HBO struck gold when it adapted George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga for the small screen beginning in 2011. Renamed “Game of Thrones,” the show became a television phenomenon in short order, with a passionate fanbase spanning the globe. However, by the time it reached its eighth and final season, all of the goodwill it had built over the years came crashing down. With that, “Game of Thrones” swiftly disappeared from mainstream pop culture, but the minds at HBO aren’t about to give up on it so easily.
In the wake of the controversial “Game of Thrones” finale in 2019, HBO plans to explore all corners and eras of Westeros — first and foremost via the surprisingly real-life-inspired “House of the Dragon.” Set centuries before the captivating series, this prequel will tell the tale of how the once powerful and feared House Targaryen fell from grace. To do so, it will focus on a brand new group of characters, including King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine), who will feature prominently and deviate far from the King Viserys readers would recognize.
By tweaking the source material, the “House of the Dragon” crew created a version of King Viserys that George R.R. Martin prefers to the one he created on the page. Here’s why.
Martin was impressed with the writing behind King Viserys and Paddy Considine’s performance
On August 18, 2022, the mastermind behind “A Song of Ice and Fire,” George R.R. Martin, answered some fan questions via the HBO Twitter page. As he did so, he compared the version of King Viserys Targaryen that he wrote in “Fire and Blood” to the one we’ll see on “House of the Dragon,” and he admitted that the TV series version is far superior. “He’s stronger, he’s still conflicted, but he’s more of a tragic figure. He has King Lear aspects to him…that’s made his portrayal really interesting to watch on the show,” Martin explained, giving Paddy Considine some high praise for his take on the character.
From the sound of it, Martin is quite impressed with the “House of the Dragon” version of King Viserys in terms of writing and Considine’s performance. Interestingly, without a previous “Game of Thrones” character to inspire him, Considine’s take could’ve looked much different. “Ned Stark — what Sean [Bean] did — was sort of in my head when I played this, which is kind of weird. It was part of the makeup for me of Viserys,” the “House of the Dragon” star revealed in a 2022 interview (via Screen Rant). For those unfamiliar, Sean Bean featured throughout the first “GoT” season as Eddard “Ned” Stark before meeting a tragic end.
If George R.R. Martin likes Paddy Considine’s approach to King Viserys Targaryen, then it stands to reason that most fans will too when “House of the Dragon” arrives on August 21, 2022.