Every Major House and Character in House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon¬†is here, and fire and blood are reigning on us like … fire and blood. The Game of Thrones¬†prequel series, based on George R.R. Martin’s Targaryen compendium Fire & Blood, smashed viewing records when it debuted on HBO. As it turns out, even a contested, polarizing series finale isn’t enough to keep away fans of Westeros.¬†

Even though we’re inching closer to episode 3, you might be scratching your head regarding the countless players and their houses. Who fed who to a dragon this time? Who stabbed who? Which houses are forging an alliance via marriage?¬†

Thankfully, I’m here with a comprehensive breakdown of each major house (“major” in terms of the narrative) and their respective players.

Full disclosure: There are spoilers from the first two episodes. Proceed with caution.

 House Targaryen 

Motto:¬†“Fire and Blood”

House Seat: Dragonstone

House Sigil: A red three-headed dragon on a black field

House Targaryen is one house in Westeros you don’t want to mess with ‚ÄĒ they’ve got dragons and the fiery disposition to match. Descended from Old Valyria and the only surviving dragonlords after the Doom (an unspecified cataclysmic event), House Targaryen became embedded in Westerosi history when Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters Visenya and Rhaenys seized control of Westeros.¬†

King Viserys I  Targaryen

The man in charge! King Viserys succeeded Old King Jaehaerys I on the Iron Throne after the great lords of the realm came together at the Great Council at Harrenhal. The council ultimately chose Viserys, Jaehaerys’s grandson (Viserys’s father, Baelon, was Jaehaerys’s son). Viserys married Aemma Arryn of House Arryn of the Eyrie. The couple had a daughter, Rhaenyra.¬†

Aemma tried countless times to produce a son as Viserys’ heir. Later, Aemma gave birth to a boy, Baelon, but unfortunately, she died after Viserys chose to save Baelon instead of his wife. Baelon followed his mother in death, so Viserys chose Rhaenyra as his heir, a much-contested decision among his small council.¬†

Prince Daemon Targaryen

King Viserys’ wayward brother Daemon, “the rogue prince,” is the wildest of wild cards. Despite Viserys offering him several positions in his court, including Master of Coin, Daemon refuses to adhere to the rules. Instead, Viserys names Daemon the Commander of the City Watch. Daemon unleashes his Gold Cloaks on King’s Landing, morphing the city into a police state with dismemberment and other bodily mutilations.¬†

After Rhaenyra becomes Viserys’ successor to the Iron Throne, Daemon takes his Gold Cloaks, his dragon Caraxes, a dragon egg for the dragon Dreamfyre, and his mistress Mysaria to Dragonstone, the Targaryen ancestral seat. He illegally claims it, even though it technically belongs to his niece Rhaenyra. Daemon hopes to ruffle his brother’s feathers at every turn, even penning a letter ringing with falsities, claiming he’s marrying Mysaria (who’s pregnant) and crowning himself King of Dragonstone. In short, Daemon is the quintessential Targaryen Bad Boy.¬†

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

Heir to the Iron Throne, Rhaenyra hopes to create a new world order when she ascends to queendom. No other woman has ruled Westeros before, so she’s setting a precedent for future queens. However, whenever she tries to assist Viserys with royal matters, the latter shoots down her suggestions. Rhaenyra proves herself by flying to Dragonstone on her dragon Syrax to talk her uncle Daemon down after he steals the dragon egg for Dreamfyre.¬†

After losing her mother, Aemma, Rhaenyra leans on her best friend, Alicent Hightower. The two forge a seemingly impregnable bond. Unfortunately, Alicent’s scheming father, Otto, the King’s Hand, has a plan to help House Hightower reach the upper echelons of Westerosi society. He plants the seed of Alicent becoming Viserys’ next wife. This scheme comes to fruition, and by the end of House of the Dragon‘s second episode, Viserys chooses Alicent to wed, crushing Rhaenyra.¬†

On the romance front, Rhaenyra seems to carry a torch for Ser Criston Cole, a knight from Dorne who she selects to replace Ser Ryam Redwyne on the Kingsguard. 

Princess Rhaenys Targaryen

“The Queen Who Never Was.” Princess Rhaenys is also the granddaughter of King Jaehaerys through her father, Aemon, his son. Aemon was the Prince of Dragonstone, and Rhaenys was his firstborn, so many assumed she would ascend the Iron Throne. She had a better claim to rule the realm than her cousin Viserys, even though his father, Prince Baelon, became the heir after Aemon passed away.

Rhaenys married Lord Corlys Velaryon of Driftmark and birthed two children, Laena and Laenor. By the time the Great Council assembled at Harrenhal, Rhaenys already had Laenor as a viable heir to the kingdom. Still, the council voted Viserys as Jaehaerys’ successor, perpetually embittering the princess.

In episode 2 of House of the Dragon, Rhaenys tells her cousin Rhaenyra, “Men would rather see the realm put to the torch than see a woman ascend the Iron Throne.” What a banger of a line.

House Velaryon 

Motto:¬†“The Old, the True, the Brave”

House Seat: Driftmark

House Sigil: A silver seahorse on an aquamarine background

House Velaryon rules the island of Driftmark, the largest island in Blackwater Bay. They are of Valyrian descent and are sworn to Dragonstone, making them fierce allies (and relatives) of House Targaryen. Velaryon histories claim that they landed in Westeros before the Targaryens. The Velaryons are among the wealthiest houses in the seven realms and boast a large navy due to their command of the seas.

Lord Corlys Velaryon, AKA The Sea Snake

Corlys Velaryon, Lord of the Tides and Master of Driftmark, also known as “The Sea Snake,” became the Head of House Velaryon upon the passing of his grandsire. He amassed so much wealth through his travels across the Narrow Sea and beyond that he created a new seat ‚ÄĒ High Tide. It’s at High Tide that he stores his treasures from his expeditions.¬†

Corlys wed Princess Rhaenys of House Targaryen, and the couple gave birth to two children, Laena and Laenor. In the book Fire & Blood, after the Great Council at Harrenhal chose Viserys as the next king, an irate Corlys withdrew from the small council and relinquished his admiralty. However, on House of the Dragon, Corlys retains his Master of Ships status on King Viserys’ small council and remains Lord Admiral.¬†

In the first two episodes of¬†House of the Dragon, Corlys urges Viserys to turn his attention toward the rising Triarchy (pirates) on the Stepstones, a central access point for the Westerosi navy. After Aemma Arryn’s passing, Corlys suggests his daughter Laena as a suitable second wife for Viserys, who he passes over in favor of Alicent Hightower.¬†

Ser Vaemond Velaryon

Ser Vaemond Velaryon is Corlys’ young brother and a commander in the Velaryon navy. In Fire & Blood, Vaemond is Corlys’ nephew and has two children, Daemion and Daeron. Not much is known regarding his backstory on House of the Dragon.

Ser Laenor Velaryon

Laenor Velaryon is Corlys and Rhaenys’ youngest child. He’s the heir to Driftmark and a dragonrider like his Targaryen mother, riding the skies on Seasmoke. When we first meet Laenor on the show, he’s pretty young, but we’ll meet the older version of him once the time jump occurs.

Lady Laena Velaryon

Laena Velaryon is Corlys and Rhaenys’ oldest child. Her parents offer her as a second wife for King Viserys after his first wife dies during childbirth. Laena meets with the king, and the pair discuss Balerion the Black Dread and Vhagar. The girl later admits that Rhaenys and Corlys helped her rehearse what to say to Viserys, and the king ultimately rejects Laena because of her age.

House Hightower 

Motto:¬†“We Light the Way”

House Seat: Hightower in Oldtown

House Sigil: A white watchtower with a crown of fire on smoky gray

House Hightower is one of Westeros’ most powerful, ancient, and noble houses. Known for their intellect and knack for strategizing, Hightowers prefer to trade instead of drawing swords (even though they possess a Valyrian steel sword called Vigilance). They fervently support the Faith of the Seven, mainly since their ancestral seat is located in Oldtown, the home of the Citadel and the Starry Sept.

Ser Otto Hightower, Hand of the King

Otto Hightower currently serves as Hand of the King for Viserys Targaryen. He has two children, Alicent and Ser Gwayne, the latter of whom is the second in command of the Gold Cloaks. We know he was married to Alicent and Gwayne’s mother, who died sometime before House of the Dragon¬†takes place. Otto served as Hand of the King to three kings: Jaehaerys, Viserys, and Aegon II.

Otto is exceedingly intelligent, cunning, and methodical. Think of him as the Littlefinger of this timeline. His greatest rival is Prince Daemon, and he encourages Viserys to exact war against his brother when Daemon illegally seizes Dragonstone. In addition, Otto urges his daughter Alicent to “comfort” the king after Aemma’s death. He relishes the victory for House Hightower when Viserys chooses Alicent as his next wife.¬†

Lady Alicent Hightower (soon to be Queen)

Alicent Hightower is the daughter of Otto. She’s spent most of her life in the company of royals, as House Hightower swears fealty to House Targaryen. Alicent is best friends with Princess Rhaenyra and the pair dream of riding Rhaenyra’s dragon Syrax to explore the world while feasting on copious amounts of cake.¬†

Alicent lost her mother at a young age. Her brother, Ser Gwayne, an esteemed knight in the Gold Cloaks, battled Prince Daemon in the tourney held by King Viserys to celebrate the birth of his son. Following the death of Aemma Arryn, Otto encourages Alicent to spend time with Viserys in his grief. This move blossoms into a betrothal, as Viserys chooses Alicent to become his next queen. Obviously, this creates a massive chasm between Rhaenyra and Alicent. 

House Westerling 

Motto:¬†“Honor, Not Honors”¬†

House Seat: The Crag

House Sigil: Six seashells on the sand

House Westerling hails from the northern Westerlands and is loyal to House Lannister, even serving as their principal bannermen. They’re from the Crag. Admittedly, little is known about this house outside their loyalty to House Lannister.¬†

Ser Harrold Westerling, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard

Ser Harrold Westerling joined the Kingsguard for King Jaehaerys and rose to the position of Lord Commander under Viserys’ rule after the fall of Ser Ryam Redwyne. He spends a lot of time protecting Princess Rhaenyra and forms a strong bond with her. Even though Fire & Blood¬†only mentions Harrold by name when he dies, Ser Harrold appears to be a bastion of loyalty, chivalry, and honor.¬†

House Strong 

Motto: Unknown 

House Seat: Harrenhal

House Sigil: A tripartite of red, blue, and green on a white field

House Strong was a noble house of the Riverlands, with their main seat being Harrenhal. Founded during the Age of Heroes, House Strong was loyal to House Tully, and the two houses supported Aegon the Conqueror’s conquest of Westeros. Unfortunately, by 131 AC, House Strong died out with Larys Strong. In the book A Feast for Crows, Petyr Baelish, AKA Littlefinger, uses the extinct House Strong as an example of those who perish when in control of the cursed Harrenhal.¬†

Lord Lyonel Strong

Lyonel Strong serves as the Master of Laws for King Viserys and is the head of House Strong and Lord of Harrenhal. He has four children ‚ÄĒ two sons, Harwin and Larys, and two unknown daughters. He eventually becomes Hand of the King during his tenure in King’s Landing.¬†

Ser Harwin Strong, AKA Breakbones 

Harwin Strong is the eldest son of Lyonel, a knight and heir to Harrenhal. Apparently, he’s known as “Breakbones” and is considered the strongest man in Westeros. He eventually becomes captain of the Gold Cloaks in King’s Landing.¬†

Larys Strong

Larys Strong is the youngest son of Lyonel. He ascends the ranks to become Lord of Harrenhal and Head of House Strong amid the latter portion of King Viserys’ reign. He’s known as “The Clubfoot” because of a deformed foot present at birth. He plays a vital role in the downfall of House Strong.

House Cole 

Motto: Unknown 

House Seat: Blackhaven

House Sigil: 10 black pellets on a scarlet field

House Cole is a minor house, hailing from the Dornish Marches. They serve under House Dondarrion (Game of Thrones fans might recall the name Beric Dondarrion, an avid supporter of the Lord of Light). House Cole is considered lowborn despite boasting their own banner and noble bearing.

Ser Criston Cole

Ser Criston Cole is a talented knight who ascends the ranks in King’s Landing. Princess Rhaenyra takes a liking to him, selecting him to join King Viserys’ Kingsguard. Later, he becomes Lord Commander and plays a significant part in the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons.¬†

House Beesbury 

Motto:¬†“Beware Our Sting.”

House Seat: Honeyholt

House Sigil: Three yellow beehives over a black and yellow field

House Beesbury is a minor house in Westeros, finding its home in the Reach, where its ancestral seat Honeyholt resides. Sworn to House Hightower, the Beesburys can trace their lineage back to the First Men. Despite their minor status, House Beesbury contributes to all facets of Westerosi history.

Lord Lyman Beesbury

Lord Lyman Beesbury serves as Master of Coin and Lord Treasurer for King Viserys. Lyman also served Viserys’ grandfather, King Jaehaerys. He’s the Lord of Honeyholt and Head of House Beesbury. He supports Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne.

House Royce 

Motto:¬†“We Remember”

House Seat: Runestone

House Sigil: Black iron studs on a bronze field, bordered with runes

House Royce is an ancient, formidable house of the Vale, swearing fealty to House Arryn of the Eyrie. Like House Beesbury, the Royces are descended from the First Men. Their seat, Runestone, is located on the coast of the Narrow Sea, toward the north of Gulltown. The runes inscribed on their armor are purported to protect them from injuries, although this claim is a tad questionable. 

Rhea Royce, the Lady of Runestone

Rhea Royce, the Lady of Runestone, wed Prince Daemon Targaryen. As we learn in House of the Dragon, their union is unhappy. Daemon repeatedly refers to his wife as “the bronze b***h.” She stays on Runestone while Daemon cavorts, philanders, and gallivants about King’s Landing and Dragonstone. Rhea and Daemon’s marriage is a childless one. We have yet to meet her on House of the Dragon.¬†

House Mallister 

Motto:¬†“Above the Rest”¬†

House Seat: Seagard

House Sigil: A silver eagle on an indigo field

House Mallister certainly isn’t new to¬†Game of Thrones, but they are a noble, prominent house. With their seat nestled in the Riverlands, House Mallister’s overlords include House Tully and House Baelish. Seagard, their ancestral home, was constructed to protect the coast against Iron Island reavers, as Mallisters harbor a vehement distrust of the Ironborn. They aided House Targaryen during Aegon’s Conquest.¬†

Lord Lymond Mallister

Lymond Mallister is the Lord of Seagard and a vassal of House Tully. In¬†House of the Dragon, Otto Hightower notes House Mallister’s unwavering loyalty to House Targaryen.¬†

Ser Rymun Mallister

Ser Rymun Mallister is the son of Lord Lymond. We meet him in episode 2 of House of the Dragon when Ser Harrold lists Rymun’s various accomplishments to Rhaenyra when choosing a knight to fill a vacancy on the Kingsguard.¬†

What are your predictions regarding the above houses and players for the remainder of House of the Dragon season 1?

Join the conversation alongside other Game of Thrones / House of the Dragon¬†fans in the¬†Let Your Spoiler Sideshow Facebook Group, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!