- "You don't want to wake the dragon, do you?"
- ―Viserys Taragaryen to Daenerys Targaryen
Viserys Targaryen is a major character in the first season. He is played by starring cast member Harry Lloyd and debuts in the series premiere. Viserys is the exiled head of House Targaryen and believes himself the rightful ruler of Westeros. He arranges the marriage of his younger sister Daenerys Targaryen to the dothraki Khal Drogo to provide the army he needs to retake his throne. He grows impatient with Drogo and threatens to kill Daenerys if Drogo does not deliver his crown as agreed. Drogo responds by crowning Viserys in molten gold, killing him.
Viserys is the son and heir of King Aerys II Targaryen, the former ruler of Westeros. Aerys was killed during the Sack of King's Landing during Robert's Rebellion. Viserys was safe with his pregnant mother in hiding at his family's ancestral castle on the island of Dragonstone. After his mother died in childbirth, Viserys and his baby sister Daenerys were smuggled to safety in the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea.
Viserys claims the title King of the Seven Kingdoms and refers to Robert Baratheon only as "the Usurper". After years spent fruitlessly wandering the Free Cities seeking military support to retake his throne, Viserys and Daenerys became guests of the powerful Magister Illyrio Mopatis in Pentos.
In the Free City of Pentos, across the Narrow Sea, Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen enjoy the hospitality of Magister Illyrio Mopatis. Viserys has arranged to wed Daenerys (also called 'Dany') to Khal Drogo, the warlord of a Dothraki khalasar of forty thousand warriors. In return, Drogo will give Viserys the manpower he needs to reclaim the Iron Throne.
During a brief presentation at Illyrio's home Dany meets Drogo's approval. Daenerys marries Drogo and a great celebration is held on the shore outside Pentos. Several Dothraki die in impromptu duels, which Illyrio says is a good sign: a Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair. The bride and groom receive many gifts, but for Dany two are particularly interesting. The first is a box containing three beautiful stones. According to Illyrio these are dragon eggs from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai. The second is a selection of books containing stories and songs from the Seven Kingdoms, given by Ser Jorah Mormont, an exiled knight of House Mormont. Ser Jorah swears fealty to Viserys as King and offers him his support and advice, which is accepted. For his gift, Drogo gives to Daenerys a beautiful white stallion. Viserys instructs his sister to make Drogo happy before Drogo takes her to consummate the union.
Viserys decides to travel with Drogo's khalasar until the bargain is fulfilled. Jorah suggests that Viserys remain at Illyrio's manse but Viserys ignores the advice. Whilst traversing the western edge of the Dothraki sea, near Qohor, Daenerys orders the khalasar to halt. Viserys is furious at Daenerys giving him orders and threatens her with a sword. Rakharo, her bodyguard, disarms Viserys and offers to kill him, but Daenerys spares his life. He is forced to walk rather than ride, a tremendous sign of weakness amongst the Dothraki. Daenerys becomes pregnant with Drogo's child.
The khalasar reaches the Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak. Viserys despises it as a city of sticks and mud huts and takes pleasure with Daenerys's slave, Doreah. Doreah makes him unhappy when she asks him about the dragons and their extinction. Later, Daenerys sends Doreah to Viserys with an invitation to dinner. Enraged at what he perceives as another order, Viserys drags Doreah by her hair to Daenerys. He strikes Daenerys and rants about his superiority. Daenerys hits him in the face with a heavy metal belt and warns him that the next time he raises his hands to her will be the last time he has hands. Illyrio visits King's Landing to meet with the King's Master of Whisperers, Varys. Illyrio confirms that Drogo does eventually mean to honor the bargain to invade the Seven Kingdoms, but will not move until his son is born.
Viserys grows increasingly agitated by Drogo's inaction and fears that Drogo will renege on his promise. Viserys brandishes a sword and threatens to take his sister away from Drogo and kill her unborn child unless he gives him what was promised, the crown of the Seven Kingdoms. The Khal acknowledges Viserys' wishes and promises him a "golden crown that men will tremble to behold". Viserys, believing himself victorious, lowers his guard and is restrained by Drogo's men. Drogo then kills him by pouring molten gold onto his head as the promised "crown" for his impudence. This makes Daenerys the rightful Targaryen heir to the Iron Throne.
|Season One appearances|
|Winter is Coming||The Kingsroad||Lord Snow||Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things||The Wolf and the Lion|
|A Golden Crown||You Win or You Die||The Pointy End||Baelor||Fire and Blood|
|Aegon V Targaryen|
"Aegon the Unlikely"
"Duncan the Small"
|Aerys II Targaryen|
"The Mad King"
|Elia Martell |
In the books
In the books Viserys is an ambitious, arrogant and power-hungry young man with a streak of cruelty and a famous temper, though he is occasionally affectionate towards his sister. The books give more detail in explaining just how much of a paper tiger Viserys is, and is largely consumed by delusions of grandeur. In the first chapter the Targaryens appear in, Viserys toys with a sword he borrowed from Illyrio while promising to kill Robert Baratheon in single combat. Daenerys notes to herself that Viserys has no idea how to use a sword, never owned his own sword, never had any kind of combat training, and is just a boy playing with a borrowed sword.
Nonetheless in the books Daenerys still shows some sympathy for Viserys after his death, though she does not regret that Drogo ultimately had to execute him. Dany notes that while Viserys was weak, petty, and cruel, he had spent most of his life as a frightened refugee after his entire family was killed and his home taken away, and thus he was largely a product of his hard childhood on the run. At the least, he had managed to keep Daenerys alive during their life in exile. In different circumstances he might have been a better person, and ultimately he was more pathetic than fearsome.
According to the TV series official pronunciation guide developed for the cast and crew, "Viserys Targaryen" is pronounced "Vi-SAIR-iss Tar-GAIR-ee-in".
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen - Viserys Targaryen entry
- ↑ HBO viewers guide, season 2 guide to houses, House Targaryen - Rhaella Targaryen entry
- ↑ "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "Winter is Coming"
- ↑ "The Kingsroad"
- ↑ "Lord Snow"
- ↑ "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things"
- ↑ "The Wolf and the Lion"
- ↑ "A Golden Crown"