HBO’s teasers for House of The Dragons point at something more interesting than GOT which is why everyone can’t wait to watch the Dance of the Dragons. The show will definitely have a better plot and interesting ending that GOT because it is based on books that George R. R. Martin already finished. The trailers have shown that the show will borrow heavily from the storyline in the books and the characters and objects including the Iron Throne are more in line with what is in the books compared to Game of Thrones.
200 years before the events in Game of Thrones, the Targaryens were a powerful house but as you will learn, the politics of King’s Landing still involved lots of backstabbing and cold-blooded murders just as it is in GOT. To enjoy the show, you need to know which characters will play the biggest role in the politics of the series and these 10 have the biggest…
To understand the character of Rhaenyra, you need to think of her as House of the Dragon’s Daenerys. The show follows Rhaenyra from a young age portrayed by Milly Alcock when she is declared heir to the throne by her father. A more bitter but determined version of her plays the biggest part of the show portrayed by Emma D’Arcy. Like Daenerys, Rhaenyra relies on the dragons to reclaim her birthright after the Hightowers who had the support of more houses and a bigger army. There is bound to be love and disappointment for the character because she is forced to transform into a ruthless queen by the betrayal and losses she and her family suffer through the years.
Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) is the Cersei Lannister of House of The Dragon who will do anything to retain her hold on King’s Landing and see her son ascend the throne. Alicent being the daughter of the Hand of the King Ser Otto Hightower, caused lots of controversy around the court. She is rumoured to have slept with the previous king Jaehaerys I Targaryen before his death. She also apparently slept with Daemon Targaryen. She, however, turns into Rhaenyra’s greatest enemy when she and her father sabotage the small council to confirm her son Aegon as the heir to the throne. Like Cersei, Alicent knows how to turn people to her will and can be very ruthless to her enemies.
Ser Otto Hightower
Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) is the show’s perfect version of Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones. Otto is loyal to his house and will see the empire burn to see his family rule the Seven Kingdoms. Otto’s greatest enemy is Daemon Targaryen whom he considers a threat to the realm. Ser Otto actually rules in place of Viserys I Targaryen as the foolish king is too detached from court politics. Otto ensures that Alicent marries Viserys and also takes part in the coup that saw Aegon crowned King instead of Rhaenyra. Like all cruel traitors, he ended up being beheaded but that was after he started a civil war.
Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) would be more like Jamie Lannister were it not for the fact that he indulged the beautiful ladies in the court as well as mistresses more than he indulged in court politics. Daemon wanted to rule the Seven Kingdoms but gave up that ambition when his brother took the throne accepting the humble second place instead. He fought for all the rights of his house, whoever that was even after his brother died and Rhaenyra became his wife. Daemon becomes the best war tested warrior in the camp of the Reds after Alicent and Otto take the iron throne. In the beginning, Daemon and Rhaenyra won’t start as friends and until he becomes the lord commander of the city watch, Daemon is only seen as an outcast in Viserys I Targaryen’s court.
King Viserys I Targaryen
Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is very similar to Robert Baratheon, an old king who has ignored his roles and court politics. Viserys chooses Alicent as his queen after Rhaenyra’s mother dies and the old king fails to notice as his kingdom splits into two factions that will later start the civil war. As a person, Viserys I is a lovable person who ignores the squabbles around him and focused on keeping the Seven Kingdoms united assuming that everyone around him was loyal and obedient to the rules of King’s Landing.
Corlys Velaryon aka The Sea Snake (Steve Toussaint) is the only person that isn’t a Targaryen to get so much attention in the book Fire and Blood. Corlys is the greatest master of ships to grace the small council having sailed to the farthest lands past Ashai which no one else has ever been to. Compared to Game of Thrones, Corlys is relatable to Tyrion Lannister except for the fact that he doesn’t get to serve as Hand of the King so many times. Having made house Velaryon the second most powerful house in Westeros and outliving most of the squabbling contenders in the dance of the dragon, you can be sure that Corlys will outlast most of the characters in the show and he will be a true spectacle to watch on the screen.
Prince Aegon II Targaryen
Aegon will be a major part of the Dance of Dragons in the show but his role won’t be seen until later in the show probably in the second or third season. Aegon was obviously a weak king that only got his fame because of the great houses that supported his grandfather Otto Hightower and Queen Alicent. It is not clear who will play the role because the call ups for the role came after the first season of the show was done filming.
The unity between Rhaenys (Eve Best) and Corlys made house Velaryon very powerful. Rhaenys was supposed to be the queen but the crown passed to Viserys I Targaryen because she was a woman which explains her support for Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne. Rhaenys will play the same role as Catelyn Stark, a great politician who understands the politics of Westeros and is willing to do the right thing. She is not as shrewd as the Hightowers but Rhaenys has lots of influence over the old folk that care about doing what is right per Viserys I.
Leanor Valeryon is gay, but being the son of Corlys and Rhaenys, he doesn’t have a choice but to do what his powerful parents tell him. A younger version of him is played by Theo Nate while an older Leanor is played by John MacMillan. Leanor is the first one to marry Rhaenyra and the wedding is even shown in the teasers but that marriage doesn’t last because of Leanor’s sexual interests. Being the son of the richest man in Westeros, Leanor is arrogant and stubborn.
Ser Criston Cole
Many people see Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) as the perfect comparison to The Mountain in Game of Thrones. It is obvious that Criston led the coup that saw Aegon II Targaryen ascend the throne over Rhaenyra. In the beginning, Rhaenyra actually had feelings for the handsome King’s Guard just like any other woman at court. Rhaenyra was later married to Leanor and then Demon, Cole’s archenemy. Just be sure that the relationship between Cole and Rhaenyra will start with love to hate as the show goes on and it will be one of the best stories in the show.
Are you looking forward to HBO’s House of The Dragon? Which character do you like the most? Do let us know in the comments below.