Paddy Considine as Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon

The HOTD Season 1, Episode 9 Promo Finally Gets Down To Business

Who *hasn’t* imagined themselves on the Iron Throne at this point?

by Ani Bundel
Ollie Upton/HBO

The first eight episodes of House of the Dragon spanned three decades, beginning with the Great Council of 101 AC in the prologue and arriving at 129 AC in Episode 8. But the time jumping shou;d finally end now with the arrival of the season’s penultimate episode. Now that the promo for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 9, has revealed the king has passed away, it appears the game, as they say, is finally afoot.

Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 8 follow. The (presumed) final time jump for House of the Dragon’s first season took the series five years forward, from 124 AC to 129, showing the final hours of Viserys life. Despite the family strife, both sides put aside their differences to give the man they all loved and respected the thing he wanted most: a peaceful family dinner (well, mostly). But the Targaryen peace will be short-lived, as Viserys, in his final moments, undid all the good he’d done just hours previously, hallucinating and talking to Alicent as if she were Rhaenyra, convincing her that he wanted Aegon to inherit the throne, even though that was the last thing he ever desired.

Viserys has good reason not to want Aegon to inherit. Of Alicent’s sons, he is the weakest, the most inept, and the cruelest. The scene when Alicent had to deal with the fallout of his sexual assault of the chambermaid Dyana showed how unfit he was to rule. But the Hightower commitment to male primogeniture doesn’t care which family members are good rulers; it only cares about who was born first — and assigned male at birth, of course.

The penultimate episode of House of the Dragon’s first season is titled “The Green Council,” and fans can guess from the trailer and the title what to expect. There are two factions: the Greens, led by the Hightowers, and the Blacks, led by Rhaenyra. This will be a Hightower-led small council session, in which Otto Hightower will use Alicent’s misinterpretation of Viserys’ final words to put Aegon on the throne.

House of the Dragon Season 1 continues with two more episodes on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max.