Tower of the Hand

King Viserys I cast for HBO prequel

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Oct 7, 2020, 10:30 AM ET
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English actor Paddy Considine has been cast as King Viserys I Targaryen in House of the Dragon, the first casting announcement made for the Game of Thrones prequel. Considine has a long and accomplished resume, appearing in movies like Hot Fuzz (alongside several Game of Thrones alums), In America, and The Bourne Ultimatum, and received a Tony nomination just last year for his work on Broadway in The Ferryman. You may have recently seen Considine on HBO, as he was one of the leads in the Stephen King's The Outsider miniseries.

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Entertainment Weekly received this description of Considine's character: "King Viserys Targaryen is chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings." Considine's casting makes it clear that House of the Dragon will indeed focus on the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war that predates Game of Thrones by 150 years. It seems unlikely that the new show will tackle other consequential Targaryen eras, like the first Targaryen king conquering Westeros (at least early on; I suppose an anthology series could still be in play if House of the Dragon is planning on telling stories out of chronological order).

EW also identifies additional roles the show will be casting, though I'm not sure if this is an official list of casting sides or speculation based on other major players in the Dance of the Dragons. The names Rhaenyra, Alicent Hightower, Aegon II, and Daemon Targaryen should be familiar to readers of George R. R. Martin's Fire & Blood, which documents the Targaryen civil war, as well as the years leading up to it; a few years ago we listed Rhaenyra and Alicent among the most influential characters in Westerosi history. Lastly, EW notes that Sara Lee Hess has joined the writing-production team. She was previously attached to the Jane Goldman prequel show that ultimately did not move forward.

House of the Dragon is on track to debut in 2022.

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