Paddy Considine is aware of his House of the Dragon king isn’t any Ned Stark

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Fire & Blood, which, by nature, will spoil later events in House of the Dragon. It also discusses the pilot episode of House in detail. Ye be warned.]

King Viserys, first of his identify, isn’t going by the very best time once we meet him in HBO’s House of the Dragon. Though he was eagerly anticipating the start of a brand new son and inheritor, he rapidly finds himself mourning the new child’s loss of life alongside that of his spouse, who died in childbirth (extra on that later). Shortly after that, he believes himself betrayed by his brother, who spoke callously in regards to the queen’s loss of life. When it rains it pours, and Viserys is caught in a torrent.

Of course, he’s not round for very lengthy. Viserys’ reign ends comparatively rapidly in Fire & Blood, the prequel ebook written by George R.R. Martin that House is predicated on. In a approach, Viserys will get the Ned Stark slot: a first-season father hoping to do proper by his youngsters, and in the end forsaking an unbelievable mess for each them and the realm.

Paddy Considine, who performs Viserys, is acutely conscious that the connection is there, and doesn’t look nice for his Targaryen ruler.

“Ned Stark and what Sean [Bean] did was sort of in my head as I played this,” Considine tells Polygon. “It was sort of part of the makeup for me, of Viserys. He’s not a simple man, Viserys, and I think the situations around him create complications for him.”

Ned Stark execution season 1 episode 1 game of thrones

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

The fifth ruler from the Targaryen household to take a seat upon the Iron Throne, Viserys is directly out of contact with what the world wants and aware of how he falls in need of offering it. In a collection marked by individuals born into energy who solely crave extra of it, Viserys takes the throne in a time of relative stability — and as a consequence, energy is actually nothing however bother for him. He’s a peacetime king who’s eager to maintain it that approach, even at the price of burying rising issues (see: Lord Corlys’ council presentation on the Triarchy). By the time his spouse, Aemma, dies in childbirth — alongside together with his new child son, Baelon — the fissures of the realm have began to crack Viserys’ inside world as effectively.

“I think all Viserys ever wanted to do was make the right decision. And you can’t do that,” Considine says. “You can’t please everybody, as a person. But especially as a ruler. […] He’s just somebody who genuinely wants to serve the people as best as he can, but that world just will not allow for it.”

That’s to not say he’s progressive. The finest you’ll be able to say for his actions within the pilot episode of House of the Dragon is that he killed his spouse in childbirth as a result of he thought she was going to die anyway, and that he would possibly have the ability to save his son. Having ascended to energy previous his cousin Rhaenys sheerly as a result of he was a person and she or he wasn’t, Viserys has led a life stuffed with privilege due to the patriarchy he lives in and doesn’t query.

“There is a lot of misogyny within that world and in that kingdom, but it’s not — you can’t bring your modern day ideas to a character that lives in an ancient world,” Considine says of his “Father of Daughters.” “That’s the way of the world at that time. And I don’t think Viserys names Rhaenyra his heir for any progressive thinking reasons. It’s not that, it wouldn’t be true of the world.”

Viserys sitting at his council table with his council around the table and a guard behind him at the window. His daughter is pouring him some wine and he’s looking at her

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

While Ned Stark clearly benefitted from the identical system, his advantage and robust ethical code made him extra of a paragon, even when he was appearing considerably stupidly. Whether he was in the end proper or incorrect, Ned Stark was determined and incorruptible. And Viserys is way much less safe in himself. Even his grand second of innovation with declaring Rhaenyra the inheritor to the throne is one thing Considine reads as extra akin to grief: He loves her, he trusts her, and she or he’s the final remnant of the “love of his life.”

And so the large get for Westeros feminism turns into one thing twisted. Rhaenyra will get a goal placed on her again, and a life she’s not (in a single studying of the pilot, not less than) all too sure she desires. And Viserys — effectively, he believes he’s simply cursed one other individual he loves with the final word burden, energy.

“Having watched [Game of Thrones], that seems to be what drove most people. And it corrupts people,” Considine says. “But it corrupts Viserys in a different way. It doesn’t corrupt his morals, but the burden of it becomes such that he starts to kind of disintegrate. […] It’s not the power that corrupts him. It’s the responsibility that destroys him.”

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