House of the Dragon wasted no time in establishing the many conflicts that are roiling the Seven Kingdoms. Yet one of King Viserys Targaryens' greatest threats is largely playing out in the background.
The following sentences contain spoilers for House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood.
Viserys experiences a minor cut on his back due to sitting on the Iron Throne. The cut mysteriously refuses to heal. In fact, it is expanding. In the same episode, Viserys receives a second cut from the throne, which similarly becomes infected and results in themputation of two of his fingers.
The fact that Visery's wounds will not heal is more symbolic than anything as routine as bacterial illness. The significance of being cut by the Iron Throne has deep roots in Targaryen history and Game of Thrones legend, dating back to the thrones' creation.
What does it mean to be cut off from the Iron Throne?
Aegon I Targaryen, Visery's ancestor, made the Iron Throne out of a thousand broken blades he had taken from his enemies. The ironwork monstrosity, as George R.R. Martin referred to it in Game of Thrones, was created with the intention of causing severe discomfort.
Aenys, the son of Aegons, was succeeded by his brother, Maegor, who eventually murdered him. Six years after Maegor's notoriously cruel reign, his nephew Jaehaerys Targaryen raised banners against him. The next morning, one of Maegor's wives discovered him dead in the seat with one of the thrones blades piercing his neck and several other spikes thrusting his forearms open.
Maegor's death is disputed by many, including that he committed suicide or that Elinor murdered him. Many others believe that the Iron Throne itself is what murdered Maegor. This is what led to popular belief that the throne decides who is worthy or not of ruling Westeros and that those who are deemed unworthy are injured by its blades.
Does everyone who gets cut on the Iron Throne die?
No, or at least not as a direct result of their wounds.
Daenerys Targaryen's paranoid father Aerys II Targaryen was also dubbed King Scab because he cut himself so frequently on the Iron Throne. However, the Mad King was never discovered dead on the throne or of an infection as a result of Jaime Lannisters sword.
The Iron Throne isnt a supernatural judge, jury, and executioner that decides the ruler itself. That being said, anyone who sits on the throne is already at a higher than average risk of death. If theyre on the throne and not a fit ruler, the odds increase exponentially.
What does Viserys' separation from the Iron Throne imply?
Viserys' decision to name Rhaenyra as his successor or to wed Alicent Hightower only stokes further dissent against him.
The second cut might be a sign that Viserys' first cut from the Iron Throne occurred at an unknown time. This is a critical moment in the history of the first Targaryen civil conflict, as it may also be a sign that Daemon's decision will only result in further ruin for his family and kingdom.
Viserys is less concerned with his health than with political machinations and the devolving stability of Westeros. However, Viserys has already lost two fingers as a result of his removal from the Iron Throne. Only time will tell how much he will pay for his kingship.