Content Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the HBO show House of the Dragon.
King Viserys Targaryen’s heartbreaking death signals the end of his long reign in House of the Dragon. While fans undoubtedly waiting to see the chaos that will certainly follow his passing, it’s the perfect time to delve into some of Viserys’ most memorable quotes.
From his beliefs about who should be on the Iron Throne to his scathing advice for Rhaenyra, there’s no shortage of well-written lines that Viserys has said during the first season. The best ones often reflect his personality, important events, and even his hopes and desires for those dearest to him.
“A Targaryen Must Be Seated On The Iron Throne.”
A defining part of Viserys’ character is his unwavering belief in the secret that has “been passed from king to heir since Aegon’s time.” He reveals “The Song of Ice and Fire” to Rhaenyra when he chooses her to be heir, describing the “Great Winter” that “will destroy the world of the living.” He firmly says that “if the world of men is to survive, a Targaryen must be seated on the Iron Throne.”
This terrifying prophecy matters so much to Viserys, that he references it again (unfortunately, to the wrong person) on his deathbed. It’s a well-guarded secret that influences every decision he makes about the Iron Throne.
“The Idea That We Control The Dragons Is An Illusion.”
House Targaryen is both feared and revered for their possession of dragons, which Rhaenyra points out to her father when she says that without them, they’re just like everyone else. Viserys’ thought-provoking response makes her realize that “the idea that” Targaryens “control the dragons is an illusion.” He even adds that “they’re a power man should have never trifled with.”
Viserys recalls how dragons were involved in Valyria’s doom and heavily implies to his daughter that the same thing could happen to them. It’s an eye-opening exchange and a wise line that further highlights the King’s knowledge and experience.
“My Obsession Killed Rhaenyra’s Mother.”
Viserys is a dreamer, which is easy to see during a drunken exchange between him and Alicent. He asks “what is the power of a dragon next to the power of prophecy” before confessing how he “saw it in a dream” that he would have a male heir to inherit the crown. He wanted it so badly to be true and eventually believes his “obsession killed” Aemma.
The shocking confession shows the vulnerable side of the King, who is beginning to have second thoughts about his choices. It’s also a heartbreaking admission of regret for his actions during Aemma’s pregnancy, as his desire for a male heir had a high cost.
“The Truth Does Not Matter, Rhaenyra, Only Perception.”
Following her controversial night with Daemon, Rhaenyra soon has to face her father and is surprised when he doesn’t ask her “for the truth of what happened” before berating her. He angrily responds that “the truth does not matter,” as “only perception.” He adds that she has “exposed” herself, and they will “both suffer the consequences.”
While Alicent is preoccupied with proving whether Rhaenyra is still a “maiden,” Viserys shows through his insightful quote that he doesn’t care all that much. He understands that there are far more important things than virtue, such as the illusion of it whenever necessary.
“Do Not Allow Your Temper To Guide Your Judgement.”
Alicent and Viserys’ relationship drastically changes throughout the years, and by the time the stressful confrontation about her son’s eye happens, she holds more power over him than she once did. This is why even when Viserys goes against her idea to get “one of” Rhaenyra’s “son’s eyes in return,” she lunges at the Princess.
Viserys’ helpful advice is ignored at that moment, even if the King could already see how Alicent’s “temper” could mess things up. He knows her incredibly well at that point, and understands there’s no stopping her.
“Tongues Will Not Change The Succession. Let Them Wag.”
When Lord Boremund Baratheon throws a sly insult at Princess Rhaenys by reminding her of her nickname – “The Queen Who Never Was” – in front of a crowd, Rhaenyra remarks how Viserys “could have Baratheon’s tongue for that.” Viserys isn’t bothered at all by his comment, though, as he knows that it will “not change the succession.”
Viserys’ strong belief in the kingdom’s respect for whoever is named heir is one of his greatest mistakes, as viewers will soon see. The snarky quote emphasizes his lack of attention to the frailty of words and promises, especially when the succession is so easily contested.
“The Iron Throne Is The Most Dangerous Seat In The Realm.”
While those around him at that time may have thought of Viserys’ move to name Rhaenyra as his heir as desperate, he makes it clear to her that it is not so. Viserys implores Rhaenyra to listen properly to him when he says what he’s doing “is no trivial gesture,” as “a dragon’s saddle is one thing” but it’s hard to compare with “the most dangerous seat in the realm.”
Viserys has had to deal with politicians and liars despite reining during a relatively peaceful time. What’s more, he’s literally wounded by the Iron Throne, which is something he may be referencing in the line that sounds like a warning as well.
“I Will Sit The Throne Today.”
One of King Viserys’ shocking final actions is to “sit the throne” on an important day, as he knows that Rhaenyra’s son’s claim over the Driftwood Throne is being questioned. He may be sick and barely able to get out of bed, but he walks the entire length of the room to reach the Iron Throne.
It’s a tear-jerking declaration followed by a sequence that’s both inspiring and painful to watch. Viserys will do anything for his daughter, with this final act being especially significant considering Alicent and Otto’s villainous presence.
“Let Us No Longer Hold Ill Feelings In Our Hearts.”
During his final dinner with his family, Viserys makes a beautiful speech that shows his desire for all of them to “set aside” their “grievances.” He reminds them that “the crown cannot stand strong if the House of the Dragon remains divided” and begs them to make peace with each other “for the sake of this old man who loves” them “all so dearly.”
His words about “no longer” holding “ill feelings” have a momentary impact on most in the room, with even Rhaenyra and Alicent temporarily mending their relationship. This brings Viserys great joy, as he’s just a grandfather who wants to savor every moment he still can with his family (even if it is just for that episode).
“No More. No More. My Love.”
Viserys’ final minutes brings with them a frustrating misunderstanding, as he mistakenly believes he’s talking to Rhaenyra about her right to the throne. Alicent thinks he’s telling her that their son Aegon should be heir. While Viserys’ death comes at a terrible moment – as he can’t correct the error – his passing does finally seem to bring him some peace.
His disturbing last words, “no more,” underscore how much pain he has endured because of his disease and possibly the toll of being King. Of course, “my love” likely refers to him believing he’s finally going to be with Aemma, as he says it in a less strained voice and dies shortly after.
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