House of the Dragon Family Trees: Explaining the New Players of the GoT Prequel

HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon, premieres Aug. 21! Here's everything you need to know about the new players in Westeros.

By Corinne Heller, Alli Rosenbloom Aug 21, 2022 10:00 AMTags
Watch: "Game of Thrones": How the Franchise Will Continue to Live On

Bow down to your new dragon masters.

Aug. 21 marks the premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon. So, what exactly should you know about House of the Dragon?

Well, the new series focuses on "Mother of Dragons" Daenerys Targaryen's ancestors from House Targaryen. The series takes place hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones, which ended in 2019. Of course, there are more than just Targaryens in King's Landing, as other prominent families find themselves looking to make powerful alliances. It is a Game of Thrones prequel after all.

Thankfully the cast—which includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Fabien Frankel, Steve Toussaint and Eve Best—gave a break down for these new Westeros players during their appearance at Comic-Con 2022 on July 23. Also in attendance: George R.R. Martin, the show's co-creator and author of the 2018 novel Fire & Blood that inspired the series and which depicts the history of House Targaryen. The family was first introduced in his A Song of Ice and Fire novels, on which Game of Thrones was based.

Game of Thrones Prequel House of the Dragon: First Look

Martin said at the Comic-Con panel that there's no defined hero or villain in House of the Dragon, adding, "There's certainly evil."

Cooke, who plays Alicent Hightower, daughter of the Hand of the King, said there is a "massive pressure that we feel to give you guys what you want but also make it different and put our own stamp on it." She added, "I just hope you like it."

See the cast in and out of costume and find out more about their characters:

Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen

King Viserys Targaryen was chosen by the Lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings.

At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Considine said his character is a "kind man" who is "trying to keep the peace time going within the kingdom."

He added, "He's a man who cares about things...but he's also carrying something else, a kind of secret that's revealed in the show that kind of refers to the possible fall of man."

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen

The younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower

The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.

Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

The king's first-born child, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.

Milly Alcock plays a younger version of the character.

As for what drives Rhaenyra? "Fire," D'Arcy said at Comic-Con 2022. "I think Rhaenyra is fueled by that old Targaryen stuff...working out when to let that fire burn and when to dampen it."

Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon

He is Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As "The Sea Snake," the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.

At Comic-Con, Toussaint said his character a "famed nautical man."

Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole

Of Dornish descent, the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. Cole has no claim to land or titles; all he has to his name is his honor and his preternatural skill with a sword.

Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon

Princess Rhaenys, played by Eve Best, is a dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, "The Queen Who Never Was" was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male.

Eve said the title of "The Queen That Never Was" really pisses off her character, adding, "She should've been the queen and it's kind of annoying that she isn't."

Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria

She who came to Westeros with nothing and has been sold more times than she can recall. She could have wilted... but instead she rose to become the most trusted—and most unlikely—ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne.

Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower

The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.

House of the Dragon has been nominated for Most Anticipated New Show at the 202 TV Scoop Awards. You can vote here.

(A version of this story was originally published July 23, 2022 at 3:22 p.m. PT)

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