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SYFY WIRE House of the Dragon

'House of the Dragon' director confirms that game-changing death, won’t confirm another mystery

Geeta Patel, who directed Episode 8 of House of the Dragon, won't reveal who the deceased was thinking about in his final moments. 

By James Grebey
House of the Dragon PRESS

The latest episode of House of the Dragon, the first Game of Thrones spin-off that chronicles the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of Dragons, saw the death of a major character. Viewers could be forgiven for wondering if he was really dead, since typically death in Westeros is much more explicitly violent. However, the director of Episode 8, “The Lord of the Tides,” confirmed the deceased is indeed dead. However, she won’t reveal the answer to another mystery. 

Warning: This story contains spoilers for Episode 8 of House of the Dragon.

Yes, King Viserys Targaryen, First of His Name, is dead. Long live the new king… or should that be queen? That’s the central question of succession that sparks the Dance of Dragons. After making a last-ditch attempt to bring his family together and stop the infighting, Viserys — who looks like a walking corpse — passed away in his bed. However, not before his addled brain prompted him to “finish” a conversation he had started with Rhaenyra, not realizing that he was actually talking to Alicent. And, while attempting to confirm the prophecy of the Song of Ice and Fire that Aegon had, Viserys accidentally convinced Alicent that he was talking about their son Aegon, undoing the peace he had created at the dinner earlier. 

And with that, he died. Though his passing was not explicitly remarked upon in the episode, it was confirmed in the preview for next week’s episode, the inside the episode segment, and in an interview with director Geeta Patel in Entertainment Weekly.

"I think the last scene of this episode was always a litmus test. Every time we'd watch or think it through, when we got to that last scene, did we feel what we wanted to feel there?" Patel told EW. "Did we feel the loss? Did we feel that Viserys has told his story? Did we feel that he loved his wife who passed away? Did he love Alicent? Did he love Rhaenyra? Did he regret anything? All the complicated layers of Viserys, did we feel it for better or worse?"

One thing Patel wouldn’t confirm, though? Who Viserys was thinking of in his last moments. Once more alone after Alicent left, he reached out and said “my love,” his dying words. Was he talking about Alicent? Or Rhaenerya? Or his first wife Aemma, whose death by forced cesarean he ordered in the series premiere? There is an answer, but she’s not telling.

“Well, I'm not a fair person to ask because I actually had the luxury of having a conversation with [actor Paddy Considine] and he whispered to me who he was thinking of. So I probably shouldn't say it,” she said. “I'll let him say it if he wants to say it, but I had the same question, and that's what I'm saying. It's just the best part of my job. It's so great just to be inside Paddy's mind as he's Viserys and to wonder, as well, which way is this gonna go?”

Our guess? Viserys was talking about his one true love: his model of Old Valaryia. 

Looking for more fantasy adventure? The entire Harry Potter film saga is streaming now on Peacock.