With House of the Dragon quickly coming to an end, fans will soon say their goodbyes to the tired and stressed King Viserys. Since the show’s premiere, the King was perhaps the least controversial sovereign in Westerosi history. But he isn’t without his shortcomings for making poor political and familial decision-making, which even took a toll on his health.
With King Viserys’ health slowly declining, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to last much longer. And considering Viserys was the one person who kept the family in check, it would only be a temporary solution, where his death marks the catalyst for Dance of the Dragons. Nevertheless, fans have sympathized with the Kings effort to bring peace and prosperity to his kingdom and family, as shown in several memes.
Willingly Oblivious About His Grandchildren’s Parentage
While Viserys has always wanted to just sit by and enjoy the final years of his life, his family has ruined any chance he had to any peace. Despite often urging them to get along, it looks like all they want to do is fight and kill each other for the throne.
With the most important houses in House of the Dragon directly contributing to the strife, it’s hard to avoid. Yet, Viserys had been willfully ignoring the likelihood that Harwin Strong fathered Rhaenyra’s children instead of Laenor Velaryon. When the legitimacy of his grandchildren came to question even after Aegon mentions it, King Viserys was more upset about the accusation than the truth behind it, once again disregarding the issue.
Not Aging Gracefully
Having been suffering health difficulties for over a decade, many fans have been cracking jokes about how Viserys will appear after each time skip. After all, he went from losing fingers to losing an arm. While it’s definitely sad to see Viserys on his last legs, it is also contributing to the story’s tense nature.
When Viserys dies, the succession crisis will come to a head. Alicent desperately wants Aegon on the Iron Throne, and Rhaenyra intends to sit it herself. So the reason that Viserys’ health continues to decline is because it’s an indication of the rising tension — and the characters can feel it, too.
Makes Incredibly Poor Decisions
While Viserys means well, he is actually an awful king. He made a horrible political choice by choosing Alicent to be his wife. He was also unable to prevent his wife from attacking his heir, and his refusal to participate in the war in the Stepstones made him appear weak, ineffectual, and easily swayed.
Though he has lamented about the fact that he was never truly challenged, he has fallen apart in the face of the actual conflicts he’s faced as a king, as he is creating a major succession crisis. It’s a mark of the fact that Viserys lacks much political ability, which will certainly have consequences as soon as he passes.
Willing To Overlook Rhaenyra’s Kids
There are few scenes more hilarious in House of the Dragon than Alicent walking up to Viserys, complaining that Rhaenyra’s children are bastards, and then having to listen to Viserys go on a tangent about horse genetics. While it was relevant, it was so unexpected that it made many viewers laugh.
The fact that Viserys did not actually definitively know if the mare bred with the stallion only made the situation funnier. While the consequences will surely be dire, rambling on about horse coloring certainly added a necessary element of humor to an utterly dark show.
Always Struggling With Daemon
While Daemon can be summed up as a wildcard, Viserys is a much more calm and collected figure. Where Daemon willingly causes trouble everywhere he goes, Viserys is a reserved man who just wants to make peace with the people around him.
It often causes strife between them since Daemon tends to cause all manner of crises for Viserys to deal with. From the murder of his wife to the grooming of Rhaenyra and the supposed murder of Laenor, his antics are too much for Viserys to deal with, and it shows.
Desperately Holding A Kingdom Together
The tensions between Rhaenyra and the Greens have already come to a head after Luke took Aemond’s eye. With Alicent calling for a child’s eye to be removed and utterly ignoring the king’s wishes, the only thing holding the kingdom together is Viserys.
Viserys is the sole force tying both sides together, as his survival keeps the succession crisis from exploding. While his inability to address the issue is a Viserys trait that Paddy Considine nails, his willful blindness is wreaking havoc in the kingdom, but it also makes him somewhat sympathetic. After all, having seen his family collapsing before his eyes, he wants to pretend everything is alright for his own sake.
Refused To Mitigate A Crisis
There were many options that Viserys could have taken to avoid the succession crisis that he is now in. Had he refused to have more children after Rhaenyra, there would have been no sons for Westeros to replace her with. Viserys even could have sent Aegon and Aemond to the Citadel or to be trained to be Septons. There, they would have had no chance to start a war.
Yet, Viserys chose to do none of that. Instead, he married into a powerful house, bore sons, and sent Rhaenyra to marry a powerful house herself. Viserys keeps putting his faith in the least trustworthy characters in House of the Dragon, and it is building up to a conflict that he will not be there to mitigate.
Definitely Plays Favorites
While Viserys certainly has not left Alicent’s kids wanting for anything, it is very clear that he preferred Rhaenyra over his other children. Even when Aemond lost an eye and proved to match the skills of one of the most powerful Targaryen in history by claiming Vhagar, Viserys only cared about Rhaenyra’s children being called bastards.
While he was certainly protecting the Strong kids from the revelation of their births, his favoritism clearly created a rift between the Blacks and Greens that seems likely to explode. He always gives Rhaenyra the benefit of a doubt, but that likely stems from her being the only thing Viserys has left of his true love, Aemma.
Lives For His Model Figures
Viserys is not known for his brilliant political decisions. Having turned down a marriage with Laena Velaryon, Viserys instead married Alicent Hightower, largely because she comforted him after the death of his wife and had his stone dragon rebuilt. It was a kind gesture, even if it didn’t make a brilliant political decision.
With Viserys so obsessed with his stone model of the Valyrian Freeholds, it was clear that he was always living in the past. Though fans usually discuss it like a man playing with Lego, he was actually just reminiscing on wonders that he had never even seen. Much like Viserys craves a challenge despite being in the midst of one, he fails to recognize that he is in control of a wondrous empire of his own, and it has caused him to make decisions that will likely lead to its decline.
Just Generally Tired
While Viserys has survived far longer than most fans expected, he has grown increasingly tired with every passing episode. After all, he has had to suffer through a thousand compounding problems with every new scene. From Daemon causing problems to rumors looming about Rhaenyra and the children fighting, he has had very few breaks.
The man just wants his family to get along, but they keep finding reasons to fight. If he had it his way, their lives would be a constant relaxing experience, where everyone is friends with everyone else. Instead, they experience fight after fight, and it’s clear that it bothers Viserys severely.
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