This article was originally published on SFFGazette.com - be sure to keep checking that site for the latest on House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones!
This past Sunday's episode of House of the Dragon once again jumps forward in time, revealing new status quos for a number of characters. Lord Corlys, for example, has suffered a serious stab wound and is battling a troubling fever. Should he die, his brother Vaemond makes it clear that he will be the next Lord of Driftmark.
The Targaryens are busy continuing to fret about what the future holds in store for the Iron Throne, though King Viserys is still somehow managing to cling to life. He looks more like an extra from The Walking Dead than a citizen of Westeros at this stage, and Alicent has taken to sedating him so that she can rule alongside her father, Otto.
With half his face all but gone, Viserys finally succumbs to his affliction. Confused, he talks to Alicent, believing her to be his daughter, Rhaenyra. Making it clear she is the only one who can unite the realm, the stage is very much set for the Dance of Dragons to take place as this family implodes from within while vying to sit atop the fallen King's throne.
Viserys dies believing he has succeeded in preparing Rhaenyra for the Iron Throne, passing on Aegon's prophecy to this daughter and fixing the many issues within his family.
Instead, Alicent believes her husband was referring to their son, Aegon, leaving his widow convinced that Viserys wanted his son to ascend to the Iron Throne. This simple miscommunication from a dying man promises to have major ramifications for the Targaryens, and it's clear Alicent will now do whatever is necessary to stop Rhaenyra from ruling over Westeros.
When that happens, war will almost certainly break out, leading to the fall of this family. That's something we anticipate playing out in season 2 and beyond, of course, but this first batch of episodes has done a fantastic job of laying the groundwork for what promises to be a thrilling clash.
We still have two episodes of House of the Dragon left, so keep checking SFFGazette.com for updates!