HOTD’s Paddy Considine Pens Heartfelt Message To Co-Star And Fans About The Show’s Tragic First Episode

Paddy Considine as King Viserys in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

Spoilers for Season 1 of House of the Dragon ahead.

Week after week, audiences watched as King Viserys, the Targaryen patriarch and ruler of Westeros, tried his hardest to hold his family together as he slowly deteriorated under the crown's weight. Few men in Westeros have been dealt a crummier hand than King Viserys, yet he always tried to do what he believed was right for the realm. In the first episode of Season 1 of House of the Dragon, we saw Paddy Considine's character choosing to let the measter open his wife, Aemma, during difficult childbirth to save his baby and potential heir. The mother and the child are both lost, leaving a broken and guilt-ridden King. The decision to sacrifice his wife haunts Viserys until his very last moments, and it turns out was also a major inspiration for how Considine played the character in the following episodes.

Episode 8 closes out with Viserys' death after a long and gruesome battle with a form of leprosy. The character takes his last breath and utters a heartbreaking last line (brilliantly ad-libbed by Considine): "My love." A message meant for his late wife, Aemma, whom we met (and said goodbye to) back in the tragic first episode. Now that Paddy Considine's time on the show has come to a close, the actor took to his Instagram to pen a heartfelt message to his fans and his HOTD co-star who played Viserys' wife: 

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I want to give massive love and respect to [Brooke Sian] who came in for only a few days, but changed the course of my character with her brilliant performance and commitment to the work. The impact stayed with me until my final improvised words. She unlocked the missing piece of the puzzle for me, and allowed my story to come full circle. From the moment she dies, so does Viserys.

Considine credits Sian's portrayal of Aemma as being the piece of the puzzle that helped him build his take on Viserys. Though the King's first wife's time on the series isn't long, her impact is felt throughout all eight episodes featuring Considine. The Targaryen Queens' death opens the ruler up to being vulnerable to other players' attempted grasps at power as they play the game of thrones.

House of the Dragon had an uphill battle when it premiered amongst the stacked 2022 TV schedule due to the high expectations. It was a highly anticipated prequel and the first of several planned franchise spinoffs to follow up on the less-than-well-received final season of Game of Thrones

Despite this the show has been making history for HBO since it premiered on August 21. It continually grows in popularity, thanks largely, I think, to the series' smart character-focused writing and actors like Paddy Considine bringing an extraordinary amount of humanity to their roles. The Hot Fuzz actor brought a level of empathy to a King like we hadn't yet seen on Game of Thrones, and he will sorely be missed. However, Considine's departure means the real Dance of the Dragons can begin. There will be so much blood and fire. So, strap in. 

House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST and can be watched with an HBO Max subscription

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.