Harry Lloyd Explains How to Wake the Dragon

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By Steve Marzolf

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It’s not easy being a bad guy, especially an abusive, incestuous, entitled young king who’s been booted from his own realm. Harry Lloyd, who plays Viserys Targaryen, has coped with this by tapping into the ancient power of … Rationalization. “In the book, Viserys is only ever seen from his sister’s point of view,” Lloyd says. “So he does seem like this sort of totalitarian brat – because obviously his sister brings out the worst in him. When someone does something on the page, like, ‘Wow, that is so f**king intense.’ You either step back and write him off as a nutcase, or you think he must have a really good reason to do that.  So I got stuck into the reasoning and thought, ‘Actually, she’s not this sweet, lovable character who’s finding her own womanhood through this tribe. She’s a spoiled brat who just doesn’t get it. And if her father could see her now, he’d be ashamed …’ So then you just write your own story where you’re the good guy.”

Read the full Harry Lloyd interview on HBO.com