You mean the blood-letting at the aftermath of King's passing? I kind of expect that from the GoT at this point. Seeing a pacifist route would totally surprise me.I think he thought he was speaking to Rhaenyra. Alicent might take it that he named Aegon the heir. Which will set it all off.
Queen Alicent having no knowledge of the Targaryen prophecy passed down from royal heir to heir, didn’t understand Viserys when he – thinking he was talking to Rhaenyra – said that yes, he believed Aegon’s song was true and yes, she would be the one to unite the kingdoms against the coming darkness. “The prince that was promised, it is you, you are the one, you must do this,” he said to Alicent. She appeared to grasp only the words “Aegon”, “Prince” and “You must do this”, and interpreted them to mean that Viserys wanted their child Aegon (a wastrel rapist she’d earlier called no son of hers) to inherit the Iron Throne instead of his sworn heir, Rhaenyra.
“I understand, my King,” said Alicent, when she absolutely did not. Now, through no fault of her own (the TV series clears Alicent’s name in a way that Fire & Blood‘s ‘she poisoned him’ rumors don’t), Queen Alicent wrongly believes that King Viserys’ dying wish was that Prince Aegon be crowned Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. Viserys’ real dying wish, of course, was for Princess Rhaenyra to take the throne. It’s quite the mess, and extremely regrettable after Viserys made such a sterling effort to unite his clan and inspire them to forget the quarrels of their past.
For the romantics among us, Viserys’ final last words had nothing to do with any variety of Aegon, prophecy or throne. As the screen went to black and he took his last breath, we heard him say simply “My love”, as if in greeting. Who would he address as such? His first wife Queen Aemma, surely, in the Game of Thrones afterlife.
That’s all very well for Viserys, who is finally out of his misery, but the situation he’s left behind is an untenable one. The newly repaired bonds between Alicent and Rhaenyra will surely not stay fast when the Queen attempts to follow what she believes were the King’s instructions and install their son on the Iron Throne instead of his daughter.
Let’s talk about the dragon-winged elephant in the room now. The coming Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons is King Viserys’s real legacy. Whether it’s the ruler’s fault or not, history is not a big fan of commanders-in-chief who were unable to avoid civil conflict. James Buchanan, the U.S. President who preceded Abraham Lincoln (America’s Jaehaerys), frequently finds himself on “Worst U.S. Presidents of All Time” lists largely because of his inability to slow down the march to the American Civil War.
According to the fictional maesters writing the fictional history of Fire & Blood, King Viserys did very little to stop the conflict between his wife Queen Alicent and his daughter Princess Rhaenyra. House of the Dragon offers up a much kinder interpretation and in episode 8 we see the sickly king make one final Hail Mary to stop the incoming war…and he almost succeeds before Aemond and milk of the poppy have other ideas.
Still, regardless of how sincere of an attempt he made to avoid it, King Viserys’s actions directly led to one of the bloodiest conflicts ever in Westerosi history – and one that forever impeded the power and influence of House Taragrayen. The house of the dragon was at its height under Jaehaerys Targaryen and it began its slow descent under Viserys. That fact cannot be avoided or mitigated in any way when addressing his legacy.
Viserys was not the worst Targaryen king by a long shot. In fact, so many Targaryen kings run the gamut from “meh” to “breathtakingly, apocalyptically awful” that he may actually sneak into the top half on the list of 17 kings. He was also seemingly a good man, which at least counts for something in this terrifying amoral fantasy universe. But neither of those two facts make him a good king.
Viserys I Targaryen was a bad king. An unlucky king mayhaps, but a bad king all the same.
I wonder what the pitch was when they offered Considine the role. "You'll be the doomed King Viserys. You'll be dying, one piece at a time, over the course of several decades. You'll get a nice blond wig. You in?"What does it take? The Old King looks and pretty much sounds like a zombie in this shot. If I had not heard that groaning, I'd have claimed that he's already dead.
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