House of the Dragon Cleverly Foreshadows Major Game of Thrones Death

The latest episode of House of the Dragon saw King Viserys Targaryen in his final days of life, hardly able to even stand or breathe without any pain. In his last public appearance before his death, the King covered up the half of his face that had rotted away by wearing a golden mask over his right eye and cheek. While some fans instantly thought of the mask worn by the Crabfeeder, the facial accessory actually has an even deeper tie to a Targaryen we've already seen on television before — the first Viserys that Game of Thrones fans ever met.

If you recall, the first season of Game of Thrones introduced Daenerys Targaryen alongside her brother, Viserys, who was the last remaining heir to the Mad King's throne. His goal was to get back to Westeros after Robert's Rebellion and take back the Iron Throne, but he needed an army to do so, which led to him offering his sister to Khal Drogo in exchange for the use of the Dothraki. Things didn't end well for Viserys, and his death can be directly connected to the Viserys on House of the Dragon.

Viserys III, from Game of Thrones, was not a nice guy, and he eventually threatened the lives of Daenerys and her unborn child in order to get Khal Drogo's army and make his move on Westeros. All he wanted, he said, was his crown. Drogo obliged by melting golden jewelry and pouring it onto Viserys' head, killing him almost instantly and encasing his skull and face with "a crown for a king."

Viserys I, the King in House of the Dragon, was not the cruel type of person as Viserys III, but they shared more than just a name. The mask that Viserys was given to appear on the Iron Throne in the latest episode covers his face in almost the exact same way as the gold that killed Viserys III. This not only foreshadows the eventual death of Viserys' namesake, but also represents the way powers and crowns can kill those who attempt to wield them. 

(Photo: HBO)

Is Viserys Really Dead?

The ending of the latest House of the Dragon shows Viserys in his bed, saying out loud that he's ready to stop suffering. The camera cuts without any official declaration of his death, but it's heavily implied that he's gone. Fortunately, we do know the answer.

Viserys is dead. His death is what acts as a catalyst for the story of the Dance of the Dragons, making it a necessary part of the series. It's also worth mentioning that the preview for House of the Dragon's ninth episode begins with Otto Hightower confirming the King's passing, so there won't be any kind of fake-out to keep Viserys around another week.

New episodes of House of the Dragon air on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday nights.