‘It is dangerous’: George RR Martin appears to confirm Viserys House of the Dragon theory

Fans were curious about the nature of the king’s illness in the hit HBO series

Roisin O'Connor
Friday 28 October 2022 07:42 BST
George RR Martin says he's three quarters through The Winds of Winter

George RR Martin appears to have all but confirmed a fan theory surrounding the health of Viserys in House of the Dragon.

The fantasy author behind HBO’s Game of Thrones and its spin-off prequel series appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to discuss his new illustrated book, The Rise of the Dragon: A History of the Targaryen Dynasty (Volume One).

During the interview, he spoke about the artists who helped to realise the scenes he imagined in his books.

As Colbert showed the audience a portrait of the Iron Throne, it was revealed that Martin originally envisaged the legendary royal seat to be much larger than the version we see in Game of Thrones or House of the Dragon.

“It looks a little dangerous,” Colbert commented.

“It is!” Martin replied. “It’s supposed to be. A lot of the kings cut themselves on it and sometimes it gets infected. The original Iron Throne in the books is very tall, and the king sits up there and he’s like 10, 15 feet above everybody, looking down on the people.”

During the early episodes of House of the Dragon season one, King Viserys’s (Paddy Considine) health is shown to be in decline, but the exact nature of his condition is never confirmed.

Fans, however, eventually deduced that he was likely suffering from a condition similar to “necrotising fasciitis”, which the NHS says can lead to black blisters on the skin.

In episode one, Viserys mentions having recieved a “small cut from sitting on the throne”.

“I wonder what’s wrong with Viserys, in like today’s medical terms, or if it’s a fictional disease,” one Twitter user wrote as the season continued.

“I don’t remember anything in Fire + Blood or WoIaF. At first I thought a staph infection, then necrotising fasciitis but do either of those move that slowly?”

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Martin’s remark about infections appears to confirm this theory.

“And [the Iron Throne] was made by blacksmiths, it’s not pretty, it’s not symmetrical, it’s full of hundreds and hundreds of swords, but when we got to making Game of Thrones… we didn’t have a tall enough ceiling to get it in there,” he said of the throne’s design in the series.

Earlier this year, during an interview with The Independent, Martin spoke about the “magical” experience of first seeing his novels brought to life on a TV set.

“It was magical,” said the author of his first visit to the set of Game of Thrones in 2010. “It was like: here are my characters, they’ve come to life. They’re saying the things they said. The scene is pretty much as I imagined it when I wrote it. There’s nothing like that.”

Martin has also revealed he is about “three quarters” of the way through his highly anticipated and much-delayed book, The Winds of Winter.

The finale of House of the Dragon season one aired earlier this week, with fans spotting a disturbing detail in one stand-out scene.

The Independent’s critic Amanda Whiting has also gone through what showrunners got right (and very wrong) over the past 10 episodes.

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