Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has found its first Targaryen. HBO has announced that award-winning English actor Paddy Considine will play King Viserys I Targaryen – the fifth Targaryen king and one of the riders of the great dragon, Balerion the Black Dread. Viserys' death led to the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, as he named his first wife's daughter Rhaenyra as his heir, but his second wife's eldest son Aegon the Elder (later Aegon II) fought to claim the throne for himself.
HBO's official description doesn't mention any of that. It simply reads: “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.”
A BAFTA- and Silver Lion-winning actor and director, Considine is known for his leading role in the 2004 psychological thriller Dead Man's Shoes, which he also co-wrote. His other leading roles include the 2002 road drama In America, the 2009 thriller The Cry of the Owl, the 2011 action thriller Blitz, and the 2017 drama Journeyman (which he also wrote and directed).
Considine has had supporting roles in the 2004 drama My Summer of Love, the 2006 thriller The Backwoods, the 2007 action comedy Hot Fuzz, the 2013 sci-fi comedy The World's End, the 2015 historical drama Macbeth, and the 2017 political satire The Death of Stalin. He was most recently seen in two HBO miniseries: the crime horror The Outsider, and the drama The Third Day, currently airing on Disney+ Hotstar.
This is the first bit of casting news for House of the Dragon that was announced last October. It is set 300 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones and based on George R.R. Martin's 2018 book Fire & Blood, the first of two volumes of the history of House Targaryen. The second one is yet unpublished.
Martin created House of the Dragon with Ryan J. Condal (Colony). Condal and Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik will serve as showrunners and executive producers alongside Martin, Vince Gerardis, and HBO's president of programming Casey Bloys.
HBO is looking to premiere House of the Dragon in 2022.