House of the Dragon: Paddy Considine Reflects on King Viserys Downfall

The Game of Thrones world has not been known for leaders showing compassion. Through eight seasons of the flagship series which introduced the world to the live-action version of George R.R. Martin's fantastic, vicious world, leaders of various lands ruled unforgivingly and constantly with threats trying to take their place. House of the Dragon, set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, shows that not much changed with the people of Westeros as there is always scheming afoot, by people of other houses or members or characters' own families. For King Viserys Targaryen, a peaceful death in Episode 8 was a spoil many characters do not receive, but it came with a tragic mistake.

"I'm great," King Viserys actor Paddy Considine told of his character. "I'm only joking. I don't know. I don't know if he's a great, if it's greatness. Well, I think there's a bit of both in him, really." After all, the people of Westeros do have a saying: When a Targaryen is born, the gods flip a coin. One side, greatness. The other side, madness. As audiences have seen, Viserys did not display madness until accidentally delivering a prophecy to Alicent about the wrong Aegon.

"He's certainly not a destructive king, that's for sure," Considine said. "He's a compassionate king. And that's rare for this kingdom that we're familiar with."

Meanwhile, King Viserys' brother Daemon has display quite the opposite. Sat beside Considine during the interview, Daemon actor Matt Smith added to the conversation. "He's not self-destructive either," Smith said. "Daemon is utterly self-destructive."

Viserys wanted people to be singing songs of his reign following his passing, according to sequences earlier in House of the Dragon. However, when he knew he minutes were numbered, Viserys merely wanted to get his family together to see them all feast and dance together before he bowed out. "He takes his place in history seriously," Considine declared. "The only thing that corrupts Viserys is maybe the... Ultimately, he didn't have the right temperament to be to be a king, you know, and the duties and what that means and fulfilling everybody else's needs. You know, and he's perceived as weak because he doesn't go to war. But he's a compassionate man. And in the end, is compassion corrupts him, I think, too, which is I think it's even more tragic."

As the story goes, King Viserys died peacefully in his bed in the eighth episode of House of the Dragon. On his way out, it seemed as though he had united the families which had been aggressively scheming for his throne at the hour of his death. Viserys' daughter Rhenyra was the heir in waiting but Alicent now believes due to Viserys' late game amnesia that her son Aegon is the Prince Who  Was Promised and will unite everyone... while Viserys believed he was talking to his daughter Rhenyra about the prophecy which is truly about Jon Snow, an Aegon Targeryen born many years later. Alicent now believes she has reason to asset her son as the heir to the throne in Viserys' passing and the king's mistake may prove catastrophic as House of the Dragon charges toward a Targeryan civil war.