With so many spin-offs in development following the show’s dominant eight season run, it’s easy to forget what a risk “Game of Thrones” was for HBO. The show is credited with revitalizing the fantasy genre, with countless viewers becoming addicted to its cocktail of sex, violence, and Shakespearean power struggles. But before the show aired, taking a fantasy role was considered a serious career risk by many actors.
“He said, ‘It’s about dragons,’” Considine said. “I went, ‘No thanks.’ I didn’t even read it.”
That decision led to Considine missing out on the opportunity to star in one of the biggest television shows of all time. When he got a second chance to join the franchise, he made sure not to make the same mistake. He jumped at the chance to join the upcoming prequel “House of the Dragon,” where he plays King Viserys Targaryen.
Considine revealed that the character was inspired by his mother, who battled a serious case diabetes. Watching the decline of someone he respected, while seeing her maintain her kind spirit, informed his portrayal of a king at a breaking point in his dynasty.
“If anything Viserys was based on my mother. She was the most powerful woman I knew, for a long time. Until she neglected herself,” he said. “By the end of her life my mum had diabetes. I adored my mum. But her illness became her comfort zone. It was tragic to see that decline and I put that — plus her kindness and her love — into Viserys”
According to HBO’s official description of the character, King Viserys was “chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy, but as we’ve learned from ‘Game of Thrones,’ good men do not necessarily make for great kings.”
“House of the Dragon” premieres on HBO on Sunday, August 21.