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11th Oct 2022

House of the Dragon star explains heartbreaking death scene

Charlie Herbert

House of the Dragon star explains King Viserys heartbreaking death scene

*Spoilers (obviously)*

‘I think it’s very noble and dignified how he goes’

For all the dragons, fighting and sex in House of the Dragon, there was one performance that stole the show in episode eight – that of Paddy Considine as the tortured and dying King Viserys.

Throughout the series so far, viewers have watched the king’s slow and painful decline as illness takes hold of his body over the years.

At the same time, he’s trying his best to keep his house and kingdom together, to little avail. By episode eight, Considine is portraying a hollow husk of a man, whose body has been literally eaten away by illness.

And finally, at the end of episode eight, he can take no more.

The actor revealed to Hollywood Reporter that this was in fact a “form of leprosy” that had crept into the king’s body, and he gave his thoughts on the character’s death.

He said: “I think it’s very noble and dignified how he goes.

“He’s suffering terribly from an affliction. He basically gets a form of leprosy that creeps into body, his bones start to fail him. His lungs start to fail him. He’s just dying a slow and horrible death.

“By the end of it, he looks like an old man. He’s not! He’s a young man. He’s only so many years older than his brother, Daemon. But it’s aged him.

“And it’s a metaphor for what power does to people, even though he doesn’t use it for his own personal gain. He doesn’t get drunk on the power, he’s responsible. But the demands of being a king take their toll on the physical body.

“So it was interesting playing that decline in him. He’s just trying to do good.”

The whole episode sees Considine deliver a heartbreaking performance as a man who is king only in name and holds no real power anymore.

But some may have missed one detail right at the end, which only adds to the poignancy of Viserys’ death.

As the king dies, he quietly utters his final words: “My love”

Whilst some thought this might have been in reference to his wife Alicent or his only child Rhaenyra, others concluded that the words were much more poignant and were in fact him finally being able to see his wife Aemma again.

She died in episode one during child birth after Viserys ordered that their baby was saved instead of her.

One person tweeted: “Viserys’ last words were “My Love” and i really think he saw Aemma welcoming him into the afterlife. soulmates reunited again.”

Another said: “Viserys stretching the hand and saying my love after meeting with aemma, my heart can’t take this anymore.”

A third wrote: “What if Viserys saying My Love before going to sleep was not to Alicent or Rhaenyra it was for Aemma??”

And a fourth added: “The fact that his final words are “My Love” He loved Amma till his last day.”

There are just two episodes of House of the Dragon remaining in the series. Considine teased that, following the king’s death, “total mayhem” breaks out.

He said: “It’s like everything Viserys worked hard to prevent happening, happens. It’s absolute destruction and mayhem and madness.”

Bring it on.

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