‘House of the Dragon’: A Book-to-Series Character Guide

Most of these people are related by blood and wedding.
Picture: HBO Max

Seven kingdoms, an iron throne and a bunch of people with weird names to follow: that was the formula for game of thrones. Now Dragon HouseHBO’s hit prequel to its most successful series of all time, follows suit.

The good news for fans of the world created by novelist George RR Martin is that Dragon has far fewer houses to follow; it tells the story of an incipient conflict and eventual civil war within the ruling family of House Targaryen itself. The bad news is that everyone is someone else’s aunt, uncle, brother, cousin or spouse – often more than one at a time – and most of them share the same last name.

But do not worry ! After each new episode – and with the help of the show’s source material, Martin’s mock historical novel Fire & Blood — we are updating this quick and easy guide for everyone Dragonthe main actors. Sit back, relax and follow the Targaryens.

This article will be updated as the show progresses.

Picture: HBO Max

The First of His Name, King of the Andals and Rhoynar and First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm – ruler of the continent of Westeros.

Selected as heir to the throne over his elder cousin Rhaenys after a dispute over the line of succession, this lovable but weak monarch now faces a similar crisis, even as the Targaryen dynasty has reached the height of its power: the death of his newborn son, Balon, left him without a direct male heir.

Under normal circumstances, the Iron Throne would pass to his younger brother, Prince Daemon, upon Viserys’ death. But after learning that Daemon mocked his dead son by calling him “heir for a day”, Viserys chooses to name his only surviving child, his teenage daughter Rhaenyra, the future queen of Westeros. This goes against centuries of patrilineal tradition within House Targaryen and the majority of the Seven Kingdoms, including the dispute that resulted in Viserys being named heir to the throne in the first place.

Viserys also faces a secret health crisis in the form of wounds from the Iron Throne itself, including a gash on his back that won’t heal.

Picture: HBO Max

Viserys’ younger brother. Although the two are close, they couldn’t be more different: Daemon is a violent, womanizing thief who, unlike Viserys, doesn’t care much about what other people think of him. Her brother and niece Rhaenyra seem to be exceptions to this rule.

After serving in various positions on the small council of Viserys – chaired by his great rival, the hand of King Otto Hightower, who kept removing him from these jobs – he was appointed Lord Commander of the City Watch of King’s Landing. Daemon gives this proto-police force a brutal military form; they take the name of “Capes d’Or” from the name of the new uniforms he makes them wear.

After the death of Viserys’ grandson, Balon, Daemon is heard to shed some light on the tragedy. This leads to his brother removing him as heir to the throne and banishing him from King’s Landing, ordering him to return to Runestone – the seat of House Royce, one of the most important houses in the mountain kingdom called the Vale and the house of his insane. wife, Rhea. Instead, Daemon and his mistress, the sex worker Mysaria, jump on his red dragon Caraxes and fly away to parts unknown.

Despite their conflicting interests regarding the future of the monarchy, Daemon is close to his niece, Viserys’ daughter, Rhaenyra.

Picture: HBO Max

The only surviving child of King Viserys at the start of the series. Known as “the kingdom’s delight”, Princess Rhaenyra is a popular figure among the nobility and the common folk. Although she enjoys the freedom that comes with being the king’s beloved daughter, she recognizes that her father always wanted a son and an heir, and this knowledge is heartbreaking.

This changes with the death of her mother, Queen Aemma, and the subsequent death of the son she died giving birth to. When Daemon publicly mocks the dead child, an enraged Viserys appoints Rhaenyra Princess of Dragonstone and heir to the Iron Throne, demanding that all lords of the realm swear fealty to her.

Viserys also entrusts him with the secret of “The Song of Ice and Fire”, a prophetic dream in which the founder of the Targaryen dynasty, Aegon the Conqueror, foretells the conflict with the White Walkers that led game of thrones.

Rhaenyra is close friends with Alicent Hightower, daughter of the Hand of the King, and maintains a friendly relationship with her uncle the Daemon Prince despite their rivalry for the throne.

An enthusiastic dragonrider, she is related to the beast called Syrax.

Viserys’ wife and Rhaenyra’s mother. Descended from both House Arryn – the Lords of the Vale – and House Targaryen, she married her cousin Viserys in accordance with the Targaryen tradition of incestuous marriages to keep the royal lineage pure.

After enduring several difficult pregnancies that ended in tragedy, she dies during a Caesarean section ordered by Viserys and royal physician Grand Maester Mellos in order to save the life of their unborn son. The child does not long survive its mother, and events leave Viserys devastated and the kingdom queenless.

Picture: HBO Max

Lord of the Tides, close adviser to King Viserys and head of the Royal Navy. Corlys Velaryon is the head of a great and noble House which, like the Targaryens, traces its ancestry directly to Valyria. The most skilled sailor in the history of the Seven Kingdoms, he undertook a series of famous voyages to distant lands dubbed the Nine Voyages. These earned him the nickname “the Sea Serpent” (also the name of his flagship) and made Velaryon the wealthiest house in Westeros. (Yes, even richer than the Lannisters.) He’s married to Viserys’ older cousin, Rhaenys, who was outvoted to inherit the Iron Throne by the Grand Council who chose Viserys over him.

A strong presence in the King’s Little Council, Corlys initially argues that Daemon Targaryen is the rightful heir, but shifts his vote to his wife Rhaenys when fellow Council members Ser Otto Hightower and Grand Maester Mellos argue over the rogue prince. His plea meets Otto’s disapproval and goes nowhere.

Picture: HBO Max

Cousin of King Viserys and wife of Lord Corlys. Rhaenys was one of two main candidates to become Old King Jahaerys’ heir to the Great Council, but she was passed over in favor of her younger male relative Viserys in order to maintain the patriarchal tradition of Westeros. This earned her the nickname “the queen who never was”.

A shrewd political observer, she is loyal to her legendary husband – who lobbies for her to be named heiress when the new succession crisis emerges – and rides a dragon called Meleys. She and Corlys have two children, a daughter named Laena and a son named Laenor.

Picture: HBO Max

The Hand of the King and Viserys’ most powerful and ambitious advisor. Otto is a scion of House Hightower, one of the richest and most influential families in the Seven Kingdoms. Historically, the Hightowers have strong ties to the learned order of Maesters and the religious institution called the Faith, as all three entities are based in the same city, Oldtown.

Otto frequently clashes with Corlys Velaryon. During the succession debate, he is the main advocate for the firm establishment of an heir and twice rejects Corlys’ suggestions. But he is even more openly hostile to Daemon Targaryen, whom he sees as a tyrant in waiting. He is the main voice against Daemon’s claim to kingship and wants him expelled from court completely.

Alicent, Otto’s daughter, is Rhaenyra Targaryen’s best friend. After Queen Aemma’s death, Otto encourages Alicent to comfort the grieving king.

Picture: HBO Max

Daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King. Having lived in the Red Keep most of her life, she is an integral part of the court, making her a natural companion for her close friend, Princess Rhaenyra. After defeating his brother Gwayne, Prince Daemon asks for his favor in the tournament King Viserys holds in honor of his hoped-for son. (Both acts seem designed to provoke his father.)

Acting on Ser Ott’s orders, Alicent comforts King Viserys after the death of his wife and newborn child.

Picture: HBO Max

One of the most fearsome young knights in the Seven Kingdoms. He is of common birth and has little power beyond the growing fame he gains through his prowess as a swordsman. He appears as a major figure – and idol – in the King’s Tournament when he defeats Prince Daemon in hand-to-hand combat.

Picture: HBO Max

A newcomer to the Seven Kingdoms who has lived the difficult life of a sex worker. One of the few characters in the series not directly descended from Westeros or Valyria, Mysaria rises to become one of the star attractions of a main “pleasure house” in King’s Landing. She counts Prince Daemon Targaryen not just as a client but as a confidant and becomes arguably her most trusted adviser. When he is banished by Viserys, she joins him in exile.

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

Scholar, healer, and member of King Viserys’ small advisory council. Mellos frequently finds himself mediating power struggles between the other members of the Council and offers the king harsh advice when he deems it necessary. It is Mellos who suggests the caesarean which costs Queen Aemma her life. After the baby’s death, he strongly opposes the prospect of Daemon as heir.

Picture: HBO Max

A member of the Royal Guard. This small, elite order of knights is sworn to protect the king and the royal family; in Ser Harrold’s case, that means serving as a sworn shield and friend to Princess Rhaenyra, which he does in a faithful, loyal, and good-natured manner.

Picture: HBO

Member of the small council of King Viserys. As Master of Laws, he is a vocal opponent of Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne, noting that it would break years of precedent and potentially destabilize the kingdom. He also mocks Lord Corlys’ suggestion of his wife Rhaenys as a potential alternative.

Picture: HBO Max

Grandfather and predecessor of King Viserys. Known both as the Good King for his many works in improving the kingdom and as the Old King for his eventual advanced age, he is considered the greatest monarch of the Targaryen dynasty, with the possible exception of Aegon the Conqueror himself. No king has reigned longer or had more effect on the life and laws of the Seven Kingdoms. Faced with a difficult question of succession after the death of his sons, he summoned the Great Council of the Lords of Westeros to settle the matter in a vote held at the massive Castle of Harrenhal. This is where his grandson Viserys was chosen over his granddaughter Rhaenys.

Although he appears in the opening sequence of the premiere, he is long dead by the time the main events of the series begin.

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