From EW’s James Hibberd (whose Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon [paid link] is now out), HBO has revealed the first actor cast in next year’s House of the Dragon: Englsh actor Paddy Considine, known for a variety of roles including Edgar Wright comedies and, most recently, HBO’s The Outsider. According to the report, he has been cast to play King Viserys I Targaryen.
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)” href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paddy_Considine_2011_(cropped).jpg”>CC BY-SA from the Cambridge Film Festival
A character description has been provided for Viserys as well:
“King Viserys Targaryen is 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 good men do not necessarily make for great kings.”
Interestingly, the present tense (“is chosen”) makes it seem like the show may be doing some compression of the history first revealed in The World of Ice and Fire [paid link] and expanded on in Fire and Blood [paid link]. Read on its face, the implication is that Jaehaerys is already dead when the succession crisis is resolved by the Great Council, raising him immediately to the kingship, whereas the reality in the history is that the council takes place in 101 AC and Viserys suceeds two years later, in 103 AC. More saliently, the character description makes it sound like we’re starting early in Viserys’s reign, which is an interesting choice and would suggest that the cast is being generally aged up (Viserys came to the throne at 26 in the history, whereas Considine is 47 years old).
It may be much ado about nothing, however—“is” could really just have been “was”, or perhaps the first episode(s) will start with a younger Viserys being selected and then jump ahead a decade or two.
In any case, besides Viserys, other roles being case are the expected figures who loom large in the Dance of the Dragons: Queen Alicent, Prince Aegon, Princess Rhaenyra, and Prince Daemon. As an added note, Hibberd also reveals that Sara Lee Hess has joined the writer and producer team; Hess has most recently been a writer on Orange is the New Black, but also wrote episodes of House and an excellent episode of Deadwood.