The first spin-off of the worldwide phenomenon Game of Thrones is very close to arriving. The Serie House of the Dragon (the house of the dragon, in Spain) premieres on August 21 streaming on HBO Max. The episodes will be released weekly, always on Sundays. And it’s time to meet the characters!
The following article contains minor spoilers from the plot of House of the Dragon!
Daenys and Aegon Targaryens
The new production adapts the story of the book fire and bloodpublished in 2018 by George RR Martin, author of the book series that inspired game of Thrones. The plot takes place 200 years before the original production story. We will follow the power struggles between the Targaryens until the civil war that became known as the «Dance of the Dragons». To better understand, we have to talk about Daenys and Aegon Targaryen.
The series won’t exactly focus on these two Targaryens, nor does it really take place in the time when they were alive. However, it is essential to know the history of these two names to understand where we will find the main characters of House of the Dragon and how they came to power in Westeros.
The first of these is the young Daenys Targaryen. Many years ago, the Targaryens were just one of several families in Valyria that kept dragons. However, one day Daenys had a vision of a tragedy that would destroy the region and kill everyone. Her father, Aenar Targaryen, believed in the girl and moved to the Dragonstone peninsula in Westeros with her family, money and, of course, her dragons.
Daenys’s vision was confirmed 12 years later, when a mysterious catastrophic event brought about what became known as the Fate of Valyria. The entire Targaryen hometown was destroyed and all the families and dragons that were there ended up dying. As the only dragonlords, the Targaryens settled on Dragonstone. But 100 years later, Daenys’ distant descendant, Aegon, decided he wanted more.
Aegon conquered and united Westeros. Although still divided into different regions, the territories were under the authority of a single ruler, the one who held the Iron Throne, created by Aegon. And so it was for almost 300 years, when the Targaryens ruled Westeros, until the enmity between other families began, as we saw in Game of Throneyes
Viserys Targaryen I
Interpreter: Paddy Considine
Dagon: Balerion the Black Dread (as a young man)
The story of House of the Dragon begins with Viserys Targaryen I, great-great-grandson of Aegon I Targaryen and fifth king of the Targaryen dynasty. Viserys had two marriages. From his first marriage, to Aemma Arryn, he had two sons who died in infancy and a living daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen. The king’s second marriage was to Alicent Hightower, with whom he had four children: Aegon, Healena, Aemond, and Daeron Targaryen.
When he took the throne, Viserys I vowed to continue the period of peace and prosperity that the Seven Kingdoms had experienced for the past 50 years under his grandfather Jaehaerys I Targaryen. However, the same peace was no longer seen within the Targaryen clan. After Jaehaerys I’s death, Rhaenys Targaryen claimed her right to the throne herself, as the only daughter of Jaehaerys I’s first son.
However, no woman had assumed the Iron Throne until then. The situation was taken to the Grand Council at Harrenhal. If the right of succession remained in the lineage of Jaehaerys I’s first son, Rhaenys could not assume it, but his first son, Laenor Velaryon, could. However, the council decided that Viserys I, the eldest son of Jaehaerys I’s second son, should take over.
This sparked a conflict between the Targaryens and House Velaryon, headed by Corlys Velaryon, Rhaenys’s husband, commander of the royal fleets, and the richest man in Westeros. But when the time comes to choose who should succeed Viserys I, there are other names in the running. Rhaenyra disputes his right as firstborn. And Daemon Targaryen, younger brother of Viserys I, claims the throne as the next of kin male.
In addition to them, House Hightower is also interested in extending its power over the kingdom, with Otto Hightower already being the Hand of the King.
Interpreter: Emma D’Arcy (adult) and Milly Alcock (young)
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen is the first and only child of Viserys I by his first wife, Aemma Arryn. She has always had a close relationship with her father and she wishes to occupy the Iron Throne one day, especially given her right to be her firstborn. However, tradition allows only the first male heir to have this right, and even the king’s brother can assume power if he has no male children.
When she is younger, she is chosen as the official successor to Viserys I. However, years later, when the king finally dies, Rhaenyra’s accession to the throne is contested by various people who also claim the right to power. Her main opponents are Lady Alicent Hightower and Daemon Targaryen.
Alicent is the widow of Viserys I and daughter of Otto Hightower, Hand of the King. Wanting to remain in power, the young woman, who grew up with Rhaenyra, wants her first son by Viserys I, Aegon, to assume the throne. Daemon is Rhaenyra’s uncle and second husband, and claims his right to the throne as the eldest male heir to her brother Viserys I. From her union with him, Rhaenyra bore three more children: Aegon, Viserys, and Visenya.
Interpreter: matt smith
Dragon: Caraxes, the Bloody Ancient
Prince and younger brother of Viserys I, Daemon must also fight for the right to rule Westeros. His name was also considered at the time of the succession of his grandfather, King Jaehaerys I. However, the possibility was soon ruled out given the prince’s impetuous and unpredictable temperament. The Hand of King Viserys I, Otto Hightower, considers the Daemon the greatest threat to the realm.
However, with Viserys I in the process of choosing his successor, Daemon will seek to claim his right as the king’s younger brother and current husband of Viserys I’s eldest daughter, his niece Rhaenyra. Before marrying Rhaenyra, Daemon had two other marriages. His first wife, Rhea Royce, died childless. His second wife was Laena Velaryon, daughter of his cousin Rhaneys. She had two children with the prince before she died. Rhaenyra had three more children with her second husband and her uncle.
In addition to his ambition for the Iron Throne, Daemon is known for his skills as a warrior and dragon rider, as well as his impulsive attitudes. For him, the Targaryens came to power not through dreams, but through dragons.
Lady Alicent Hightower
Interpreter: Emily Carey (young) and Olivia Cooke (adult)
Alicent Hightower is the daughter of Otto Hightower, hand of King Viserys I. The young woman grew up among members of the royal family and, when she was older, became the second wife of King Viserys I. A few years ago, Alicent was still a woman young, a girl who grows up with Rhaenyra, the first daughter of Viserys I from his marriage to his first wife, Aemma Arryn. It was during this period that the king announced his decision to make Rhaenyra his official successor.
Years later, Alicent, now married to the king, had four children: Aegon, Healena, Aemond, and Daeron Targaryen. When her husband finally dies, she is one of the people in the kingdom who does not accept Rhaenyra’s succession. With the support of Sir Criston Cole, she attempts to fight the princess with the intention of claiming her first son by Viserys I, Aegon, to take over the rule of the Seven Kingdoms.
Sir Otto Hightower
Interpreter: Rhys Ifans
Otto Hightower is the knight of House Hightower and holds the important trusted position of Hand of the King to Viserys I. Always advising the king, he makes it clear that he considers Deamon Targaryen, brother of Viserys I, the greatest threat to the realm. Violent and unpredictable in behavior, Daemon is one of the names claiming his status as heir to the throne, while Viserys I chooses his successor.
Otto is the father of Alicent Hightower and, given his closeness to the royal family, he raised his daughter among royalty. As an adult, Alicent becomes the second wife of Viserys I. In a conversation with her daughter, Otto pointed out that they play a very unpleasant game, but that she is determined to win.
Sir Christon Cole
Interpreter: Fabien Frankel
Criston Cole is considered the greatest living warrior in Westeros. His reputation in battle and his appearance made several court ladies take an interest in him. Criston, a member of House Cole, was born in the Marches of Dorne. His father was Lord Dondarrion’s butler in Blackhaven.
In the first season footage, Criston appears alongside the likes of Alicent Hightower and Otto Hightower, and in a battle against the Daemon Targaryen. In the book, Criston is Alicent’s main ally in her fight against Rhaenyra’s ascension to the throne. Together with the widow of Viserys I, he defends the right of the king’s first son of Alicent, Aegon, to assume power.
Interpreter: Eve Best
Dragon: Meleys, the Red Queen
A cousin of King Viserys I, Rhaenys was among the names considered to take the Iron Throne when Jaehaerys I, her grandfather, died. She claimed to be the only daughter of Jaeharys I’s first son. With the election of Viserys I, the eldest son of Jaeharys I’s second son, to the reign, Rhaenys became known as «The Queen Who Never Was».
The princess married Lord Corlys Velaryon, with whom she had two children. The marriages of her children are some of the points that complicate the family tree a bit. Her daughter Laena Velaryon was the second wife of the Daemon Targaryen, her cousin and brother of Viserys I. Her son Laenor Velaryon was the first husband of Rhaenyra, the eldest son of Viserys I, and the third wife of Daemon.
Lord Corlys Velaryon
Interpreter: steve toussaint
Also known as the Sea Serpent and the Lord of the Tides, Corlys Velaryon became the richest man in Westeros after the various trading expeditions he undertook. Currently, he is the commander of the Royal Fleet of the kingdom of Viserys I, with whom he has had some conflict since the king’s appointment, believing that the right to assume the throne belonged to his family.
That’s because he’s married to Rhaenys Targaryen. Cousin of Viserys I, she is the only daughter of the first son of Jaehaerys I, the previous king. To choose his predecessor, Jaehaerys I decided to convene the Council at Harrenhal in an attempt to prevent civil war, as Viserys I, first son of Jaehaerys I’s second son, also claimed the throne.
With the election of Viserys I, Lord Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys felt that their claim to the kingdom had been twice stolen. The first time, from Rhaenys herself. The second, of his son Laenor Velaryon, who should ascend to the throne if his mother was not accepted as a woman.
Interpreter: Sonoya Mizuno
Mysaria was a slave in Essos and worked as a prostitute. Little by little, the young she worked to win her freedom and infiltrate the criminal world of King’s Landing.
She currently resides in Westeros and has become Prince Daemon Targaryen’s most trusted ally.
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