game of thrones

Harry Lloyd, Game of Thrones’ Viserys Targaryen, Reviews Who Has the Best Claim to the Throne

Harry Lloyd. Photo: Reimschuessel/Corbis

Beggar king Viserys Targaryen got his crown of gold back in season one of Game of Thrones. (Not exactly what he’d had in mind.) The actor who portrayed him, Harry Lloyd, finds himself crowned king of Twitter in his new fictional web series, “Supreme Tweeter,” when Kim Jong-un — apparently a GoT fan — starts following him. Lloyd, who had a hand in creating the series and plays a version of himself, managed to snag Maisie Williams and George R.R. Martin for cameo roles. During a Skype conversation in one episode, Martin tries to reveal the ending of the series to Lloyd, “but he’s too consumed by his own career, and he hangs up on him,” the actor laughed. Ahead of the season-five premiere, Vulture sought Lloyd’s assessment of the possible supreme leaders of Westeros — who has the best claim to the throne? Who would make the best ruler? Here’s his review of the main contenders, based on the current state of affairs.

Tommen Baratheon
“He seems extremely vulnerable,” Lloyd said. “He’s a puppet waiting for a hand, really, so I think it’s as unstable as it’s ever been.” With Tywin’s death, Tommen lacks a strong hand and doesn’t seem to know his own position on any issues. “I don’t think he’s what the realm needs, and I don’t think he’s going to bring any kind of stability to the realm.” For what it’s worth, Lloyd doesn’t think Tommen will rule “for much longer.”

Myrcella Baratheon
Tommen’s older sister was skipped over in King’s Landing, but in Dorne, her right to rule might be recognized. “I think that would come with its own set of controversy,” Lloyd said, “if she’s the first-ever queen.” Well, save for Rhaenyra Targaryen, who was named heir to the throne by her father, although her claim remained in dispute. “I think that’s an interesting precedent,” Lloyd said. “I think that with Daenerys potentially coming over, the idea of a female on the throne will be something that’s going to come up soon. But I don’t think Myrcella is necessarily the one to pioneer that, and it would give the Dornish court a huge amount of influence and power.”

The last of King Robert’s bastards left alive, he was last seen escaping Stannis and Melisandre. “I’m really glad he’s still around,” Lloyd said. “I think he’s someone who shows good character. But even if he were a bit older, he’s not someone who could get in the corridors of power. He has no real experience.” And more important, he doesn’t want it. “I think anyone who wants to be king would have to really want it. The main problem with him is his reluctance rather than his capability.”

Stannis Baratheon
Technically, as the last of King Robert’s brothers left alive, he has the strongest claim to the throne, “but only if the [Lannister] incest became public.” Despite Stannis’s likability issues, Lloyd is a fan. “Everyone’s aware that he’s not the most charismatic of leaders, but he’s persistent, he’s able, he’s strong, and he’s principled,” Lloyd said. “I imagine some kind of an alliance between him and the North, and then they can work their way South, to King’s Landing.” But his “dangerous relationship with the Red Woman,” Melisandre, is troubling. “I guess when you take him, you take her as well.”

Daenerys Targaryen
Lloyd’s on-screen little sister is getting stronger each season, and he enjoys watching “the different lessons she’s learning, both in warfare and in politics, in terms of trusting and building up this council around her.” She has a “natural belief in her own superiority,” which is both dangerous and necessary for a ruler relying upon dragons. “Obviously, I have Targaryen sympathies,” Lloyd laughed, but even without his bias, “I’d still like to see her over there, ruling Westeros,” even if she wouldn’t be able to return to the “Targaryen way of ruling.” (“She has no relatives, so it wouldn’t be a pure bloodline anymore,” he pointed out. “But that’s probably why they imploded. The more incestuous they got, the crazier they got.”) But to get there, she’s going to have to learn to train (and ride) her dragon(s). Viserys passed down some of the knowledge he had from their father and from books, but Daenerys has been learning by doing, via her emotional connection with her “children.” “I think the wisdom she has now is all learnt practically, whereas any wisdom Viserys had was all hypothetical, which only helps you so much,” Lloyd said. And even if she does gain the throne, “I can’t picture a happy Seven Kingdoms,” he laughed. “You always imagine in a romantic way how Jon Snow would leave the Wall, and Daenerys and all the good guys would win. But there’s going to be a lot more blood spilled in Westeros.” Unless …

The one peaceful resolution to the whole story would be if Hodor, who has absolutely no claim to the throne and wouldn’t want the throne, would be king, Lloyd laughed. “Hodor would be my choice, because you know exactly where you stand with him,” he said. “I think he’s the most honest person in the Seven Kingdoms. He’s clearly dealt with a lot in his life, and he still comes back for more. He’s extremely loyal. And he’ll have a clarity of vision. He’s not going to try to manipulate the people around him. I think he’s a wonderful figurehead.”

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