It’s happening: HBO has cast the first role in House of the Dragon, it’s Game of Thrones prequel series. Paddy Considine is King Viserys I Targaryen!
Big news from HBO! Entertainment Weekly reports that House of the Dragon, the network’s upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series, has cast its first actor. Paddy Considine, once called “the best-kept secret in British movies” by The Observer, will play King Viserys I Targaryen, the man who began the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, although he certainly never meant for it to come to that.
The news comes complete with a casting description, which sounds intriguing by itself:
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.
Indeed, King Viserys was known as a decent guy and ruled Westeros during a largely peaceful time when the Targaryen dynasty was at its height. But a succession crisis after his death would tear everything apart. To make a very long story short, after Viserys dies, there’s a bitter battle between his daughter Rhaenyra Targaryen, who he had named to be his heir, and his son Aegon Targaryen, Rhaenyra’s half-brother born of another wife after Rhaenyra’s mother had died. This was the Dance of the Dragons, and it’s what House of the Dragon will cover.
I think the casting description is great, because it shows a knowledge of the nuance of the situation. I have the old Game of Thrones excitement back. And Considine is a good choice. The 47-year-old English actor isn’t particularly high-profile, but he’s a rock solid performer, having appeared in everything from Hot Fuzz to The Outsider to Peaky Blinders. He also won a Tony last year for his role in the Broadway play The Ferryman. He’s been cast for his talent rather than his celebrity, which is how it should be. Bryan Cogman, who originated the idea for House of the Dragon before it was passed to Ryan Condal and longtime Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik, is fully on board:
Now to see how he looks in a platinum blonde wig…
We don’t know exactly when during the Dance House of the Dragon will pick up, but given that they’re casting King Viserys, it looks like they’ll cover what happens before his death. And that’s good, because there’s quite a lot of build-up that’s crucial to understand before the swords start clashing and the dragons take wing.
HBO is also looking for actors to play Rhaenyra and Aegon Targaryen, as well as Alicent Hightower (Viserys’ second wife) and Daemon Targaryen (King Viserys’ more aggressive younger brother). Hopefully we’ll hear more about those casting choices very soon!