HomeTV'House of the Dragon' season 1 episode 8 recap

‘House of the Dragon’ season 1 episode 8 recap

In the eighth episode of House of the Dragon, with the Driftmark succession suddenly critical, Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) attempted to strike a bargain with Rhaenys (Eve Best).

If you want to avoid House of the Dragon spoilers then please stop reading now. If you are up-to-date and want to relive the action then keep on reading.

The episode opened up at Driftmark with nearly six years having passed. Ser Corlys (Steve Toussaint) had been ambushed and suffered severe neck wounds. Rhaenys wanted to know if he would survive but the prospects didn’t sound good.

House of the Dragon - 1x08
Credit: HBO

Ser Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson) wasn’t holding out hope that his brother would return. Instead he was concerned with who would replace him on the driftwood throne. Rhaenys reminded him that it was already agreed for Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) to take the throne. Vaemond felt he should have stronger claim as his brother’s closest kin. Rhaenys said he should be careful as his words could be taken as treason.

At Dragonstone, Daemon (Matt Smith) discovered that Syrax had laid a new clutch of three eggs. He retrieved them and asked that the be put straight into warming chambers. He was presented with a note from Lady Baela (Bethany Antonia) explaining Vaemond’s plan to petition the King to be made heir to Driftmark. Daemon took the note to Rhaenyra and they decided to head to King’s Landing.

Due to his ill health, the small council met without Viserys (Paddy Considine). They spoke of Vaemond’s petition, pointing out that Lucerys wouldn’t be able to command a fleet if there was a war. Rhaenyra and Daemon were shocked at the sight of Viserys and discovered that he seems to be being kept sedated in bed. Meanwhile, Alicent (Olivia Cooke) and Ser Otto (Rhys Ifans) appeared to be running things in his stead.

House of the Dragon - 1x08
Credit: HBO

Alicent was called away due to an incident with a servant named Dyana (Maddie Evans). She had been sexually assaulted by Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney). Alicent said she believed her but suggested it best to keep it quiet and paid her off. She also had a moon tea prepared to ensure any potential baby was aborted. Alicent confronted Aegon who didn’t seem to care and he just played the victim card when she told him off.

In the training yard, Jacaerys (Harry Collet) and Lucerys realised that everyone was staring at them. It’s quite obvious from their appearance that they Laenor Velaryon isn’t their father. They decided to watch a sparring match that was taking place and found it was Ser Criston (Fabien Frankel) facing off with Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) – who now sports a black eye patch.

Vaemond arrived and went straight to talk to the Queen and the Hand. Alicent pointed out that Corlys may survive while Vaemond stressed they should be prepared in case he did not. Otto seemed to take Vaemond’s side and asked the Queen if she would want a child in command of the greatest fleet in Westeros. Vaemond applied the pressure by basically saying that the next Lord of the Tides and Driftmark would owe her big time.

House of the Dragon - 1x08
Credit: HBO

Rhaenyra decided to talk with Rhaenys to see where she stood on the petition. Rhaenys gave nothing away but seemed to hint that Rhaenyra had a role in the death of Laenor. Rhaenyra promised that she did not order or take part in his death. She then made an offer, that if Rhaenys backed Lucerys, she would arrange for the marriages of Jacaerys and Lucerys to Baela and Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell).

Rhaenyra paid a visit to her father to appeal for his help. Ravaged with disease, he seemed lost in his own thoughts and a mere shadow of his former self. Rhaenyra was left sobbing. However, the next day during his agonising medical treatment, Viserys told Otto that he wanted to dine that evening with his entire family. Otto tried to give him more Milk of the Poppy but Viserys refused it and told him to arrange the meal.

Otto sat on the Iron Throne to hear the petition for the succession of Driftmark. As Hand he held the authority to speak for the King. Vaemond made his case to succeed his brother and pointed out that the true unimpeachable blood of House Velaryon ran through his veins. Even though everyone knows it not to be true, Rhaenyra was quick to jump in to explain that her sons had the blood of Laenor Velaryon.

House of the Dragon - 1x08
Credit: HBO

Next was Rhaenyra’s turn but as she began the doors of the Great Hall opened and the arrival of King Viserys was announced. Everyone turned in shock to watch the decrepit King use all of his strength to cross the hall to the Iron Throne. As he approached his crown slipped from his head and Daemon retrieved it before helping him up the final steps.

Viserys announced that he was confused why petitions needed to be heard over a settled succession. He called on Rhaenys to offer her insights into the will of her husband. She explained that Corlys wanted Lucerys as his heir and then took the opportunity to publicly announce the marriages proposed by Rhaenyra. Viserys announced the matter closed once again.

However, Vaemond refused to accept it and accused the King of breaking law by making Rhaenyra his heir. He raged that Rhaenyra’s sons were not of his blood. Viserys reminding him of his place but Vaemond was not for shutting up. Daemon urged him to speak his mind and Vaemond declared the Rhaenyra’s children as bastards and called her a whore.

House of the Dragon - 1x08
Credit: HBO

Despite his ailing health Viserys managed to use his anger to summon the strength to stand. He unsheathed his dagger and declared he would take Vaemond’s tongue. Before there was chance for anything else to happen, Daemon stepped forward and cleaved Vaemond’s head in two. Viserys collapsed back into his throne as Alicent urged for the Maesters to be called.

Despite earlier events, the meal went ahead as Viserys requested. He commented how good it was to see everyone together and toasted the upcoming marriages. Aegon kept taunting Jace under his breath. Next Viserys managed to stand and decided to remove his mask so everyone could see his rotted face.

He pleaded for everyone to see him and pointed out that he wouldn’t be with them for much longer. He urged them to let go of the ill feelings in their hearts and said the realm couldn’t stand if the house of the dragon stood divided. He asked them to set aside their differences, if not for the sake of the crown but for the sake of the old man before them who loved them all so dearly.

House of the Dragon - 1x08
Credit: HBO

Rhaenyra took her father’s lead, toasted Alicent for her devotion to the King and apologised. Alicent said she was moved and toasted her and House Targaryen, stating that Rhaenyra will make a fine Queen. Aegon continued his taunts and it looked like Jace would lose his temper. Instead he toasted his uncles hoping they would be both friends and allies. Viserys was proud.

With the mood improved, music began to be played. Jace took the opportunity to ask Helaena (Phia Saban) to dance. Viserys was able to take a look around and enjoy the sights of his family getting along before feeling unwell. After the King was taken away, Aemond caught Lucerys laughing at him when a roasted pig was placed on the table. Aemond decided to make a toast to his nephews who he called “Handsome, wise and Strong” (poking fun at their real father). He then called them “Strong boys”. A fight broke out but Alicent and Daemon put a stop to it. Rhaenyra said they’d go back to Dragonstone but promised to return on dragonback. Alicent said she and the King would like that.

At the end of the episode, Viserys is in bed writhing in pain. Alicent tends to him and gives him more Milk of the Poppy. Confused, he apologised and tried to answer a question that Rhaenyra asked him earlier about The Song of Ice and Fire. He spoke of the prince that was promised but Alicent thought he was referring to their son Aegon. She told him she understood as she left him and he slowly passed away.

House of the Dragon airs each Sunday at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. Stay tuned to EF Television for previews, recaps, images and more.

Greg Ellwood
Greg Ellwoodhttp://www.entertainment-focus.com
Greg is the Deputy Editor of Entertainment Focus. He writes about Games, Tech and TV. You can find him on Xbox/PSN/Steam as Tahllian.

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