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‘House of the Dragon’ star says their reign was compassionate, not destructive

Paddy Considine explains what really drives King Viserys in 'House of the Dragon.'

Paddy Considine Viserys Targaryen House of the Dragon
Image via Warner Media

Paddy Considine claims that King Viserys in House of the Dragon is different than the other kings of Westeros.

In an interview with ComicBook, Considine explained that his character isn’t someone who’s driven by ego, and he’s not about flaunting his power. This is a different kind of ruler.

“I’m great. I’m only joking. I don’t know. I don’t know if he’s a great, if it’s greatness. Well, I think there’s a bit of both in him, really.” After all, the people of Westeros do have a saying: When a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin. One side, greatness. The other side, madness. As audiences have seen, Viserys did not display madness until accidentally delivering a prophecy to Alicent about the wrong Aegon. He’s certainly not a destructive king, that’s for sure. He’s a compassionate king. And that’s rare for this kingdom that we’re familiar with.”

Game of Thrones was known for its notable kings and those who were vying for the crown. Robert Baratheon sat on the Iron Throne when the show first started, and his sadistic son Joffrey succeeded him. Robert was charismatic and cared for the ill-fated Ned Stark, but he was also known to be a drunken fool. Joffrey took pleasure in subjecting others to violence and his immaturity made him insufferable to many fans.

Viserys is far different than the kings that audiences have grown accustomed to. He’s not interested in engaging in war, he’s a Targaryen who doesn’t ride a dragon, and he’d rather spend his time sculpting a model of Old Valyrian, the ancestral home of his dragon family. He takes more of a hands-off approach when it comes to leading.

It’s hard to escape the drama, however, as Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) makes Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) her enemy because of her father Otto Hightower’s (Rhys Ifans) meddling. The two are at odds and this rivalry has spread to their children. Viserys simply wants his family to get along and for people to remember his reign fondly, but with the Iron Throne up for grabs, things aren’t going to calm down any time soon.

After House of the Dragon, season one, episode eight, “The Lord of the Tide,” author George R.R. Martin said Paddy Considine’s Viserys is better than his own. That’s high praise coming from Martin, but the series gets to explore deeper into Viserys’ story and what truly lies in his heart. His show of love for his daughter made it one of the biggest moments in the entire series.

About the author

Ethan Alexander