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House of the Dragon birth scene was even 'more traumatic than what made it into series'

House of the Dragon birth scene was even 'more traumatic than what made it into series'

Paddy Considine, who plays King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon, has opened up about filming the traumatic birth sequence


House of the Dragon star Paddy Considine has opened up about his reaction to THAT harrowing first episode, admitting he opened the script and ‘loved’ what he saw for his character, even if it left tearful viewers absolutely reeling – and that the birth sequence was originally even more 'traumatic'.

The first instalment of the brand new series was an undeniably challenging ride, with brutal jousting tournaments, a graphic castration and an utterly tragic double-death all rivalling even the gnarliest Game of Thrones moments. 

But Considine, who plays King Viserys Targaryen, sees all the drama as only a blessing, finding he felt strangely grateful for his character's brutal narrative.

Paddy Considine as Viserys Targaryen.

Most notably, this includes becoming a widower after his wife Aemma dies giving birth to the son he so desperately wanted – to the detriment of his relationship with daughter Rhaenyra – only to find that her painful, barbaric caesarean was in vain when the infant also did not make it.

Speaking to LADbible about the moment he saw his script and read what was in store for Viserys, Considine said: “Bizarrely, I loved it. Because he goes on a massive arc in the first episode alone, and that's what you want. 

“I've done series in the past where you just kind of wander through it, and with little or no impact. 

The first episode features a particularly harrowing labour scene.

“And I’m like, well, in the first episode alone, there's things that happened to this character that affect him for the rest of his life. And so, to me, I thought it was great when I read the first three episodes when I first got sent it.” 

Considine added: “I thought he was an absolute gift.” 

But filming such devastating scenes is, of course, never without challenges – especially the tortuous labour sequence, in which Viserys essentially gave his own wife a death sentence by instructing doctors to cut his unborn son from her womb, while she was still alive. 

“It was really emotional stuff,” Considine said. 

Paddy Considine as Viserys Targaryen.

“It was tough on Sian [Brooke], who played Aemma, because she had to do all the physical stuff and those things are very technical - with all the pumps of blood and things going on, and prosthetic bellies and things. 

“And part of the art is that you’re acting through all of that distracting stuff. She had the weight of the work on her that day. 

“They're never pleasant, but I think when you're working with good people, you just invest that bit more. 

“And what we shot was more traumatic than what makes it into the series. Viserys was utterly destroyed. But I guess they couldn't really show that.” 

As for whether or not he felt any pressure stepping into such a widely loved franchise, Considine felt unexpectedly at ease.

Considine praised the work of co-star Sian Brooke.

"Bizarrely I didn't [feel pressure]," he revealed.

"Not from the weight of it at all, or even the weight of expectation, because within this case I seem to be quite good at not taking that on, and then it's not my responsibility - my responsibility is to play the role.

"[...] And I knew that was an impossible thing to carry. So I never considered it. I just went, 'I'm just going to do my best and play this character."

House of the Dragon will be available to watch weekly on HBO and HBO Max in the US and Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK. 

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: TV and Film

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