The final sequence of House of the Dragon Episode 5 is the Game of Thrones prequel’s most purely stressful to date. After all of the show’s principal characters are brought together for a feast intended to celebrate Rhaenyra Targaryen’s (Milly Alcock) engagement to Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan), the episode sees everything get thrown into chaos when Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) decides to kill a perceived adversary in the middle of the Red Keep’s throne room.
The chaos and confusion caused by Cole’s violent outburst pushes King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) to his breaking point. The king has Rhaenyra and Laenor marry that very same night and, just moments after the pair finish exchanging their marriage vows, Viserys collapses to the floor. It’s on that ominous note that House of the Dragon Episode 5 then cuts to a final black.
Fortunately, the preview for House of the Dragon’s next episode contains the answer to, at the very least, one of the show’s latest mysteries.
King Viserys Targaryen’s fate in House of the Dragon
Despite running only a little over a minute long, the preview for House of the Dragon Episode 6 tells viewers a lot about what they can expect to see in the show’s next installment. Not only does the trailer prominently feature Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke’s older versions of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower, but it also introduces many of their children.
The House of the Dragon Episode 6 preview also, notably, teases new scenes with Considine’s Viserys. Indeed, while he appears to be much older in House of the Dragon Episode 6 than he was when fans last saw him, it’s clear that Viserys will still be a very present figure in the HBO series when it returns this coming Sunday.
His deteriorating appearance in House of the Dragon Episode 6’s preview does, of course, suggest that King Viserys may already be approaching the end of his life by the time the series’ next chapter begins. For readers of Fire & Blood, the book that House of the Dragon is based on, that won’t come as much of a surprise. Given just how much the show’s story has revolved around Viserys’ heirs as well, it makes sense for House of the Dragon to begin building towards his inevitable death.
That doesn’t mean that Viserys will actually die in House of the Dragon Episode 6. As a matter of fact, that event likely won’t come to pass until much later in the HBO series’ first season. But regardless of which episode his death does transpire in, House of the Dragon viewers should start coming to terms with the fact that Viserys’ life may be closer to ending than they may want it to be.
The Inverse Analysis — House of the Dragon has so far done an exceptional job of setting the stage for the conflict that will inevitably break out when Westeros’ leaders have to definitively decide who will sit on the Iron Throne after Considine’s Viserys. However, that conflict can’t truly unfold until Viserys himself is out of the picture.
With that in mind, the end of House of the Dragon Episode 5 likely convinced some viewers that Viserys’ time on the throne had come to an end. The preview for House of the Dragon Episode 6, thankfully, dispels that notion, but his appearances throughout the trailer also make it very clear that Viserys’ time on the Game of Thrones prequel is, indeed, running out.
New episodes of House of the Dragon air Sundays on HBO.