Breaking Down What Happens To Viserys In House Of The Dragon Episode 8


WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 8!The Dance of the Dragons officially begins after House of the Dragon episode 8’s ending, as King Viserys’ inevitable fate finally arrives. The weak King Viserys I Targaryen has been on the verge of death throughout the majority of House of the Dragon season 1, with his survival over the past 16 years being quite shocking. However, following a final gathering of both Targaryen factions for dinner, House of the Dragon episode 8 implies that the ill Viserys has finally been taken by the Stranger and reunited with his first wife, Aemma.


The last few minutes of House of the Dragon episode 8, “The Lord of the Tides,” features several twists that set up the beginning of the Targaryen civil war. Alicent’s green party and Rhaenyra’s black party have been gradually emerging over the years, with the next generation of Targaryens further dividing King Viserys’ heirs. Now that all signs point toward King Viserys finally dying in House of the Dragon episode 8, the bloody Dance of the Dragons will finally commence. Of course, House of the Dragon included one last twist before revealing the King’s sad fate, as Viserys’ final words were what accidentally prompted the momentous act of treason to come.

Related: HOTD Is Already Making Its Most Horrifying Scene Even Worse

King Viserys Is Definitely Dead This Time, Right?

While Viserys already had a death fake-out in House of the Dragon episode 5, the King is officially dead in episode 8. Viserys had presumably used up all of his strength to ascend the Iron Throne one last time, gather his family for one big dinner, and tell “Rhaenyra” that he believes in Aegon’s prophecy and knows that she is the one who must carry on the burden of his Song of Ice and Fire dream. After Viserys is given milk of the poppy again, he reaches out into the air and declares “my love,” at which point House of the Dragon episode 8 cuts to black – signaling that the King has officially died.

What King Viserys Says As He Dies

Viserys’ final words in House of the Dragon episode 8 are “my love,” which are referring to Rhaenyra’s mother Aemma Arryn. The King never stopped loving his first wife after her brutal death in House of the Dragon episode 1, with a combination of his illness and continued devotion to her even causing Viserys to accidentally call Alicent “Aemma.” Viserys reaching out and saying “my love” is meant to convey that he has finally died and been reunited with Aemma, with neither suffering from the pain of their duties any longer. Despite these being Viserys’ true last words in House of the Dragon, Alicent believes his final statements were quite different.

Shortly before Viserys dies in House of the Dragon episode 8, Alicent visits and gives him his tea, during which time he mistakes her for Rhaenyra. Viserys’ daughter had visited him late the night before asking whether he still believes in Aegon the Conqueror’s dream and thinks she is the one to bear such a burden, with the King finally answering her inquiries the next night to Alicent. Viserys says that he does believe in Aegon’s dream, including the White Walkers out of the North and the Prince That Was Promised uniting the realm against the cold and dark. Thinking that he’s speaking to Rhaenyra, Viserys declares that she is the one who must “do this” and carry the weight of Aegon’s prophecy.

Does Alicent Know Aegon’s Prophecy? What Viserys’ Words & Her Response Mean

When Viserys believes he’s talking to Rhaenyra, he references Aegon’s dream, which Alicent has no knowledge of. As such, Alicent mistakenly understands that Viserys is referring to their son Aegon, which leads her to believe that Viserys is naming Aegon II his true heir with his dying words. When Viserys mentions “his sacrifice,” Alicent hears that the King is saying Aegon must make a sacrifice by putting himself on the Iron Throne. Alicent also interprets Viserys’ words of the “Prince That Was Promised” as meaning that their son Aegon, as Viserys’ firstborn child, was promised the Iron Throne as his birthright, so he still deserves it today. Similarly, Alicent thinks that Viserys saying this prince will “unite the realm against the cold and dark” means that Aegon is supposed to bring Westeros together against Rhaenyra’s moral “darkness.” Viserys’ final words to Alicent then mistakenly give her permission to usurp the throne, as the King remarks, “You must do it.” Alicent responds by saying, “I understand, my king,” indicating that she will heed his words and make their son Aegon the next King of Westeros.

Related: Why Daemon & Rhaenyra’s Wedding Is So Different From Rhaegar & Lyanna

Alicent was already intent on usurping the Iron Throne whether Viserys named Aegon his heir or not, but her misunderstanding of his final words give her further justification. However, Rhaenyra and Alicent had just made up in House of the Dragon episode 8’s dinner scene, with Alicent even remarking that Rhaenyra will make a great queen. While Alicent had briefly faltered in her mission to make Aegon the king, Viserys’ speech about “Aegon” ended up being the confirmation that she needed to steal the crown from Rhaenyra. By responding to Viserys that she understands what must be done, House of the Dragon episode 8 is setting up the greens to hastily crown Prince Aegon before Rhaenyra can intervene. It’s still important to note that due to the miscommunication, Alicent remains completely unaware of Aegon’s Song of Ice and Fire dream.

What Viserys’ Death Really Means For House Of The Dragon

House of the Dragon’s greens and blacks have been waiting at the start line for quite some time, so King Viserys’ death is the firing of the starter pistol that finally allows the race to begin. King Viserys dying means that House of the Dragon’s Targaryen civil war will now commence, as the greens and blacks can finally make the ultimate move by crowning Viserys’ successor. Should the greens crown Aegon first, then they’re officially declaring war on Rhaenyra through the usurpation of the Iron Throne. If Rhaenyra is crowned first, then the greens will choose to rebel and declare that Aegon deserves the throne instead. Neither side will back down from what they believe they are owed, so war is now inevitable. Since Alicent and the greens are the ones in King’s Landing with knowledge of the King’s death and access to the Iron Throne, the Conqueror’s crown, and an anointing septon, Aegon has a head start for his coronation.

Who Replaces Viserys On The Iron Throne

WARNING! Spoilers for George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood!The Dance of the Dragons is meant to ultimately decide whether Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen or King Aegon II Targaryen is the rightful ruler of Westeros, but one of them was able to have an official coronation first. Since Aegon and Alicent were in King’s Landing at the time of Viserys’ death, George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood book reveals that they were able to hide the King’s fate for a week before releasing it to the public. By this time, Aegon had already had an official coronation ceremony, which legitimized him as the official King of Westeros. Because Rhaenyra was on Dragonstone at the time, she didn’t find out about Viserys’ death until the public did a week after the fact.

Consequently, Aegon was already crowned as Viserys’ successor on the Iron Throne, leading Rhaenyra to have her own hasty coronation on Dragonstone. Since this was done after Aegon had already performed his formal ceremony, Rhaenyra’s brother was declared Viserys’ first replacement on the Iron Throne. However, Queen Rhaenyra will eventually take the Iron Throne from Aegon and rule from King’s Landing for six months. Both heirs will thus sit on the Iron Throne, but Aegon takes it back and declares that Rhaenyra will only be referred to as Princess in historical records, which technically erases her official reign as Queen. Ultimately, neither formally wins House of the Dragon’s civil war, as both die before the feud ends and Rhaenyra’s son Aegon III Targaryen is crowned King of Westeros.

Next: HOTD Teases 1 Aegon Moment Somehow Worse Than His Tommen Window Scene

New episodes of House of the Dragon release Sundays on HBO/HBO Max.


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