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'Game of Thrones' prequel 'House of Dragons' crowns its King Targaryen

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Oct 5, 2020, 11:40 PM EDT (Updated)

HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, House of Dragons, got its first official cast member today (besides the numerous dragons it must have, of course). According to Variety, Paddy Considine (Peaky Blinders, Hot Fuzz) has been brought on board to play King Viserys I.

Those familiar with the dark fantasy world created by George R.R. Martin may recall that King Viserys Targaryen became King of Westeros a few hundred years before the events in Game of Thrones. Considine as King Viserys will be a major character on the show, although as readers of Martin’s Fire and Blood already know, his character might not make the best king.

King Viserys I inherited a peaceful kingdom from his grandfather Jaehaerys I, but the new king's efforts to keep the peace through many feasts and tournaments are thwarted as Westeros becomes entangled in a civil war called the Dance of Dragons, which House of Dragons is based on. Most importantly, Viserys also rode a dragon named Balerion, which one could argue was his one true love. 

HBO had several Game of Thrones spinoffs in the works over the past couple of years, including a pilot with Naomi Watts that was set thousands of years in the past. That pilot has since been canceled, however, and House of Dragons is believed to be the only GOT spinoff still standing.

House of Dragons was co-created by Martin and Ryan Condal (Colony) and will be co-showrun by Condal and Miguel Sapochink. The show is based on Martin’s book Fire & Blood, which chronicles the history of the Targaryens’ centuries-long rule over Westeros. Considine’s acting experience on Peaky Blinders, The Third Day, and The Outsiders suggest he’ll do a great job playing the good-meaning but weak-willed Viserys.

The 10-episode series is expected to air sometime in 2022, which may or may not be the next installment in the GOT universe depending on how fast Martin writes Winds of Winter. And while Considine is the first cast member announced for the production, there will likely be other Targaryens officially cast and announced in the upcoming months — House of Dragons will likely be many things, but one thing it will definitely be is a family drama with dragons, which is something both dragon-lovers and fans of character-driven familial strife can get behind.