House of the Dragon episode 8's most emotional moment was improvized

Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon episode 8 saw King Viserys' (Paddy Considine) ailing health go from bad to worse. However, despite being bed-bound, he manages to make it down to the throne room to cast his judgment in the matter of Driftmark's succession – Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) has been gravely injured in the Stepstones, and his younger brother Vaemond (Wil Johnson) wants to take his place in the event of his death.

As you may remember from earlier in the series, though, Corlys named his grandson Lucerys, the son of Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and Laenor (John Macmillan), as his heir. The problem, though, is that Laenor almost definitely isn't Lucerys' father, and Vaemond knows this. 

As Viserys hobbles to the Iron Throne to settle the matter once and for all, his crown falls from his head, and it's his brother Daemon (Matt Smith) who picks it up and puts it back on his head. But this moment wasn't actually in the script.

"When we were shooting that – I think the rehearsal again, the first day – the crown fell off of Paddy's head and Matt picked it up and we just kept going," episode 8 director Geeta Patel told Entertainment Weekly. "We didn't stop [filming]. There was a discovery there of this moment. So then the three of us got together and they were like, 'We felt this. This felt like the turning point in our relationship.' It's just a silent moment."

She added: "I was so thankful that accident happened, that the crown fell off because it proved to be, at least for me, quite a heavy moment and quite a turning point for a storyline that had started in the pilot: Hey, I want your crown and by the end here I'm gonna put the crown back on your head and I'm gonna help you to your throne."

House of the Dragon airs on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max, before following on Mondays in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. Make sure you never miss an episode with our handy House of the Dragon release schedule and keep up to date with our guides to the House of the Dragon timeline and the Targaryen family tree

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.