House of the Dragon Star Compares King Viserys To GoT’s Ned Stark

King Viserys actor Paddy Constantine compares his House of the Dragon character to Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. Set hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon chronicles the tumultuous events of the Targaryen civil war. Like its predecessor, House of the Dragon is based on the books by author George R. R. Martin but features new showrunners in the form of Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik. The highly-anticipated prequel show is set to premiere on HBO on August 21st.

Previous House of the Dragon trailers have teased some of what’s to come when the show releases, including providing a closer look at its many new characters. Due to its setting and time period, House of the Dragon doesn’t feature any returning characters from Game of Thrones, instead boasting a sprawling and talented new ensemble. In addition to Constantine, House of the Dragon stars Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Rhys Ifans, Sonoya Mizuno, Milly Alcock, and Fabien Frankel, among others. Game of Thrones was renowned for its complex and flawed characters, with many fans hoping to see House of the Dragon’s new cast continue this trend.

As part of a roundtable interview that Screen Rant attended, Constantine reveals more about his character, King Viserys, and compares the new ruler to Sean Bean’s beloved Ned Stark. Constantine explains that Ned makes up part of the foundation of Viserys in his mind, describing Viserys as a ruler always trying to do the right thing. The actor calls Constantine a “peacetime king” who ultimately enters a tragic downward spiral after the death of his son, Aemma, and his father, Baelon. Check out Constantine’s full comments below:

“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. 

 But he’s not a simple man, Viserys. And I think it’s the situations around him that create the complications for him. But I think he’s a deeply tragic man, in that he’s just trying to always do the right thing. It’s almost like everything in his life has gone really, really well—and there’s almost a naivety to him. He’s a peacetime king; he very much loves inheriting that from Jaehaerys, and he’s a good student of old Valyria, and all these things. His temperament is good— he’s almost like a perfect king. And then I think he starts to spiral when those tragic events transpire.

He loses Aemma and his son—he’s lost sons in the past, but he loses Aemma—and that’s the big devastation. 

He loses her and then loses Baelon. That’s the thing that starts his psychological spiral, if you like. But I think all Viserys ever wanted to do was make the right decision, and you can’t do that. You can’t please everybody, as a ruler—you can’t please everybody as a person, but especially as a ruler. And I think he suffers in that people think his kindness is weakness.”

As many viewers will remember, Bean’s character did not have a happy ending in Game of Thrones season 1, having been beheaded at the behest of the sadistic King Joffrey. The scene cemented the idea that kind and just characters in Game of Thrones are ripe for surprise deaths at the hands of the cunning and selfish, as Ned’s demise proved just the beginning of a series of shocking character losses. While Constantine’s comments don’t reveal the eventual fate of King Viserys, he does stress that the character is a “deeply tragic man,” hinting that it’s unlikely he will have a happy ending, like Bean’s Ned before him.

Of course, Constantine’s comments don’t mean King Viserys will experience a shocking death similar to that of Ned in Game of Thrones. The actor makes clear that, while King Viserys starts off as a somewhat naive, kind ruler, the unfortunate events in his life could ultimately change him for the worse. It remains to be seen how House of the Dragon’s King Viserys will compare to the fan-favorite Ned Stark in Game of Thrones but, thankfully, there is not much longer to wait before the exciting new prequel series releases on HBO to build out Martin’s fantasy world.

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