Now three years since the fantasy epic Game of Thrones ended in 2019 (in a finale that disappointed many fans), viewers have been anticipating whatever continuation of the franchise would come next, with House of the Dragon being the first in a new, larger universe of shows. While a prequel by virtue of being set before Game of Thrones, none of the Targaryens met in that series will be in this one, which depicts a consequential civil war within the family during their reign over Westeros. House of the Dragon will, however, bring in other family lines that were previously explored and alluded to in Game of Thrones, including House Velaryon.
Now, Considine sheds light on one of House of the Dragon’s most heated relationships, which is that between King Viserys and Prince Daemon. In a recent roundtable interview that Screen Rant attended, Considine defines his and Smith’s characters as “complete opposites.” He goes on to explain the contention surrounding Daemon’s role as heir to the Iron Throne in House of the Dragon. Check out the full description from Considine below:
They're complete opposites. I think Daemon has that destructive gene that the Targaryens have. I think Daemon craves approval more than [he] seeks to be king. In the first episode, it's suggested that Daemon should be named heir and there should be a bit of caution around him. And Viserys says, "Daemon is not interested in being the crown." And what Viserys is saying is, "He couldn't sit around a table with you guys every day. He couldn't sit here and put up with your bullsh*t day after day. It would drive him mad. He would end up killing one of you—something disastrous. He couldn't sit in that room."
Craving power and craving the throne are two different things. And at some point Viserys even implies, "You want that, don't you? I know what you want; you want that." And it's not what Daemon wants, really. I don't think he does want that. I think some part of him wants approval. I think he'd like his brother to be by his side, but he's too much of a liability for Viserys to deal with. And I think Viserys says, "As long as Daemon is occupied and happy, I don't care how many whorehouses he visits or what he's doing. As long as he's doing his thing, I don't care."
But Viserys is constantly making excuses for Daemon and defending Daemon. And he says to him, "I'm your only ally. You don't show up to the council. There's a seat but you never show up. I'm your only ally in that room. And you betrayed me with these words." Viserys is deeply hurt by Daemon. It's a very difficult relationship.
The theme of internal and external conflict underlies Considine’s explanation of the two characters. On one level, there is this sense of contradictions within both Daemon and Viserys. Daemon desires the power of the monarch, but does not want the throne, while Viserys is “deeply hurt by Daemon” but wants him to be happy. These internal conflicts, in turn, drive their external conflict, creating the “very difficult relationship" between the pair.
Of the many relationships that will be explored in House of the Dragon, that of King Viserys and Prince Daemon may prove to be the most ruptured. The interpersonal conflict between Viserys and Daemon could lead to much larger, divisive conflict between the characters in the series. Viewers will soon discover more of Viserys and Daemon for themselves when House of the Dragon premieres on HBO Max on August 21, 2022 at 9:00pm.