Believe it or not, HBO’s ongoing spin-off “House of the Dragon” is unquestionably the greatest television drama making the rounds. This might appear to be a huge overstatement. Although this may be contested, once viewers see what the authors, directors, cast, and crew of the latest episode have prepared, they won’t be able to refute it. “House of the Dragon” has been credited with saving “Game of Thrones” after what was a disaster of a final season. “House of the Dragon” draws a significant audience for HBO and sets a new standard for what a medieval fiction series should be like.
The latest “House of the Dragon” is titled “Lord of the Tides.” As you’ve guessed, the eighth episode focuses on Lord Corlys Velaryon, famously recognized as the “Lord of the Tides” across the seven kingdoms. The episode also introduces Prince Lucerys Velaryon, son of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and heir to the Iron Throne. Despite their crucial role in the episode’s happenings, you may find that you no longer care about these two individuals when the more prominent figures arrive. There’s a lot of tension and intensity in this episode and a major cliffhanger in the climax. As always, there are some Dragon-Sized Spoilers, so tread carefully.
Corlys’ Health & The Race To The Seat Of Driftmark
“House of the Dragon” Episode 8, “Lord of the Tides,” kicks off with Rhaenys Velaryon questioning the Maester about her husband’s wellbeing. The Maester tells Rhaenys that the Ravens arriving from Evenfall bring the message that Lord Corlys has been wounded severely after getting ambushed, and he has caught a fever which is causing him to burn from within. Rhaenys dismisses the Maester, asking him to make the necessary preparations for Corlys’ arrival. Vaemond, after hearing about his brother’s situation, demands to be named the New Ruler of Driftmark, claiming that he is the rightful heir and not the “pugs” of Harwin Strong. Rhaenys threatened Vaemond Velaryon by saying that the King’s Landing doesn’t entertain treason. But her threat has little to no effect on the Vaemond, who rejects her words by implying it’s a Queen who controls the throne now, not the King. Back in Dragonstone, Rhaenyra’s dragon, Syrax, has given birth to three eggs. The Ravens from Driftmark bring in a message for Rhaenyra and Daemon, informing them that Vaemond has summoned a council to question Rhaenyra’s son’s legitimacy and his claim to Driftmark. Daemon suggests that Vaemond has found common ground with the Greens. They’re informed that Rhaenys has flown to King’s Landing, and both Rhaenyra and Daemon decide to follow suit.
Back in Kings’ Landing, we see Queen Alicent Hightower, wife of King Viserys, overseeing the council meeting in the absence of her husband. Then, Lord Caswell interrupts the proceedings, informing the Queen of Rhaenyra’s arrival. The council resumes and discusses Lucerys’ claim as the Leader of Driftmark and questions his ability to command the naval fleet. Queen Alicent dismisses the council and leaves to greet her guests. We also see Rhaenyra and Daemon having an audience with King Viserys, who appears to have one foot in the grave. His skin is rotting, his teeth have blackened, and he’s gasping for breath with every word he utters. Daemon informs him about Vaemond’s intentions and requests that he make a decision in the council, so Lucerys has a fair chance to succeed as the ruler of Driftmark. Rhaenyra also introduces her father to her two newborns, Aegon and Viserys (named after her father, King Viserys I Targaryen). In another scene, we see Alicent meeting Dyana, a servant girl who was raped by his son Aegon. She offers her some moon tea as well as a purse full of coins in hopes of preventing unintended pregnancy and rumors. Shortly thereafter, Alicent reprimands Aegon for his actions. Aegon, for his part, responds that no matter how much he does for his mother, it will never suffice. Alicent, afterward, goes to find Rhaenyra and Daemon. They discuss Viserys’ health and treatment with two others. Alicent dismisses Rhaenyra’s assertion that she and her father are exercising authority in Viserys’ name due to the deteriorating health of the King. We also see Vaemond swearing his allegiance to the Hightowers if he gets what he desires, while Rhaenyra approaches Rhaenys and asks her to back her son’s claim by offering to wed Lucerys to Baela Velaryon.
The Severing Of The Skull And The Dinner That Followed
With Viserys too unwell to preside, Otto chairs the council in his stead. The charges leveled against Rhaenyra and her offspring’s lineage are spelled out. While Rhaenyra is preparing her defense, a feeble Viserys walks into the court, limping, wearing a golden mask, and claims his seat. This comes as excellent news for Rhaenyra but is troubling for everybody else. Upon assuming the throne, Viserys demands to know why appeals are being held to question Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne. When everything is said and done, Viserys reinstates Rhaenyra’s rightful place as a successor to the Iron Throne and honors Lord Corlys’ wishes by ordering Lucerys to become the Lord of the Tides. Infuriated by this decision, Vaemond makes his feelings known and questions Rhaenyra’s character. Daemon decided to intervene, unsheathed his Dark Sister, and severed his skull in two, which greatly intrigues Aemond.
Rhaenys watches as the Silent Sisters, aka Death’s Handmaidens (the ones who tend to the dead), get Vaemond’s corpse ready for a traditional Velaryon sea burial. At supper, Viserys removes the golden mask covering his decaying face and reveals that he is missing an eye. He urges everyone in attendance to cast aside their disputes for the sake of the crown’s continued strength. Consequently, Rhaenyra recognizes Alicent’s unwavering support for Viserys and expresses her appreciation. And so Alicent lifts her glass to Rhaenyra and declares that she will serve as an excellent queen. Viserys observes the reunion of his household now that their quarrel seems to have been resolved. However, when Viserys’ illness worsens, his attendants remove him from the scene. As soon as Viserys leaves, Aemond seizes the opportunity and mocks Rhaenyra’s sons and his nephews by addressing them as “Strong Boys,” sparking yet another dinner brawl. Every “Game of Thrones” fan knows that weddings and suppers hardly ever have a happy ending. They get into it, and it appears that peace has no place in the house of the dragons.
‘House of The Dragon’ Episode 8: Ending: Is King Viserys Dead Or Alive?
Later that evening, after Viserys has gone to his chamber, Alicent brings him another cup of tea to ease his pain. In a low voice, Viserys mutters a message which was clearly meant for his daughter. He reminds Alicent (thinking of her as Rhaenyra) that Aegon’s visions and the Song of Ice and Fire are true, and she is (or will bear the sons who will be) the “Prince That Was Promised” and must take the throne. Alicent mistakenly believes that Viserys’ last wish is to see Aegon (Alicent’s son) become King, while it is quite argumentative that he was either talking about Aegon the Conqueror or Aegon III (Rhaenyra’s newborn son with Daemon).
Alicent promises to honor Viserys’ death wish and leaves the chamber. We see tears rolling down Viserys’ eyes and his slow departure from a life of pain and little happiness. Viserys’ death will completely obliterate his kins’ promise of peace and will mark the beginning of the Targaryen Civil War, aka the “Dance of the Dragons.” The episode also introduces two new characters, Aegon and Viserys, and the brothers are destined to play huge roles in the coming years. In an attempt to carry out his plans to make Aegon king, Alicent will keep Viserys’ death a secret, prompting Rhaenyra to declare herself the rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. As for Lord Corlys, he has major shoes to fill in the Dance of the Dragons, so he isn’t kicking the bucket anytime soon. Aemond is all grown up and is as calm, cunning, and calculated as his uncle, Daemon Targaryen. They’ll soon be clashing their blades, which is an anticipated sight for sore eyes.
“The war is about to begin, so mount your dragons!!”