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House of the Dragon episode 8 review: A prelude to Dance of the Dragons

The episode The Lord of the Tides is yet another fascinating addition to House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon episode 8 review: A prelude to Dance of the Dragons

Last Updated: 03.36 PM, Oct 10, 2022


Story: A few years after the events of the previous episode Lord Corlys Velaryon is severely injured in a battle at the Stepstones. His brother Vaemond argues that he should be named Lord of Driftmark instead of Rhaenyra’s second son Jacerys. He brings his petition to the Royal court with hopes that Hightowers, Queen Alicent and her father Otto the Hand of the King, will back his claim as the new Lord of Driftmark.


Review: House of the Dragon continues to deliver excellent episodes, and this consistency puts it comfortably above The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. The sixth episode of the latter did threaten to knock the former off its perch, but the Amazon Prime series was unable to solidify its status as a genuine threat to HBO’s House of the Dragon in the ongoing ‘Medieval fantasy streaming wars’.


Episode eight of House of the Dragon, titled The Lord of the Tides, is rewarding in terms of how each character’s arcs have evolved, and it finally gives the audience a sense of understanding of their motives and their place in the Targaryen family. The one who has benefited the most from character development is, unsurprisingly, Prince Daemon Targaryen. He is no longer the enigma he once was, he has evolved into a concerned family man who will defend the honour of those he cares about. And this facet of his new demeanour came to the fore half through the episode in typical Game of Thrones fashion.


However, despite all the drama surrounding the various lines of succession at both the Targaryen and the Velaryon households, the episode’s focus is on the ailing King Viserys Targaryen in his final days as King. By all accounts, the King appears to be the only voice of reason despite his poor health. His motives have not been driven by power or ambition but by the responsibility of unifying the realm against the impending war against the ‘darkness’ as prophesied by his ancestor Aegon the conqueror. He makes one last stand to unify his divided house and he succeeds to a certain degree, but the Targaryen civil war is inevitable and the final scene of the episode all but confirms it.


Unlike the book, Fire and Blood, which the series is based upon, Queen Alicent and heir to the throne Princess Rhaenyra does make an attempt to resolve their issues. It is one of the several things the show has retconned from George R R Martin’s novel, and oddly enough it has elevated the story in certain aspects. Alicent is not driven by hate and lust for power, but because she is a victim of the unforgiving politics of the Seven Kingdoms. Her sons, however, Prince Aegon and Aemond have grown up to become two contesting characters, and if not for their last name and golden hair one might even refuse to believe that they are related.


The younger Prince Aemond, played by Ewan Mitchell, will likely play an important role in the Dance of the Dragons storyline. There is a brief confrontation with his uncle Prince Daemon which is possibly foreshadowing things to come in the upcoming episodes. It is also interesting to note that Aemond and Daemon have a lot more in common than they realise or will ever admit. Another interesting aspect is the fact that despite Alicent’s self-righteous approach to life, her sons are social deviants, unlike Rhaenyra’s children who are labelled ‘bastards’.

Verdict: House of Dragon, continues to maintain its lofty standards as the first season heads towards the grand finale. The Lord of the Tides, despite the lack of fast-paced action, is gripping from start to finish.


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