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The One House Of The Dragon Scene Paddy Considine Still Struggles To Watch

Paddy Considine's portrayal of King Viserys I Targaryen on "House of the Dragon" has earned praise from fans, critics, and even the author of the franchise. In a recent appearance on "The Adam Buxton Podcast," Considine described Viserys as "the greatest character I've ever played," while admitting some scenes featuring the ailing king were hard for him to watch.

Based on author George RR Martin's Targaryen history compendium "Fire and Blood," the "Game of Thrones" prequel depicts the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, set nearly 200 years before the main series. Considine's character is the fifth king on the Iron Throne of Westeros. Throughout Season 1, Viserys struggles to keep the peace between the rival factions of his family, attempting to build bridges between the estranged Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock/Emma D'Arcy), and her best friend-slash-stepmother, Queen Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey/Olivia Cooke).

As Considine explained during the podcast interview, Viserys' failing health makes for some of the most heart-wrenching scenes in the series — so heart-wrenching that even the actor himself struggled to watch them.

Viserys' death scene brought Paddy Considine to tears

For Paddy Considine, watching the demise of King Viserys during Episode 8, "The Lord of the Tides," evoked memories of his own father's struggle with cancer. "Years ago, I'd watched my dad die of cancer and he just went downhill rapidly," the actor explained. "So, when [my wife] showed me that end thing and my face came up I just burst into tears because I looked the image of my dad when he was dying."

Considine initially avoided re-watching any of his scenes as Viserys. In October 2022, the actor told The New York Times that he had only seen the first two episodes of "House of the Dragon," and described the experience of watching his own performances as "debilitating." It was Considine's wife and daughter who urged him to watch Viserys' swansong episode — after the king's final moments had already moved them both.

During his time on "The Adam Buxton Podcast," Considine went on to describe Viserys as "the greatest character I've ever played," thanking the showrunners of "House of the Dragon" for allowing him to make this character his own. The actor posted an emotional farewell to his character on Instagram after Episode 8 aired on October 9th, 2022, calling Viserys a "gift" to portray.

How does King Viserys die?

Throughout Season 1 of "House of the Dragon," Viserys Targaryen gradually succumbs to a form of leprosy, as revealed by Paddy Considine on Entertainment Weekly's "West of Westeros" podcast. The first episode, "The Heirs of the Dragon," informs viewers that Viserys has a wound on his back from sitting on the Iron Throne, a monstrous amalgam of swords forged by dragonfire. The small lesion becomes a big problem as the season progresses and Viserys grows more sickly and skeletal with each episode.

The king's leprosy eats away at him over the years, rendering the fairly young Viserys an old man before his time. By the time the king takes his final breaths in Episode 8, the disease has battered his body and claimed one of his eyes, mirroring the loss of his son Aemond's (Ewan Mitchell) eye in Episode 7, "Driftmark."

In his farewell post, Considine gave fans some insight into Viserys' psychology. According to the actor, Viserys never searches for a cure to his ailment and accepts his grisly fate, believing it to be punishment for the death of his first wife, Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke). Aemma had perished in the first episode after Viserys gave the okay to the Maesters to perform a mediaeval caesarean while the queen struggled in childbirth.

Paddy Considine has George RR Martin's approval

George RR Martin, author of the "Song of Ice and Fire" novels upon which "Game of Thrones" is based, has given his seal of approval to Paddy Considine's portrayal of the character, with Considine telling GQ Magazine that Martin sent him a text message stating, "Your Viserys is better than my Viserys."

Martin isn't the only one to vocalize his appreciation of Considine's portrayal. "House of the Dragon" fans have expressed their support for the actor on Twitter, with many claiming Considine should have won an Emmy for his performance.

Season 2 of "House of the Dragon" is currently in pre-production. According to scooper and YouTube host Grace Randolph, filming is set to commence in March 2023, with HBO currently casting for new characters. Fans can watch Season 1 of "House of the Dragon," along with the entirety of "Game of Thrones," on HBO and HBO Max, as well as on Sky Atlantic or NOW TV in the UK.