Paddy Considine Defends Viserys and His Legacy

Viserys I was described from the start as a “good man”, but not necessarily a good king. Played by Paddy Considine, it was one of the first roles with a confirmed name. For foreigners, the announcement may not have carried much weight, but Paddy was one of the few cast not to be tested but billed as one of the most important in the series. Award-winning actor and director in the UK, he is one of the best actors working at the moment. And now, recognized worldwide.

Paddy was even scouted for Game of Thrones (he claims he doesn’t remember the role because he refused without reading the scripts) and is spectacular as the king who ended up, unintentionally, causing a civil war that decimated the existing dragons and almost the Targaryen lineage itself.

Viserys arrived at the throne in confusion. The official heir was his uncle, who died without male heirs so his daughter, Rhaenys, was rejected as a future queen because she was female. In her place, the chosen one was Viserys’ father, who also died suspiciously leading us to the first scene of House of the Dragon where King Jaehaerys Targaryen hosted a Grand Council at Harrenhal to announce who would replace him on the Iron Throne. Sweet Viserys was elected.

A good and decent man, Viserys only wanted to maintain his grandfather’s reign of peace, but he also wanted to be popular. A dangerous combination. It gets worse when his brother Daemon has an unstable personality and an undeniable ambition. Pressured to bear a male heir, Viserys ends up losing the love of his life, wife Aema, who dies in childbirth. The two had a daughter, Rhaenyra, who is made official as heir before the Court.

One of Viserys’ problems is being able to see his brother Daemon for what he is, but not the people around him. The suspicious Otto Hightower, who advised his grandfather as Hand of the King, is also his main adviser. Otto is the one who suggests making Rhaenyra heir, but he is also the one who advises him to remarry. Viserys falls like a duckling into the trap of getting involved with Alicent Hightower, Rhaenyra’s best friend, and Otto’s daughter.

Their union took Westeros by surprise but the king’s second marriage is a happy union that bears four children. But because he’s cool and wants everyone happy, Viserys ends up having the opposite effect. Rhaenyra resents the double betrayal of having her friend as a stepmother and then having half-siblings who threaten the order of succession. Impetuous, the princess brings Viserys as much heartache as Daemon, but not all the nonsense she does convinces Viserys to change his mind.
As his health wanes, with a form of leprosy (or cancer) that costs fingers and then even an arm, Viserys suffers from the Crown and witness the two women he loves to break up.

The worst is yet to come.

[Viserys] was never corrupted by Power. He is not weak.

Paddy Considine

Debilitated, according to the Reddit spoiler, Viserys will be delirious in his final hours. In the book there is a suspicion of poisoning, we will see how the series will deal with this rumor. But it is said, without knowing who he is talking to, the King thinks he is with his daughter and talks about his doubts about the prophecy, but who is by his side is Alicent, who believes she hears from her husband the regret of having chosen his daughter as his successor. It’s just what she needed to act and deliver the coup. She leaves her husband to die alone and starts immediately to put into action the plan to crown Aegon II as king.

Fans most refer to Viserys as “weak”, but the definition makes Paddy Considine pissed off. “I feel protective,” he confessed in an interview. “He was never corrupted by Power and always looked upon it as a Duty,” he added.

I hate it when people call him weak and I take it personally

Paddy Considine

The actor defends him as upstanding, realistic, dreamy, and with a more practical vision than the rest because he knew the true secret and purpose of the Targaryens. “He is a man tormented and rejected by everyone, including the Iron Throne who literally eats him alive,” he says. “Viserys understands that everything is just a game,” says the actor, who loved the character.

For Paddy, Viserys’ complex relationship with Daemon, played by Matt Smith, is one of love alone. Daemon can’t understand the change in the responsibility of the position, still wanting the brother he had in his youth, creating problems for not having the same freedom anymore. In the same way that Daemon has a presumption about being a prince that Viserys doesn’t share.

“Viserys is just a man who is not obsessed with Power”, he defines, remembering that he is forced to make difficult decisions to maintain peace in the kingdom. Like when he refuses to marry a 12-year-old Laena and chooses Alicent, it’s out of companionship and decency. “He’s a loner,” he suggests.

“I loved him as a character, and I still do. It was a pleasure to play him. I hate it when people call him weak and I take it personally. I got annoyed about it,” Paddy confessed. At one point, the actor complained to showrunner Miguel Sapochnick about this impression and the two changed the King’s stance. “[I told Miguel] At some point, he [Viserys] has to show these people that he’s a f****** dragon. Viserys is not a pushover, if he was really pushed – he won’t like it – but he’ll cut someone’s f****** tongue off. I brought it to him and it wasn’t on paper before,” Paddy says passionately. “He’s like, ‘yeah, I’m a nice guy, but don’t f*** me,'” he adds.

Viserys is not a pushover, if he is really pushed – he won’t like it- but he’ll cut someone’s f****** tongue off

Paddy Considine

In the final step, we’ll see a Viserys increasingly destroyed by his health, looking much older than he really is. In fact, it was another wrong impression that bothers the actor, who feels sympathy for Viserys’ suffering. The illness he has is unclear, but it could be cancer. “By the end of his life he was barely existing, he was only subsisting on opium [to relieve the pain]”, he explains sadly. “He’s not living anymore,” he explains.

The actor was inspired by a personal pain to portray the character’s illness, remembering the last years of his mother’s life, who “disappeared in the illness”, as he shared. “I took the elements of my mother and her love, I wanted the affection that she had in Viserys,” he said.

“There comes a point where he wants to die,” he reveals, adding that when Viserys dies, the last image he sees is of the love of his life, his first wife, Aema. “For him, it was ‘I can finally leave this world and be with you. My pain is over,’” he anticipates.

Does anyone believe they will not cry with this information?


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