One of the most entertaining parts of episode 7 of House of the Dragon was the fact that a tired and old King Viserys went to Queen Alicent to tell her that he was going to bed. However, the best part about that seemingly simple and harmless scene was when Viserys, instead of calling his wife by her name, may have called her by his deceased wife’s name. So, did Viserys really call Alicent Aemma, and why?
Viserys called Alicent Aemma because he was a tired old man that was at the end of his years as king due to his disease. His mental state had already begun to decline due to his physical condition. And because he still loved his deceased wife more than Alicent, he made a mistake at that moment.
The fact that Viserys is still in love with Aemma is one of the reasons why he has been partial towards Rhaenyra through all of these years. In a way, he sees Rhaenyra as the only thing that connects him to Aemma. As such, calling Alicent the name of his dead wife means that he isn’t only declining mentally but is still pretty much emotionally attached to Aemma. Now, let’s talk more about this in this article.
Did Viserys Call Alicent Aemma?
Episode 7 of House of the Dragon opened up with a melancholic and sad moment when Houses Targaryen and Velaryon gathered together on Driftmark so that they could lay to rest the remains of Laena Velaryon, who died in dragonfire back in episode 7 because she wanted to go out on her own terms. Of course, the entire family was there, as King Viserys Targaryen attended the funeral to honor his house’s longest allies.
After the funeral, everyone was there to pay respects to House Velaryon and to the king. They were all gathered in an outdoor area of Driftmark, as different people had different ways of coping with the loss of Laena. Meanwhile, Viserys, who nearly got married to Laena all those years ago, was visibly weak and tired as he decided to go to bed early.
On the way out of the gathering, he approached Queen Alicent to tell her that he was going to bed now so that he could rest his weary body. But the one thing that got fans cheering during what was supposed to be a sad moment in the series was the fact that King Viserys seemingly called Alicent by a different name. So, did Viserys really call Alicent Aemma?
As a matter of cat, King Viserys really did call Alicent the name of his dead wife, Aemma Arryn, who died quite early in the series due to the same reason why Laena also died. Aemma struggled to give birth to her child, and that was what forced Viserys to choose the child over his queen so that he could finally have a son and heir. However, both Aemma and the boy died, as Viserys lost both of them on the same day and in the same episode.
It was actually Queen Aemma’s death that prompted Viserys to name Princess Rhaenyra the heir to the Iron Throne, as Prince Daemon, his brother, had previously shamed himself during a celebratory moment with the City Watch. And the fact that Rhaenyra was named heir to the Iron Throne was what eventually turned the gears of civil war.
Going back to what happened in episode 7, Viserys calling Alicent the name of his dead wife was actually a huge slap to the face of the woman who has spent the last decade or so trying to destroy Rhaenyra’s name so that the king would have no choice but to disinherit her from the Iron Throne and put his son Aegon next in line as heir. And while this was supposed to be a funeral, fans were probably cheering back in their homes when they heard the old and tired king calling Alicent Aemma.
Why Did Viserys Call Alicent Aemma?
On the surface, King Viserys called Alicent Aemma because of the disease that he was suffering from. He had been fighting through decay ever since the first episode, and Viserys has been steadily losing bits of his body to what seems to be the House of the Dragon’s version of leprosy. But while Viserys isn’t dead yet, his body has been eating itself from the inside to the point that he now looks much older than he really is and is now weaker than what his age would suggest.
Of course, Viserys hasn’t only been declining physically but also mentally and emotionally as well. At that point, he had become so tired and weak that his mind was also getting weaker. He was losing his grip on reality steadily, although he was still capable of thinking and acting on his own.
On top of that, the king had also grown so weak emotionally due to the many things that have been happening in the past ten or so years. Viserys had been through a lot of things that his weakened body and mind no longer allowed him to control his emotions properly. As a result, he was still holding on to his love for his dead wife, Aemma, who had long been deceased. We even saw this when he kissed Aemma’s ring right after learning that Rhaenyra had left King’s Landing in the final moments of episode 6.
In fact, King Viserys admitted to Rhaenyra in the earlier episodes that he still loved Aemma and that he probably could never move on from her death. It may have been true that he had a hand in Aemma’s death, but it was also true that he was deeply in love with her from the very start. And it was probably his guilt of allowing Aemma to die that also affected him emotionally.
The fact that Viserys is still holding on to his memory and love for Aemma is one of the reasons why he is so partial towards Rhaenyra in anything that involves his daughter and his queen. Viserys has been blind to the fact that Rhaenyra’s children were quite possibly sired by Ser Harwin due to the fact that he loves her so much. And the very reason why he loves Rhaenyra so much can be attributed to the fact that she was the only thing he had left of Aemma.
So, with all that said, King Viserys was already old, weary, and tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. The fact that he still loved Aemma after all of these years allowed him to lose control over his feelings for her when he mistakenly called Alicent the name of his deceased wife. As such, this was a huge slap on the face of Alicent, who realized that she was never enough to replace the memory of a dead wife that Viserys loved so much, as she was merely married off to the king out of convenience and due to the duty of the ruling monarch to further the line of Targaryen kings.