He made quite a lot of those, but all of them could have been avoided.
King Viserys has recently enjoyed a surge in fan love, especially after Paddy Considine’s compelling performance in episode 8. However, it does not mean that the character was picture perfect all the time — after all, it’s House of the Dragon we are talking about.
Reflecting on his character, Considine revealed to The Hollywood Reporter in a recent interview what he believes was King Viserys’ biggest mistake.
“The only mistake he made was becoming king,” he said. “He should have said, ‘No, give it to Rhaenys. I don’t want it. I’m going to fly some dragons and have a good time with the ladies in nefarious places of town.’”
However, Viserys appeared to have surrendered to the centuries-old Westerosi patriarchal tradition that clearly preferred male monarchs sitting on the Iron Throne. But Viserys was not the right person to rule the seven kingdoms, according to many fans and even some characters on the show. Clearly more into family time and occasionally building architectural models, he should have refused the responsibility. Still, according to Considine, Viserys was not a perfect man when it came to his family, either.
“I think he neglected to be a good father to his second family,” he said. “I think he neglected putting any effort into those children. […] Viserys doesn’t hate his children. He just doesn’t love them the way he loves Rhaenyra. Because Rhaenyra’s mom Aemma is the love of King Viserys’ life.”
According to Considine, Viserys was driven by guilt when he chose Rhaenyra to be his heir: not least due to how he forced his late wife to have many children to get a male heir, and then ended up greenlighting a fatal C-section that had both his son and his wife dead.
Viserys’ dramatic life and reign have come to an end in episode 8, when he succumbed to leprosy, decrepit in his bed. His last words were “My love” — something that fans are assured were addressed to Aemma, his late wife, who might have greeted him in the afterlife.
Viserys’ mistakes will surely affect the remaining characters, with House Targaryen already being on the brink of the civil war over the throne succession. Now that the king is dead, and his wife Alicent is assured that her son Aegon is the rightful heir, and not Rhaenyra, there is no way the family can avoid the Dance of the Dragons.
House of the Dragon is streaming on HBO Max, with new episodes arriving every Sunday. The finale will hit screens on October 23.