Episode 8 of House of the Dragon was one of the most heartfelt episodes yet because this was the final time we would ever see all members of House Targaryen under one roof in a somewhat peaceful affair. Of course, the very man that was responsible for building this house had to muster up all of his remaining strength so that he could appear in the throne room for his daughter and grandsons and eat what seemed to be their final dinner together. So, did King Viserys die at the end of episode 8?
It does seem like King Viserys died at the end of episode 8 of House of the Dragon, as he died in his bed while talking about Aegon’s dream. His death is what will trigger the Targaryen civil war, as Aegon will be crowned king while Rhaenyra is away from King’s Landing as she is on Dragonstone.
Everyone knew that King Viserys was going to die sooner or later due to his condition, and it was going to be his death that was going to launch the entire kingdom into war. As such, the entire world was only waiting for Viserys to finally kick the bucket, and episode 8 was most likely his final appearance in the series, as the final two episodes will allow us to see the start of the Dance of the Dragons.
Does King Viserys die at the end of episode 8?
Ever since the very first episode of House of the Dragon, we already knew that King Viserys Targaryen was suffering from a mysterious illness that was similar to leprosy in the sense that he was slowly rotting away and becoming weaker and weaker every single day. As Otto Hightower said himself, Viserys was not going to live to become an old king and was going to die sooner or later. And every time we go through a time skip, the king only looks older than his age should suggest.
As such, it was already clear that he was never going to live through the entire season, especially because we saw him with only his skin and bones remaining in episode 8. On top of that, half of his face was already missing, as it was clear that he was no longer going to last longer. As such, everyone in their homes was merely counting down the minutes before he finally kicked the bucket.
However, episode 8 was one of the most heartfelt and emotional moments of the series. The main issue of the episode was related to the succession of Driftmark, as House Targaryen and House Velaryon went to King’s Landing to seek help from the crown to decide who should be Corlys Velaryon’s heir because the Sea Snake had suffered injuries and wounds in the battle in the Stepstones.
In that regard, it was supposed to be Otto Hightower and Queen Alicent Hightower that would decide on that matter, but they were surprised to see King Viserys marching to the throne room on his own strength so that he could sit on the Iron Throne and act like a true king in what seemed like the final time for him to do so. And he did so because Rhaenyra asked him to intervene due to the fact that his grandson, Lucerys Velaryon, was under attack from Vaemond Velaryon, who wanted to be the one to inherit Driftmark on account that he was the only true Velaryon male heir left.
As such, the king had to march his way to the throne room to sit on the Iron Throne. He stumbled a few times, but his brother Daemon was there to assist him as he tried to sit on the Iron Throne using his own strength. And the king quickly decided on the matter regarding Corlys’s heir, as this led to Vaemond’s death when he was not willing to accept the king’s decision and called Rhaenyra’s sons bastards.
After that, King Viserys had dinner with his family instead of dining in his own chambers because he understood that this was probably the last time that all of the members of his house would dine together under one roof. During dinner, he took off his mask and allowed everyone to see just how much his disease had taken from him and how weak he had grown. That’s because he wanted to be the first among his family members to bare everything about him at his weakest point in life so that all of the different members of House Targaryen would understand how important it was for him for everyone to get along.
Indeed, this allowed everyone in the room to actually understand what the king wanted. Different members of House Targaryen gave toasts to the people that they had quarreled in the past. Everyone had good things to say about everyone, except for Aemond, who still insisted on calling his nephews bastards. Other than that, it was still a somewhat peaceful evening that led to King Viserys going to bed quite early.
While he was in bed, the king was telling Alicent about the threat from the north and about Aegon as the king that would be the one to save the kingdom from his upcoming threat. He was speaking in riddles as Alicent probably never knew about Aegon the Conqueror’s dream because the only one that Viserys told this dream to was Rhaenyra when he named her heir to the Iron Throne.
And before Viserys could make sense of what he was saying, he died in his sleep while Alicent went out to call for help. In that sense, King Viserys died in episode 8 after dealing with a disease similar to leprosy and after a somewhat peaceful reign wherein he was able to prevent any major wars from breaking out during his time as the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
How Does King Viserys Die?
As mentioned, King Viserys had long been suffering from a disease that was similar to leprosy. He started suffering from the effects of this illness quite early in his life as he eventually began to steadily succumb to the disease. The illness slowly caused him to rot from the inside as he was losing skin, flesh, and bones. Viserys even lost a limb due to this illness.
Nevertheless, despite the effects of the illness, Viserys was able to live through several major time skips in the series even though he had grown to become very weak during the ten-year time skip between episodes 5 and 6. Meanwhile, in episode 8, he had already grown too weak in mind and body as the illness had taken its toll on him and caused him to look like a walking corpse.
Viserys knew that he no longer had long to live, and that was the reason why he requested to dine with the rest of his family, as he understood that this was the final time that his brother, daughter, wife, and their children would be gathered together under one roof in a somewhat peaceful occasion.
The king had spent all of his energy in that throne room moment involving the succession of Driftmark and in the final dinner with all of his family members. As such, when he finally went to bed, he no longer had the energy to fight off his disease as he died after finally succumbing to the condition that had been plaguing him for about two decades.