Warning: There are spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon episode 8!
Paddy Considine’s name may be at the top the opening credits for House of the Dragon, but his time on the show is done. However, Considine’s final turn as King Viserys Targaryen has earned rave reviews from fans and critics alike. If Considine wins an Emmy next year, it will probably be for his performance in this episode. And in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Considine expressed his satisfaction for the way Viserys’ death was handled.
“I think it’s very noble and dignified how he goes,” noted Considine. “He’s suffering terribly from an affliction. He basically gets a form of leprosy that creeps into body, his bones start to fail him. His lungs start to fail him. He’s just dying a slow and horrible death. By the end of it, he looks like an old man. He’s not! [Viserys is] a young man. He’s only so many years older than his brother, Daemon. But it’s aged him.”
“And it’s a metaphor for what power does to people, even though he doesn’t use it for his own personal gain,” added Considine. “He doesn’t get drunk on the power, he’s responsible. But the demands of being a king take their toll on the physical body. So it was interesting playing that decline in him. He’s just trying to do good. He gets to say a few words before he leaves, which I was grateful for.”
Considine also revealed that one of the actors who portrayed Viscerys’ sons with Queen Alicent gave him a greater insight into the king’s relationship with his “second family.”
“I think he neglected putting any effort into those children,” recalled Considine. “They didn’t like him. I was on set one day and one of the actors playing one of my son says, ‘You hate us.’ And I went, ‘What?’ What do you mean? That I hate you as people — like Paddy [the actor] hates you?’ And he was like, ‘No, Viserys hates us, because you hate your children.’ I was like, ‘wow, that’s amazing.’ That was so profound for him to say that.”
Regardless, Considine insists that “Viserys doesn’t hate his children. He just doesn’t love them the way he loves Rhaenyra. Because Rhaenyra’s mom, Aemma, is the love of King Viserys’ life. In a way, he’s responsible, because he was so dogged about wanting a male heir, and there were several failed pregnancies, and he feels greatly responsible for pushing her to have a child so many times. That’s his big regret. That’s part of the reason he chose Rhaenyra as his heir — there’s a bit of guilt there.”
Additionally, Considine teased the unfolding drama ahead now that Viscerys is out of the picture.
“What happens beyond this is total mayhem,” said Considine. “It’s like everything Viserys worked hard to prevent happening, happens. It’s absolute destruction and mayhem and madness.”
House of the Dragon episode 9 will premiere next Sunday, October 16 on HBO and HBO Max.
What do you think about Paddy Considine’s final performance as King Viserys? Let us know in the comment section below!
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