Discussing Season 1 Episode 8 of the House of the Dragon
As has often been the case, I was both pleasantly surprised and frustrated by elements of tonight’s episode.
As always, spoilers ahead, if you have not watched this episode, you probably should stop now.
“Now that is a name fit for a King” — King Viserys
Everything that happened in this episode was covered over, in essence, two pages of the book Blood and Fire. Given the paucity of coverage of these events in the book, you can give some grace to the showrunners for adding many new details to what happened in the book.
In the book, Viserys was not sick, it was in fact the events of this episode that made him sick and started his decline.
Corlys did get sick with fever, but not from fighting in the Stepstones.
Vaemond protested that he should be declared heir — a bit too loudly and by calling out Jacerys and Lucerys parentage — but not to the King.
Daemon did take Vaemond’s head for calling Jacerys and Lucerys bastards (and, after the beheading, Rhaenyra fed his head to her dragon, Syrax). But it gets crazier than that…In the book, the whole episode at King’s Landing took place after the beheading as Vaemond’s younger cousins traveled to meet the King and plead their case. During that incident, they implied that Jacerys and Lucerys were bastards and Viserys ordered they have their tongues removed. However, it was as the King was dismounting the Iron Throne that he cut himself and was himself felled by fever (a lot of fever running around Westeros at this time apparently).
Viserys was weakening from the fever, but Rhaenyra arrived from Dragonstone with her own healer who amputated two of the King’s fingers temporarily saving the King’s life (an event that was moved earlier in the timeline by the showrunners).
To celebrate his recovery, the King commanded Rhaenyra and Allicent to attend a dinner with all of their children. The dinner goes almost exactly like it did in the book (kudos to the showrunners)…