Guide to characters in Game of Thrones' spinoff House of the Dragon

Meet The Targaryens, Hightowers, and Velaryons: A guide to the characters in the new Game of Thrones’ prequel series House of the Dragon – and how they relate to the original show

  • Game of Thrones fans are avidly waiting for the release of the upcoming prequel show, The House of Dragon; but they won’t have to stand by much longer, as it is finally set to premiere on HBO this Sunday, August 21 
  • The 10-episode spinoff series – which takes place nearly 200 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones – will drop its first episode this weekend, with the rest airing weekly until the finale on October 23 
  • Created by Martin and Ryan Condal, the story is based off of a portion of George R. R. Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood, and it will showcase the history of the iconic Targaryen House
  • As fans of the beloved series know, the Targaryen House played a major role in the original story, as its descendants included Queen Daenerys Targaryen and Aegon Targaryen AKA Jon Snow
  • The new show will now dive into the murky past of the Targaryen’s, showcasing the bitter conflict over who will take over as heir to the throne, and the in-family fighting that tore them apart and lead to a civil war
  • But who can you expect to see in the series and how do they relate to the characters in the original show? FEMAIL made a guide to all the people in The House of Dragon, in preparation for the show’s premiere

Game of Thrones fans are avidly waiting for the release of the upcoming prequel show, The House of Dragon; but they won’t have to stand by much longer, as it is finally set to premiere on HBO this Sunday, August 21.

The 10-episode spinoff series – which takes place nearly 200 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones – will drop its first episode this weekend, with the rest airing weekly until the finale on October 23.

Created by Martin and Ryan Condal, the story is based off of a portion of George R. R. Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood, and it will showcase the history of the iconic Targaryen House – the former rulers of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.

As fans of the beloved series know, the Targaryen House played a major role in the original story, as its descendants included Queen Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke), and Aegon Targaryen AKA Jon Snow (played by Kit Harrington). 

Game of Thrones fans are avidly waiting for the release of the upcoming prequel show, The House of Dragon; but they won’t have to stand by much longer, as it is finally set to premiere on HBO this Sunday, August 21

The show, which is set to star Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, and Fabien Frankel, will showcase the history of the iconic Targaryen House. The cast is seen at the premiere

The 10-episode spinoff series – which takes place nearly 200 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones – will drop its first episode this weekend, with the rest airing weekly until the finale on October 23


But who exactly can you expect to see in the upcoming series and how do they relate to the characters in the original show? FEMAIL has made you a guide to all the people in The House of Dragon, in preparation for the show’s premiere

Viewers of the OG show got to watch the dynasty fall, after Robert Baratheon killed Daenerys’ brother Rhaegar Targaryen, and Jaime Lannister put his sword through her dad, Aerys II Targaryen, or better known as The Mad King’s back.

The new show will now dive into the murky past of the Targaryen’s, showcasing the bitter conflict over who will take over as heir to the throne as the current king prepares to end his rule, and the in-family fighting that tore them apart and ultimately lead to a civil war.

It’s set to star Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, and Fabien Frankel.

But who exactly can you expect to see in the upcoming series and how do they relate to the characters in the original show? FEMAIL has made you a guide to all the people in The House of Dragon, in preparation for the show’s premiere this weekend. 

Viserys I Targaryen, played by Paddy Considine

Viserys I Targaryen is the grandson of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and the current ruler of the Iron Throne. However, he is getting old – and the fight for who will take over as the next ruler is about to ensue

AVClub.com described the character, played by Paddy Considine, as a ‘pretty good guy, with a gentle disposition and an aversion to war and conflict’

EmpireOnline.com added that ‘he only wants to preserve the peace that his grandfather ruled over for 50 years,’ while Vulture also wrote that he’s a ‘friendly people pleaser’ who ‘has a hard time keeping his fractious advisers and associates in line’

Viserys I Targaryen is the grandson of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and the current ruler of the Iron Throne. However, he is getting old – and as his looming death nears, the fight for who will take over as the next ruler is about to ensue. 

While Viserys has named his teenage daughter, Rhaenyra, as his heir, his brother, Daemon, is determined to become king.

AVClub.com described the character, played by Considine, as a ‘pretty good guy, with a gentle disposition and an aversion to war and conflict,’ while EmpireOnline.com added that ‘he only wants to preserve the peace that his grandfather ruled over for 50 years.’ 

Vulture also wrote that he’s a ‘friendly people pleaser’ who ‘has a hard time keeping his fractious advisers and associates in line.’

Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Emma D’Arcy when she’s an adult and Milly Alcock when she’s a child

Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Emma D’Arcy during her adult years and Milly Alcock when she’s a child, is Viserys’ daughter and the chosen heir to the throne


Viserys’ choice in making his daughter the next leader is certainly controversial, as women were not allowed to rule during that time. AVClub.com reported, ‘She’s forced to prove her worth in a man’s world’ leading to ‘a major chip on her shoulder’

EmpireOnline.com added that while she is feuding with Daemon for the throne, she ‘genuinely adores him,’ warning viewers that their relationship will ‘get weird’ 

Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by D’Arcy during her adult years and Milly Alcock when she’s a child, is Viserys’ daughter and the chosen heir to the throne.

Viserys’ choice in making his daughter the next leader is certainly controversial, as women were not allowed to rule during that time.

AVClub.com explained, ‘Considering she’s a woman forced to prove her worth in a man’s world, Rhaenyra has a major chip on her shoulder.’

EmpireOnline.com added that while she is feuding with Daemon for the throne, she ‘genuinely adores him,’ warning viewers that their relationship will ‘get weird.’  

Daemon Targaryen, played by Matt Smith

Daemon Targaryen is the opposite of his peace-wielding older brother, with AVClub.com describing him as a ‘vicious, calculating dude’ and a ‘hothead’

Vulture added that while the two are ‘close,’ they could not be ‘more different,’ writing, ‘Daemon is a violent, womanizing rogue who, unlike Viserys, doesn’t much care what anyone thinks of him’

It also stated that he’s willing to ‘upend centuries of patriarchal custom’ to ensure he gets what he wants, explaining, ‘He believes he has the more legitimate claim to the Iron Throne, setting him up for a bloody reckoning with his niece Rhaenyra’

Daemon, who carries an enormous steel blade and rides on a massive red dragon, is played by Matt Smith and is also the leader of the police force in the city

Daemon Targaryen is the opposite of his peace-wielding older brother, with AVClub.com describing him as a ‘vicious, calculating dude’ and a ‘hothead.’

Vulture added that while the two are ‘close,’ they could not be ‘more different,’ writing, ‘Daemon is a violent, womanizing rogue who, unlike Viserys, doesn’t much care what anyone thinks of him.’

It also stated that he’s willing to ‘upend centuries of patriarchal custom’ to ensure he gets what he wants.

‘He has established himself as the greatest warrior of his generation,’ the outlet explained. ‘He believes he has the more legitimate claim to the Iron Throne, setting him up for a bloody reckoning with his niece Rhaenyra.’

Daemon, who carries an enormous steel blade and rides on a massive red dragon, is played by Smith and is also the leader of the police force in the city.

Alicent Hightower, played by Olivia Cooke when she’s an adult and Emily Carey when she’s a child

Viserys’ first wife, Aemma Arryn, passed away years before the show begins, and he is now remarried to a woman named Alicent Hightower, who is played by Olivia Cooke when she’s an adult and Emily Carey when she’s a child

She married Viserys when she was just 18 years old, and there’s rumors that she once had an affair with his brother, Daemon

She and Viserys have welcomed numerous sons together, so she is reportedly not too pleased that her husband has chosen Rhaenyra as the heir


However, EmpireOnline.com claimed that she is close with Rhaenyra, explaining, ‘Though the pair often differ in their approach to matters regarding the Throne’

Viserys’ first wife, Aemma Arryn, passed away years before the show begins, and he is now remarried to a woman named Alicent Hightower, who is played by Cooke when she’s an adult and Emily Carey when she’s a child.

AVClub.com reported that while he shared a ‘loving bond’ with Aemma, ‘The same can’t be said for his second marriage.’

Her father, Otto Hightower, is the Hand of the King; she married Viserys when she was just 18 years old, and there’s rumors that she once had an affair with his brother, Daemon.

She and Viserys have welcomed numerous sons together, so she is reportedly not too pleased that her husband has chosen Rhaenyra as the heir.

However, EmpireOnline.com claimed that she is close with Rhaenyra, explaining, ‘Though the pair often differ in their approach to matters regarding the Throne.’

Otto Hightower, played by Rhys Ifans

Otto Hightower, Alicent’s father and the adviser to the King, is ‘cooking up his own schemes,’ according to AVClub.com

‘Otto wields serious power,’ the outlet explained. It added that he’s a ‘fierce opposer’ of Daemon becoming king, since he sees him ‘as a dangerous loose cannon’

Vulture also described the character, who is portrayed by Ifans, as ‘ambitious,’ while EmpireOnline.com wrote, ‘We’re confident he’s going to be one of the great joys of season one’ 

Otto Hightower, Alicent’s father and the adviser to the king, is ‘cooking up his own schemes,’ according to AVClub.com. 

‘Otto wields serious power,’ the outlet explained. ‘He’s the Littlefinger of his time, supporting whichever successor will give him the cushiest position in court.’

It added that he’s a ‘fierce opposer’ of Daemon becoming king, since he sees him ‘as a dangerous loose cannon.’

Vulture also described the character, who is portrayed by Ifans, as ‘ambitious,’ while EmpireOnline.com wrote, ‘We’re confident he’s going to be one of the great joys of season one.’

Lord Corlys Velaryon, played by Steve Toussaint 

Lord Corlys Velaryon is the leader of the House Velayron – one of the closest allys to House Targaryen and the richest house in Westeros – and a good friend to King Viserys

He is the captain of a ship and is described by Vulture as ‘the most skilled seafarer in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, having embarked on a series of famous journeys to distant lands dubbed the Nine Voyages’

The character, who is played by Steve Toussaint, has now been dubbed ‘The Sea Snake’ because of his past adventures; he is married to one of Viserys’ cousins, named Rhaenys

Lord Corlys Velaryon is the leader of the House Velayron – one of the closest allies to House Targaryen and the richest house in Westeros – and a good friend to King Viserys.

He is the captain of a ship and is described by Vulture as ‘the most skilled seafarer in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, having embarked on a series of famous journeys to distant lands dubbed the Nine Voyages.’

The character, who is played by Toussaint, has now been dubbed ‘The Sea Snake’ because of his past adventures; he is married to one of Viserys’ cousins, Rhaenys Velaryon.

Rhaenys Velaryon, played by Eve Best

His wife, Rhaenys, has a complicated past. Before Viserys became king, she was one of the 14 people who attempted to gain the throne after his grandfather, King Jaehaerys, passed away

Vulture wrote that she is ‘an astute political observer’ but ‘loyal to her legendary husband,’ whom she shares two children with – a daughter named Laena and a son named Laenor 

Rhaenys, who is played by Eve Best, married Corlys when she was only 16, and rode into the wedding on a dragon

His wife, Rhaenys Velaryon, has a complicated past. Before Viserys became king, she was one of the 14 people who attempted to gain the throne after their grandfather, King Jaehaerys, passed away.

She ultimately lost her younger cousin because of ‘her gender,’ AVClub.com reported, which earned her the nickname ‘The Queen Who Never Was.’

Vulture wrote that she is ‘an astute political observer’ but ‘loyal to her legendary husband,’ whom she shares two children with – a daughter named Laena and a son named Laenor.

Rhaenys, who is played by Best, married Corlys when she was only 16, and rode into the wedding on a dragon.

Mysaria, played by Sonoya Mizuno

Mysaria, played by Mizuno, is one of the few characters in the show who did not descend from Westeros. Instead, she migrated to the Seven Kingdoms from the Free Cities, where she was a former slave 

While working as a sex worker, she meets Daemon and the two become engulfed in a love affair, leading to her ‘becoming arguably his most trusted advisers,’ according to Vulture, and ‘quickly (and secretively) rising through the ranks’

Mysaria, played by Mizuno, is one of the few characters in the show who did not descend from Westeros. Instead, she migrated to the Seven Kingdoms from the Free Cities, where she was a former slave.

AVClub.com explained that she ‘rose to power on the strength of her wits – and a few clutch connections.’ 

While working as a sex worker, she meets Daemon and the two become engulfed in a love affair, leading to her ‘becoming arguably his most trusted advisers,’ according to Vulture, and ‘quickly (and secretively) rising through the ranks.’ 

Ser Criston Cole, played by Fabien Frankel

Ser Criston Cole serves as the head of the Kingsguard, the same position which is later taken over by Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones

AVClubc.com reports that the ‘dashing knight’ finds himself ‘torn’ over ‘which horse to back as the next ruler of Westeros.’ It added that he once ‘professed his love to Princess Rhaenyra,’ which might make things a little complicated

Vulture also explained that while Criston, played by Frankel, is ‘one of the most formidable young knights in the Seven Kingdoms,’ he has ‘little power beyond the fast-rising fame he acquires via his prowess as a swordsman’ 

Ser Criston Cole serves as the head of the Kingsguard, the same position which is later taken over by Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones.

AVClubc.com reported that the ‘dashing knight’ finds himself ‘torn’ over ‘which horse to back as the next ruler of Westeros.’ 

It added that he once ‘professed his love to Princess Rhaenyra,’ which might make things a little complicated. 

Vulture also explained that while Criston, played by Frankel, is ‘one of the most formidable young knights in the Seven Kingdoms,’ he has ‘little power beyond the fast-rising fame he acquires via his prowess as a swordsman.’ 

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