House Of The Dragon Star Reveals What Disease King Viserys Has

Paddy Considine opens up about King Viserys’ disease on House of the Dragon. A spin-off of HBO fantasy sensation Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon centers on the events that led to the fall of the once-great Targaryen dynasty, nearly 200 years before the event of the original series. Starring Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, and Emily Carey as members of the complicated, twisted family, the series is four episodes in and features Considine as the beleaguered King Viserys.


Viserys has faced plenty of pressures during his time as king. In House of the Dragon episode 1, he had to choose between the life of his beloved wife or his unborn child, only to lose both in the same day. Since those tragic losses, he has replaced his wife with a new queen, banished his younger brother Daemon, named his daughter heir and maintained her position despite backlash from his subjects since the birth of his son Aegon. He’s also struggled to find his rebellious daughter an appropriate suitor, all while dealing with the typical political issues faced by the realm’s ruler. Along with his myriad stresses, a mysterious illness has plagued Viserys, first revealed in episode 1 and worsening throughout the series.

In a conversation with EW for Game of Thrones podcast West of Westeros, Considine shed some light on the king’s condition. He revealed what’s causing the disease as well as offering the deeper meaning behind the illness. See what Considine had to say below:

“He’s actually suffering from a form of leprosy. His body is deteriorating, his bones are deteriorating. He is not actually old. He’s still a young man in there. He’s just, unfortunately, got this thing that’s taken over his body. It becomes a metaphor for being king, and the stress and strain that it puts on you, and what it does to you physically, what it does to you mentally.”

Considine’s confirmation that Viserys has leprosy takes the mystery out of his illness and places the focus on the metaphor and meaning behind it. Though leprosy, known today as Hansen’s disease, is curable with medication, there was little that could be done in Viserys’ time outside of treating the slow-healing lesions produced by the condition. With everything that Viserys has had to deal with as king, it’s no wonder that his disease is only getting worse. Considine’s comments confirm what George R.R. Martin, the author of the source material, has implied about Viserys—he’s a good man, but ill-prepared for the pressures of ruling.

Martin’s protagonists often take on reluctant leadership roles at great personal cost, so it’s no surprise that Viserys is suffering the consequences of his station. The confirmation of Viserys’ disease doesn’t bode well for the ruler, nor does the knowledge that his stresses are making it worse. Based on the events of House of the Dragonepisode 4, the pressure is only building for the king, which will likely take a physical toll as the series goes on.

Source: EW’s West of Westeros

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