The other Game of Thrones prequel – House of the Dragon – is officially in production as of today, according to HBO’s official Thrones-related Twitter accounts.
The main cast was revealed earlier this year, but if you haven’t been an absolute GEEK like me like me and spent the last decade consuming every bit of A Song of Ice and Fire-related lore that you could get your hands on, these names may not look super familiar to you.
Don’t worry though! Here’s brief rundown of who each character is, as well as where they might fit into the story overall… With little to no spoilers. I do this because I care.
Fire Already Reigns
House of the Dragon’s official tagline is – “Fire will reign”. But since this is 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, it already does.
The show is based on George R.R. Martin’s fictional biography on the Targaryen family (Fire & Blood) and focuses on the events that transpire during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen – the fifth “dragon” to sit on the Iron Throne starting in 103 AC. For your reference, episode one of Game of Thrones takes place in the year 298 AC. “AC” refers to “After Conquest”, when the very first Targaryen King conquered Westeros and forged the Iron Throne.
This series takes place a few decades into King Viserys’ reign, and will mainly revolve around the infighting between Targaryens that eventually leads to their family line withering away to the state it ends up in when we first meet Daenerys and Viserys in GOT.
If I say anymore, it’s gonna be a spoiler. So with all of that being said, let’s meet our new contestants in everyone’s favorite Game!
Old Game, New Players
King Viserys I Targeryen (Paddy Considine)
Let’s start with the man on the Iron Throne. Not to be confused with Daenerys’ brother Viserys from Game of Thrones, King Viserys I Targaryen was the fifth Targaryen king to sit the world’s pointiest chair, ruling from 103 AC to 129 AC.
King V notably rode one of the biggest, baddest dragons of all time – Balerion the Black Dread. His reign was mostly prosperous and peaceful, but later began to crumble based on the feuds in his family. Anybody’s best guess is that this downfall is what House of the Dragon will be about.
Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith)
Undoubtedly one of the main characters of the show, Prince Daemon Targaryen is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s uncle, and younger brother of King Viserys.
Prince Daemon is a complete badass, and in the books wields the Valyrian steel blade “Dark Sister” (SICK name). He also has a dragon – named Caraxes. He’s a rogue, a prince, and a ladies’ man – who’s said to know every cut-purse, brothel owner, and gambler in Flea Bottom.
Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy)
A well-loved princess, commonly referred to as “the Realm’s Delight”. She’s got a dragon too (remember the magic number, three) – named Syrax.
Rhaenyra was the only child of King Viserys and his first wife, Lady Aemma of House Arryn (remember the Moon Door?) – after her two brothers died as infants “in the cradle”. This made her the heir apparent to King Viserys from a young age.
Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke)
Alicent Hightower was King Viserys’ second wife (and is the one that’s in the show, obviously). She’s Ser Otto Hightower’s daughter, who is the Hand of the King to King Viserys and also served as Hand for his father. The Hightowers are from Oldtown, which you may remember from Game of Thrones as where Sam goes to study to be a Maester for like two episodes.
Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint)
Corlys Velaryon, also known as the Sea Snake and Lord of the Tides, is the Lord of Driftmark, and head of House Velaryon. Driftmark, which is never mentioned in Game of Thrones, is just off the coast of Blackwater Bay.
House Velaryon is the only other House we’ve seen in the show thus far that shares the Targaryen’s Valyrian descent, with most of its members bearing similar physical attributes as the famous dragon-riding house.
Lord Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans)
Ser Otto Hightower served as Hand of the King to three kings, and is Alicent Hightower’s dad. As Hand of the Kinng, Ser Otto effectively ruled the Seven Kingdoms in place of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen while he was on his death bed. Once his son – King Viserys – was ready to sit the throne, Otto retained his duties as Hand.
Rhaenys Velaryon (Eve Best)
Rhaenys is Lord Corlys Velaryon’s wife. There’s very little more that I can type here that would not result in a spoiler.
Lady Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno)
Lady Mysaria is basically this show’s Varys. She’s a schemer and later is known as the “Lady of Whispers” and “Lady Misery” She’s a dancer from Lys who is involved with Prince Daemon.
Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel)
Ser Criston Cole is a knight and member of King Viserys I Targaryen’s Kingsguard. Once again, there is very little more I can say here without spoiling stuff.
So, what’s gonna happen? I bet there’s gonna be some killing, some scheming, proooooobably more than a little bit of incest, and definitely more than a few dragons.
If you’d like to go into House of the Dragon as spoiler-less as possible, I would strongly recommend against searching for these character’s names or their wikis… For the internet is dark and full of spoilers.
House of the Dragon premieres on HBO in 2022.