Paddy Considine, who plays king Viserys Targaryen in the new fantasy series House of the Dragon, has said that he was unable to watch one episode of his Game of Thrones spin-0ff for an emotional reason. Viserys Targaryen was one of the main House of the Dragon characters until his death in episode 8.
The leader of the Targaryen family played a pivotal role throughout the fantasy drama series, as his death would leave the kingdom of Westeros in turmoil and spur on the Dance of the Dragons. He was afflicted with a form of leprosy, which saw his health severely decline over the course of the show as his body failed him.
Now, Paddy Considine has shared that he was unable to watch House of the Dragon episode 8 and the death of his character Viserys Targaryen, and it’s for a very emotional reason. Speaking on the Adam Buxton Podcast, Considine said “I didn’t watch episode eight but my wife had watched it, and my daughter, and they were pretty upset with it. My wife said, ‘Just watch the end’. Years ago, I’d watched my dad die of cancer and he just went downhill rapidly from being diagnosed to being on death’s door. You know, he became skeletal so rapidly.”
He continued “So, when [my wife] showed me that end thing and my face came up I just burst into tears because I looked the image of my dad when he was dying, the image of him, and it was shocking. It was really, really shocking to me. I’d put so much of my mum’s characteristics into this character, Viserys, but when I saw that I thought ‘That’s my dad’ and it was terrifying. So, it was pretty impactful stuff.”
Considine being so open about his family past, and the death of his own father, explains why he was unable to watch the episode. Certainly, his portrayal was filled with emotion and he drew the sympathy of the House of the Dragon audience with his time as Viserys Targaryen. However, that obviously took its toll on the actor as well, highlighting that fictional stories can still be grounded in truth.
For more on House of the Dragon, check out our explainers on the series many dragons including Meraxes, Seasmoke, Vhagar, and Balerion. Or, take a look at our guide to the House of the Dragon season 2 release date.