In episode 5 of House of the Dragon, King Viserys I Targaryen’s condition worsens further, prompting viewers to wonder about the show’s timeline and, more specifically, its multiple time leaps. Though House of the Dragon hasn’t made it clear what’s wrong with the King, actor Paddy Considine has speculated that Viserys’ ailment is Leprosy, which would explain his progression from what seemed like minor agony due to cuts from the Iron Throne to a more serious condition. By itself, that shows how dire the situation is and that the King of Westeros’ days is numbered.
The time jumps in House of the Dragon are making things even worse for King Viserys. The events of the Game of Thrones prequel began in 101 AC, when he was recognised as King Jaehaerys I Targaryen’s successor, and then jumped ahead to the ninth year of his reign. Since then, there have been several episodes that skip ahead in time by a few months to a couple of years, successfully demonstrating how Viserys’ disease continues to worsen despite Maester’s best efforts to treat it.
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That’s going to be a lot more important after Viserys passes out in episode 5 of season 1 of House of the Dragon, an episode in which he also got a nosebleed and seemed overall unwell and frail. Although King Viserys is still alive, his fall sets in motion the largest time jump in the history of the House of the Dragon: ten years. In this period, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey are replaced by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower. Considering how close to death Viserys already seems in House of the Dragon and how forcefully his death is teased there, the thought of him surviving another 10 years (and possibly more) is a stretch.
House of the Dragon Has Teased How Bad Viserys’ Condition Becomes
Because of the time jump in House of the Dragon, Viserys will continue to exist, but his health will, presumably, deteriorate significantly. After collapsing twice in one episode, spilling blood all over a wedding ceremony, vomiting, losing fingers, and overall looking like he was turning Aegon’s White Walker fantasy into a bitter irony by becoming a member of the undead, Viserys’s health hasn’t yet reached its height. Teaser footage for upcoming episodes of House of the Dragon shows Viserys seeming weak and with a mask covering part of his face, as though the disease has progressed to severely mark his appearance.
While antibiotics have greatly improved the prognosis for those with Leprosy in recent decades, in the past, the disease was far more fatal due to a lack of medical knowledge and technology. Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem from 1174-1185, was also afflicted with leprosy and, like Viserys, died at an early age (just 24) after being incapacitated (he was both blind and unable to walk) by the disease. Viserys has lived considerably longer than most people, but if things continue to deteriorate, he may meet the same or similar ends.
When Will Viserys Die In House Of The Dragon?
Even though Viserys looks like he should have died years ago, he will survive for at least another decade, and maybe a little more than that. In the novel from which House of the Dragon is adapted, Fire & Blood, Viserys passes away in 129 AC, marking the official beginning of the Targaryen civil war known as The Dance of the Dragons. A few major events (like Viserys and Alicent’s wedding) occur later in the House of the Dragon timeline than they do in the book.
Another example is Viserys’ illness: in the novel, it occurs in 127 AC when he cuts his hand on the Iron Throne, causing him to lose fingers and develop a fever and infection; while he survives these, he is never the same again. The programme, however, is making his illness considerably more protracted, which is consistent with its goal of developing his character more and making him a sad figure.
Nonetheless, consistency is to be expected. Season 1, episode 5 of House of the Dragon takes place around 115 AC, hence season 1, episode 6 will likely take place around 125 AC. This would make some minor time jumps possible in the remaining episodes, allowing Viserys’ death to occur in 129 AC, probably in episodes 8 or 9 of House of the Dragon season 1.
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