Paddy Considine, the 47-year-old English actor whose long list of movie and TV credits includes “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “This is England.” “In America” and “How to Build a Girl,” will star on “House of the Dragon” as King Viserys I who, per Variety, has been “chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal.” Viserys is the namesake of Khaleesi’s brother on “Game of Thrones” who died during the first season when molten gold was poured on his head.
According to a Wiki of Ice and Fire, Viserys I was a dragon rider, making it highly likely we will see dragons on the new show. He’s also described as “a peaceful man who hated conflict and was plump and pleasant. He was described as amiable, open-handed and eager to please.”
There’s no word on further casting of the show.
It’s all lore that’s covered in George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books and the side novel “Fire and Blood,” and leads into the civil war known as the “Dance of Dragons.”
The show follows the history of House Targaryen, which was the dynasty that Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) spent the entire “Game of Thrones” series seeking to restore. It’s set hundreds of years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” so we won’t be seeing any of the characters on the original show, although the series will include the “houses” familiar from “Game of Thrones,” and also likely some of the same locations.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who ran “Game of Thrones” throughout its run, are not involved with the new series, as they have since jumped to Netflix. The co-creators of the series are Ryan Condal and George R.R. Martin himself, and Condal will run the show along with Miguel Sapochnik, the director who was known for running the “Game of Thrones” episodes that included massive battles. Sapochnik will also direct the show’s pilot.
Near the end of “Game of Thrones”‘ run, HBO considered several different possible spinoffs of the show, based off of different aspects of Martin’s work and his established timeline. One prequel series, set during the events known as The Long Night, even hired a cast led by Naomi Watts, but HBO announced late last year that it was scrapping that series altogether. In its place, the “House of the Dragon” show was given a ten-episode first-season order.
The series will presumably be used as a major selling point for HBO Max, the streaming service where the entire “Game of Thrones” run can be viewed.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.