HBO’s House of the Dragon, the spin-off to Game of Thrones set a couple of hundred years before the events of the award-winning iconic series explores how House Targaryen rose to prominent status in Westeros. With a sophomore season confirmed and a debut season that had a lot of traction, many questions arise from the episodes that make up the debut season.
One of these episodes is episode eight, titled “The Lord of The Tides” which I plan to analyze and interpret for you in this piece. This episode has many major events, character dynamics, and symbolic moments that shape the season for its conclusion two episodes later. So, we’re going to embark on Westeros and see how King Visery’s unexpected appearance molds the rest of the show.
What’s The Plot Of House Of The Dragon Episode 8: “The Lord Of The Tides”?
The episode centers on the conclusion of the King Viserys and his family’s related events. The issue of who would inherit Driftmark, an important location in the plot, is the focus of the opening section of the episode. King Viserys, whose condition is rapidly worsening, is a key player in this choice.
Viserys, who is kept under the opioid painkiller —milk of the poppy— is nearly immobile and has movement issues. His illness raises questions regarding House Valerian’s future and the transfer of power.
Otto Hightower’s Role
Otto Hightower hears Raymond and Rhaenyra’s appeals, emphasizing their suitability to inherit Driftmark. The motivation for Raymond’s actions is to protect the original bloodline of Old Valyria and assure the survival of House Valerian.
Otto and Ellison Hightower, who support Raymond, are worried that Rhaenyra’s claim will make things more difficult for them. But as Rhaenyra speaks, a shockingly dramatic scene takes place.
Viserys Steps In
Unaided and clearly frail, King Viserys steps into the room and makes his way to the Iron Throne. This sequence stands out as one of the most powerful ones in the entire production.
Viserys’ appearance obviously surprises everyone, even the embarrassed Serato, who abdicates the kingdom after realizing Viserys is the legitimate heir. Viserys is in such bad shape that the entire room is in a state of shock and astonishment. Viserys’ entire body is failing him in this scenario, which is reminiscent of prior times when the maesters cared for him in episode one.
Damon, Viserys’ younger brother, attends to him in a touching moment, removing his crown and helping him sit on the Iron Throne. This action stands in stark contrast to a prior scene in episode 1 where Damon was vying for the crown and was ultimately exiled.
Raymond is upset by the choice to designate Damon as the inheritor of Driftmark, which sparks an argument. Damon eventually kills Raymond under the influence of Viserys’ beliefs, which strengthens his allegiance to his family.
Rhaenyra stands by Vamon’s body after this intense occurrence and considers her losses. She disregards the superstition despite being cautioned against doing so because she has already lost her daughter and perhaps her son. Additionally, Carlis Valerian, her husband, is in severe condition.
House of The Dragon Episode 8 Ending Explained
The 15-minute family dinner in the penultimate episode shows King Viserys disclosing the full extent of his bodily injuries. He is a mere shadow of the man he once was, with one eye missing and a hole in his face.
Notably, his wounded side is towards Alison, signifying how his failure was partly due to her side of the family. The side that faces Rhaenyra, on the other hand, still bears some similarity to his old self because it symbolizes his love for Emma and their kid.
Viserys emphasizes the power of the House of the Dragon by expressing his passionate wish for the family to come together and stand as one during this supper. Unexpectedly, Alison recognises Rhaenyra as the legitimate heir, indicating a profound change in beliefs and perspectives.
Viserys dancing with Helena in the scene also represents a fleeting period of harmony and unity amongst the families, despite being a covert jab at Aegon. Additionally, this dance has echoes of the future “Dance of the Dragons.”
The episode ends with a heartwarming scene in which Viserys surveys the room while feeling pleased and happy. Everything Viserys hoped for in life—to maintain the 70-year peace and keep his family together—is embodied in this scene. It is his last opportunity to see his cherished family before he eventually leaves.