As season one of Game of Thrones was the tale of Ned Stark, season one of House of the Dragon has been the tale of King Viserys I. While Alicent and Rhaenyra have been at odds, Viserys has managed to keep peace for decades, despite his poor health.

He was rewarded for that stability with one night of unity and joy before his death. In fact, the audience might have been able to believe that the chaos would be averted if they hadn't been promised a war. Rhaenyra and Alicent's frosty dynamic felt ready to thaw after decades apart. And yet, the Dance of the Dragons was only waiting for the fall of the king. Viserys had a unique dynamic with each of the major players in the impending war, and "The Lord of the Tides" showed how each turned out.

Viserys And The Maesters

Viserys's health has been failing him throughout most of House of the Dragon, which has meant that his maesters are some of the most important people in his life. They treated his injuries with cauterization, leeches, and maggots, but they never seem capable of getting him healthy again.

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In Fire & Blood, Rhaenyra's maesters are able to help him while the royal maesters are not. This is not mentioned in the series, but Daemon and Rhaenyra do question if the drugs Viserys is perpetually taking are for his sake or Alicent's. He seems capable of making his final stand when he was off his medications, though his death came so soon after that it's hard to know for sure whether they were helping or hurting.

Viserys And The Velaryons

Viserys's first slight against the Velaryons was unintentional, as he had been selected as heir to the throne over Rhaenys, but their relationship grew more treacherous from there. He rejected Laena by choosing Alicent as his wife, and he refused to support the war in the Stepstones until it was nearly over, forcing House Velaryon to accept most of the cost.

However, Viserys did his best to bring them back into his good graces by marrying Rhaenyra to Laenor and refusing to accept any claims of illegitimacy against their children. In the end, he stood by Corlys and Rhaenys, establishing a dynamic of mutual respect between the two families.

Viserys And His Grandsons

While everyone else at Court seems to know that Luke, Jace, and Joffrey are not Laenor's children, Viserys has always stood by them. He argued that the boys had Velaryon features and publicly acknowledged them as his legitimate grandchildren, regardless of Alicent's pushing.

This came to a head in "Driftmark" when he took the claims against them more seriously than the physical harm done to Aemond. Though Viserys never developed much of a personal relationship with any of them, he pushed through his ill health to assert their legitimacy, proving devoted until the end. Likewise, his grandsons make clear efforts to maintain the peace he requested as a sign of their devotion to him.

Viserys And Otto Hightower

Viserys and Otto had a complicated dynamic, but they were generally supportive of one another. Viserys kept Otto as his hand for many years and granted him even more status when he married Alicent, as Otto technically became his father-in-law. However, Viserys was wary of Otto swaying the Council for Alicent's sake, which led him to replace Otto with Lyonel Strong.

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Despite that, when all was said and done, Otto was Hand again and was allowed to rule alongside Alicent through the end of Viserys's life, with no further conflict between them except Viserys's decision to sit the throne when deciding the succession of Driftmark.

Viserys And Aemond

Aemond was Viserys's second living son, but he never seemed to get any attention from his father, particularly in the show. Despite being a much more clever and dutiful prince than Aegon, Aemond seemed to be largely ignored by Viserys unless he was causing trouble.

Viserys cared that Aemond lost his eye, but not enough to enforce punishment against his grandchildren. Instead, he was harsh toward Aemond for calling Luke and Jace "the Strongs." While Viserys included Aemond in the group of his nearest and dearest, Aemond was the only one unwilling to even pretend at peace, taking a unifying dinner and turning it into a mockery of his nephews.

Viserys And Aegon

Aegon was Viserys's firstborn son, who he had longed for while married to Aemma. As a child, Aegon seemed to bring Viserys much joy, with Viserys actually seeming interested in being a father. However, that interest diminished as the boy grew older and animosity grew in the family.

Viserys promised Rhaenyra that he would not supplant her, which was innately taken as a slight against Aegon. The boy didn't seem to care, but the less Viserys cared for him, the more Alicent hated him. Aegon grew up to be a vulgar young man, and love for his father didn't play into any of his decisions, although admittedly, Viserys showed little affection for his eldest son either.

Viserys And Aemma

Though Viserys's marriage to Aemma was political, as she was a Targaryen cousin of his, he truly seemed to love her in the show. His love for her is brought up repeatedly with Rhaenyra, and seems to be a key facet of why he is so determined to establish Rhaenyra on the throne.

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It's clear that the affection he had for Aemma is considerably stronger than his love for Alicent, who he keeps at a distance. As Viserys ages, he even calls Alicent by Aemma's name, neglecting her when he remembers the truth. His last words, "my love," were surely intended for his beloved wife, who was welcoming him into the afterlife.

Viserys And Alicent

While some fans misunderstand Viserys's choice to marry Alicent, there is very little evidence that he ever loved her. He valued her companionship and seemed attracted to her, but that seems to be the extent of their marriage. In conflicts, he is quick to put her opinion down. However, he became more reliant on her as he aged, eventually allowing Alicent and her father final say on nearly every matter of governance.

Though Viserys did seem to care for Alicent greatly, he never loved her like he loved Aemma. In return for his compassion, she dutifully cared for him to the end of his days. In addition, she seems to be taking his final words to heart, truly believing that she is acting according to his will when she inevitably reignites the fight against Rhaenyra.

Viserys And Daemon

Viserys and Daemon's relationship was always tense, as Daemon was power-hungry and looked for ways to exploit Viserys and Rhaenyra to get closer to the throne. Viserys cast him out on numerous occasions and generally looked on Daemon with suspicion. Likewise, Daemon seemed determined to hurt his brother.

Despite that, Viserys loved Daemon, repeatedly welcoming him back to court and giving him second chances. No action, even marrying Rhaenyra, was bad enough for Viserys to truly hate Daemon. The brothers finally seemed on the same page in "The Lord of the Tides," and Daemon showed Viserys tenderness and kindness that was out of the ordinary, but proved the love both held for the other.

Viserys And Rhaenyra

Viserys and Rhaenyra's relationship was far rockier in House of the Dragon than Fire & Blood, but it was still the strongest relationship he had. Viserys married Alicent in part because she could help him connect with Rhaenyra better, and he supported Rhaenyra's claim to the throne and the legitimacy of her children until the very end.

While they struggled to get along in the early years after Aemma's death, Viserys seemed determined to show Rhaenyra his support in every situation. His love for his daughter was more powerful than the love he had for any of his other children, and he seemed to truly want little more than to see her happy. Likewise, she found comfort in following his will, making the first move toward peace with Alicent when he asked for it. In his last moments, he believed he was speaking to her, offering her his assurances that she was meant to be the Prince that was Promised.

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Source:gamerant.com
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