Paddy Considine of HOTD Has Finally Uncovered the Illness That Has Begun to Wrap Around the Viseries

The fact that the king is sick has been established from the very first episode of House of the Dragon. Viserys has had enormous, infected sores on his back since the first episode, and they have since spread elsewhere on his body. Multiple hypotheses have been proposed to explain his condition, with some pointing to greyscale as the problem. However, actor Paddy Considine has opened up about what ails Viserys.

Even though the time jumps in House of the Dragon have only been a few months long, Viserys’ health has been gradually deteriorating. Although he has to be leeched and have some sores burnt off in the first episode, he is otherwise in good health. But by the fifth episode, Viserys’ condition has become very severe. His inability to manage a coach journey, let alone a boat, nearly causes him to pass out in front of Lord Corlys during the engagement talks between Laenor and Rhaenyra.

Since Viserys’ illness was rarely touched upon in the Fire & Blood novel, from which the program is adapted, fans have speculated wildly about the nature of his condition. Viserys’s actor, Paddy Considine, ended the rumors by revealing his character suffers from leprosy.

Illness That Has Begun to Wrap Around the Viseries

The sickness is “eroding” Viserys’ body, Considine stated on the West of Westeros podcast hosted by Entertainment Weekly: “His bones are deteriorating. Despite appearances, he is not an older man. Inside of him, there is a young man. His body has been taken over by this creature tragically.

This is a significant deviation from the novel, which merely hinted at the possibility of an “infection” being the original cause of the king’s illness after he was injured while sitting on the Iron Throne. But that’s something the episode explains: The author of Fire & Blood could not have known what exactly was wrong with Viserys because the cause of his illness was never made public.

Even if the Iron Throne isn’t slicing Viserys open, the Fire & Blood historian is accurate in claiming that he is suffering because of his position on the Iron Throne. On the podcast, Considine said that the king’s sickness symbolizes the pressures and responsibilities of his position. To paraphrase, “[It’s] what it does to you physically, what it does to you intellectually.”

Episode 6 takes place in the year 129 AC, which raises the question of whether Viserys will be able to survive another time hop.

Every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max, new episodes of House of the Dragon Season 1 air.

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