House Of The Dragon: Paddy Considine's Best Moments As King Viserys

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

Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for Episode 8 of House of the Dragon on HBO

The inevitable has finally happened, as House of the Dragon’s King Viserys breathed his last. The king has quite literally been falling apart throughout the first season, but hung on long enough to see his family reunited one last time in King's Landing. Sure, Rhaenyra and Daemon arrived with their kids with the unpleasant task of trying to defend Lucerys’ claim to Driftmark, but they inspired to Viserys to make one more game-changing move as king, and he got one more or less peaceful dinner with both sides of the family before dying. So, in honor of King Viserys, let’s look at actor Paddy Considine’s very best moments on House of the Dragon

Since Paddy Considine managed to deliver in some of the most serious scenes of the series while also providing some of the best laughs, it’s hard to narrow down where he shone the brightest, but here are the top 16 (plus some honorable mentions)!

Viserys and Aemma in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Making A Life-And-Death Decision - Episode 1

After spending most of the series premiere confident that Queen Aemma would give birth to a son, Viserys had to choose between both Aemma and the baby dying, or cutting his wife open to possibly save the child. He chose to let the maester cut Aemma open… without telling her what was going to happen, and if not for Paddy Considine’s performance of Viserys’ love for his wife, his horrifying decision might have turned viewers against him for good.

Paddy Considine as Viserys exiling Daemon for the first time in House of the Dragon

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Exiling Daemon: Part 1

Viserys was willing to indulge his brother for most of the series premiere, but he hit his limit after Daemon was reportedly heard describing the short-lived Prince Baelon as “heir for a day” before retaking his place as first in the line of succession. Viserys deserves credit for not doing worse to Daemon after Daemon called him “weak” in front of the Kingsguard, but announced that he was naming a new heir and exiled Daemon from King’s Landing. 

Viserys and Rhaenyra in front of a dragon skull in House of the Dragon

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Telling Rhaenyra About The Song Of Ice And Fire - Episode 1

Viserys broke precedent to name his daughter his heir rather than his most direct male descendant (a.k.a. Daemon), but made it clear to Rhaenyra that the stakes were very high. He told her about what Aegon the Conqueror called the “song of ice and fire” that made it essential for the Targaryens to hold the Iron Throne. It helped explain his actions about an heir earlier in the premiere and showed that the indulgent king also had a higher purpose in mind.

Viserys showing Alicent the old Valyria model in House of the Dragon

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Explaining Old Valyria To Alicent - Episode 2

In one of their early secret meetings, Viserys showed then-Lady Alicent his model of Valyria before the Doom and dropped some details about the lore behind the Targaryens as dragonlords. He clearly enjoyed talking about his project, but wistfully dismissed the idea that Westeros could ever recapture the glory of old Valyria. He also made sure that Alicent wasn’t telling Rhaenyra about their meetings, and it showed a different side of Viserys than when he was acting as king. 

Paddy Considine as drunk Viserys in House of the Dragon

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Drunkenly Roasting Lords At The Hunt - Episode 3

After the first major time jump of the series, Viserys and the rest of the court left King’s Landing for a hunt. The king spent the evening getting drunker and drunker, with hilarious results (by HOTD standards, anyway). He first roasted Lord Jason Lannister for his bumbling attempts to win Viserys’ support in marrying Rhaenyra, then laughed in Otto Hightower’s face when he very seriously suggested betrothing Rhaenyra to her two-year-old brother. Paddy Considine’s drunk Viserys was a fun Viserys, and will be missed.

Viserys welcoming Daemon home in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Welcoming Daemon Home From The Stepstones - Episode 4

The fourth episode was packed with great Viserys moments, starting with his reaction to Daemon swaggering back into the Red Keep as “King of the Narrow Sea.” Viserys may have been one of the few who believed that Daemon had pure motives in giving up his crown and coming back, and he welcomed his brother home with an embrace. It was an early sign that Viserys just wanted his family to be together, and the warm brotherly reunion would last… for about 24 hours. 

Viserys exiling Daemon again in House of the Dragon

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Exiling Daemon: Part 2 - Episode 4

Daemon quickly ruined their warm reunion when he took Rhaenyra to a brothel, exposed her, seduced her, and then abandoned her. The result was a scene between the Targaryen brothers that saw Viserys come about as close to actually using a blade on somebody as viewers ever saw him. An extremely hungover Daemon faced his brother’s fury, and the king honestly showed some restraint in just exiling him again when he asked to take Rhaenyra as a second wife. 

Viserys and Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon

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Firing Otto Hightower As Hand - Episode 4

Viserys continued his streak of removing people from court when Rhaenyra opened his eyes to Otto’s self-interest as Hand. After commending Otto for serving King Jaehaerys and then himself, Viserys flipped the script and accused him of serving his own purposes, including sending Alicent to him after Aemma’s death as a “calculated distraction.” He fired Otto, and the realm was free from Hightower influence at the king’s right hand for a decade. 

Paddy Considine as Viserys in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Wondering About His Legacy - Episode 5

After another downturn in his health, Viserys wondered about his legacy as a king and whether he’d be remembered in songs after he was dead, because he had never been truly tested as a ruler. It was possibly his most self-aware and reflective scene in the series, and very well done by Paddy Considine. After eight episodes, it seems likely that Viserys be remembered by history… but perhaps more for how his reign set up a deadly succession crisis than anything else.

Viserys watching Daemon and Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Reacting To The Wedding Feast Shenanigans - Episode 5

A highlight of Paddy Considine as Viserys in Episode 5 isn’t so much one moment as a series of Viserys’ reactions to the escalating melodrama of Rhaenyra’s wedding feast. His expressions when Daemon once again swaggered in uninvited after an exile and Alicent showed up late in a green revenge dress were unforgettable, but the standout was when he was just trying to eat his dinner and saw a newly-single Daemon grab Rhaenyra by the face across the room. No wonder he collapsed by the end!

Adult Rhaenyra and Viserys in House of the Dragon

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Meeting Baby Joffrey - Episode 6

The time jump that led to the recastings revealed that the tension between Rhaenyra and Alicent had become outright animosity when the queen demanded that the newborn Joffrey be brought to her. (The very newborn Joffrey.) For his part, Viserys was simply overjoyed at the birth of another grandson, and had a sweet moment alone with Rhaenyra… after declaring that baby Joffrey had Laenor’s nose. Viserys is happiest when his family gets along, and it showed in meeting the baby.

Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon as Viserys Targaryen

(Image credit: HBO)

Defending Rhaenyra (And Roasting Aemond) - Episode 6

Some parents may not play favorites with their children, but that could not be said for Viserys Targaryen. When Alicent came to protest that Jaecerys and Lucerys (with Aegon) had pranked Aemond with a pig, the king just said that Aemond shouldn’t have been so “credulous.” Then he went on to defend Rhaenyra against Alicent’s allegations that her sons were bastards. The big time jump, three brown-haired grandsons, and a persistent queen didn’t make Viserys turn on his firstborn. 

Daemon and Viserys at Laena's funeral in House of the Dragon

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Trying To Reconnect With Daemon - Episode 7

Viserys and Daemon finally reunited at Laena’s funeral, and Viserys tried to reach out to bond over the grief of losing a wife because the “gods can be cruel.” Daemon noted that they’ve been “especially cruel” to the king, which Viserys laughed off and went on to invite Daemon to come back to court. He was ready to put aside their differences and welcome him home. Daemon refused, but Viserys was clearly sincere in wanting his brother back.

Paddy Considine as Viserys at Driftmark in House of the Dragon

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Trying To Keep The Peace In His Own Family - Episode 7

While Viserys may have ruled in a time of peace in Westeros, violence broke out within his own family after Lucerys cut out Aemond’s eye in a brawl. He discovered that even all his power as king couldn’t put a stop to the infighting between the “greens” and Rhaenyra’s side. All he wanted was peace between those he loved, but his clear preference for Rhaenyra even after Aemond lost an eye made Alicent snap and grab his dagger, and all hell broke loose right in front of him.

Paddy Considine as Viserys sitting the Iron Throne one last time House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Sitting The Iron Throne One Last Time - Episode 8

Viserys was hardly recognizable by Episode 8, but he still had enough life left in him to make one final stand for Rhaenyra and her children. He managed to push through his pain and climb the Iron Throne one last time to make sure that the Hightowers and Vaemond Velaryon didn’t take Luke’s status as heir of Driftmark from him, and fully intended to take Vaemond’s tongue himself after he declared Rhaenyra a whore and her sons as bastards. Even beneath all of the prosthetics, Paddy Considine shone in his final scene on the Iron Throne. Even the soundtrack was epic in Viserys' honor!

Viserys dying on House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

His Final Words - Episode 8

Unfortunately for Rhaenyra, her supporters, and probably the realm as a whole, Viserys had enough life for one final speech to Alicent. Thinking that she was his daughter, he told Alicent that he truly believed in Aegon the Conqueror’s dream about the song of ice and fire. 

Alicent interpreted his ramblings as referring to their son Aegon. The queen left and King Viserys, First of his Name, died after what he thought was a final message to his daughter and heir. There was a sweetness in the final moment to go with the bitterness, however, as his final words were “my love” as he seemingly saw a vision of Aemma. 

Honorable mentions:

  • Viserys didn't want to show Daemon any tapestries. After Alicent suggested that Daemon view the new tapestries after his return from the Stepstones, Viserys burst out laughing and had some fun with his brother. 
  • Viserys made Otto tell him what Rhaenyra and Daemon were seen doing. Otto has never looked more uncomfortable than trying to find the words to tell Viserys what his brother and daughter were doing in a brothel in Episode 4. 
  • He called Alicent by his former wife's name. It wasn't a good moment for Alicent, but Viserys calling her "Aemma" in Episode 7 set the stage for him seemingly seeing his beloved first wife in the moment that he died.
  • He met the grandson who was named for him. Even though Rhaenyra and Daemon returned to King's Landing for unpleasant reasons, Viserys got to meet his two new grandsons, one of whom was named for him. 
  • Viserys got one last family dinner in Episode 8. With all of his family together in one place, Viserys managed to attend a dinner with them, and they managed to not attack each other until he left the room. A win?
  • All the times he should have died but didn't. Credit to Viserys: he seemed on the verge of death for quite some time before finally dying. 

Sadly, fans now have to say goodbye to Paddy Considine on House of the Dragon, but the actor did an incredible job playing the king and guaranteed that – despite his character's fears that he wouldn't be remembered after he died – nobody will forget what the actor brought to the show. You can revisit his eight episodes streaming with an HBO Max subscription, and find new episodes of House of the Dragon on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.