Warning Spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 8. How does King Viserys die, and what were his last words to Alicent? From the very first episode of House of the Dragon, we’ve known that King Viserys Targaryen was sick, and as the TV series has gone on, it’s become clear he wouldn’t live a long life. Sure enough, in the fantasy series’ penultimate episode, the not-so-good king breathes his last.
Still, before he goes to the next life, Viserys does manage to do two things, one that’s brilliant and one that will spell the doom of his entire family. The first is that he successfully defends Rahenyra from Vaemond Valerion’s attempt to disinherit her, managing to bring together his warring family… briefly.
The second thing he does is probably the biggest mistake of his life. He whispers something to Alicent, which convinces her that her son Aegon needs to sit on the Iron Throne, reigniting the brewing Targaryen civil War. But what did Viserys whisper to Alicent, and how did he die?
What did Viserys whisper to Alicent?
As he lies on his deathbed, Alicent comes into his chambers to give him his medicine. As she does, Viseys, in a confused daze, starts to tell Alicent Aegon’s prophecy about the Long Night and the Prince that was Promised.
He breathlessly tells Alicent that Aegon was right and, “The Song of Ice and Fire. It is true. What he saw in the North. The Prince that was Promised. The Prince… to unite the realm against the cold and the dark. It is you. You are the one. You must do this. You must do this.”
Unfortunately Alicent doesn’t understand the context of Viserys’ words and presumes that the Aegon he’s referring to is her son, not the old conqueror. She assumes then that Viserys has just made Prince Aegon heir and disinherited Rhaenyra.
Who did Viserys think he was talking to?
Considering Rhaenyra visited him the night before and asked about The Song of Ice and Fire, Viserys likely thought Alicent was his daughter. According to director Geeta Patel, Paddy Considine knows who Viserys was talking to, but he’s not telling anyone now.
How does King Viserys die?
King Viserys I dies due to leprosy in the penultimate episode of House of the Dragon. The disease, which isn’t named on the show, has caused the king to rot away throughout his reign.
What started as a small scab on his back when he was young slowly spread over his body. By the time he died, Viserys was missing his left arm as well as his right eye, and his body was covered in lesions that left him in near-constant agony.
To cope with the pain, Viserys becomes dependent on the milk of the poppy – a sort of opium – that muddies his thought and makes him extremely confused, which is why he makes the mistake of telling Alicent his big family secret.
If you love House of the Dragon, check out our list of the best Game of Thrones characters, or we have guides to some of the show’s big players like Daemon Targaryen and Criston Cole.