Who are the best House of the Dragon characters? Forget Game of Thrones; the hot new fantasy series in town is House of the Dragon, set hundreds of years back when dragons ruled Westeros.
Now the TV series first season has drawn to a close, we thought it would be nice to go through all the new faces in the fantasy series and work out who the best House of the Dragon characters are. As it’s a prequel, none of our favourite Game of Thrones characters have been born, and we’ve had to get to know a rabble of new lords and ladies.
To be clear from the start, in this list of the best House of the Dragon characters, we haven’t included Aegon II Targaryen. He’s probably got some fans among the Targaryen family, but he’s such a twerp we couldn’t even consider him on here, but the rest of the House of the Dragon cast is up for inclusion. Minor spoilers for the Game of Thrones spin-off ahead.
Who are the best House of the Dragon characters?
- Otto Hightower
- Larys Strong
- The White Worm
- Ser Criston Cole
- Corlys Velaryon
- Aemond Targaryen
- Daemon Targaryen
- Rhaenys Targaryen
- Alicent Hightower
- Rhaneyra Targaryen
- Viserys Targaryen
Otto Hightower is both incredibly self-serving and incredibly loyal to the realm. Honestly, it’s almost contradictory, but that’s why we like him so much. Otto’s a realistic character who shows how people can be more than one thing at the same time… also he has a great beard.
OK, Larys Strong might be slimier than a particularly sweaty slug on a scorching day, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a great character. Like Littlefinger before him, Larys is proof that you don’t need skill with a sword to succeed in the Seven Kingdoms.
All it takes is a brain, ambition, and a mile-long ruthless streak. Larys hasn’t had a lot of screen time, but he’s done a lot with the little he’s had, including mutilation, fratricide and patricide (on the same night, no less), as well as whatever was going on with Alicent’s feet.
Mysaria, The White Worm
Knowledge is power in Westeros, and few characters exemplify this better than Mysaria, The White Worm. When we were introduced to her, she was just Daemon’s lover, but the show played a trick on us.
Mysaria is easily one of the series’ smartest characters, a chess master for whom kings, princes, lords, and ladies are just game pieces. Like Larys, she only had a handful of scenes, but her sense of justice and intelligence left a massive impression on the audience.
Ser Criston Cole
Christ alive Ser Criston Cole is an annoying character, but that’s the point of him. He’s the Westerosi equivalent of that annoying dweeb, you know, who thinks the ‘friend zone’ is a real thing, and he’s a literal incarnation of the patriarchy in The Seven kingdoms.
Criston believes he was wronged by Rhaeynra, taking no responsibility for his actions and putting his wants and needs above the woman he swore to serve. We’re pretty sure Cole exists to be disliked, and he’s damn good at getting us to hate him.
Anyone who’s earned the nickname the Sea Snake deserves to be on this list, and Corlys Velaryon has made his place several times over. Corlys is basically the pirate king of the Seven Kingdoms, a swashbuckling warrior who rules over the Narrow Sea, and he wants nothing more than to make his wife Rhaenys queen.
As cool as he is on paper, though – we really love Corlys for all his good qualities – he’s a deeply flawed person. Corlys loves his family, but he can’t put aside that personal ambition, which will ultimately lead to his ruin.
Of all Alicent and Viserys’ children, Aemond’s our favourite. True, he’s basically a Daemon tribute act (with worse hair), but there’s something quite fragile about this wanna-be tough guy that makes him an intriguing character.
We’ve seen him talk a big game about wanting to fight in wars and cut out his nephew’s eye, but when it comes to the crunch, he’s just a child putting on a front. We saw the warrior façade fall when Vhagar swallowed Arrax, killing Lucerys in the process, and what was left? A scared young man. Only time will tell if Aemond will become the soldier he so desperately wants to be, but we have our doubts.
The rogue Prince Daemon Targaryen is a bit of a bad boy, but who doesn’t love a bad boy? True, his crimes include murder, treason, and incest, but we can’t judge him by modern-day standards; he’s a Targaryen. Those things are baked into him like flour in bread.
In all seriousness, in a lesser actor’s hands, Daemon would be truly despicable, but Doctor Who actor Matt Smith manages to make the prince someone you love to hate. He’s arrogant, ambitious, and bloodthirsty. Basically, all the Targaryen’s worst qualities wrapped up in one handsome package. You’d hate him if you met him in real life, but watching him cause chaos is too delicious not to enjoy.
Rhaenys may never have become the queen of Westeros, but she’s the queen of our hearts. Tenacious, brave, and clever Rhaenys is everything a good ruler should be, and the Seven Kingdoms clearly made a huge mistake when they chose Viserys as king over her.
We love the way Eve Best plays her as well. It’s gentle but imperious, like an austere grandmother who always knows she’s right. Also, let’s not forget her dragon Meleys is the coolest in the series, Vhagar may be bigger, but the Red Queen is better.
It’s easy to dislike Alicent Hightower when House of the Dragon begins. She comes across as conservative, obedient, and slightly bitter. Yet there’s so much more to Alicent than that. She’s a coy and intelligent politician who plays the Game of Thrones better than most of the men in her court.
Her problem, if you want to call it that, is she loves so deeply it blinds her. That’s why she’s so desperate for Viserys to disinherit Rhaenyra; she genuinely believes it will keep Aegon and her other children safe. We see in the penultimate episode the scales briefly lift from her eyes, but her manipulative father, Otto Hightower, turns her against her best friend by threatening her kids.
Alicent’s story, like Rhaenyra’s, is a tragedy. There’s a feeling that all the coming bloodshed could have been avoided if only cooler heads had prevailed and people had ignored Otto and Daemon.
By the Seven, we love Rhaenyra Targaryen, the Black Queen and the true protector of the Seven Kingdoms. Rhaenyra possesses all of her father’s best qualities: mercy, patience, and love, but without weakness or timidity (plus her dragon Syrax is cool). She’s strong, powerful, and wise. She’d be the perfect queen if only the damn lords of the Seven Kingdoms weren’t a raging bunch of sexists.
Both Milly Alcock and Emma D’Arcy deserve equal credit for bringing the character to life. We fell in love with Rhaenyra thanks to Alcock’s cheeky, slightly rebellious take on the character. Then D’Arcy cemented the character as a legend by giving Rhaenyra a quiet fury; she’s cool on the outside, but you get the feeling there’s an inferno burning within. We’d love to see Rhaenyra take back her birthright, but we don’t think the Dance of Dragons will go smoothly for anyone.
Listen, if this were a list of the best Targaryen kings, Viserys wouldn’t even be an afterthought, but it’s not. It’s an article about the best House of the Dragon characters, and we adore Viserys. Why? Well, he might be as useful as a chocolate teapot, but he’s damn well relatable.
You see, unlike the rest of the characters, who are squabbling over the throne, and despite the fact he lives in a world where dragons are real, what King Viserys Targaryen wants is quite realistic. He wants his family to get on and stop being awful to each other, and it’s really hard not to empathise with that.
A lot of it comes down to Considine’s nuanced performance. It would have been easy to make Viserys into a pantomime buffoon, but Considine doesn’t play the good king as a fool. There are too many little tics, glances, and scowls that flit across his king’s face for that to be true. No, Considine plays Viserys as being acutely aware of the problems plaguing his family; he’s just choosing to turn a blind eye to them.
Let’s also not forget his final big moment, where he walked into the throne room and put the Velaryons in their place, saving his beloved daughter in the process. Viserys may have been flawed, but he was a good man, and we love him for that.
If you’ve enjoyed your trip back to Westeros, check out our guide to the House of the Dragon season 2 release date, or if you want to learn more about the Targaryen’s greatest dragons, we have an article all about Balerion the Black Dread, Caraxes, Meleys, and Meraxes. Finally you should check out our guide on the possibility of a Game of Thrones season 9.