House of the Dragon Episode 8 Recap: Every Storyline, Character and Easter Egg

House of the Dragon Episode 8 Recap: Every Storyline, Character and Easter Egg
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Just when you thought we were done with time jumps, House of the Dragon skipped forward again this week with a whole bunch of new actors stepping in as Targaryen family members. Here’s your recap of House of the Dragon Episode 8 ‘The Lord of the Tides’.

This article contains full spoilers for House of the Dragon. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch Episodes 1-8 over on Binge now.

House of the Dragon Episode 8: Plot Recap

targaryen family tree
Jacaerys Velaryon (Image: HBO/Binge)

We’re starting things off at Driftmark where we learn six years have passed and Lord Corlys Velaryon has been wounded at sea and isn’t likely to survive. The question of who will inherit Drifmark is presented to his wife Rhaenys, who sits on the throne in Corlys’ absence.

Corlys’ brother Vaemond thinks it should be him as the “true” Velaryon heir rather than Lucerys, disputing the heritage of Rhaenyra’s children once again. He plans to present his claim in King’s Landing.

Over on Dragonstone, we find Daemon spelunking to collect a clutch of new dragon eggs. He’s pretty pleased with himself until he’s delivered a message from his daughter Baela, who now serves as Rhaenys’ ward, telling him of Vaemond’s intentions.

When word reaches Rhaenyra (who is pregnant again FYI) she decides they must appear alongside Vaemond to present their own claim for Luke.

House of the dragon episode 8
Image: HBO/Binge

With the Hightowers in control due to Viserys’ declining health, a few changes have been made. The religious insignia of the seven have been placed all around the Red Keep and Alicent now presides over the Small Council.

When they arrive, Rhaenyra and Daemon visit Viserys, who is still alive, but only barely. Viserys is strung out on Milk of the Poppy and, at first, doesn’t even recognise his daughter.

The king is delighted, however, when Rhaenyra presents to him his new grandchildren, Aegon (yes, another one) and Viserys.

Meanwhile, Alicent is dealing with the actions of her wayward son, Aegon (yes, the other one), who has been caught sexually assaulting a servant. Alicent manages to secure the servant’s silence and gives her the morning after ‘Moon Tea’ for her trouble.

Alicent then reprimands Aegon for his actions, who is somehow even more of a bastard six years later.

Rhaenyra and Daemon confront Alicent about Viserys’ condition, suggesting that she and her father are keeping the king drugged on painkillers while they rule in his stead.

Jace and Luke visit the fighting pits where they were once trained as young boys and come across an adult Aemond, who has become a formidable eye-patch-wearing warrior that the internet has dubbed “evil Legolas”.

targaryen family tree
Image: HBO/Binge

In the lead up to the council, Vaemond appeals to Alicent and Otto for their support and Rhanyra approaches her cousin Rhaenys. It turns out Rhaenys suspects Rhaenyra of having a hand in Laenor’s murder and has harboured a grudge ever since, not knowing he is actually off living his best gay life.

Rhaenyra promises she was not involved and offers to wed Baela and Rhaena to her sons Jace and Luke if Rhaenys will back their claim, therefore securing the Velaryon bloodline. Rhaenys rejects the offer, saying she will stand alone from both sides.

That night Rhaenyra confesses to her bedridden father her fears about taking on the crown and the burden of Aegon’s (the first king, not the other two) Song of Fire and Ice dream.

Otto sits on the Iron Throne to hear the petitions for Driftmark. Vaemond steps up first making his claim that he is the best option to secure the Velaryon bloodline.

Before Rhaenyra can make her address the doors to the throne room are open and in walks a haggled Viserys wearing a half-face mask. After a very long struggle, in which he drops his crown and leans on Daemon for support, Viserys sits on the throne once more.

House of the dragon episode 8
Image: HBO/Binge

Viserys wants to hear from Rhaenys, who takes the floor and surprisingly backs Rhaenyra’s claim by saying it was always Corlys’ desire for Lucerys to inherit Driftmark.

Vaemond is not happy with that answer and disputes her, calling Luke a bastard and Rhaenyra a whore. Well, Daemon isn’t happy with that answer and decides to slice the man’s head in half right there and then for insulting his wife. Reader, when I tell you I screamed.

After an eventful day, Viserys gathers his family for a meal. Toasts are made and it’s here we learn the true extent of the king’s injuries. Viserys removes his mask, revealing an empty eye socket and a chunk of his face missing.

This might be the last time he looks upon them all and he wants nothing but peace between their family. “The crown cannot remain strong if the House of the Dragon remains divided,” he says.

Acting on that goodwill, Rhaenyra and Alicent apologise to each other. Toasts are made around the table and Jace and Helaena even dance together. For a short time, it seems there might be peace between them after all.

targaryen family tree aegon ii
Image: HBO/Binge

Eventually, Viserys has to call it a night and that’s when things get tense. Despite their parents putting aside their differences, the Targaryen kids can’t stop bickering.

Aemond manages to tactically insult Rhaenyra’s children in his toast by calling them “strong boys”, which leads to them all fighting.

Rhaenyra decides it’s time for them to return to Dragonstone, but promises Alicent that she will return ASAP to see her father. Alicent seems pleased with the idea — and that’s called character development, folks.

It would be nice for things to end there with the Greens and the Blacks united for once, but this is a Game of Thrones show after all.

Alicent visits the king who is muttering in his sleep. He gets out a garbled assortment of words in his fever dream which include “Aegon”, “the prince who was promised” and “unite the realm”, before imparting that she must be the one who does this. He has seemingly mistaken his wife for Rhaenyra, who was at his bedside the night before. I think we can all assume how Alicent interprets those parting words.

And it’s there, after a long eight episodes, Viserys draws his last breath.

To think this would all be solved if the Targaryens didn’t insist on naming all of their kids Aegon.

House of the Dragon Episode 8: Easter (dragon) eggs

House of the dragon episode 8
Image: HBO/Binge

Another time jump, some murder and a family dinner. All in a week for House of the Dragon, folks.

Here are some things we noticed in House of the Dragon Episode 8:

  • If you’re wondering why Aemond turned on his nephews so quickly during the family dinner it’s because he saw Luke laughing at him as a roasted pig was placed on the table. This seems to be a call back to the “Pink Dread” pig prank the boys played on him in Episode 6.
  • Expect the eggs that Daemon collects from Syrax at the beginning of the episode to be important, as the two Targaryen clans gather as many dragons as possible for the coming war.
  • We meet a new member of the Kingsguard in this episode, Ser Erryk, who Alicent mistakenly calls Ser Arryk, who is in fact the knight’s twin brother. Pay attention to these two because in the books they go on to become loyal members on opposite sides of the civil war.
  • Helaena, who we established is possibly prophetic last week, speaks another mysterious line at the dinner scene saying “Beware the beast beneath the boards.” This one has book nerds scratching their heads right now so we’ll have to wait to find out what it could mean.

As you may have noticed, half the fun of watching House of the Dragon is the memes, so please enjoy my favourite of the week:

If you missed last week’s recap you can catch up here.

House of the Dragon airs weekly on Mondays at 12:00 pm AEDT on Binge.


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At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

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