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House of The Dragon Season 1 Episode 8 Discussion

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Long live King Viserys first of his name!

I've been the king's biggest critic. He has been weak in handling courtly affairs and blind to the political ambitions and family issues swirling around him. But oh boy did he show up in episode 8!

Viserys looked absolutely destroyed from his unknown sickness. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. But when he showed up at the last minute to the iron throne to hear the petition concerning the inheritance of driftmark it was epic. Something about that golden mask and that slow but deliberate walk was incredible. Now, I personally suspected he would show up to save Rhaneyra at the last second but it still was great to see that he still had incredible love for his daughter and was willing to defend her and the claims of her kids against everyone. Including Vaemond, the hand and even his queen.

And how about Vaemond Velaryon? What incredible hubris did he have to think that he could stand in court before the most powerful man in the 7 kingdoms and speak to him like that and then to openly call Rhaenyra's children bastards. This man had a death wish all along. Plus the idea that he was doing some great service to his line by not letting bastards inherit was ridiculous. He obviously coveted the driftwood throne and blaming the king for the succession decision was incredibly shaky. Corlys Velaryon had already settled the matter in the presence of his wife and anyone who cared was well aware of the decision for years. Vaemond seeking an audience at court to have the crown undue his brothers decision is near treasonous. Its just not Vaemond's decision to make.

Part of me wish we could have had an extended scene, watching King Viserys demanding Vaemond be grabbed and brought to him so he could have made good on his desire to have his tongue. Instead we are treated to Daemon enacting a sort of swift justice by beheading him but from behind. The fact that he did it from behind made it a bit hollow. I liked the suddenness of it but it was incredibly hollow. That's just not the right way to deal with a highborn noble. To low even for Daemon at least man up and face him one on one. Still it was perfectly within his character so I don't have a problem with it.

The later on during the targaryen dinner Viserys tries to destroy, once and for all, the enmity between his two houses. And for a time he succeeds. What a beautiful appeal to the family to but all this animosity and divisiveness behind them. I still blame him for letting it get out of control and not making strategic moves to secure the succession of his chosen heir rhaenyra. But in spite of all his faults nobody can blame him for destroying the family or the discord between the two queens and their offspring. That all goes to the queens and Otto hightower.

The easy fix would have been to marry Rhaneyra's children to Alicents. Alicent wouldn't go for that so the next easy fix would have been to marry Rhaneyra to Daemon like they both initially wanted. They would have produced children that were of an age with Alicent's children with targaryen features so there would be no question about her line of succession. But of course it all comes back to the king. Perhaps it would have been better for him not to marry at all but keep a mistress so there was no chance of having legitimate children. That sounds harsh but it would have been better than what's coming next.

It's interesting that as much as Alicent criticizes Rhanerya's decision, it seems like Rhaneyra's first born son Jacaerys is far better equipped to be king than either of Alicent's male children. You're gonna start a war to put them on the throne?

And then last but not least Alicent misinterprets the king speaking deliriously while he's strung out on milk of the poppy? Sometimes we just hear what we want to hear. A few mumbled words from a sick king on his death bed, is not enough to start a civil war and tear the family and the rest of the realm apart. He doesn't even know what he's saying or who he's talking to! She cannot be this naïve. Oh well and so it begins...

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