Spoiler alert! If you haven't watched Episode 6, "A Golden Crown," yet, you're really doing yourself a disservice if you continue reading.
"I actually first heard about [Viserys' death] when I Wikipedia'd him before my first audition," Lloyd tells TVGuide.com "And then from reading the book and then the script, I was never any less than just thrilled. Best death ever. I did worry for a good 18 months about how to play that scene though. As someone who's read the books, I'm very glad they kept this death in faithfully."
It's a unique and rather grisly death to say the least. In the closing scene, a drunken Viserys (Lloyd) holds his pregnant sister Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) at swordpoint and demands that her husband Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) deliver the crown that Viserys was promised, or he'll cut out the unborn child. Drogo, ever the clever Dothraki punster, says that he'll give Viserys "a golden crown that men shall tremble to behold" and then coronates the would-be king by pouring molten gold over his head.
"The day before, we rehearsed the breaking of the arm and the struggling," Lloyd explains. "The gold seen poured is paint mixed with something like a plastic maybe... I can't remember. But I had a crazy smoke machine strapped to my front, and then to the back when the camera moved, so we had real smoke on-screen. The best bit was the golden kind of hat they molded to my head."
The scene took its toll on Lloyd both physically and emotionally. "I had to scream a lot," he says. "It wasn't liberating 'cause it wasn't like a 'King of the world!' cry of release. It was very tense and twisty, probably why you can hear a slightly gravelly Viserys in parts of the scene that we shot later on [out of sequence]."
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the death (other than using molten metal as a means of execution, of course) is Daenerys' passive participation as she stands by, tacitly condoning her brother's murder. When the deed is done, she declares, "He was no dragon; fire cannot kill the dragon." Viserys had never really treated his sister with any kindness, so it's possible that she feels some sort of relief now. Lloyd isn't so sure how fans will feel about the villainous Viserys' demise though.
"I have no idea," he says. "Hopefully, if the scene is true enough, it will be pretty shocking, so I don't expect the first reaction to be simple satisfaction, a 'glad he got his' kind of thing. But it's great it ends an episode because a lot suddenly happens in that scene and after Dany's brilliant final line, it gives you a chance to digest what happens. I think her reaction to it all is perhaps the most interesting thing about the scene."
As for Lloyd, he'll miss playing the fair-haired foe of the Baratheons. "I am sad, but it was also nice to play out the character beginning to end in one go," he says. "And you can't ever wish for a longer life when the death is so brilliant."
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
Will you mourn Viserys? What did you think of his death scene?