‘House of the Dragon’ star wants to bring tragedy to a tyrant

Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen
Image via HBO

When House of the Dragon picks up the story of the Targaryen dynasty almost a hundred years into their rule over the Seven Kingdoms, fans will be introduced to Viserys I Targaryen, the kind but egotistic ruler who’s trying his best to live up to the grandiose image of King Jaehaerys the Wise.

The king, portrayed by Paddy Considine, will be surrounded by a web of political intrigue that reaches the very ends of the Seven Kingdoms. From his own brother Daemon (Matt Smith) and his hand Ser Otto Hightower, who revel in ambitions of their own, to his daughter and heir, Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), even the Targaryen household itself will not provide the king with restfulness.

That’s not to say that we’ll find a protagonist of Robb Stark or Jon Snow’s standing in Viserys, but according to what Considine has recently explained to Entertainment Weekly, the story is trying to depict the king in a tragic light, even despite some of the cruel tendencies that go along with the title.

“The mantra we had for him was that he’s a good man, bad king, because he just wants to please people and keep the peace. But also, Viserys has an ego. He’s got a great tragedy in his life, but there’s a part of him that’s going, ‘How am I going to be remembered in hundreds of years?’ They don’t remember peaceful kings. They don’t remember good people. They remember warriors. They remember tyrants.”

Since the series will eventually lead into the Dance of the Dragons, the infamous Targaryen civil war that engulfed the realm in flame, then Viserys might even be able to fulfill some of those ambitions, though possibly at a cost that his good-natured soul might not be able to stomach.

House of the Dragon is slated for an Aug. 21 premiere on HBO.