Viserys Is Foreshadowing The Mad King’s Downfall In House Of The Dragon

King Viserys’ accusations of rebellion reflect the same underlying worries and unfounded paranoia that caused the Mad King’s undoing and the fall of House Targaryen. However, Viserys’ comments to Jason are more for show than truly based in concern for rebellion or treason, as the king is primarily using his power to threaten the lords to stop questioning his choice of heir. While Viserys is utilizing these largely not genuine accusations to put an end to the lords’ scheming, The Mad King was authentic in his paranoia of rebellion, treason, and insubordination. Viserys accusing Lord Jason Lannister of treason for a harmlessly-intended suggestion is exactly what Game of Thrones’ Mad King did with far more innocent offenses.

Had it been King Aerys II Targaryen questioning Jason Lannister, House of the Dragon’s Lord of Casterly Rock would have been burned alive for mentioning that anyone undermined his decision. The Mad King earned his nickname for his unforgiving and cruel actions, which was a significant departure from the benevolent start to his reign. Aerys became spiteful of the power of those around him like Tywin Lannister, leading him to suspect even his family members and small council members of malicious intentions. When Aerys was imprisoned and abused during the Defiance of Duskendale, his paranoia turned into the madness that would define his reign, and would increase his sadistic, violent punishments of anyone he (correctly or erroneously) deemed to be against him.

Aerys’ madness was thought to be caused by the effects of House Targaryen’s incest, as the family was known for often producing cruel and tyrannical figures. While it was thought that Aerys had originally avoided inheriting the Targaryen madness, his later reign saw him become one of the most sadistic rulers in Targaryen history. House of the Dragon’s reveal of Aegon’s dream suggests that Aerys’ madness and delusions also could have been fueled by his need to bring dragons back to destroy the White Walkers and keep the Targaryens on the Iron Throne.