Did 'Game of Thrones' Viserys return to Westeros for finale?

Spoiler alert: Some fans thought the actor who played Daenerys' evil brother returned as her similarly coiffed other brother, Rhaegar. Talk about blonde ambition.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

One shaggy blonde Targaryen looks a lot like another.

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

(Warning: "Game of Thrones" spoilers ahead.)

Sunday night's "Game of Thrones" season finale left fans of the HBO fantasy hit with plenty of questions. Will Daenerys end up pregnant from that romantic night on the boat? Is Tyrion jealous of that whole relationship? Will Tormund survive the attack on the wall? What is Euron's endgame here, and can Theon please kill him off slowly and painfully? What kind of workouts does Kit "Jon Snow" Harington do to get such a perfectly shaped butt?

We can't answer most of those, but there's one much-raised question we can answer. Bran Stark did his three-eyed-raven time-travel thing and watched his aunt Lyanna Stark wed Rhaegar Targaryen, making Jon Snow legitimate after all, and neither a Snow nor a Jon. After watching that brief scene, plenty of people thought the actor playing Rhaegar looked familiar.

Turns out it's not the same actor. English actor Harry Lloyd played Viserys -- you remember his lust for a golden crown being satiated by Khal Drogo back in season one. And Welsh actor Wilf Scolding (best last name ever) played Rhaegar in the season 7 finale.

Here's Lloyd as Viserys on the left, next to Scolding as Rhaegar on the right. In the finale, Scolding was only seen in shadow, and just for a few seconds, so it's easy to get confused.


That's Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) on the left, and his older brother Rhaegar (Wilf Scolding) on the right. Same wig? Same hair salon? Same box of Miss Clairol?

HBO/Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, CNET

And although it's not the same actor, a lot of fans think it might just be the same hair.

Will Rhaegar and his hair make another flashback appearance in the final season? Fans may have to wait till 2019 to find out. It's enough to make a Targaryen flip their wig.

Star Wars at 40: Celebrate the ways the sci-fi saga has impacted our lives.

Logging Out: A look at death in the digital age.

New 'Game of Thrones' trailer, dissected shot by shot

See all photos