House of the Dragon Episode 8 ending explained

Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon Episode 8HBO

The ending of House of the Dragon Episode 8 takes the biggest step towards the Dance of the Dragons yet – let us explain.

We’re closing in on the first season finale of the Game of Thrones prequel. So far, we’ve seen Viserys’ health plummet with leprosy, the deaths of several characters, the plotting of Larys Strong, and Rhaenyra and Daemon finally tying the knot.

The latter moment was a rare glimpse of peace in the Targaryen dynasty, but it’s not going to last very long. As we all know, we’re here to see the Dance of the Dragons, the explosive civil war hanging over the show.

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The closing moments of House of the Dragon Episode 8 are going to prove pivotal and catastrophic as we approach the end of Season 1 – so, we’re going to explain the ending.

House of the Dragon Episode 8: What happens in the ending?

In Episode 8, we watch Viserys make his final stand as king: he secures Driftmark for Lucerys; reunites with his daughter and brother; pleas for his family to be kind to one another; and watches as everyone laughs, drinks, and enjoys their company round the dinner table.

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Before the episode ends, Alicent tends to him on his deathbed with the milk of the poppy, as Viserys moans in pain. He starts rambling, and at first Alicent strokes his face absent-mindedly… until she starts listening.

While not speaking particularly clearly, he reveals Aegon’s dream to Alicent and prophecy of “the prince that was promised.” However, he doesn’t clarify that it’s Aegon the Conqueror, and obviously, Alicent interprets this to mean their son Aegon.

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She tells Viserys, “I understand” and leaves him alone, ready to enact what she believes to be his final wish as he takes his final breaths.

House of the Dragon Episode 8: Why is this ending important?

This is what will cause the Dance of the Dragons to begin. According to George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, the catalyst for the civil war is the coronation of Alicent’s son Aegon in the wake of Viserys’ death rather than Rhaenyra, who was his chosen heir.

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Whether it happens in penultimate episode or the last, we’re about to see an irreparable rift form between the two sides of the Westeros royals.

House of the Dragon Episode 9 will be available to watch on October 16 in the US and October 17 in the UK.