Below are spoilers for House of the Dragon, including for Season 1’s Episode 8.
King Viserys Targaryen is dead. Throughout the eight episodes of House of the Dragon has released so far, the current Westeros king, played by Paddy Considine, did all he could to hold together the kingdom under a Targaryen ruler so as not to plunge the world into war. Despite his best efforts, his passing will do just that, sending the remaining heirs into a civil war amongst one another for control of the throne—thanks in part to a miscommunication about the Song of Ice and Fire prophecy on his deathbed.
Throughout his reign, Viserys is viewed as a good man and a kind king, but those things often don’t go well together when you need to make swift rulings. Regardless of your stance on Viserys as a king, Considine’s performance is unimpeachably great, and it will be sad to see him depart the series. For a lot of American audiences, this is likely the first time they’ve seen Considine on a stage this large, but he’s amassed quite the CV throughout his career working alongside Edgar Wright, starring in Peaky Blinders, and even as a writer/director with 2011’s Tyrannosaur and 2017’s Journeyman.
His directorial eye seemingly came in handy while filming this episode, “The Lord of the Tides,” as a happy accident between him and Daemon actor Matt Smith gave the installment one of the best moments in Game of Thrones history. Considine realized that, too, saying, “These accidents can sometimes turn into really poignant moments. As an actor, if you’re given that playground, and you know that you have the allowance to do that by the powers that be, then it just makes the job so much more satisfactory.”
In the wake of his departure from House of the Dragon, Complex sat down with Considine to talk about the physicality of the role, more on that moment between him and Smith, whether or not Viserys knew the truth about Rhaenyra’s kids, and much more.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.