The eighth episode of “House of the Dragon,” titled “The Lord of Tides,” shows how there can be no end to the greed of power. Things changed after Daemon and Rhaenyra had gotten married. Otto and Alicent were handling the affairs of Kings Landing, and King Viserys Targaryen was just waiting for his misery to end. Meanwhile, in Driftmark, the absence of Lord Corlys Velaryon allowed his brother, Ser Vaemond Velaryon, to entertain the possibility of sitting on the throne of Driftmark. The greed and lust for power were visible in his eyes. He thought that he could overpower Rhaenys Velaryon, considering she was a woman, and assume both the titles that were held by the sea snake.
Vaemond Fuels His Desires
Lord Corlys Velaryon had gone to fight with the Triarchy, after the events of the 7th episode of “House of the Dragon.” In the battle, he was gravely injured. His neck was slashed by a pirate. Though he survived the wound, his situation was very critical. The maesters on the ship were trying their level best to keep him alive. The ravens had been sent to inform Princess Rhaenys Velaryon about the issue. It had been six years since the Lord of Driftmark had gone to crush the rebellion, and Princess Rhaenys felt that she would never get to see him again. She was told that more than the wound, it was the blood fever that was making the maesters worried. They could still heal the wound, but they didn’t have any solution for the fever. Rhaenys told Maester Kelvyn to make all the arrangements to receive Lord Corlys. Vaemond saw the absence and ill health of his brother as an opportunity. He wanted to fuel his own ambitions. He wanted to sit on the seat of the house Velaryon and assume the titles of the Lord of Tides and the Master of Driftmark. The matter of succession had been put to rest years ago when Lord Corlys had decided that Lucerys, Rhaenyra’s son, would be his heir. Rhaenys wanted him to consider Laena’s daughters, Rhaena and Baela, for the position, but Lord Corlys had clearly denied doing so. Everybody knew that Laenor Velaryon was not the biological father of Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey. Lord Corlys also knew that they didn’t have Velaryon blood running in their veins, but he was more concerned about the name they bore. Corlys said that history remembered names and not blood.
Vaemond was not ready to let anyone sit on the throne of Driftmark. He believed that he had a strong claim to the throne and was not ready to back down. Maybe he felt that he could overpower Rhaenys. He never had the courage to go against his brother, but now when he knew that he was not in a state to take any action against him, he was freely voicing his opinions. Vaemond was so adamant about the succession that the matter had to be taken to King’s landing. Somewhere, he knew that Otto Hightower and Queen Alicent, who took decisions on behalf of the ailing King, would favor him. Otto had never liked Lord Corlys Velaryon. The enmity between them was quite visible from the time they used to hold positions in the small council together. Vaemond knew that if Aegon II sat on the Iron Throne after the demise of Viserys, he would need the strongest house in the Seven Kingdoms to be his ally. With that hope, he left for Kings Landing to claim what he felt was rightfully his.
Alicent Is Disappointed In Aegon
Alicent was somebody who held ethics and morals in very high regard. She never indulged in any sort of activity that could put a blot on her character and tarnish the image of her house. She believed in the Faith of the Seven. It could be said that she was a pious and dutiful woman. But her son, Aegon, had grown up to be a degenerate of the highest order. He was going to sit on the Iron Throne, but he didn’t have any sense of duty. Dereliction of duty, when a person was going to hold the most important position in the Seven Kingdoms, was unpardonable. Alicent couldn’t believe it when she came to know that her son had the audacity to outrage the modesty of an innocent woman. One of the maids, named Dyana, had been raped by Aegon. She was trembling with fear when Alicent met her. The Queen made her calm down and gave her the moon tea to avoid any consequences. She told Dyana to not mention the incident to anybody.
Aegon told Alicent that he was just having fun and that the maid didn’t have to get upset about it so much. Alicent was fuming with anger, even more so after looking at the bratty attitude of her son. She told him to have some decency and to clean up his act. Aegon somewhere felt burdened by the weight that had been put on his shoulders. He says that whatever he did, it was never enough for his mother. Aegon had become a political pawn and was being controlled by Otto Hightower. The Hand of the King knew that Aegon had a very strong claim to the Iron Throne, considering he was the eldest son of Viserys Targaryen. Otto probably would have liked it if Aegon had some qualities of his younger brother, Aemond Targaryen. Aemond’s personality was quite in contrast to that of his elder brother. He was more focused and skillful. He knew what was expected of him. He knew what he wanted from life. But Alicent and Otto Hightower had no option. They had to make do with whatever they had.
Lucerys Velaryon Is Made The Heir Of Driftmark
Rhaenyra knew that the odds were not in her favor. She knew that Otto would favor Vaemond. She knew that the legitimacy of her sons would be questioned in court, and in the absence of her father, there would be no one to support her. As soon as Rhaenyra reached Kings Landing, she went to meet Viserys with Daemon. She made the ailing king meet her two newborns: Aegon and Viserys. The king was pleasantly surprised to discover that his daughter had kept her newborn’s name on him. However, his happiness was short-lived as the pain of his terminal illness quickly took over, and in his suffering, he demanded his precious tea. Viserys was bed-ridden and constantly being fed the milk of the poppy for two apparent reasons: firstly, so that he was able to bear the excruciating pain; and secondly, because Otto knew that if he was kept in an inebriated state, he wouldn’t be able to meddle in the daily matters and it would allow him to take charge of things. Rhaenyra and Daemon were disheartened to see him in such a miserable condition as he had to struggle for each and every breath. Rhaenyra asked him to support her cause, but she didn’t have a lot of hope that he would be able to do anything in such a condition. Rhaenyra went and talked to Rhaenys in the hope that she would stand with her. Rhaenys was probably the most level-headed person in the whole family. Her motivations were not driven by greed, and unlike others, she always maintained her composure. Rhaenyra gave Rhaenys an offer. She told her that she would get her sons married to Laena’s and Daemon’s daughters if she backed Lucerys’ claim to the throne of Driftmark. She also promised that Baela would be made the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. But Rhaenys didn’t agree. She knew that it was a lost cause unless and until some miracle happened. She knew that the Hightowers would vouch for Vaemond, and she had to take a diplomatic stand in order to fend for herself.
But a miracle did happen. Viserys knew that he had to make it to court and see through the proceedings. He knew that he had to stand once again alongside his daughter. The illness had made his body fragile, but it couldn’t weaken his spirit. The proud King made his entry into the hall and told Otto that he would take charge of things. For one last time, the accidental King, the dreamer, the philosopher, sat on the Iron Throne. Seeing the balance shift the other way, Rhaenys also vouched for Lucerys’ candidacy and accepted Rhaenyra’s offer of getting Laena’s daughters married to her sons. Viserys cleared up the confusion and ended the conflict. He named Lucerys Velaryon, son of Rhaenyra, as the heir to the throne of Driftmark yet again. Vaemond was not at all happy with the decision. He cursed the King for being biased and passing a judgment that violated the customs and traditions of House Velaryon. He said in front of everybody that Rhaenyra’s sons were illegitimate. Maybe that served as a tipping point for Daemon Targaryen, who was silently standing in one corner till then listening to everybody. Daemon had many vices in him, but the thought of betraying his own blood never crossed his mind. He still had a lot of affection for his own brother, and he loved Rhaenyra more than anything in the world. He didn’t like how Vaemond cursed and insulted his own wife in front of him. With a swift flick of his sword, the Targaryen prince severed the head of Ser Vaemond Velaryon and ended the conflict there and then.
‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 8: Ending Explained – Does Alicent Know About Aegon’s Dream? Is King Viserys Dead?
King Viserys wanted to have supper with his whole family. He still wanted them to behave like one big happy family. He knew that he was being delusional by thinking so, but he still didn’t want to face reality. During the dinner, Rhaenyra decided to be the bigger person. She showed her gratitude towards the Queen. She appreciated Alicent for being a dutiful wife and for supporting her father in his highs and lows. Rhaenyra meant what she said. She was not faking it just to win favors. Alicent followed her lead and told her that she would make a fine queen. It was an indication that she had accepted that Rhaenyra was going to sit on the Iron Throne after Viserys. Though the elderly wanted the conflict to end, the hatred had already seeped deep into the blood of the younger generations. Especially Aemond, who was in no mood for reconciliation. He got irked when pork meat was served to him on the table and Lucerys laughed at it. Maybe Aemond was reminded of the time when his nephews had insulted him by giving him a pig and telling him to ride it, as he didn’t have any dragons at that point in time. He could never forget the way he was insulted, so he made it his mission in life to take revenge. He called the sons of Rhaenyra wise and strong. The pun was totally intended there. The situation got aggravated, and once again, the children entered into a spiteful brawl. Aemond was ready to undermine everybody’s authority and was probably not scared of anybody except Daemon. He stopped fighting when Daemon got in his way. He knew what the Targaryen prince was capable of. Rhaenyra told Alicent that she would leave her kids at Dragonstone and then return to King’s Landing. Even though Aemond had created a scene, it felt like things would be restored to their normal state and King’s Landing would be saved from the wrath of a civil war. But then something happened later that day that once again turned the tide.
Alicent went to check on Viserys and heard him mumbling something about the dream of Aegon the Conqueror. Basically, Viseyrs was answering the question that Rhaenyra had asked him earlier. He was in an inebriated state, and that is why he thought that it was Rhaenyra and not Alicent who was sitting next to him. He said that he did believe in the prophecy of Aegon, i.e., “The Song of Ice and Fire.” He said that when the time comes, a Targaryen King or Queen will unite the realm against the darkness that will rise in the north. Alicent didn’t understand what he was saying. He was referring to Aegon I Targaryen, but she thought that he was referring to their son, Aegon II. Alicent misunderstood the whole thing. She had no clue about Aegon’s dream and thought that the ailing King was talking about making their son the heir to the Iron Throne. It changed her motivations altogether. Now she no longer thought that Rhaenyra was the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Alicent was a dutiful woman, and the misunderstanding led her to believe that it was the wish of the King to make Aegon his heir. Viserys took his last breath and ended his misery. Though the King died, the last few words he spoke once again stirred the conflict and nullified all his efforts. Those few words that he mumbled had the power to destroy everything that he stood for.
The 8th episode of “House of the Dragon” ends after creating this epic misunderstanding. According to the preview of episode 9 of “House of the Dragon,” Alicent would wage a war of succession (Dance of the Dragon), as she now truly believes that she is doing the right thing.