House of the Dragon episode 1 has arrived on HBO Max. The Game of Thrones prequel already follows its predecessor by boasting an array of characters, backstabbing, sex, and lots of dragons. It’s been 3 years now since we last left Westeros in the GOT finale. It’s time for fans to return to the lands that introduced them to the Targaryens, Starks, Baratheons, and Lannisters. Set almost 200  years before the events of GOT, House of the Dragon will feature various key characters vying for the Iron Throne.

House of the Dragon primarily focuses on House Targaryen — the current ruling family. The series boasts an expansive cast of characters and here’s a guide to those we meet in House of the Dragon episode 1 premiering Sunday, August 21.

House Targaryen

Coming from Valyrian decent, this noble family left their homeland before its collapse. They are known as dragon-riders and were the first ruling house of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The successful conquest by King Aegon Targaryen started the 300 year rule over Westeros. In order to keep their bloodlines pure, Targaryens would marry siblings or cousins. Nothing new to the Game of Thrones fans. The Targaryens reign will see its challenge in House of the Dragon.

Viserys Targaryen played by Paddy Considine

Viserys Targaryen is the current ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. The Great Council chose Viserys to succeed his grandfather King Jaehaerys Targaryen as the fifth Targaryen king to sit on the Iron Throne. He was chosen over his elder cousin, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, because he was the king’s oldest male descendant.

Daemon Targaryen played by Matt Smith

Daemon Targaryen, played by Matt Smith, is King Viserys younger brother and presumptive heir. At least that’s what he believes. Daemon is a formidable warrior. He is the commander of the City Watch on King’s Landing. He has his eye on the Iron Throne, but other key figures do not believe he is fit to rule.

Rhaenyra Targaryen played by (Milly Alcock / Emma D’Arcy)

Rhaenyra Targaryen is King Visery’s first-born child. She rides a dragon named Syrax. She has experienced a life watching her father wish for a son to succeed him as king.

Rhaenys Targaryen played by Eve Best

Rhaenys Targaryen is the grandchild King Jaehaerys Targaryen, his oldest living descendat. She had a claim to the Iron Throne. Because the Great Council did not give her rule, she has been known as “the Queen Who Never Was.” King Viserys, her cousin, inheritated the crown instead. She is married to Lord Corlys Velaryon.

House Hightower

The Hightowers are known for wealth and their affiliation with the Tyrells. They are an old and powerful noble house in the region known as the Reach.

Otto Hightower played by Rhys Ifans

Ser Otto Hightower serves the King’s Hand, lead advisor, for King Viserys. He is loyal to both his king and the realm. He does not believe Prince Daemon Targaryen (Smith) is fit to be King Viserys’ heir. Otto and Daemon dislike each other. Otto is the father of Alicent Hightower.

Alicent Hightower played by (Emily Carey / Olivia Cooke)

Alicent is a close friend of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. She grew up in the Red Keep. She is described as one of the most attractive women in all of Westeros.

House Velaryon

The Velaryons hail from an old Valyrian bloodline just like the Targaryens. A noble house, the Velaryons are a key ally of House Targaryen. Their prosperity and family trees are intertwined. They boast the biggest navy in Westeros. They are very powerful and wealthy in House of the Dragon, but never appeared in Game of Thrones.

Corlys Velaryon played by Steve Toussaint

Corlys Velaryon, known as “The Sea Snake,” is Westeros’ most famous seafaring naval adventurer. Lord Corlys is married to Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. They have two children — Laena and Laenor Velaryon.

HBO’s House of the Dragon episode 1 is now streaming on HBO Max.


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