Viserys Was Actually a Great King


This article comprises spoilers for House of the Dragon Season 1, Episode 9, “The Green Council,” which debuted Sunday, Oct. 16 on HBO.

As the saying goes, “the King is dead, long live the king!” House of the Dragon killed off King Viserys in Episode 8, “The Lord of the Tides,” and set off the Dance of the Dragons civil conflict. While he might not have been the most effective husband or father within the sense that he struggled to make onerous choice, King Viserys was truly a reasonably nice king for the individuals of Westeros. So a lot in order that when asserting his loss of life within the small council, Otto Hightower known as the departed monarch “King Viserys the Peaceful.”

Outside of conflicts at sea — considered one of which was unsanctioned — the individuals of Westeros loved a time of peace beneath Viserys’ reign. He additionally — after years of ignoring her and craving for a son — labored to fix his relationship along with his daughter Rhaenyra; she was his connection to first spouse, not only a good candidate as a ruler (although, that was vital too). In reality, being a “good” King appeared to be Viserys’ prime motivation all through his rule. He usually went out of his strategy to keep away from battle and pointless cruelty, even at the price of saving face. As a scholar of historical past, he knew how violence solely begets extra violence. He tried to rule in a manner that ensured continued peace and — for essentially the most half — he succeeded. If something, King Viserys was the sufferer of horrible recommendation. Even his most egregious motion firstly of the sequence was the results of him trusting the phrase of somebody whose motivations have been clouded by the callous cruelty of a patriarchal monarchy.

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King Viserys Spent His Life Making Up for Queen Aemma’s Death

In his fruitless quest for a “pure” Targaryen male inheritor, King Viserys gave the maesters permission to carry out a lethal c-section on his spouse Aemma to avoid wasting his son. Whether there was really nothing they might do to avoid wasting Aemma or not, Viserys made a alternative that aligned with each his private needs and what he thought was good for the realm. In the wake of that, he really did appear modified. He named his daughter inheritor to The Iron Throne and devoted himself to coaching her to take up the solemn responsibility of ruler and protector. Since his personal crown got here from being “chosen” by his predecessor, he’d naturally comply with that instance with the intention to forestall conflict between his brother and kids. As he grew nearer to the daughter he ignored, he started to grasp that she was no much less clever or competent than any son could possibly be. This is why he trusted her with the key of A Song of Ice and Fire.

Even after his marriage with Alicent produced sons, Viserys stayed true to his choice and continued to place his religion in Rhaenyra. He by no means wavered and even dismissed Otto Hightower as his Hand after he advised she was “compromised” for having intercourse along with her uncle, aka Viserys’ brother Daemon. On that be aware, every other ruler would have put their brother to sword for simply one of many offenses Daemon inflicted upon King Viserys. But even once they truly fought, Viserys would have by no means harmed his brother.

King Viserys liked his household, and each choice he produced from marriage to succession was to guard them. He even determined in opposition to cruelly taking a pre-pubescent baby as his second spouse only for political comfort. In reality, an absence of cruelty is a defining trait in King Viserys’ rule. In most instances, when given the possibility to spare a life, Viserys chooses to take action. Unlike his advisors and household plotting in opposition to him and one another, he understands that true power lies in mercy, not homicide.

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Viserys Loving His Family Made Him a Better King

Being the King of Westeros is just not a plum gig, given how many individuals need to sit on The Iron Throne. Even if he needed the crown desperately on the time he was named inheritor, by the point he confronted his personal line of succession alternative, he was over it. Season 1, Episode 8’s Targaryen Family Dinner was maybe the one time the king had been pleased because the delivery of his final baby.

While his want for a son got here from a spiritual devotion to prophecy, in the long run, he realized that his household was what made being king value all the trouble. He would persistently defend them, particularly Rhaenyra, anytime somebody expressed doubts. When the household fought — corresponding to when Aemond misplaced his eye — his purpose was to not “punish” however guarantee household concord. Despite this glorious high quality, nonetheless, considering it was achieved so simply was additionally his largest blind spot.

Throughout House of the Dragon King Viserys is surprisingly empathetic for a fantasy ruler. Having identified each pleasure and loss, he appreciates life within the methods these scheming for energy, riches or glory doesn’t. Even although he failed to stop a conflict between his heirs, to the individuals of Westeros, King Viserys the Peaceful did a reasonably good job of defending the realm.

House of the Dragons debuts its Season 1 finale Oct. 23 at 9 PM Eastern on HBO and HBO Max.

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