Here is the first in what could be a regular happening: a farewell post to a beloved character, in this case Viserys Targaryen, but more so a farewell and our best wishes to the man who embodied him for six episodes this season, Harry Lloyd.
This post is all about Harry Lloyd. We have not come to bury Harry, no; we are here to praise him.
Harry first came to our attention back in July of 2009; the Hollywood Reporter confirmed our Sean Bean scoop, and the article tossed a few extra little tidbits at us as well, one which included Harry Lloyd being cast as Viserys. Almost immediately, we scoured You Tube for various scenes he’d done, from playing a villainous madman (Son of Mine) on Dr. Who, to the twitchy role of Will Scarlet in BBC’s Robin Hood.
Most of us immediately had the impression he could certainly play crazy. We did not know how right we were. He did it, and quite well! There are only a handful of roles that some may be able to claim have been depicted better onscreen than in George R.R. Martin’s beloved books, but Lloyd’s Viserys is probably near the very top of that list. Certainly, Lloyd nailed the bug-eyed overconfident craziness that was Dany’s elder brother, but it was the subtler nuance—the humanization—of what could easily have been a two-dimensional character, had it fallen into the hands of a lesser actor, that earns Lloyd our eternal gratitude.
For me, Viserys’ growth was epitomized during his episode six “loyalty discussion” with Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) as Viserys was attempting to make off with his sister’s dragon eggs. The way Viserys held himself, chin high, staring down the stony face of Mormont—as though Jorah were the thief and not he—showed me the depth of understanding Lloyd had for this role. The divine right by which he believed himself to be the rightful sovereign of Westeros. And my favorite line, his “I need a large army,” retort, said with just the hint of a ironic humour, made me smile wide, despite what I knew would ultimately befall the character—despite realizing at that point that we were not just losing Viserys, but losing Lloyd as well. Forever, as Game of Thrones goes. And I simply reveled in the scene, watching two master actors—one only a few years out of school—take a brand new scene that was nowhere in the books and make it viable to the series as a whole.
This is a momentous post. Besides Margaret John, we’ve not said goodbye to anyone. Just think of all the discussions that have taken place, all the times we’ve mentioned Harry’s name, or Viserys’s. It’s remarkable. And now we say goodbye.
We ask you, our loyal readers, to say your own farewells, your own thank-yous. Give us a moment of your time and recall your favourite scene, your favourite line, either with Viserys Targaryen or about him. Share for us all. This is how House Gatewatch honours its departing heroes.
Fire And Blood: Best of luck, Harry! You have earned yourself a following. I, for one, cannot wait to see what you do next.