Welcome to the Ending Explained for House of the Dragon, Episode 8, titled “The Lord of the Tides”. There are only two more episodes left after this one. If the show manages to maintain this level of quality in the last two episodes, then House of the Dragon would have become, without a doubt, one of the best seasons of television of the past decade. The series has really saved the franchise from social irrelevance, and we can only get ready to see more seasons and more shows popping out of this one. Maybe GRRM will even manage to release the last two books.
Episode 8 is really the best episode of the season so far. The direction is incredible, and it makes each of the conversations absolutely intense. There is no moment in this episode when something of importance is not happening. The actors, old and new, are also in peak form, and here we get the final forms of some of the youngest characters, who we have seen growing up during the show. This is a sort of climax, and it will mark a before and after for the rest of the story.
The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Episode 8 of House of the Dragon. Read at your own risk.
Who Is Going To Be The Next Lord Of The Tides?
This episode jumps six years into the future from the last episode. Lucerys and Jacearys are all grown-up teenagers, and the same goes for Daemon’s daughters Baela and Rhaena. Rhaenyra and Daemon have been married all this time, and they seem very much in love. It seems that the decision to let Laenor go and live his life and Rhaenyra marrying the love of her life was the right choice. They have been living on Dragonstone all this time, but, of course, problems never stay behind the princess.
Rhaenyra receives a letter where it says that Corlys Velaryon, Lord of the Tides and Lord of Driftmark, has been severely wounded and so the talk of succession needs to happen. Corlys wanted Lucerys to become his heir when the time came, but Corlys’ brother, Veamond, has other ideas in mind. He proclaims that he is the true lord of Driftmark and that Lucerys has no claim to that seat. Vaemond intends to go to King’s Landing and asks for the king to make a decision regarding the issue.
Rhaenyra tells Daemon and the decision that they need to protect their son’s interests. Driftmark should be Lucerys’, just like Corlys wanted. Rhaenyra even speaks with her aunt Rhaenys to gather support, but it seems she fails at it. They travel to King’s Landing and when they arrive, they go to see Viserys, who is extremely sick and now lays in bed most of the time. Viserys receives Daemon and Rhaenyra, but he is mostly delirious. Daemon asks for his support in the conflict, but Viserys’ mind seems to be somewhere else.
Vaemond gets an audience with Otto Hightower, the hand of the king, who is ruling in Viserys’ absence. Vaemond explains in front of the entire court that he is the true heir to Driftmark and that Lucerys has no claim at all. At that moment, Viserys arrives and, making a great effort, sits on the Iron Throne. To Vaemond’s displeasure, Viserys says the that the only voice with weight in this decision is Rhaenys’ as she is Corlys’ wife. In an unexpected move, Rhaenys supports Lucerys’ claim, because it is what Corlys would have wanted.
Vaemond is outraged and loses his composure, calling Rhaenyra’s sons bastards. Viserys gets angry and says that he will get his tongue for saying such things. Daemon doesn’t wait for his brother’s command and, using his sword, Dark Sister, cuts Vaemond’s head from his body, ending the conflict.
What Does Viserys Want For Her Family?
Daemon is spared, and the entire family reunites for the first time at the dinner table. Viserys arrives, and he says he feels happy to see all of them together. He takes off his golden mask, and we see that Viserys has lost an eye and that he is more of a walking corpse than anything else. His speech is full of emotion, and he only wants his family to be united, to be happy. He begs them to forget their petty insights and work together to make the Targaryen House stronger than ever.
Rhaenyra takes the speech to heart and makes a toast in the name of Alicent. It is a heartwarming moment. She also announces that she has decided to marry his sons to Rhaena and Baela so that the Driftmark seat stays in the Velaryon family completely. The boys are Laenor’s sons, and the girls are Laena’s daughters with Daemon. Viserys is happy with this, and it seems like the dinner is going along well, with all of them laughing and having a good time.
However, Aegon keeps teasing his younger nephews, and Jaecerys almost loses his composure. Viserys leaves as he is too tired, and at that moment, Aemond takes the opportunity to make a toast. Let’s remember that Lucerys took Aemond’s left eye when he was a kid, and the dragonrider seems to have not forgotten about it. He calls his nephews “Strong Boys” which is, of course, a tease, as everybody knows Herwin Strong was the brothers’ real father. They start fighting, and it seems like peace cannot be obtained between these two parts of the family.
The episode ends with Alicent going to see Viserys before going to bed. Viserys is delirious and thinks he is talking to Rhaenyra. He says that she is the only one who can bring the Song of Ice and Fire, and that is why he chose her as her heir. Alicent leaves, thinking that he was talking about Alicent’s Aegon. When in fact, Viserys was talking about his daughter and the knowledge they shared on the ancient legend. After she leaves the room, Viserys keeps talking to himself until, at last, he draws his last breath. My love, he says.