After more than a decade, King Viserys Targaryen succumbs to his illness house of the dragon Episode “The Lord of the Tides”. Backstage, Paddy Considine, who plays Viserys in the HBO prequel series, injured himself while filming King’s final moments. Find out what happened to the actor playing the frail, dying man, plus details of an impromptu moment from the episode.
As Considine explained on EW’s West of Westeros podcast, King Viserys’ disease is “a form of leprosy.” He added: “He’s suffering. His body is deteriorating. His bones decay. So he’s not really old. He’s still a young man in there. Unfortunately, he only has this thing that has taken over his body. It becomes a metaphor for being king and the stress and strain it puts on you, you know? And what it does to you physically. What it does to you mentally.”
Despite his condition, Viserys in Episode 8 does everything in his power to please his family and the kingdom. Just as it appears his Lord Hand is about to hear the petitions regarding claim to the Driftwood Throne, King Viserys comes to slowly make his way to the Iron Throne and hear the pleas for himself.
Filming this scene was physically demanding for Considine. “I stretched my hips out,” the actor told Vulture. “It just feels like everything is settled now, months later.”
For Considine, King Viserys knew that this was the last day of his life. “So he’s doing this massive, slow, painful walk as a sort of act of defiance, really as an act of strength,” he added. “I had to walk up and down the throne room, which was really long. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to do that, but I hurt my hip doing it.”
He recalls also breaking three or four walking sticks while filming the scene. “Those were really tough days of work,” said the actor.
During his emotionally charged trek to the throne, King Viserys’ crown falls to the ground. A member of the Kingsguard offers to help, but Viserys refuses. When a second helping hand shows up, it’s Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). He retrieves the crown and places it on his brother’s head.
“The moment with the crown was an accident,” revealed Considine. “It just fell off my head and hit the floor. Matt picks it up, takes me to the throne, and I sit down and flop onto the throne, and then he takes the crown and puts it on my head. At that point we were together as actors, as brothers.”
A lot has happened in The Lord of the Tides, including the half-beheading of Vaemond Velaryon (Wil Johnson) and the rekindling of the friendship between Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke). Perhaps the most significant moment came at the end of the episode, just before King Viserys breathed his last.
He again mentions the Song of Ice and Fire, the prophecy that claims, “From my blood comes the prince that was promised, and his will is the song of ice and fire.” Confused, Alicent asks if Viserys is referring to her son Prince Aegon relates. Viserys, also confused and believing he is speaking to his daughter, replies, “To unite the realm against cold and darkness. You’re the one. You are the one. You have to do this.”
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