers. Criston Cole and Joffrey “The Knight of Kisses” Lonmouth.


Ser Joffrey surmises that Ser Criston is his counterpart in this four-sided relationship while at the wedding. In an effort to start a discussion, Joffrey reveals his knowledge of Criston and Rhaenyra’s secret and suggests the two knights watch out for one another.


That goes… very badly. Soon after, there is a disturbance on the dance floor, with Criston on top of Joffrey and recklessly whaling on his face. It looks like a ground-and-pound sequence from a contemporary MMA battle (albeit with one combatant wearing a full suit of armor).


Fortunately, the top MMA website in the industry, MMA Fighting, is located in the building where I work. So I got in touch with senior reporter Damon Martin, who calls himself a “huge” lover of the world of Game of Thrones.


Martin praised Criston’s ground-and-pound style of combat and compared the knight’s technical style to that of heavyweight challenger Curtis Blaydes. He claimed that the youthful fighter may still improve, though.


Martin remarked, “Credit to Criston Cole on his technique with the swift takedown and sliding into mount, where he just began raining down blows on the “Knight of the Kisses,” who obviously needs to work on his ground defence, even though it now seems he’ll never get the chance. If Ser Criston really wanted to deal the most damage possible, his only true upgrade would be to add some elbows to his punches, although he appeared to be doing quite fine with his fists.


Martin provided some advice on how Joffrey, the loser in this particular combat, could have been able to prevent his violent death. Although there was no official confirmation of his condition, he certainly appeared to be in horrible health at the end of the exchange.


Once he was on his back, Joffrey simply never had the chance to demonstrate any of his fighting prowess, he lamented. He didn’t appear to have taken even one grappling class during the time he spent working for House Velaryon in Driftmark. Joffrey should have at the very least been able to pull guard on the bigger, stronger adversary to keep him near so he could at least lessen the damage he was taking. Given that he was carrying around 80 pounds of armour at the time, Ser Criston would have undoubtedly became fatigued if he had to struggle to stand up and punch.



How will Criston fare going forward? At the conclusion of the episode, we see that Queen Alicent intervenes to prevent his suicide. Martin believes Criston has a real chance to break out in the Westerosi MMA scene if he sets his mind to it.


Ser Criston appears to be the total package, according to Martin. He possesses strength, quickness, and a ruthlessness that will probably help him win future battles. He might wish to hold in his rage because engaging in emotional combat can have unintended consequences. Because the time will come when Criston will face a smart foe who may profit from his incapacity to distinguish between his work and something more personal.


He might challenge for a WFC title one day (Westeros Fighting Championships, of course) if he keeps improving his wrestling.

Himanshu Mahawar

Himanshu Mahawar is the Editor and Founder at Flaunt Weekly.

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