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Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros
This page is about the episode. For other uses, see: The Lord of the Tides (disambiguation)

"The Lord of the Tides"[5] is the eighth episode of the first season of House of the Dragon. It is the eighth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 9, 2022 on HBO and HBO Max. It was written by Eileen Shim and directed by Geeta Vasant Patel.


Six years later. With the Driftmark succession suddenly critical, Rhaenyra attempts to strike a bargain with Rhaenys.[5]


At High Tide[]

Six years have passed since the funeral of Laena Velaryon. In the Hall of Nine, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, attended by her granddaughter Baela Targaryen, listens to Maester Kelvyn reporting that her husband, Lord Corlys Velaryon, who has spent that time fighting to maintain Westeros's hold on the Stepstones, has been seriously wounded in an ambush by Triarchy forces. His ship is expected to return to Driftmark in three days, but his fever might claim his life by then. Ser Vaemond Velaryon, in attendance, insists that as Corlys's closest kin, he should inherit Driftmark if his elder brother dies, rather than Corlys's preferred choice of Lucerys Velaryon, who Vaemond asserts is a bastard son of Harwin Strong. When Rhaenys warns that her cousin, King Viserys, would have Vaemond's tongue for such words, Vaemond retorts that Alicent Hightower rules in Viserys's stead, and he expects her to ratify his claim to Driftmark.

On Dragonstone[]

Prince Daemon Targaryen climbs the Dragonmont, the volcano overlooking Dragonstone castle, where he recovers three dragon eggs laid by Syrax from a nest within the volcano, handing them over to the Dragonkeepers upon his return. Within the castle, a pregnant Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen watches her eldest son, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon reciting High Valyrian under the tutelage of Maester Gerardys, reassuring her son when he keeps reprimanding himself for making mistakes that he has plenty of time to learn. Rhaenyra dismisses her eldest son and his younger brother, Joffrey, along with the maester as Daemon enters, wanting to discuss a letter sent to them by Baela from Driftmark. Rhaenyra is furious at Vaemond's intentions, particularly since she expects Alicent and Otto Hightower to side with him, noting that if Lucerys's claim to Driftmark is overturned, by extension, Jace's and her own claims to the Iron Throne will be jeopardized. Rhaenyra is also concerned that the letter mentions Rhaenys has returned to court, since they cannot be sure of her intentions. Daemon confidently asserts Rhaenys will not support Vaemond, given her taking Baela as her ward. Rhaenyra argues that Rhaenys still blames them for the death of her son Laenor, and has only taken in Baela to honor her daughter Laena's memory. Both conclude that they need to return to King's Landing to fight for Luke's claim.

In King's Landing[]

Rhaenyra and Daemon arrive, accompanied by her three sons and Daemon's younger daughter, Rhaena, at the Red Keep, receiving a minimalist greeting with only Lord Allun Caswell in attendance. Their anger at the lack of reception only grows when they discover that in their absence, the Red Keep is now festooned with iconography of the Faith of the Seven; Rhaenyra outright states she barely recognizes her old home.

In Viserys's chambers, Rhaenyra and Daemon find his model city of Old Valyria covered in dust and cobwebs, having been unattended for years. Much to their horror, Viserys is bedridden, disorientated and clearly in pain, his hair all but gone, his teeth rotten, and his face swathed in bandages. Daemon brings up the matter of Corlys being wounded in the Stepstones and the succession of Driftmark being disputed, only for a delirious Viserys to insist both are already settled. Daemon urges Viserys to support Lucerys's claim over Vaemond's, but Viserys confusedly remarks that Alicent and Otto attend to court business. A child crying out behind them draws Viserys's attention, so Rhaenyra introduces her father to his youngest grandsons from her marriage to Daemon: Aegon and Viserys. Viserys is delighted to see the children, joking the younger has a name fit for a king. The children start to wail, and Viserys, stricken by a sudden onset of pain, insists he needs his tea, pointing to a cup by his bedside. Once he has drunk, Daemon takes the cup from his brother and sniffs it, frowning as he recognizes the scent of its contents.

Ser Harrold Westerling interrupts a meeting of the Small Council to inform them of Rhaenyra and Daemon's arrival. The Council briefly discusses the succession of Driftmark; Grand Maester Orwyle remarks that Corlys wanted Lucerys to succeed him, with Lord Lyman Beesbury agreeing that as Laenor's son, Lucerys is the rightful heir. Lord Jasper Wylde argues that Corlys never formally named Lucerys as his heir, while Ser Tyland Lannister notes that Lucerys has no experience commanding ships, a necessity to hold the position of Lord of the Tides. Queen Alicent declares the claimants can present their petitions the following morning, taking her leave to go and meet Rhaenyra and Daemon, only to be informed by Ser Erryk Cargyll (whom she briefly mistakes for his twin brother Arryk) there has been an incident in Prince Aegon's chambers. In the queen's apartments, Alicent's lady-in-waiting, Talya, presents the Queen with a weeping girl, Dyana, one of Princess Helaena Targaryen's maids, confirming no one else has seen her. At Alicent's request, Dyana tearfully explains that when she tried to serve Prince Aegon wine, he drunkenly forced himself on her. Alicent is sympathetic to the girl, confirming she believes that Dyana is telling the truth, but buys Dyana's silence with a pouch of gold and forces her to drink Moon tea, noting that others might dismiss her testimony. Afterwards, a furious Alicent confronts a drunken Aegon in his chambers, berating him for his assault on Dyanna, only the latest of many, bringing shame on her and his wife with his conduct, disgustedly declaring Aegon no son of hers. Aegon feebly protests at the weight of expectations placed upon him and the fact nothing he does ever satisfies his parents, but Alicent is unsympathetic. When Helaena, unaware of what has happened, enters the room and asks if anyone has seen Dyana, Alicent breaks down in tears and embraces her daughter.

In Viserys's room, Rhaenyra and Daemon discuss the extent of his deterioration when Alicent enters the room. The couple outright accuse Alicent and Otto of keeping Viserys stupefied on milk of the poppy so that they can rule in his name without interference. When Alicent protests that Viserys's condition leaves him in agony and the maesters recommended such treatment, Daemon sarcastically asks if the maesters also prescribed stripping the Red Keep of Targaryen heraldry in favor of the iconography of the Seven. Alicent piously retorts such devotional displays are meant only to guide and remind of a higher authority. When Rhaenyra questions which authority will decide on her son's right to his own inheritance, Alicent smugly replies that will be her, and her father in his capacity as Hand of the King. In the Red Keep's yard, Jace fondly reminisces about their boyhood days training there, while Luke is more self-conscious of the stares of the courtiers, aware that his resemblance to Harwin Strong rather than Laenor Velaryon undermines his claim to Driftmark. The brothers notice a crowd forming around a sparring match; to their shock, they see Criston Cole duelling their uncle, Prince Aemond Targaryen, who has grown into a formidable warrior since they last met. Aemond defeats Cole, who compliments the victory, remarking Aemond will swiftly be winning tourneys before long. Aemond makes clear he has no interest in such things before noticing his nephews in the crowd, asking Jace and Luke if they've come to train with a menacing edge in his voice. Jace and Luke are saved from having to answer by the arrival of Vaemond, escorted by his retinue and several Hightower guardsmen. Vaemond meets privately with Otto and Alicent, pledging the Velaryon fleet to support them in return for acknowledging him as heir to Driftmark.

In the Red Keep's godswood, Rhaenyra meets with Rhaenys, accompanied by Rhaena. Rhaenys is delighted to see her younger granddaughter, but less so Rhaenyra, who asks Rhaena leave to let the older women talk privately. Rhaenyra concludes Rhaenys is in King's Landing to advocate for her own claim to Driftmark, rather than in support of Vaemond. Rhaenyra insists that the proceedings are a trap engineered by Otto and Alicent meant to insultingly denounce Lucerys as illegitimate; an angry Rhaenys snaps Rhaenyra did worse when she cuckolded Laenor. Rhaenyra insists that she loved Laenor in her own way and that she was uninvolved in his death. She also offers to betroth Jace and Luke to Baela and Rhaena, allowing Baela to be Jace's Queen and ensuring rule of Driftmark will pass through Laena's line by Rhaena as Rhaenys originally wished. Rhaenys seemingly rebuffs the offer, remarking that she must stand alone.

That night, as a storm batters King's Landing, Rhaenyra sits at Viserys' bedside. He awakes and briefly mistakes her for Alicent before Rhaenyra corrects him. Rhaenyra then asks her father if he believe the Song of Ice and Fire, the prophetic dream of Aegon the Conqueror, is a true prophecy. She reminds Viserys that he told her it was their duty to hold the realm united against the return of a coming evil, but warns his naming her heir divided the realm and she has found the burden of that duty a hard one to bear. Rhaenyra tearfully pleads for her father to defend her and her children if he believes the dream true, but Viserys is too delirious from pain, illness and medication to respond, and Rhaenyra weeps at the realization even her beloved father has forsaken her to fend for herself.

The next morning, as Orwyle and several acolytes tend to Viserys's affliction, the king orders Otto to arrange a supper that night with all of his family in attendance, as well as refusing milk of the poppy. Later that day in the throne room, Otto, seated on the Iron Throne in Viserys's stead in his role as Hand of the King, presides over the succession of Driftmark in the event of Lord Corlys's death. Vaemond speaks first, citing House Velaryon's history as a survivor of the Doom of Valyria, as well as citing himself as Corlys's closest kin and a true heir of Velaryon blood. Rhaenyra scornfully accuses Vaemond of serving nothing but his own ambition in undermining the succession of Laenor's trueborn son and Corlys's preferred successor, only to be silenced by Alicent. Once Vaemond's petition is concluded, Otto invites Rhaenyra to speak on Lucerys's behalf. She begins by denouncing the entire proceeding as a farce, but before she can speak further, the throne room doors open and, to the incredulity of all present, Viserys hobbles into the throne room, clearly in pain but determined to support his daughter one last time. Viserys declares his intention to sit the throne and preside over the ruling, forcing Otto to withdraw. He struggles to climb the steps of the Iron Throne, initially dismissing the offer of Ser Erryk's help, but when he stumbles a second time, out of breath from exertion, his crown falls from his head and another figure steps forward to help. Viserys is about to rebuff them, when he sees it is Daemon, his face drawn by concern for his older brother, and Viserys allows Daemon to help him up the steps and place the crown upon his head once more.

Once settled upon the throne, Viserys declares his confusion as to why a settled succession is being debated, noting the only person fit to give further insight into Corlys's wishes would be his wife, Rhaenys. Rhaenys steps forward and, to the shock and anger of Vaemond, Otto and Alicent, asserts that Corlys always wanted Lucerys to succeed him as Lord of Driftmark, a decision she she is confident Corlys would support her decision to accept Rhaenyra's proposal to betroth Jace and Luke to Baela and Rhaena. Viserys declares the matter settled, reaffirming Lucerys as heir to Driftmark and the next Lord of the Tides. An outraged Vaemond furiously snaps that Viserys has no authority to decide House Velaryon's fate when he broke centuries of tradition and Westerosi law to install his daughter as heir, angrily denouncing Lucerys as no true Velaryon. Angered by Vaemond's presumption, Viserys coldly reminds Vaemond he is nothing more than a second son, whereas Lucerys is the king's trueborn grandson. Vaemond refuses to be silent, raging that he will not allow House Velaryon to end on account of Lucerys, stopping short of openly calling the boy a bastard. Daemon, glaring at Vaemond, dares him to say the word that will damn him, and Vaemond bellows aloud that Rhaenyra's children are bastards and, as the crowd murmurs at this outburst, turns to face Viserys and hisses that Rhaenyra herself is a whore. An apoplectic Viserys rises to his feet and draws his dagger, vowing to take Vaemond's tongue for the insult to his daughter's honor. Before he can, Daemon slices off the top of Vaemond's skull with Dark Sister, sardonically quipping that Vaemond "can keep his tongue", before casually cleaning and sheathing Dark Sister as Otto bellows at the Kingsguard to disarm Daemon. The shock and exertion overcome Viserys who collapses in pain on the throne, but despite a panicking Rhaenyra and Alicent pleading with him to take medical assistance, Viserys refuses, insisting he must make things right.

Later that evening, Rhaenys watches as the Silent Sisters prepare Vaemond's body for burial. Grand Maester Orwyle urges her to leave, noting it is considered bad luck to look upon the face of death, but Rhaenys dismisses him, remarking that the Stranger, who has come for her family so many times, no longer cares if her eyes are open or closed to him.

Concurrently in his personal chambers, Viserys dines with both sides of his family. Removing his mask to show the extent of his facial decay, Viserys beseeches them all to reconcile their differences, both for the sake of unity in House Targaryen and out of love for him. Rhaenyra and Alicent try to broach their past estrangement, with Rhaenyra toasting Alicent's diligent care of her father, and Alicent acknowledging they are both mothers who love their children, saying Rhaenyra will make a fine queen. Aegon makes several leery passes at Baela, much to Jace's annoyance, but acknowledging his grandfather's wish for peace and reconciliation, Jace instead chooses to toast his uncles in remembrance of his fond memories of their shared childhood. Helaena also offers a toast to Baela and Rhaena at their prospective marriages, as well as making a subtle jab at Aegon regarding their own, much to the amusement of everyone at the table. As several musicians in the corner begin playing, Jace invites Helaena to dance with him, which she happily accepts. Viserys smiles contentedly as both sides of his family enjoy themselves, before retiring to his chambers for the night. Unfortunately, once he is gone, the reconciliatory mood is ruined when Lucerys, amused at the memory of "the Pink Dread", can't help but snigger when a suckling pig is set on the table before Aemond. Infuriated by the reminder of his childhood humiliation, Aemond gets to his feet and sarcastically toasts Jace and Luke, calling them "wise, handsome, and strong". Aware Aemond is indirectly insulting them, Jace and Luke promptly get into a fight with Aemond and Aegon before Daemon separates them. Rhaenyra sends her sons back to their quarters while Aemond backs down and leaves after Daemon stares his nephew down, recognizing it is not worth picking a fight with a man who has already demonstrated his willingness to use lethal force in defense of his stepsons. Rhaenyra and Alicent briefly commiserate over the antics of their sons; Rhaenyra promises to return on dragonback once she's seen her family safely back to Dragonstone, with Alicent remarking she and the King would both like that.

Concurrently, Talya visits a lavish manse within the city belonging to Mysaria, informing her true employer about events in the Red Keep.

Later that night, Alicent comes to Viserys' chambers and helps him take medicine for his pain. Confusing Alicent for his daughter, Viserys continues his previous conversation with Rhaenyra, insisting that he believes Aegon the Conqueror's dream was a true vision and that she must be the one to prepare Westeros against the coming darkness. Hearing the Conqueror's name, Alicent misunderstands, believing Viserys is nominating their son Aegon as his successor. Once Alicent is gone, Viserys calls out his last words, "My love," to his late wife, and quietly dies, unaware of the chaos he has unwittingly sowed.


Main page: The Lord of the Tides/Appearances









"I will sit the throne today."
―Viserys I Targaryen
"Her children are bastards! And she is a whore."
―Vaemond Velaryon
"He can keep his tongue."
―Daemon Targaryen
"Set aside your grievances, if not for the sake of the crown, then for the sake of this old man who loves you all so dearly."
―Viserys I Targaryen

Behind the scenes[]


  • The title of the episode refers to the main title borne by the head of House Velaryon, "Lord of the Tides."
  • With a run time of 68 minutes, this episode was the longest of the television series, tied with "The Princess and the Queen." Both episodes were dethroned by "Rhaenyra the Cruel," a minute longer at 69 minutes.
  • This is the last major time jump of the series, taking place six years after "Driftmark." Younger characters born in previous episodes are now portrayed by their permanent actors.
    • Tom Glynn-Carney replaces Ty Tennant as the adult Aegon Targaryen.
    • Phia Saban replaces Evie Allen as the adult Helaena Targaryen.
    • Ewan Mitchell replaces Leo Ashton as the adult Aemond Targaryen.
    • Harry Collett replaces Leo Hart as the teenage Jacaerys Velaryon.
    • Elliot Grihault replaces Harvey Sadler as the teenage Lucerys Velaryon.
    • Bethany Antonia replaces Shani Smethurst as the teenage Baela Targaryen.
    • Phoebe Campbell replaces Eva Ossei-Gerning as the teenage Rhaena Targaryen.
  • This is the only episode of the series so far to feature no dragons, although it does feature dragon eggs.
  • When Alicent enters the room where Rhaenyra and Daemon are, the scars on Rhaenyra's left forearm (the result of Alicent's attack in the previous episode) are seen.
  • The conversation between Lucerys and Jace shows that they are aware of their father's identity.
  • In the final scene, Viserys, whose health has seriously deteriorated, mistakes Alicent for Rhaenyra; he had previously talked about "The Song of Ice and Fire" only with Rhaenyra and his last conversation was a continuation of that he had with his daughter the night prior.
    • When Rhaenyra reunites with her father, Viserys mistakes her for Alicent, foreshadowing him making the reverse mistake
    • Viserys uses his dying words to proclaim his belief that Rhaenyra is the Prince That Was Promised. Unfortunately, Alicent, not privy to information on Aegon's dream prior, misinterprets Viserys's mentioning "Aegon" as indicating he wishes their son Aegon to succeed him as king.
  • The part in which Viserys dropped his crown, and Daemon picked it up and handed it back to Viserys, was not in the original script. The episode's director Geeta Patel revealed that the touching moment was completely unplanned.[6]
  • Actor Paddy Considine later confirmed Viserys's last words at his deathbed "No more. No more. My love." were also improvised.[7]
  • Throughout the episode, the greens are to the right of Viserys, the side that is rotting and missing an eye, while the blacks are on the side with his remaining eye: when he is on the Iron Throne, at the dinner table, and when he is in bed (as Rhaenyra and Daemon approach from Viserys's left while, later on, Alicent approaches on the right).
  • There is a slight resemblance between the fates of Vaemond and Eddard Stark: each of them correctly accused a queen (Eddard - Cersei, Vaemond - Rhaenyra) that her children were bastards, and was beheaded for that.
  • Vaemond incorrectly ystates: "When the Doom fell on Valyria, our houses [Targaryen and Velaryon] became the last of their kind"; Actually, House Celtigar also has Valyrian blood.

Altered and deleted scenes[]

  • Daemon toasting Viserys at the last supper. This was cut because director Geeta Patel felt that this undercut the power of the previous moment between the two brothers in the throne room.[8]

In the books[]

Main page: Differences in adaptation/House of the Dragon: Season 1#"The Lord of the Tides"

This episode is adapted from the chapter "Heirs of the Dragon — A Question of Succession" from Fire & Blood.







  1. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON (HBO). The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 House of the Dragon: Season 1, Episode 8: "The Lord of the Tides" (2022).
  3. 3.0 3.1 House of the Dragon. HBO. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  4. 4.0 4.1 House of the Dragon: Season 1. HBO. Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Lord of the Tides. HBO. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  8. Geeta Patel, Entertainment Weekly, October 9, 2022


  1. The premise of "The Lord of the Tides" opens with "six years later." The previous episode takes place in 126 AC.

External links[]