We had spent most of House of the Dragon with Daemon being estranged from his brother King Viserys, but there was a poignant moment in the last episode where we had Daemon putting the crown on a weakened Viserys after it falls off his head. As it turns out, that moment in the series was completely improvised by Smith.
Talking to Entertainment Weekly, director Geeta Patel explains:
“There was one moment in the throne room where Daemon helps Viserys up the stairs to the throne ’cause Viserys is so weak, he can’t make it himself. First, a soldier comes up to Viserys, and Viserys shakes him away and says, “No, no, no. I can do this myself.” He has the pride. And then another person comes to him and he thinks it’s a soldier and it’s actually his brother. When we were shooting that — I think the rehearsal again, the first day — the crown fell off of Paddy’s head and Matt picked it up and we just kept going. We didn’t stop [filming]. There was a discovery there of this moment. So then the three of us got together and they were like, “We felt this. This felt like the turning point in our relationship.” It’s just a silent moment.”
While the show has made it very evident that Viserys was not a good king, the show really emphasizes that he is, at least, a good man, and his final stand to help his daughter has been met with a lot of praise from fans.
Matt Damon has admittedly been getting a lot of praise for his role as Daemon, but the episode definitely belonged to Paddy Considine, who has added a lot of layers to the Viserys character that even George R.R. Martin admitted he couldn’t do when it came to the books.
Viserys may be gone, but the Dance of Dragons is yet to begin. Catch the next episode of House of the Dragon when it comes out Sunday on HBO Max.