A quick guide to every 'House of the Dragon' character you should know

A quick guide to every 'House of the Dragon' character you should know
House of the Dragon character guide
The Targaryen and Velaryon family in "House of the Dragon."Ollie Upton / HBO
  • "House of the Dragon" premieres on HBO and Sky Atlantic this week.

  • The prequel series focuses on important Westeros families like Targaryens and Velaryons.

  • Insider is here to help with a quick guide to all the major characters you need to know.

The precluding story to "House of the Dragon" begins with the death of King Jaehaerys Targaryen.

House of the Dragon character guide
Michael Carter as Jaehaerys Targaryen.Ollie Upton / HBO

Jaehaerys Targaryen ruled for decades, ushering in a long period of peace in Westeros.

King Jaehaerys's successor on the Iron Throne was his grandson Viserys Targaryen.

House of the Dragon character guide
Paddy Considine originally turned down a role in "Game of Thrones" but now he stars as the king of Westeros.Ollie Upton / HBO

Since King Jaehaerys had no living sons by the time his death was near, he chose to let a Great Council select the next ruler of the Iron Throne. That council selected Viserys, maintaining the rule that only men could inherit the most powerful seat in Westeros.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is at the center of the brewing unrest in "House of the Dragon." She is the daughter and only child of Viserys at the start of the show.

House of the Dragon character guide
Milly Alcock plays Rhaenyra during her younger years whereas Emma D'Arcy will play the older Rhaenyra.Ollie Upton / HBO

Rhaenyra is played by two different actors over the course of "House of the Dragon" season one. In the first episode, she is about 14 years old and considered to be the "Realm's Delight" — a beloved princess of House Targaryen.

Queen Aemma Targaryen is Viserys' wife and the mother of Princess Rhaenyra.

House of the Dragon character guide
Sian Brooke portrays Aemma Targaryen in the series.Ollie Upton / HBO

When we meet Aemma at the start of "House of the Dragon," she is very pregnant with a child who Viserys hopes will be his male heir.

Prince Daemon Targaryen is the brother of King Viserys, and known for his dastardly antics in Westeros.

House of the Dragon character guide
Matt Smith plays the renowned prince Daemon Targaryen.Ollie Upton / HBO

Daemon is a fierce fighter and dragon rider. In lieu of any direct male heirs from King Viserys and Queen Aemma, Daemon is next in line for the Iron Throne.

Mysaria is a trusted ally (and lover) to Prince Daemon Targaryen.

House of the Dragon character guide
Mysaria is played by Sonoya Mizuno.Ollie Upton / HBO

Mysaria was once enslaved in Essos (she was born in a city called Lys), and now is Daemon's favorite sex worker. She serves him loyally in the brothels of King's Landing.

Ser Harrold Westerling is a member of the Kingsguard and ally of the Targaryen family.

House of the Dragon character guide
Graham McTavish plays Ser Harrold Westerling.Ollie Upton / HBO

At the start of "House of the Dragon," you'll see that Ser Harrold keeps a close eye on Princess Rhaenyra.

The current Hand of the King is Otto Hightower. He sees Daemon as the greatest threat to Westeros.

House of the Dragon character guide
Rhys Ifans portrays Otto Hightower.Ollie Upton / HBO

Otto Hightower is the Hand of the King, just as Ned Stark was once Hand to Robert Baratheon. He has a contentious relationship with Prince Daemon, but a loyal relationship to King Viserys.

Alicent is Otto Hightower's only daughter and now Queen of the Seven Kingdoms at Viserys' side.

House of the Dragon character guide
Emily Carey plays the younger Alicent while Olivia Cooke portrays the character as an adult.Ollie Upton / HBO

Both Lady Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra are 14 years old at the start of "House of the Dragon," and the two young girls share a bond as highborn members of the court in the Red Keep.

Ser Criston Cole is a relatively common-born man from the Dornish Marshes who rises in the ranks due to impressive fighting talents.

House of the Dragon character guide
Fabien Frankel plays Ser Cristen Cole.Ollie Upton / HBO

Cole was the son of the steward to the Lord Dondarrion in Blackhaven. He's relatively unknown to the lords and ladies of King's Landing, but strives to make his mark by competing in tournaments.

Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka "The Sea Snake," is the head of one of the most powerful families the House of Valeryon.

House of the Dragon character guide
Steve Touissant portrays the famous Sea Snake in the series.Ollie Upton / HBO

House Velaryon, like House Targaryen, came from the former Essos stronghold of Valyria. They are the oldest houses in Westeros, and Lord Coryls commands the largest navy in the world. He serves on the king's council at the start of "House of the Dragon."

Princess Rhaenys Targaryen is Corlys' wife and the daughter of the late King Jaehaerys.

House of the Dragon character guide
Rhaenys (played by Eve Best) is also a dragonrider.Ollie Upton / HBO

Princess Rhaenys (not to be confused with the young Princess Rhaenyra) was one of the possible successors offered to the Great Council that King Jaehaerys called before his death. But Viserys (Rhaenys' cousin) was chosen instead of her because a woman had never sat on the Iron Throne before.

In the realm, Princess Rhaenys is sometimes called "The Queen Who Never Was."

 

Rhaenyra has three sons, including Jacaerys ("Jace") and Lucerys ("Luke").

Two young boys wearing black and red tunics under silver armor.
Luke and Jace in episode six of "House of the Dragon."HBO

Jace is the oldest boy born to Rhaenyra, and Luke is her middle child. In episode six, we see Rhaenyra give birth to a baby boy named Joffrey.

Viserys and Alicent's oldest son is Aegon II, a teenager by the time the show reaches episode six.

An older teenage boy in a green tunic under silver armor with his hands outstretched.
Ser Criston Cole and Prince Aegon II in "House of the Dragon."HBO

Many lords and ladies in the realm (along with some smallfolk we've seen) believe Aegon should inherit the Iron Throne after his father Viserys dies. But Viserys has maintained that the throne will pass to his firstborn child, Rhaenyra (who is half-sister to Aegon II).

Viserys and Alicent's middle child is Helaena.

A woman in a green dress with brownish red hair, and her daughter (a younger girl with silvery-blonde hair).
Queen Alicent and Princess Helaena in "House of the Dragon" season one.HBO

In episode six, Rhaenyra suggests that Helaena could be bethrothed to Jace.

Aemon is the youngest child of Alicent and Viserys by episode six.

A young boy wearing a green tunic under silver armor.
Aemond Targaryen sparring with Ser Criston Cole in "House of the Dragon."HBO

Aemond has yet to bond to a dragon by the sixth episode of "House of the Dragon," though his mother Alicent says he has an "obsession" with the beasts.

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