The 15 House of the Dragon Characters You Need to Remember Ahead of Season 2

The 15 House of the Dragon Characters You Need to Remember Ahead of Season 2

Today is the day! House of the Dragon’s second season on Binge is back bringing its large cast of morally complex characters, many with confusingly similar silver-blonde tresses, back to screens. io9 already assembled a list of House of the Dragon’s 15 most shocking moments (so far); to go with that, here are 15 characters you need to remember as the Dance of the Dragons returns.

Rhaenyra Targaryen: Team Black

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Emma D’Arcy plays Rhaenyra Targareyn, who was in line to inherit the Iron Throne from her father, King Viserys—only to see Team Green rip it from under her after her father’s death. As season two begins, she’s mourning the loss of her second son (killed in a dragon battle with Aemond Targareyn in the season one finale) and plotting her next move from House Targaryen HQ on Dragonstone. She’s married to Daemon, her uncle, and has two surviving sons with her first husband (ostensibly; as was a major season-one plot point, their dark hair confirmed the open secret that they were fathered outside her marriage), as well as a pair of blonde sons with Daemon.

Alicent Hightower: Team Green

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With her son Aegon on the Iron Throne, Queen Alicent Targaryen (Olivia Cooke) is now the Dowager Queen. She was the second wife of King Viserys, a generation-gap match made at the behest of her father, Hand of the King Otto Hightower, and one that that soured her lifelong friendship with Rhaenyra. When Alicent gave birth to her first son in season one, it spelled trouble for Rhaenyra’s status as heir—Westeros is just that sexist, despite the king’s steadfast declaration that he still wanted his daughter to rule.

On his deathbed, a barely coherent Viserys mumbled about his ancestor, Aegon the Conquerer, which Alicent mistook as a proof he’d changed his mind about the line of succession. At the end of season one, King Aegon II was hastily crowned; in season two, we’ll see how Alicent deals with life in King’s Landing now that her arrogant, impulsive son is running the show. She also has two other kids with Viserys: Heleana, who’s married to Aegon (Targaryens love to inbreed); and the dangerously ruthless Aemond.

Daemon Targaryen: Team Black

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The late King Viserys’ younger brother, Daemon (Matt Smith) had his chance at inheriting the Iron Throne yanked away thanks to his own unpredictable, untrustworthy, and sometimes horribly cruel behavior. He has two daughters with his late first wife and two sons with Rhaenyra, but fatherhood isn’t Daemon’s priority. In season two, expect to see him grapple with the emotional turmoil of first losing his brother, then seeing his wife’s claim usurped—all while trying to figure out how he fits into the picture as Westeros plunges into war.

King Aegon II: Team Green

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We didn’t get to know the future King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) too well in season one, but we do know some important facts—like, for instance, he thinks raping maids and watching desperate little kids fight to the death is great fun. We also saw him try to hide rather than face his coronation, but he did begin to reverse his “I don’t wanna be king!” stance when he realized how much attention it would bring him. Now that he’s had some time to settle in, it’s an absolute given that royal chaos awaits.

Rhaenys Targaryen: Team Black

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Older than her cousin Viserys, but passed over for the Iron Throne simply because she’s a woman, Rhaenys (Eve Best) is a fierce dragonrider as well as a source of wisdom and—for both Rhaenyra and Alicent in season one—full of reality checks about how Westeros’ patriarchal system prefers to conduct itself. She’s married to Lord Corlys Velaryon; while both their children died (or “died,” since their son faked his death) in season one, they have two granddaughters in Daemon’s kids Baela and Rhaena.

Aemond Targaryen: Team Green

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Aemond (Ewan Mitchell) lost his eye in a childhood fight—and still has a chip on his shoulder the size of his dragon, Vhagar, the largest in Westeros. Aemond hasn’t made a secret of the fact that he thinks his older brother is an idiot, or that “King Aemond” has a better ring to it than “King Aegon II.” At the end of season one, Aemond encouraged Vhagar to chase after the dragon being ridden by Rhaenyra’s son Luke—and while he didn’t exactly give the order for Vhagar to gobble them both alive, that’s what ended up happening.

In season two, expect the fallout from that tragedy to add more fuel to the bad blood between the Greens and Blacks—though it’ll be even more interesting to see how Aemond faces playing second banana to his loathsome brother in the Red Keep.

Lord Corlys Velaryon: Team Black

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Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint)—the Lord of the Tides and Master of Driftmark—heads up House Velaryon, a clan nearly as powerful as the Targaryens. His nickname is the Sea Snake, owing to his great skill as a sailor, though as we pick back up with him in season two, he’s just recovered from a near-fatal accident. Like his wife, Rhaenys—theirs is one of few marriages in House of the Dragon that actually contains mutual respect and affection, though they do have their bumps in the road—Corlys isn’t in line to rule, but he’s far too intelligent and experienced to be relegated to the sidelines.

Ser Criston Cole: Team Green

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House of the Dragon’s most roller-coaster arc just might belong to Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel). In season one, he impressed a young Rhaenyra so much with his tournament victory against Daemon that she insisted he be named to the Kingsguard, despite his humble origins. They had a brief secret affair, but it crumbled when Rhaenyra refused to run away with him. Thereafter, a bitter Cole joined Team Green, trained Alicent’s sons (mostly Aemond) how to fight, and offered public displays of his violent temper—including a memorable head-stomping brawl at Rhaenyra’s first wedding.

In season two, Cole has more power than ever as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard—and with the Dance of the Dragons heating up, no doubt Team Green will be making use of his battlefield expertise.

Lord Otto Hightower: Team Green

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Alicent’s father Otto (Rhys Ifans) is a shrewd, skilled veteran of the inner workings of the Red Keep; he served as Hand of the King to King Viserys as well as Viserys’ predecessor. He’s never one to miss an opportunity, and has a remarkable ability to see the big picture—most notably demonstrated when he realized the realm might one day reject Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne, and finagled his teenage daughter into the role of Viserys’ second wife, correctly betting on the fact that she’d stir the succession pot by having a son.

But of course that son is Aegon, and you have to suspect Otto’s working relationship with his petulant grandson won’t be the same as what he enjoyed with the previous rulers. Otto and Alicent succeeded in lassoing the Iron Throne, sure—but the power dynamics in King’s Landing are likely going to rattle around a lot in season two.

Lord Larys Strong: Team Green

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Technically, Lord Larys (Matthew Needham) is Team Green; in season one, we saw him orchestrate the murder of his father and brother as a way to get into Alicent’s good graces, and also provide her with strategic advice and information, gleaned from his extensive spy network, along the way. But the truth is, he’s serving Team Lord Larys Strong, with a lust for control—and feet—propelling him to do his most important work from the shadows. Based on what we’ve seen from this guy already, it seems almost certain he’ll be more powerful in season two.

Queen Heleana Targaryen: Team Green

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Kept in the background for most of season one—aside from random moments that signaled her odd-duck personality—Alicent’s daughter Heleana (Phia Saban) became Queen Heleana when her brother/husband/baby daddy King Aegon was crowned. Now that House of the Dragon is putting more focus on the generation after Rhaenyra and Alicent, expect Heleana to have more of a presence in season two.

Lady Baela Targaryen and Lord Jace Velaryon: Team Black

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Two more second-generation kiddos who’ve grown up enough to play a role in the action: Baela Targaryen (Bethany Antonia), Daemon’s daughter; and Jacaerys “Jace” Velaryon (Henry Collett), Rhaenyra’s son and heir. They’re betrothed though not hitched yet, and both ride dragons. We didn’t get much insight into their personalties in season one—ditto Baela’s sister Rhaena (Phoebe Campbell)—but it’s likely they’ll come into better focus in season two.

Mysaria: TBD

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She was once part of Daemon’s inner circle, but once Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno)—also known as the White Worm, she’s got a spy network to rival Lord Larys’—realized he was just using her, they had a falling out. She was last seen revealing a sniveling Aegon’s favorite hiding place to Team Green ahead of his coronation. We know she’s back for season two, but we don’t know what role she’ll play, or whose side she’ll take.


Image: HBO

The signature Targaryen beasts will get more screen time than ever before in House of the Dragon season two—the central conflict is literally called the Dance of the Dragons, after all. On both Team Green and Team Black, the dragons remain loyal to their riders; while they’re ostensibly trained, they’re still wild beasts who might go rogue if the mood strikes—as the season-one finale gruesomely demonstrated. We all know Vhagar (Aemond’s dragon) and Meleys (Rhaenys’ dragon) from season one, but it seems likely we can expect more scaly scene-stealers to emerge as the war progresses.

Watch House of the Dragon season 2 on Binge.