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House of the Dragon: what is Viserys’ disease?

House of the Dragon: King Viserys was never a well man, but what was the mysterious illness that caused his death and could he have been cured?

House of the Dragon: what is Viserys'disease?

What is Viserys’ disease? King Viserys Targaryen, the First of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms was never a well man. From almost the first time we see him, the Targaryen family patriarch is sick with maesters unsure what they can do for their lord.

As the series goes on, we see Viserys slowly wither away. It starts with him losing his fingers on his left hand, but by the finale, he’s unrecognisable and looks more like one of the White Walker’s revenants than a proud king. Viserys transformation is so complete that Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen are suspicious that he’s been poisoned.

But was Viserys the Peaceful really poisoned? What illness was Viserys living with? Well, we’re not as smart as the Maesters of the Citadel, but we can answer this question with a bit of help from Paddy Considine.

What is Viserys’ disease?

Viserys is suffering from leprosy. While the illness is never specified during the course of the TV series, Considine confirmed Viserys had an unknown form of leprosy during an interview, and the wasting disease was a metaphor for how ruling a kingdom takes something from a king.

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According to the actor, Viserys never put much effort into curing his illness because he believed it was a form of divine punishment for killing his first wife, Aemma. It’s not confirmed in the show how Viserys caught his illness, but there are hints that it’s a result of all the nicks and cuts he got from sitting on the Iron Throne.

If you loved enjoying the fantasy series, then check out our article about the House of the Dragon season 2 release date. if that’s not enough, we have a list of the best Game of Thrones characters; a breakdown of the House of the Dragon cast, as well as guides to the dragons, Meleys, Arrax, Meraxes, Caraxes, Seasmoke, and Vermithor