House of the Dragon: Paddy Considine reveals just how sick he got while filming Viserys’ death scene

Paddy Considine stars as Viserys Targaryen in Episode 1 of HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1
Paddy Considine stars as Viserys Targaryen in Episode 1 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

It turns out that acting can be a pretty dangerous occupation, according to Paddy Considine.

The actor portrayed Viserys Targaryen, King of Westeros, in the first season of House of the Dragon.

Known as a kind king — which is unusual for the Targaryens — he was also often ridiculed for avoiding conflict. Yet, when he produced no sons, and his brother poked fun at his only dead male offspring, Viserys created the worst kind of conflict of all during his reign.

By putting his daughter, Rhaenyra (portrayed at the time by Milly Alcock), as his sole heir, those surrounding him were not impressed that a queen might be the future ruler of the seven kingdoms.

Then, when his second marriage did see sons being born, it created even more havoc.

However, the King knuckled down and insisted that Rhaenyra would rule in his stead — before dying and saying something entirely ambiguous right before that, which threw everything into disarray and set things up for major conflict in Season 2 of HBO’s epic fantasy series.

Emma D'Arcy and Paddy Considine on the set of House of the Dragon
Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra and Paddy Considine as her father, King Viserys, as seen in Episode 6 of House of the Dragon Season 1. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Viserys lingered on in Season 1 of House of the Dragon

Viserys may have been decisive when it came to who he wanted to rule after him. However, the illness that ultimately took him most certainly wasn’t.

Suffering from leprosy, Viserys struggled greatly through his later years and this was portrayed in great detail during Season 1 of House of the Dragon.

Viserys started, quite literally, falling apart thanks to the horrible disease.

By the time he died in Episode 8 of House of the Dragon, he was having to wear a golden mask to hide the fact his face was dissolving. On top of that, he was being given copious amounts of milk of the poppy just to help him with the pain.

Paddy Considine stars as King Viserys Targaryen in Episode 8 of HBO's House of the Dragon
Paddy Considine stars as King Viserys Targaryen in Episode 8 of House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO/Ollie Upton

Paddy Considine suffered lowered oxygen while filming death scene

It was during this final scene in Episode 8, that Paddy Considine suffered his own medical emergency, according to Insider.

During the recent official Game of Thrones convention in Los Angeles, Considine spoke about filming Viserys’ final scene.

“It was a couple of days and it wasn’t just difficult in an emotional way, it was just difficult to shoot,” Considine said.

“I was lying in that bed for hours and hours and doing that kind of breathing. The strange thing that happens is you think you’re just acting [but] what happened when I was breathing that way was after a few hours my oxygen levels went straight down.”

Considine knew this because he had his oxygen checked while filming the harrowing scene.

“I had my levels measured and they said, ‘We’ve got to get out of here, you need to get outside.’ And it was interesting because it was almost like my brain was telling my body how to breathe and my physiology was reacting to it, so my oxygen was dropping down. So I actually felt like I was dying, which was fun.”

On top of this, he also developed ongoing pain in one hip after walking with a cane for another scene.

“That throne walk in episode eight, how many times I did that, I can’t remember,” Considine revealed.

“I think I broke three walking sticks doing it. I put so much weight on it and I absolutely balled my hip up. And I still get problems with it now. It rotated forward. So that’s the price you pay.”

HBO has not yet set a release date for Season 2 of House of the Dragon.

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