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House of the Dragon Episode 8 Review: The Lord of the Tides

Source: HBO

Overall: 9.0/10

Story 9.0/10

There are rumors of Lord Corlys' demise. Vaemond sees his chance to challenge Rhaenyra's son's succession as Lord of the Tides. Otto and Alicent devise a plan to use Vaemond's challenge to support their cause. Viserys has a powerful moment in defense of Rhaenyra only to nerf himself.

Time jumps are standard fare at this point. This viewer doesn't blink. The world turns. It stops for no one as the writers continue to ply the audience with court intrigue pushed through plot and character.

Character: 8.9/10

Poor Viserys. He has arguably the greatest and most powerful moment of his reign when he briefly breaks the shackles of the Milk of the Poppy to protect his beloved daughter and her Strong spawn. But Viserys has always been a weak king and a terrible leader for his house. For every step he moves forward, he takes five back. He just can't help himself. And that's the sad thing.

Daemon also has a very powerful moment. In the past, he lusted for the Iron Throne and his brother's crown. The purpose may have been just to show his brother that he was better than him. At any rate, for the first time in the entire series, he shows his brother his support and respect. Although it's arguable that Daemon's aid is for his own benefit, in the past Daemon has acted against his own best interest just to take a shot at his brother. His arc is all over the place. Every time this viewer makes note of his growth, he regresses. But perhaps Daemon is the character he is always going to be. Perhaps he and Viserys are supposed to be static characters. And each brother protects the House the way they see fit.

This viewer knew as early as the war with the Crabfeeder that Vaemond is unskilled at the Game. In the Game, a player must not express their true feelings and intentions unless they have the power to order that their will be done. Clearly, Vaemond does not have that power. He is there at the court proceedings to get permission. After he no longer has a favorable judge, he does not have the wit to withdraw, regroup and plan. He commits the ultimate sin in that universe. He pays the ultimate price.

Alicent has really come up in the world. She sits in the seat of the king at the Council meetings. And she has the Hand's support in her father. But at the end of the day, she is just a bit player. Otto sits on the Iron Throne at the court proceedings. Even her Green faction won't allow her that privilege.

There is not much to say about Rhaenyra in this episode. She begs and barters. Things land in her favor for the most part. She must really be chosen by the gods.

Final Thoughts

The world keeps turning for the House of the Dragon. With Viserys at the helm, it's spiraled nearly out of control. Even when he has a powerful moment, he undercuts himself. Viserys can't get right.


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