Paddy Considine will play King Viserys Targaryen for House of the Dragon, according to Deadline. While other Targaryen monarchs were chosen exclusively by the line of succession via blood, Viserys I was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the previous king. Contrary to the demented Viserys that Game of Thrones fans know from the first season of the parent show played by Harry Lloyd, this Viserys is a kind and decent man... but not necessarily a great king.
House of the Dragon received a straight-to-series order from HBO back in October 2019 in place of the previous Game of Thrones prequel that had been in the works, and the first season will run for ten episodes. The original description of the series stated that it would be set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones kicked off, but the casting of Paddy Considine to play King Viserys I suggests otherwise.
Assuming House of the Dragon follows the events of George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood book, then the action will presumably take place closer to between 170 - 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Fire & Blood reveals that Viserys is the fifth Targaryen king of Westeros, with Aegon I conquering Westeros three centuries before Game of Thrones. Viserys I took the throne in Year 103 following Aegon's conquest.
There was another King Viserys before Robert's Rebellion destroyed the Targaryen dynasty in Westeros, but this Viserys is selected as the heir of the Old King, Jaehaerys. As a good man, he is undoubtedly a natural choice to take the throne, but if Game of Thrones proved anything over eight seasons, it's that good people can't always hold onto power.
All things considered, the description of Paddy Considine's character for House of the Dragon really makes me think back to Ned Stark in the first season of Game of Thrones, who is a prime example of a good man not being a good fit to rule.
Of course, Fire & Blood reveals that Viserys I held onto his power for decades rather than the little time it took for poor Ned to quite literally lose his head, but my money is on House of the Dragon picking up toward the end of Viserys' reign, shortly before all Targaryen hell breaks loose. It's also one of the less incest-y times in the 300 years of Targaryen rule, so maybe fans will actually be able to root for some romances.
House of the Dragon was co-created by Ryan Condal and George R.R. Martin, with Martin already promising not to pen any scripts until he has finished and delivered the long-awaited Winds of Winter installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire novel saga that inspired Game of Thrones. The premiere of House of the Dragon is presumably still a ways off, but hopefully casting news will continue to release!
Find out more about the Targaryen dynasty with George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, and check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for some upcoming viewing options!