Viserys Targaryen

played by Harry Lloyd

Prince of House Targaryen...

Character Bio

Prince of House Targaryen, whose father, the "Mad" King Aerys was usurped by King Robert. Viserys lives in self-exile with his sister Daenerys and is obsessed with regaining his family's throne.


Harry Lloyd was first discovered by a BBC casting agent at the age of 15 whilst rehearsing a play at Eton College. He was swiftly cast as Steerforth in their Christmas costume drama of 1999, 'David Copperfield,' alongside Sir Ian McKellen and the young Daniel Radcliffe. Having secured an agent, he went on to appear with Martin Clunes in ITV's 'Goodbye Mr Chips' a few years later. Slightly worried he would spend his career in period costume, Lloyd was thrilled to be cast as the murderer in an episode of 'Murder Investigation Team' before leaving school for Oxford University.

After Oxford, he appeared in 'A Comedy of Errors' alongside Felicity Jones on an OUDS tour to Japan, produced by Thelma Holt.

Upon his return, Lloyd made appearances as misguided young men in 'The Bill' and 'Holby City,' before being cast in ITV's 6-part series 'Vital Signs,' starring Tamzin Outhwaite. The show's producers were so impressed with Lloyd's portrayal that they immediately cast him as Will Scarlett in their upcoming family series for BBC 1, 'Robin Hood' - flying him out to shoot the drama/adventure in Budapest the day after wrapping VS in North London.

Before returning to Budapest to film the second series, Lloyd continued to prove his wide-ranging talent. He filmed BBC 1's 'Heroes and Villains' opposite Steve Waddington, and 'Dr Who' with David Tennant, in which he played the lead villain in a double-bill episode. Russell T. Davies liked Lloyd's audition so much, he expanded the role of the alien ‘Son of Mine' into the story's lead guest part.

Lloyd received stand-out reviews for his performance in Neil LaBute's 'Bash,' as John, the all-American college student who relives his horrific murder of a gay man in Central Park. After returning to Sherwood Forest in 2007, and keen to get back to the theatre after seven months in front of the camera, Harry immediately started work on 'The Good Family,' part of a double-bill Upstairs at the Royal Court. Once this Swedish comedy was open, Lloyd was able to begin rehearsals for Jonathan Kent's West End revival of Edward Bond's 'The Sea,' starring Dame Eileen Atkins and David Haig.

Lloyd followed this by playing Prince Rupert in Channel 4's award-winning drama 'The Devil's Whore,' with a cast of Britain's finest including Andrea Riseborough, Michael Fassbender and Dominic West. And before returning to the West End once again, Lloyd created the role of Alex in BBC's comedy series 'Taking the Flak,' replacing Mackenzie Cook's character from the pilot.

His next play was Linday Posner's ‘perfectly pitched' [Whatsonstage] and ‘outstanding revival' [The Independent] of Arthur Miller's 'A View From the Bridge,' starring Ken Stott, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Hayley Atwell. He returned from that play's national tour to rehearse with director Bijan Sheibani for Rebecca Lenkiowicz's new translation of 'Ghosts' at the Arcola Theatre. Whatsonstage called his performance ‘superb' and Lloyd was nominated for an Ian Charleson award for his portrayal of Osvald, Ibsen's classic hero who is fraught with guilty demons as he struggles against the syphilitic madness which is slowly killing him.

By the time the play had finished its run in summer 2009, Lloyd had been cast in his next two projects, 'Game of Thrones' and the play 'The Little Dog Laughed,' by Douglas Carter Beane. Days after the final show, Harry was in Derbyshire making his movie debut in Cary Fukunaga's 'Jane Eyre,' starring Mia Wasikiwska, Michael Fassbender and Judi Dench amongst many others.

Interview with Harry Lloyd


How did you get ready for Viserys' violent "crowning" scene?

Harry Lloyd

I thought a lot about the drunkenness of it. Drunk acting can be horrible to watch, if it's too pantomime. I had to stagger around the hotel for a couple days before we shot it and worked out my drunken walking. When you've got to scream and shout, it's pretty straightforward comparatively. Then you know that you've just got to give everything you have. Once your arm is broken and you're down on the ground, how many different ways can you scream for your life?


What goes through your mind when that molten gold hits the top of your head?

Harry Lloyd

I've never had to die on camera before, let alone in such a grisly way. So you just have to kind of give it everything. You talk to the two actors holding you and say, ‘Let's not pansy around here. I'm gonna absolutely try and get out of this, so don't let me.' Then, you let it rip. It can't be some sort of half-assed whimpering - you've got to really believe the pain and the fear. It's actually quite liberating.


Speaking of liberating, you had some great, evil lines throughout the season, any favorites?

Harry Lloyd

There are so many bits and moments that people say, "Oh, I love that line." And I've got to admit, I love them too. When I was doing them, these lines were gifts. I just had to try not to enjoy them too much and play the smiling villain all the time. That line in the pilot when he quietly says to her [adopts creepy Viserys voice], "I'd let his whole tribe f**k you. All 40,000 men and their horses too, if that's what it took." After that, you know exactly where this guy's coming from. It's not like he's running around talking about the council, and things are a bit unclear. He's obsessive, like a serial killer.


But this episode's scene with Jorah, where Viserys tries to steal the eggs, is the most vulnerable we've seen him ...

Harry Lloyd

When I first read that scene, I wasn't sure how to do it at all. These are his deepest secrets, his actual fears, and he wouldn't show that to Mormont. From the very start, I felt that the whole way through the story he's just terrified and can't let on ... and that's why he does so many of the things he does. In that scene with Mormont, I'd never planned to make it very vulnerable; I just tried to do a really good job of covering it up. But, in the take they used, you suddenly see how kind of pathetic he is.


Will Daenerys miss her brother at all?

Harry Lloyd

Yeah, I think she'll miss him. There were things we haven't seen in the series. He brought her up pretty much since birth. And I think there were definitely very tough times for her with him, but I think there must have been times when he sat down and told her these stories of Westeros. Even if you do have an abusive parent or brother, there's definitely an attachment there because you don't know anything else.


Do you think she's better off without him?

Harry Lloyd

Yeah, I think she is. And I think it probably needed to be done. It probably would have happened another way, if it he hadn't rashly walked in drunk. I don't think you can live with the Dothraki with that kind of attitude for very long without coming to some kind of harm.

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