Paddy Considine reveals what disease King Viserys is suffering from

House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO
House of the Dragon. Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO /

In the very first episode of House of the Dragon, King Viserys Targaryen is treated for a sore on his back. Since then, we’ve watched as he’s lost fingers and the sores have multiplied. Clearly he’s not well, but what exactly is he suffering from? Might it be greyscale, a Westerosi disease that causes one’s flesh to harden and die?

Actor Paddy Considine shared some details during an appearance on Entertainment Weekly’s Game of Thrones podcast, West of WesterosAccording to Considine, the King suffers from “a form of leprosy.”

"His body is deteriorating, his bones are deteriorating. He is not actually old. He’s still a young man in there. He’s just, unfortunately, got this thing that’s taken over his body. It becomes a metaphor for being king, and the stress and strain that it puts on you, and what it does to you physically, what it does to you mentally."

While this takes some of the mystery out of Viserys’ condition, I appreciate Considine explaining the metaphor behind the king’s struggle.

Paddy Considine reveals King Viserys’ illness on House of the Dragon

These days, leprosy is treated with medication, but in medieval times, there wasn’t much that could be done. As we’ve seen in the series, the lesions can be treated but the illness cannot be subdued. Tack on the stress of being a king with a rebellious heir and a trouble-making brother and you’ve got a full-blown progressive disease to worry about.

After the events of Episode 4, I can only imagine the king’s worries will increase, which can only bode ill for his health and the kingdom at large.

Next. House of the Dragon trailer breakdown: Episode 5, “We Light the Way”. dark

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