Watch episode 8 of House of the Dragon: The wound is festering

One eye is lost, a rotten tooth, a razor-thin scar that stood out against the pale skin. A lot of “Lords of Tides” are structured around wounds Dragon’s HouseThe cast has accumulated throughout their troubled lives. Even the typical incident, a legacy crisis in House Velaryonprompted by Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) suffered a serious wound in battle. We never see the wound; In fact, Lord Corlys isn’t on screen at all, but the knowledge of it creates a power struggle that costs a man his life and makes a royal once in a while. have to confront each other. Think of it as Laura Palmer is absent in Double topthe kind of void that creates the whole story just in the negative space it leaves behind when it disappears.

This is a family that can’t stop hurting themselves, and no one has suffered more in that respect than King Viserys (Paddy Considine). However, wrong when he clings to hope of an impossible status quo, even though he has illusions about his ability to make those he loves accept peace, it is painful to see him he was too skinny, his body was boneless and sunken, full of open sores. , his mind was engrossed by the opium tincture known as the milk of the poppy. Even when he breathed, he was as much a wound in the fabric of the realm as Lord Corlys.

The emotional wounds that are resolved back and forth between the two factions of the court exist as physical. When Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) first sees Alicent (Olivia Cooke) on her return to King’s Landing after a six-year absence, her hand flies in an instant. to the scar on her forearm, mirroring a later scene, in which she and Alicent hold hands with boundless warmth. Alicent rubbed Rhaenyra’s arm and wrist as if to apologize, and for the first moment since time had passed, it seemed that some spark of romance that had revived their shared childhood might be revive. Cooke and D’Arcy had an instant chemistry that was strong enough that even knowing that the relationship was dead would not diminish the exchange’s power. Their duel in the Red Keep’s throne room were all charged the same, the entire court watched as they dried their dirty clothes with the always-clinging venom. Rhaenyra’s public indignation was captivating, D’Arcy’s aristocratic, hawkish features perfectly matched with the lofty disdain of a princess who never had to play petty games and thus , she finds semi-true and evasive things that Alicent plots to disenfranchise her sons. .

Otto and Alicent sat at the table with candles in front, both looking to the side

Photo: Ollie Upton / HBO

At the royal dinner, which Viserys insisted on attending despite his rapidly declining health, the king removed the gilded mask he wore at court to cover the open wounds that ate from his cheeks down. muscle. He begs his family to see him not as their king but as a husband, a father and a grandfather, and the social tactic he uses is to see his grisly wounds, an inevitable reminder of his death. The wound and aging makeup applied to Considine is truly dramatic, helping to remove the pitfalls of latex skin and the lack of convincing CGI. He looked like a Medieval leper, sprawled on his large, screened bed behind the neglected study, where he once happily hugged his now-covered Old Valyria model. full of spider webs.

That ancient citadel of liberty is yet another structured absence, the source of the dragons coveted by the royals and the bloodline they bind and use against each other to vie for claims to Legality. There is a ritual to the practice, which is dependent upon invoking these absences without mentioning them by name. When Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson), resisting an obvious lie about the origins of Rhaenyra’s sons, dares to overcome allusion and accusation, the danger of probing such a wound with the finger of a quick man soon became clear.

Ironically, it just after Vaemond .’s death that we see him treated with any kind of tenderness. The arrogant, abrasive man was quietly laid out by the sisters for embalming, his severed halves lined up reverently like something from Hellraiser. We revere and remember our wounds because acknowledging them as meaningless is confronting our own helplessness, our mediocrity in the face of entropy. And as Viserys paints what could be his last breath, hardship and suffering, it’s hard not to think that his painful life will turn into yet another wound that his descendants and widows his side cannot be stopped, another absence they will project on themselves Meaning.

It’s like the waitress Diana, who at the beginning of the episode is presented shaking and in tears in front of Alicent, where she recounts her experience of being raped by Prince Aegon. Alicent offers her fake sweetness and comfort, then hides the money. Close that wound. Pretend you don’t have it anymore. Except that once it’s resolved, it’s too late. You can’t stop picking the hole where your tooth used to be. You can’t stop picking up scales. After this week, it looks like all of Westeros’ wounds are on the verge of being ripped open.


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