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House Of The Dragon Star Talks About That Grisly Scene From The Series Premiere

Paddy Considine, who plays King Viserys, has discussed the most shocking moment in the season premiere.


The long-awaited Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, finally premiered on August 21, and it contained a shocking, stomach-turning scene involving Aemma and King Viserys. Paddy Considine, who plays King Viserys, has now commented further on the gruesome scene and discussed what it was like to film.

Spoilers for House of the Dragon follows below.

In the series premiere, Viserys and his wife Aemma are expecting a child, and not just any child. This will be the heir to the throne. Viserys believes in his heart it will be the boy he so desperately wants. When the time comes, and labor begins, Aemma has trouble birthing the child. A maester suggests a new method involving cutting into the stomach to remove the baby. The resulting blood loss would likely kill the mother, so Viserys had to choose between saving his wife or his child.

He chose to save the child.

The ensuing scene was tough to watch, with Aemma, played by Sian Brooke, writhing and screaming in bed as the maester comes to cut her stomach open to remove the child. Viserys is kneeling at Aemma's side, holding her hand, as the baby is cut from her stomach. After losing so much blood, Aemma dies.

Viserys has a son, but the boy dies not long after he is born. Viserys ultimately decides to make Rhaenyra queen instead of trying again for another boy.

Considine spoke about this challenging scene in an interview with Collider, saying Brooke had "the biggest job of the day," considering it was such a long and physical shoot.

"There were a lot of technical things we were dealing with, with pipes pumping blood. You can't just do a half-performance, when doing that kind of thing. I think she lost her voice, by the end of the day, but it was just the more incredible for how she committed to it. It wasn’t very difficult for me to react the way I did, in that situation," Considine said.

As it happens, Considine and Brooke apparently only met soon before filming such a challenging and intimate scene.

"We had this fast track into the relationship. It's rare to connect that quickly with the material and with the person you're acting with, and we had to make that relationship really convincing, in the short space of time we were together, but I think we did. It was massive."

Considine said the death of his wife and losing his son was the "most pivotal moment in Viserys' life," and the fallout will play out throughout the show.

"That has implications that carry on and vibrate through the rest of the show, so that had to be believable, and Sian really delivered that one," Considine said.

Director Miguel Sapochnik told The Hollywood Reporter that making this scene so intense was meant to represent how difficult childbirth was in medieval times.

"We felt that was an interesting way to explore the fact that for a woman in medieval times, giving birth was violence. It's as dangerous as it gets. You have a 50/50 chance of making it. Many women didn't," he said. "If given the choice, the father would choose the child over the mother as a cesarean would kill you. It was an extremely violent part of life."

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