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Game of Thrones Prequel on HBO House of the Dragon Casts Its First Targaryen In King Viserys

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BY October 8, 2020
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Do you remember Game of Thrones? It feels like it was so long ago now. Do you remember how it seemed like the world became obsessed with the fantasy show? How we made epic feasts based on the show, and had huge watch parties? (Side note: Do you remember parties?) How we speculated endlessly about it week after week? Do you remember the crushing disappointment of the final season? Isn’t it weird that the show was such a cultural zeitgeist, and now no one even talks about it anymore?

Well despite all of this, HBO is still banking on the show’s fading memory of popularity. Last year right after the end of the series (how was that only last year?) HBO announced two spin-off shows. They were both designed to be prequel shows and the one that was inevitably greenlit was House of the Dragon. Now a full year later, HBO has finally announced some casting for House of the Dragon. As in, they cast exactly one character. Honestly, this timeline is not incredibly promising.

King Viserys Targaryen: First of His Name

Paddy Considine Actor Paddy Considine | Image via Wikimedia Commons

This week HBO announced that actor Paddy Considine will play King Viserys I in House of the Dragon. Not to be confused with the brother of Daenerys who received a crown of gold in the first book/season of the show and died. (Remember how Viserys was killed for being a mad Targaryen. And how Daenerys was supposed to be so much better than him? Ugh, now I’m mad at Game of Thrones all over again.)

Anyway, the first Viserys of The House of the Dragon was one of the many Targaryens who ruled over Westeros. He was the fifth Targaryen king to sit on the Iron Throne. He was a dragonrider, and his dragon was named Balerion. And we probably won’t get to see that dragon in the show because it died before he became king. By all accounts he was a good king and a nice guy. Rare in the world of Westeros. He is described on the GOT wiki as ‘plump and pleasant,’ a descriptor that I thought George R.R. Martin reserved only for his non-protagonist female characters. Honestly there is not much to be said about King Viserys I other than the fact that his reign eventually led to the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, all because the Kingsguard didn’t want to crown his daughter Rhaenyra.

What Will House of the Dragon Actually Be About?

All of this leads me to ask the question: what exactly is House of the Dragon going to be about? The official show page on HBO claims that it will ‘tell the story of House Targaryen.’ Except we are jumping into the reign of the Targaryens and skipping over the Doom of Valyria. Is the show going to be about the Dance of the Dragons? Because if so, don’t expect King Viserys I on the throne for very long.

House of the Dragon Image via HBO

So far all we know is that Martin and Ryan Condal will serve as co-creators on the series. Longtime GOT director Miguel Sapochnik will be a showrunner. So I guess we can at least expect the show to look good. Other news reports say that Orange Is the New Black writer Sara Lee Hess has also joined the team. Actor Paddy Considine who will play King Viserys I in The House of the Dragon is best known for his roles in Peaky Blinders and The Third Day.

Apparently this concept was also the first that Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin pitched to HBO for a spin-off series. “House of the Dragon has been in development for several years (though the title has changed a couple of times during that process),” Martin wrote on his blog. “It was actually the first concept I pitched to HBO when we started talking about a successor show, way back in the summer of 2016.”

There is still no release date set for The House of the Dragon and given the glacial progress of the show’s production, I don’t expect we will get one anytime soon. Stay up to date by following Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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