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House of the Dragon (S1:E8): "The Lord of the Tides"

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Well, damn.

Admittedly I had one foot out of the door on this series and episode 8 may have just been what I need to fully commit. Did I spend a drunken Saturday night debating the validity of this show at a dive bar? Perhaps.

Let's talk about episode 8.

It starts off normal enough. Well, "normal" for this world. Daemon is seen with 3 dragon eggs, one for each of his sons but things quickly turn when we see that Vaemond isn't going to let Rhaenyra's son Lucerys rule over Driftwood as long as he has a say i.e. he's going to challenge the legitimacy of her children. Which, we all know, belongs to Ser Strong (RIP from that fire, bro).

News somehow travels fast and Rhaenyra and Daemon catch wind of it and decide they need to peace out and head to Kings Landing so she can reconnect with her father and get ahead of this curveball.

King Viserys by the way, is NOT good. Dude is laid up in bed and seemingly every breath he takes might be his last. Rhaenyra sees her dad after 10 years (yes...another time jump) and tries to talk to him about Lucerys and Driftwood being threatened but Viserys isn't too responsive and actually thinks he's talking to his wife and her former bestie, Alicent. A VERY important note to make for the episode.

But, yes. The King has been sipping on too much of that Milk of the Poppy. And I need to try this drink.

For further evidence of what pieces of shit literally all of Alicent's sons are, Aegon off-camera sexually assaults the servant girl Dyana who comes crying to the Queen who empathizes with her before making her drink the abortion tea. This family is un-fucking-believable. Meanwhile, Viserys demands in a whispered tone that he wants to eat with his whole family with everyone in Kings Landing, health be damned.

Vaemond arrives and the proceedings begin with him stating his case as to why a true Valyrian should rule Driftmark and not a middle-schooler who clearly is of mixed-blood when BOOM, King Viserys makes a surprise visit to oversee the court and refuses anyone's help to sit atop the crown one last time. He drops his crown and Daemon places it back on his head (something out of script that they actually kept in the show, fantastic acting) and everyone in the room is shocked. Things are clearly getting personal and when it's Rhaenyra's turn to speak, Vaemond attacks her verbally in front of the entire court and calls her sons bastards, and she a whore.

Well, Daemon had seen enough and decided he could "keep his tongue" by cutting his head in half from behind in front of everyone. Don't fuck with Daemon or his family. Noted.

Everyone moves on to the family dinner and Viserys removes his mask to reveal he's lost an eye then expects everyone's appetite to remain intact. He begs his family for peace within the family both for the crown and for himself and for a brief moment in time, everyone is getting along splendidly.

That is until Prince Aemond, Alicent's one-eyed son taunts his cousin's legitimacy in front of everyone at dinner provoking a fight until everyone is sent to their respective quarters. By the way, it's well-documented that I am not a fan of the sudden time jumps and actor changes, but I have to admit...Aemond, played by Ewan Mitchell...fucking nails it.

Viserys, now sick again, is seen in his room and this time with his wife Alicent but this time he mistakes Alicent for his daughter, Rhaenyra. He speaks to her about the Song of Fire and Ice and when Alicent doesn't know what he's referring to he states that she must be the one to unite the realm and Alicent, believing that he's actually referencing her and their sons, takes this as the King's true wishes before he passes despite not being intended for her.

As he passes away he mutters "my love" as the screen goes black as if he can see and is reunited with his first move.


WHAT. AN. EPISODE. And, holy hell, the ensuing battles between Aemond and Daemon...

I can't fucking wait for next Sunday.

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