house of the dragon viserys

Why Is Viserys Dying in House of the Dragon? Answered

Here's why Viserys is dying in House of the Dragon.

At first glance, Viserys doesn’t exactly seem like the type of guy who deserves and form of pity. After all, he’s the king, and in the first episode, he let his wife die a horrible, gnarly death in childbirth. But after looking at the physical toll being king has taken on him, it’s hard not to feel a bit of sympathy at this point. Here’s why Viserys is dying in House of the Dragon.

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Why Is Viserys Dying in House of the Dragon?

First off, Viserys is still very much alive by the end of the fifth episode. He coughs up blood while Rhaenyra gets married to Laenor, and he eventually collapses. However, as we’ve seen in the episode 6 preview, he’s still alive and even lives to a fairly old age, though he still looks physically weak.

Viserys’ slow death is being caused by a form of leprosy, as actor Paddy Consadine has revealed on EW’s West of Westeros podcast. Consadine states that this illness has completely taken over his body, and results from the stress and mental toll that comes from trying to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

This is a very literal explanation, but it’s clear that the audience is also meant to see his illness as a metaphor for his reign as well.

Viserys’ Weaknesses

Over the course of the first five episodes, we’ve seen that Viserys has sustained a few cuts and injuries just from sitting on the Iron Throne, and they’ve all refused to heal. A little cut he got on his finger quickly escalated into something more problematic, and resulted in him having to amputate two of his fingers.

In episode 5, the symptoms become more obvious as he’s coughing up blood, he looks even weaker, and he finally collapses at the end of the episode. All of this is in line with the public perception of him as a weak king. The fact that he sustains so many injuries just from sitting on the Iron Throne is meant to be symbolic of how he has little agency as a ruler, and even the bold decisions that he does make often backfire against him.

We’re meant to view his illness as a sign of weakness on his part as king, which also implies that he’s not fit to rule at all. Considering how easily manipulated he is by the people around him, it makes sense that his eventual end won’t come from a glorious battle or any big event like this, but from his own weakness.

That’s all you need to know about why Viserys is dying in House of the Dragon. Be sure to search for Twinfinite for more news and information on the show, including why Alicent saved Criston, and why Criston beat up Joffrey at the wedding.

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Zhiqing Wan
Zhiqing is the Reviews Editor for Twinfinite, and a History graduate from Singapore. She's been in the games media industry for nine years, trawling through showfloors, conferences, and spending a ridiculous amount of time making in-depth spreadsheets for min-max-y RPGs. When she's not singing the praises of Amazon's Kindle as the greatest technological invention of the past two decades, you can probably find her in a FromSoft rabbit hole.