in the house of the dragon Episode 8, King Viserys is in rough shape and copes with the help of the poppy’s milk. His progressive illness has left him mostly bedridden and he is missing an eye. The death of Viserys draws near, and with it the Dance of the Dragons. While the poppy’s milk serves to numb some of Viserys’ pain, there is another important reason for its use.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 8.]
Through house of the dragon Episode 8, King Viserys lives a torturous existence. While speaking at Entertainment Weekly West of Westeros Podcast, Paddy Considine recently revealed his character suffers from a “form of leprosy” that has consumed him over the years. When Daemon and Rhaenyra return to King’s Landing, they find Viserys bedridden. The disease has claimed his right eye and eaten away much of his skin.
Because of his condition, Queen Alicent gave Viserys poppy milk, a powerful anesthetic and a pain reliever made from crushed poppy flowers. Modern medicines such as morphine, codeine and heroin are also made from the poppy plant house of the dragon‘s “milk of the poppy” has a similar effect.
According to Downtime Bros, the poppy’s milk has appeared on multiple occasions game of Thrones. It was used to ease King Robert Baratheon’s pain after he was mortally wounded by a boar. Ned Stark also consumed poppy milk after his leg was pierced by a spear.
However, a scene from game of Thrones shows the dangerous side of the milk of the poppy. Jaime Lannister refuses to take the drug when Qyburn amputates his hand. Qyburn wanted to amputate the arm at the elbow, but Jaime insisted he make the cut on his wrist.
If Jaime took milk from the poppy, he would either be unconscious or too insane to stop Qyburn if he made the cut in the wrong place.
Although Viserys is very ill house of the dragon Episode 8, he’s still king and his word is law. It is therefore in Queen Alicent’s best interest to keep him calm or drug him too much with poppy milk to make important decisions.
On the other hand, it is in Rhaenyra and Daemon’s best interests to stop Alicent from giving him the drug. Viserys made Rhaenyra his successor, and he has not deviated from that decision. When Viserys appears on the Iron Throne in house of the dragon Episode 8, he affirms, asserts Rhaenyra’s son Lucery’s claim to the throne of Driftmark.
Apparently, Alicent drugged her husband so he wouldn’t continue to publicly support Rhaenyra and her children as his heir.
house of the dragon airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
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