Despite what most people viewed as a disappointing final season of Game of Thrones, prequel series House of the Dragon has proved a critical and ratings hit for HBO. One of the main aspects to garner praise, particularly for his emotional finale in episode eight, is Paddy Considine’s performance as King Viserys.
Considine’s performance is so good, it has even been credited with enhancing what was on the page in the George RR Martin‘s Fire & Blood book – which tells the history of House Targaryen. In a new interview with GQ, Considine says it took people a while to understand what he wanted to do with the character, who is known for his passiveness in the source text (and little else). “I felt like my job was to serve Viserys, and I took it seriously. But for a while, people were unsure.”
He believed in his own vision, and it paid off. “I got a text message that simply said: ‘Your Viserys is better than my Viserys’. It was from George RR Martin. And I thought: that’ll do it. Thanks for trusting me.”
Speaking of Viserys, Considine says; “There’s this perception that he’s weak, which I think is absolutely nonsense. He’s just too compassionate for the job. I think the sense of duty is what got to him.”
“He was the only person in this kingdom who had any fucking morals whatsoever,” Considine says. “He holds everything together as long as he absolutely can. I thought he was a joy to play.” There is something noble in trying he says. “He believed in duty above everything. I don’t know if people fully understood that correctly.”
Considine isn’t the only member of the House of the Dragon cast to win praise, of course. Now that Viserys has finally popped his clogs, after bits of him gradually fell off during the course of the season, it looks as though the Targaryens are well and truly doomed.
While we wait to see how all of the war and bloodshed pans out, check out our guide to the Song of Ice & Fire prophecy, explained.