House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon Episode 8 Trailer Review

Entertainment review

The “ugly game” for the sovereignty of the Seven Kingdoms had started when House of the Dragon episode seven left Rhaenys and Corlys Velaryon without a son, Prince Aemond without an eye, and Rhaenyra and Alicent’s respective court factions, the Blacks and the Greens, in open conflict. The blood of King Viserys I’s family runs far too hot for forgiveness despite his feeble appeals for unity. Their animosity is already well-known, and it only looks set to grow when Rhaenyra and Daemon make their way from Dragonstone to King’s Landing in the upcoming episode, “The Lord of the Tides.”

In case you forgot, Rhys Ifans’ character lost his position as Hand of the King in episode four after he told Viserys about Rhaenyra and Daemon’s nighttime brothel outing. The King dismissed the information as untrue and expelled Otto Hightower in a move that openly acknowledged Rhaenyra’s claims of innocence. But in secret, Viserys sent his daughter a maester with a pot of Moon Tea to show that he was aware of her deception.

Otto was reinstated and reunited with his daughter Queen Alicent when Lyonel Strong, who had served as Otto’s replacement as Hand Ser, was burned to death in Harrenhal. In episode seven, Otto praised his daughter for her bravery rather than chastising Alicent for her bloodlust following the “eye for an eye” event. In episode eight, Otto is depicted sitting on the Iron Throne and acting as King Viserys’ replacement. This makes Princess Rhaenyra angry and causes her to refer to the Greens as “vipers.”

Ready for another time jump as “The Lord of the Tides” seems to forward the timeline by another eight or so years, bringing the Targaryen and Velaryon royal heirs from youth to adulthood. Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk, The Last Post), 27, Ewan Mitchell (Trigger Point, The Last Kingdom), 24, and Phia Saban (Helaena) are the actors now portraying Prince Aegon, Prince Aemond, and Helaena, respectively (The Last Kingdom). Jacaerys, Rhaenyra’s son, is now portrayed by Harry Collett, 19 (Casualty, Doolittle).

The seven-pointed star necklace worn by Queen Alicent, a representation of the Westerosi faith of the Seven, may be an indication of her rising religiosity and growing separation from the Targaryens’ historically Essosi heritage.

There are other thrones with contested successions besides the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon. Lord Corlys and Princess Rhaenys Velaryon were left without a direct heir to their family home of Driftmark after their dragon rider daughter Laena died in a fiery accident and their son Laenor’s death was declared fake. Baela, a daughter of Laena, was proposed as the favoured heir to the Driftwood Throne in episode seven, but the issue has not been addressed. In episode eight, Corlys (also referred to as “The Seasnake” and “The Lord of the Tides”) appears to have been hurt in combat, but his younger brother Vaemond Velaryon is seen leading troops under the family banner.

Speaking about sickly rulers, the episode eight trailer doesn’t even have a visualisation of King Viserys I; instead, just his voice can be heard warning his family that, “The Crown cannot stand strong if the House of the Dragon remains divided.” Viserys’ health has deteriorated rapidly from the first episode of the series, most likely as a result of septic poisoning brought on by the cuts he received from Iron Throne swords, demonstrating that the metaphor is still relevant in Westeros.

In the hopes that the egg will hatch into a dragon that the child will eventually claim, it is Targaryen’s custom to place a dragon egg in the cradle of a newborn child. The egg of Daemon and Laena’s younger daughter didn’t hatch. She deprived a dragon mount like Prince Aemond until he claimed Laena’s dragon Vhaegar. The handling of another egg by Prince Daemon (after the one he stole to irritate his brother the King in episode two, “The Rogue Prince”) points to the conception of a new Targaryen child.

Prince Daemon has been spotted wearing a hood similar to this while engaging in wicked activities, such as planning the ‘death’ of his second wife’s husband or killing his first wife Lady Rhea Royce. If Daemon is seeing his former flame Lady Mysaria, who is now a spymaster known as “The White Worm” in King’s Landing, it appears that he is hiding under the hood once more. In episode four, one of Mysaria’s spies discovered Rhaenyra and Daemon in the Flea Bottom brothel, leading to Otto Hightower’s exile and the isolation—at first mild, then increasingly severe—of his daughter the Queen.

The fight in episode seven that cost Prince Aemond an eye was set up by the training yard altercation between the King’s sons and their nephews in episode six. The eighth episode makes it evident that the situation has not been resolved, as there are still violent exchanges between the Greens and the Blacks in addition to angry looks. The threat of war looms, as Ser Otto Hightower declares over the narration as Ser Vaemond Velaryon and his troops enter the city gates.

On Sunday, October 9 on HBO in the US and on Monday, October 10 on Sky Atlantic in the UK, the eighth episode of House of the Dragon, titled “The Lord of the Tides,” will be broadcast.