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House Of The Dragon Real Talk: How Much Longer Can Viserys Last?

Things aren't looking great for King Viserys (Paddy Considine). HBO's flashy "Game of Thrones" prequel series "House of the Dragon" continues to chug along, showcasing the slow but steady downfall of the House Targaryen, the rulers of Westeros. The series, spearheaded by Ryan Condal and George R. R. Martin, has already been renewed for a second season, confirming that the family's demise is far from imminent. The debut episode began with King Viserys' vying for a male heir, only for fate to deny him his request with tragedy. For now, his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), is on track to become Queen, but everyone in her father's council has their fair share of doubts.

The third episode of the series has brought Viserys a firstborn in the name of Aegon with his new wife, Queen Alicent (Emily Carey). With a son, the patriarchy may be able to continue but the King has bigger issues to worry about. Namely, how much longer can the honorable Viserys last, both literally and metaphorically. Three episodes in and the HBO series hasn't shied away from pointing out Viserys' sheer incompetence, health issues, and general passiveness. It's clear that those around him are taking advantage of the King's complacency, namely his Hand, Otto (Rhys Ifans).

As the prequel begins to ramp up thanks to extended time jumps, it's hard not to wonder when Viserys' time on the Iron Throne will be wrapped up.

Is Viserys really in control?

Previous "House of the Dragon" episodes have implied that the Iron Throne is rejecting Viserys thanks to a bevy of cuts across his body, which forced the king to participate in cringe-worthy, yet shockingly real medical procedures. Though Viserys' health looked to be in shambles at the end of the second episode, a time jump of two years and some change has revealed that Viserys is in good spirits, cheerfully celebrating his son's second name day with a hunt.

If previous episodes showed Viserys rejected as a viable leader by both the Iron Throne and his council, then HBO's latest shows that Viserys is beginning to doubt himself. As Aegon's name day celebrations kick off, the King is advised that he should interfere in the war brewing in the Stepstones, partially ignited by his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) and House Velaryon leader Corlys (Steve Toussaint). The King refuses to participate, trying to enjoy the celebrations instead. But at what cost?

Most of the episode sees Viserys out of it, drinking far too much wine than he can handle. And who can blame him, as everyone around him seems to be obsessed with the fact that he finally has a firstborn son who he can name heir. Otto Hightower (Ifans) implores Viserys to renounce Rhaenyra as his heir, giving the opportunity to the toddler, who also happens to be his grandson. This seems to be the general expectation, but what if the King isn't ready to make such a drastic announcement?

Viserys has a drinking & heir problem

Viserys is self-aware enough to know that his drinking is doing him more harm than good, saying just as much to his wife at the hunt's celebrations in front of a roaring fire. While speaking with her, Viserys discusses how a dream compelled him to become obsessed with a male heir. While philosophically musing, Viserys opens up about how his obsession led to the death of Rhaenyra's mother. In a bid to rid himself of grief, he named Rhaenyra heir, only to have a firstborn son, which he says has brought him back to the "abyss." "What if I was wrong?" he asks, regarding his obsession and dreams. Ultimately, this is a man bargaining for reason and direction.

As the King cries, it's evident that he feels powerless as to what the future brings and is acknowledging how the future of his House is decided, even if he doesn't know what choice to make. Viserys' passiveness is more than evident in this episode, as those around him seek to shape him into their mold. Otto wants his grandson to be named heir, Rhaenyra does not want to marry, while suitors bombard him with propositions. All who are close to him are either upset with his decisions or want something in return, leaving Viserys isolated. No wonder the King is celebrating an opportune moment like Aegon's name day by drinking wine by the gallon.

How long will Viserys reign?

Each episode has featured a significant time jump, with the latest one being over two years. It's known that future episodes will feature different actors to give characters an older look, such as Emma D'Arcy stepping in as Rhaenyra. While it remains to be seen how long of a time jump that will be, it does imply that it's significant enough that we could see an older Viserys, one who has already stepped down from the throne.

At this point, it's hard to imagine a strong future with King Viserys. Not only is everyone questioning his abilities and decisions, but even he is doubtful of himself. Coupled with talks of naming a new heir, and you have a King who is expected to be shown the door sooner or later. What will be interesting, however, is if Viserys will live to see his heir take the crown, or if he will perish. While Episode 3 didn't focus on his physical ailments (his scars and wounds seem to have healed), it certainly toyed with the idea of him as an alcoholic, potentially leading to a weakened liver. Or perhaps those around him are plotting to have him killed, so a more suitable and tactful leader sits on the Iron Throne. However he goes, one thing is certain: Viserys' time as the King of Westeros is coming to an end sooner, rather than later.