House of the Dragon: Your Guide to the Characters and Their Intriguing Stories
Confused about the complex web of relationships in HBO’s House of the Dragon? Look no further! In this comprehensive character guide, we will dive into the fascinating world of House Targaryen and their fight for the Iron Throne. House of the Dragon, a highly anticipated prequel to Game of Thrones, is based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood” book series. Set 200 years before the events of the famous show, it revolves around the Dance of the Dragons, a brutal civil war during the Targaryen rule. Let’s explore the key characters and their intertwined stories!
King Jaehaerys I Targaryen (the Old King)
Played by Michael Carter, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, also known as the Old King, had a remarkable reign that lasted nearly six decades. He ruled over a peaceful kingdom and fathered thirteen children. However, all his heirs tragically died, leading to his grandson, Viserys, ascending the Iron Throne.
King Viserys Targaryen
Paddy Considine portrays King Viserys Targaryen, the fifth ruler of the Targaryen dynasty, and the son of the Old King. After Jaehaerys’ passing, Viserys became the monarch. He married Queen Aemma Arryn, with whom he had a daughter named Rhaenyra, a pivotal character in the series. Following Aemma’s death, Viserys remarried Alicent Hightower, and together they had three children.
Matt Smith brings Daemon Targaryen to life, the younger brother of King Viserys. A skilled swordsman, Daemon is known for his unpredictability and knack for showing up unexpectedly. His character plays a vital role in the series as a fearless warrior. Throughout his life, Daemon faced the tragic loss of two wives but had two children with his second wife, Laena Velaryon.
Rhaenyra, portrayed by Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy, is King Viserys’ first-born daughter. Her fierce and independent nature adds depth to House of the Dragon. Rhaenyra is married to Laenor Velaryon and has three children: Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey. However, rumors circulate that her children may not all be fathered by Laenor.
Often referred to as the “Queen Who Never Was,” Rhaenis (played by Eve Best) is the granddaughter of the Old King. Despite her rightful claim to the Iron Throne, her brother Viserys was chosen instead. Rhaenis married Corlys Velaryon, the leader of House Velaryon, and had two children: Laena and Laenor.
Aegon Targaryen, portrayed by Ty Tennant, is a self-centered prince. His grandfather’s manipulating actions to secure his position as the heir have shaped Aegon’s arrogant personality. He often neglects his duties and involves himself in political turmoil within the kingdom.
House Velaryon, led by Corlys Velaryon (played by Steve Toussaint), holds significant influence in House of the Dragon.
Often known as “the Sea Snake,” Corlys is a wealthy man and former explorer. He commands the Velaryon navy, with his brother Vaemond serving as a commander. Corlys is married to Rhaenys Targaryen, solidifying his power at court. Although he does not always agree with the King’s decisions, his influence is undeniable. Corlys and Rhaenys have two children: Laena and Laenor Velaryon.
John Macmillan portrays Laenor Velaryon, a brave and skilled knight. He is married to Rhaenyra Targaryen and displays unwavering love for his wife, even though he is aware that their children may not all be his own.
Rhys Ifans plays Otto Hightower, who once served as Viserys’ Hand. Otto becomes obsessed with securing his grandson Aegon’s claim to the throne, resulting in his removal from the Council.
Played by Olivia Cooke, Alicent Hightower is King Viserys’ wife. She has been entangled in schemes and political disputes, transforming her into a formidable and powerful woman. A fierce rivalry ensues between Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra as they both vie for power.
Matthew Needham portrays Larys Strong, the sole surviving member of House Strong. Known as “The Clubfoot,” Larys possesses a cunning wit, similar to Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones. Initially underestimated due to his physical appearance, Larys proves to be a shrewd and influential player in the kingdom. Queen Alicent eventually grants him a position of power.
Fabien Frankel portrays Criston Cole, a skilled knight in the Kingsguard. Renowned for his swordsmanship surpassing even that of Prince Daemon, Criston initially served Rhaenyra. However, he later switches allegiance to Queen Alicent.
Graham McTavish brings Harrold Westerling to life, a devoted member of the Kingsguard who has served since the time of the Old King. He acts as Rhaenyra’s protector throughout the series.
Now that you are well-acquainted with the main characters in House of the Dragon, it’s time to immerse yourself in the epic series on HBO Max. Amidst the intricate web of rivalries and alliances, moments of humanity and unexpected twists await you. Enjoy the journey!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is House of the Dragon a sequel to Game of Thrones?
No, House of the Dragon is a prequel to Game of Thrones. It is set 200 years before the events depicted in the original series.
2. Who is the main protagonist in House of the Dragon?
House of the Dragon features an ensemble cast and focuses on the Targaryen family as a whole. However, Rhaenyra Targaryen holds a significant role and undergoes substantial character development throughout the series.
3. How many seasons are planned for House of the Dragon?
As of now, House of the Dragon has been renewed for a second season. The exact number of seasons beyond that is yet to be determined.
4. Do I need to watch Game of Thrones before watching House of the Dragon?
While House of the Dragon is a standalone series, having some familiarity with the events and lore of Game of Thrones can enhance your viewing experience. However, it is not mandatory to watch the original series before diving into House of the Dragon.
5. Are there dragons in House of the Dragon?
Absolutely! House of the Dragon delves into the Targaryen legacy, renowned for their dragon-riding ancestry. Dragons play a pivotal role in the series and add an element of awe-inspiring fantasy to the narrative.
Now that you have a better understanding of House of the Dragon’s characters, sit back, relax, and let the enthralling world of Westeros unravel before your eyes. Happy watching!