Signs and Portents

Josh H
10 min readSep 5, 2022

Discussing Season 1 Episode 3 of House of the Dragon

Photos provided by HBO/Max

As always, spoilers ahead, if you have not watched this episode, you probably should stop now.

Episode three is an episode that will really pay off down the road after a careful rewatch. There is a lot of really important and subtle work done by the writing team throughout this episode.

Also, this week’s question is “who could drink more wine, Cersei or Viserys?” — answer by commenting.

Let’s get started!

The White Heart

Pictures Provided by HBO/Max

King Viserys once had great faith in royal premonitions and visions.

Aegon the Conqueror once had a vision suggesting that Targaryen providence would be necessary to the survival of Westeros and that vision was handed down to Viserys when he became King. This dream suggested that the Targaryen dynasty was necessary for the survival of the realm. But to Viserys it must have seemed like he was tied to a line of prophetic visions, that Targaryen’s were actually connected to the Gods or fate through prophetic dreams. It must have seemed like prophetic dreams were also part of his birthright.

So, later, when King Viserys had a vision of his own, it should be no surprise that he believed that what he saw in that vision would ultimately come true (Targaryen’s have a history of dreamers, for more, check out this video at around 11:00 to learn more).

King Viserys’ vision dream was of his firstborn son (with Queen Aemma) becoming a beloved King of Westeros.

Years later, after his first wife died during childbirth and that same “dreamed about” first child long dead and buried, Viserys lost his faith in all premonitions and visions. He has become a depressed, brooding, and frequently drunk King despite the fact that he has a new wife and a son that has reached its second name day (birthday).

Most importantly, he believes that he betrayed the first wife he loved by believing more in the prophecy, and his dream of a triumphant son, than he invested in trying to save her life.

Josh H

Author, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate, Co-Host of the "Decarceration Nation" Podcast, Television critic and Movie Reviewer,