The King is dead. Long live whichever unfortunate human being manages to get their hands on the Iron Throne.
In the end it was a mercy as the agonized remains of Viserys Targaryen rasped out his final tortured breaths. The latest - and final - six year time jump saw the Targaryen monarch reduced to little more than a living skeleton, as House of the Dragon's eighth episode The Lord of the Tides brought the final days of the King to life and ultimately, to death.
While the death of the Westerosi ruler is the headline news of this week's offering, there was plenty to digest as Viserys' final moments played out. Corlys Velaryon has been grievously wounded fighting a resurgent Triarchy and the contentious issue of the succession of Driftmark plays a prominent role in The Lord of the Tides. The time jump also sees the latest versions of Rhaenyra and Alicent's children make their bow, with notably intriguing debut performances from Tom Glynn-Carney and Ewan Mitchell as royal brothers Aegon and Aemond respectively.
The king is dead and the impending civil war looms ever closer. The only tragedy? There's only two episodes left from this illustrious season of television. It speaks volumes to the fact the fact that House of the Dragon's first season has not even ended, yet clamors for the second instalment already grow ever louder.
10. Down - The Sea Snake's off-screen troubles
While The Lord of the Tides wastes no time in establishing Corlys Velaryon's current predicament, the argument is there to be made that a brief scene pertaining to the events that led to the Sea Snake's life threatening condition would have served the episode well.
A huge amount of changes occurred off-screen during the time jump, so many in fact, that even seasoned readers of Martin's works have a hard time keeping up with every minor development in House of the Dragon's sprawling story. The Lord of Driftmark has been billed as a member of the main cast and a central figure within proceedings; it seems bizarre that the storyline of the titular character of the episode is relegated to an off-screen depiction.
Of course, the counter argument to be made is that The Lord of the Tides was House of the Dragon's joint longest episode to date and setting up the backdrop of the latest conflict with the Triarchy - let alone how Corlys was wounded - would have eaten into the already jam-packed episode time. With that being said, it is difficult to see how a short scene bringing events behind Corlys' injuries to life would have taken away from the quality of an already superb episode.