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House of The Dragon Episode 8 Review

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  • 6 min read

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Taking place six years after Daemon and Rhaenyra’s marriage, House of The Dragon Episode 8: The Lord of the Tides, kicks off when Vaemond Valeryon petitions the crown to decide who shall inherit Driftmark. 

With Lord Corlys Valeryon seriously injured and his nephew Leanor officially dead, Vaemond claims to be the only rightful heir to driftmark and not Rhaenyra’s illegitimate son, Lucerys Velaryon.

To ensure things go his way, Vaemond allies himself with Alicent and Otto Hightower, who have since taken over all matters of governing Westeros because of the king’s failing health. This creates a mutually beneficial alliance as if the Hightowers side with Vaemond, he would owe them and he would support Aegon’s claim to The iron Throne over Rhaenyra and by extension Jacerys.

Not wanting this to happen, Rhaenyra and her husband Daemon come to King’s Landing to make their case. However, not to the Hightowers, but to Viserys himself. 

Throughout the series, Viserys has proven his love for his daughter, Rhaenyra. He not only named her heir to the throne but throughout the show, he turns a blind eye to her many many scandals. But just when it looked like Rhaenyra was done for, the king drags his half-dead body out of bed to save his daughter and gives one of the most powerful entrances in Game of Thrones in history. 

King Viserys of house Targaryen, first of his name. King of The Andals, The Rhoynar, and the first men. Lord of the seven kingdoms and protector of the realm, is a legend. 

Daemon Crowns Viserys (House of the Dragon Episode 8)
Daemon Crowns Viserys (Credit:HBO)

I loved Viserys’ Throne room entrance as it exuded power despite the king being at his weakest. But what I loved is how he let Daemon help him take those final steps up the iron throne and then crown him again. The loyalty between Viserys and Daemon has always been moving, and it was nice to see it one last time. 

But back to the matter at hand. 

With Viserys presiding over the matter, Vaemond’s plan to steal the driftwood throne falls apart. Things especially get bad when Rhaenys (Lord Corlys’ wife) support’s Luke’s claims and announces that both of Rhaenyra’s sons will marry their cousins Baela and Rhaena. 

But bad turns into so much worse when Vaemond makes the poor move of calling the Princesses sons bastards in front of the king, and without hesitation, Daemond takes off his head with Valyrian sword, Dark sister. (P.S. I’m pretty sure Aemond fell in love with Daemon’s Sword at that moment)

Viserys’ Last Supper 

Viserys' Last Supper (House of The Dragon Episode 8)
Viserys’ Last Supper (Credit:HBO)

Viserys had been dead for some time and the realm (along with the viewers) have just been waiting for an official confirmation. But before he leaves this world, Viserys tries his best to right the wrongs he had been trying to ignore.

After saving Rhaenyra from the consequences of her actions (again), Viserys calls for a final dinner with his family, to end any divisions.

Recognizing his failure to act sooner, the King gives a heartfelt plea to all members of his family to put aside their anger and grudges for his sake. As he says, “The crown cannot stand strong if the house of the dragon is divided.” And for a while, there’s genuine peace in the House of The Dragon. Rhaenyra and Alicent shallow their pride, makeup, and embers of their old friendship spark again.

Even the children get along (well, initially). I loved the shots of Jace dancing with Helena, Rhaenyra laughing with Daemon, and even Otto smiling and enjoying the moment. It was a true celebration of family in all the best ways.

These moments brought both joy and regret to Viserys, as you could see that he wished he had done this sooner. If only he could have forced his family to settle all their quarrels earlier, he could have enjoyed this peace and grown old with them by his side.

But this happy moment is short-lived.

The moment Viserys leaves the room due to his health, chaos returns and his name is Aemond. Ewan Mitchell’s Aemond was fantastic, and he plucked his “strong boys” toast out straight from the books.

This mockery of their true parentage leads to a clash between Rhaenyra and Alicent’s children. But more importantly, the show uses this rekindled beef to strike a difference between their generation and their parents.

While the adults who started this rivalry have matured, their children, on the other hand, have no understanding of loss and jump in headfirst. And so the next generation of Targaryens have succeeded inherit their parent’s hatred.

The King’s Death

King Viserys Targaryen's Death (House of the Dragon Episode 8)
King Viserys Targaryen’s Death (Credit:HBO)

It’s so sad to think that Viserys closes his eyes, thinking he has settled all quarrels in his family, and then in his final hours, he undoes all his good work.

Thinking that he’s speaking to his daughter, Viserys continues their conversation about Aegon The conqueror’s dream. To kill Rhaenyra’s doubts, Viserys tells her she has no choice but to ascend the throne, as he thinks that she is the “prince that was promised.”

Unfortunately, Alicent (who the king is actually speaking to) on hearing this, thinks Viserys is talking about her son Aegon and has changed his mind about Rhaenyra inheriting the throne. And so Alicent leaves to tell the council that Viserys wants prince Aegon to be king, and in doing so, she starts the war known as the Dance of Dragons.

Verdict 

Summary

House of the dragon episode 8:The Lord of The Tides, was a heartbreaking farewell to the complex character of king viserys Targaryen. Though he made many poor decisions as king, he was undoubtedly a very kind man who loved his daughter and family.

The episode was filled with several amazing moments, most which show us how beautiful and powerful House Targaryen could be if they all worked together. They were so close to peace, but thanks to a naming error, all that now lies ahead of the House of the Dragon is war. 

Overall
5
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Pros

  • Awesome Political Manoeuvres 
  • Amazing Entrance by King Viserys
  • Heartwarming Family Moments
  • Daemon
  • Fantastic Acting

Cons

  • There’s No Reason to Skip 

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