House Of The Dragon Episode 8’s Viserys Throne Room Entrance Explained

Spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 8 below!

House of the Dragon director, Geeta Patel, recently explained King Viserys I Targaryen’s entrance in episode 8. Set nearly 200 years before the events of the hit HBO television series, Game of Thrones, the spinoff fantasy show centers on the familial conflict at the core of House Targaryen following Viserys (Paddy Considine) naming his daughter Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) heir to the Iron Throne, breaking centuries of patriarchal tradition. With the king nearing death as his disease eats away at his body and mind, Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and her father, Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), scheme to place her eldest son on throne instead.

Six years following the events of episode 7, “Driftmark,” which saw the royal family mourn the death of Prince Daemon Targaryen’s (Matt Smith) wife, Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), at her funeral, the question of succession within House Velaryon reaches the king’s doorstep following Lord Corlys Velaryon’s (Steve Toussaint) grave injury while fighting at the Stepstones. With Rhaenyra’s son, Lucerys (Elliot Grihault), set to inherit the Velaryon seat, Corlys’ younger brother, Ser Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson), petitions the king to have Lucerys removed due to his illegitimacy. With Viserys bedridden, Otto oversees the arguments with Rhaenyra defending Lucerys’ claim, until the king marches into the throne room with only his cane as aid shocking the audience in attendance.

In a recent interview with EW, Patel breaks down Viserys’ grand entrance into the throne room in House of the Dragon episode 8. When asked about the behind-the-scenes process to pull off such a powerful moment in the episode, the director explained the difficulties prepping and shooting the sequence, as well as the discussions to shorten the scene due to Considine’s labored movements as he shuffled down the long aisle toward his throne. Patel also shared that she had “tears” in her eyes when she realized that perhaps Viserys was not walking to his throne, but to his daughter standing in his path as he struggles with his last breaths to keep both his family and the realm from tearing apart. Read what Patel said below:

That was a very, very big sequence. We had a lot of logistical obstacles during that time. Not worth getting into, but it was already the biggest thing that we had to do as far as Paddy [Considine’s] turnaround. He had so much time in prosthetics getting ready for that, and then there was a conversation about him walking down the aisle. The real time of him walking down the aisle is just, like, you’re looking at your watch as a producer and director going, “Oh my God, that’s just the first take and it took, you know, 20 minutes.” It’s one of those things where I was approached at one point, I can’t remember who came up to me, and said, “Maybe we should just cut around this.” Like not really do it. “Let’s just do it once.” I was like, “No, we are gonna do the walk because the story is actually that he is walking down this aisle.” He is in an extreme amount of pain. He is walking towards something. He wants to save the realm. If we cut it short, we would lose that element forever in the edit room. We would never have that possibility. So we just put our heads down and shot Paddy walking. Even for Paddy, that was a hard thing to do because he’s got that cane and it hurts your back doing that walk more than once. But I’m very proud that we stuck to our guns because I do feel like that is what helps the emotion come out.

When Ryan and Miguel and I discussed that scene, we’d always thought his eyes are towards the throne. It was gonna be shot that way. You see Viserys exerting himself and then you see he’s trying to get to the throne to help the realm. While we were rehearsing, Rhaenyra just happens to be standing there in the middle. I was like, “Oh, wait a minute. He’s not walking to the throne, he’s walking to her.” At least from my own understanding, that put tears in my eyes right there during rehearsal, ’cause I’m the daughter of a father who loves me so much and he would’ve walked on fire for me. That’s when all of a sudden, even though we had no time as usual because we’re always maximizing, we did what we could to get that moment of Rhaenyra and Viserys. That was a wonderful discovery. I wish I thought of it a day before even. I would’ve shot more of it. But I’m so glad that we were able to get the shots we did and they did make it to the cut.

What Viserys’ Death Means for House of the Dragon?

Patel’s “wonderful discovery” during filming shows the significance and emotional complexity behind Viserys’ entrance. The ailing king faced his physical pain head-on to once again protect Rhaenyra and her children from those who wish to remove her from direct succession of the Iron Throne. However, with Viserys dying by the episode’s end, Rhaenyra no longer has the protection of the crown, and the Hightowers have their last major hurdle to place Prince Aegon Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) on the throne.

Viserys’ death likely marks the end of the tentative peace between Alicent and Rhaenyra. With the princess set ascend to the throne in episode 9, Alicent will challenge Rhaenyra’s right for a final time, especially since she misunderstood Viserys’ dying words, in which he recalled Aegon the Conqueror’s dream, as affirmation of her eldest son’s right to the throne. With only two more episodes left in House of the Dragon season 1, Viserys’ death has set the House Targaryen on the inevitable path to war.

Source: EW

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments