House of the Dragon houses and character guide

House of the Dragon houses and character guide

By the end of Game of Thrones, most fans had developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the various aristocratic houses that ruled them, where their seat was, and with whom they were associated. But with House of the Dragon 200 years prior to Game of Thronesthose of us who decided to skip reading George RR Martin’s Fire & Blood start almost from scratch. There are a few well-known houses in the mix – most obviously House Targaryen, with a few others – but for the most part, House of the Dragon is populated by houses that we have not seen Game of Thrones.

To help you keep track of the different houses – and how they fit into current political plans and the coming war – we’ll update this guide throughout the season.

[Ed. note: The following contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 2.]

House Targaryen

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

“Fire and Blood”
The Royal House of Westeros. Their ancestral seat is Dragonstone, although they rule out King’s Landing. Their weapon is a red three-headed dragon over a black field.

The whole show is about House Targaryen, so this is probably the only house you don’t need help with (at least we hope so). We’ll still discuss the bullet points here, though, just in case.

When House of the Dragon Viserys I Targaryen is king of Westeros after a Grand Council voted for him to succeed his grandfather Jaehaerys. After the deaths of his wife Aemma Arryn and their newborn son, Baelon, Viserys named his daughter Rhaenyra as his heir, driving his brother, Daemon Targaryen, from the line of succession. Viserys later chooses to marry Alicent Hightower, sparking a succession crisis that sparks Targaryen’s first civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons.

House Hightower

Alicent Hightower stands with her hands in front of her looking ahead in House of the Dragon.

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

“We light the way”
The rulers of Oldtown, where the Citadel is located. They hold true to home Tyrell from Highgarden. Their weapon is a white tower topped by flames on a gray field.

Of all the newly prominent homes in House of the DragonHightower is one of the most important to keep an eye on. The house is headed by Lord Hobert Hightower, whose younger brother is Ser Otto Hand to King Viserys I Targaryen. It is Otto who encourages his daughter Alicent to get close to the king after the death of his wife Aemma, leading to Alicent’s impending marriage to Viserys. Otto also has a son, Ser Gwayne Hightower, who participated in the Heir’s Tournament in the series premiere.

Hightower is loyal to House Tyrell, but they also have several vassals of their own: Bulwer, Costayne, Cuy and Beesbury, whose lord, Lyman, acts as Viserys’ Master of Coin.

House Velaryon

Rhaenys Targaryen stands next to her husband Corlys Velaryon among a crowd of people at court in House of the Dragon.

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

“The old, the true, the brave”
The rulers of Driftmark, an island in Blackwater Bay. Their seat is High Tide, an island castle off the coast of Driftmark. Their weapon is a silver seahorse above an aquamarine field.

House Velaryon is one of the oldest (and richest) houses in Westeros, with a bloodline as old as House Targaryen – as the current lord, Corlys ‘the sea serpent’, Viserys likes to remember. The Velaryons may not be dragon riders, but they are a Valyrian house, hailing from the Valyrian peninsula of Essos. Corlys is married to Viserys’ niece, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, the queen who never was after she was passed over as heir to Jaehaerys. Together, Corlys and Rhaenys have two children, Laena and Laenor.

Corlys, also known as Lord of the Tides, serves as Viserys’ Master of Ships and commands the Royal Fleet. However, after Viserys refuses to marry 12-year-old Laena in favor of Alicent Hightower, Corlys joins Daemon Targaryen.

House strong

King Viserys and Lord Strong at the table of the Little Council;  Viserys stands and looks up while Viserys sits and turns to look the same

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

A Riverlands noble house that is true to House Tully. Their seat is the Harrenhal. Their sigil is a tripartite of blue, red and green that converge around a fist on a white field.

House Strong is ruled by Lord Lyonel Strong, who acts as Viserys’ Master of Laws. His youngest son is Larys Strong and the eldest is Ser Harwin Strong, often referred to as Breakbones and known as the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms.

The seat of House Strong is Harrenhal, who organized the meeting of Jaehaerys I Targaryen to choose an heir. But between Harrenhal’s alleged curse and the fact that the seat was in the hands of House Whent when… Game of Thrones started, things already don’t look good for House Strong’s future in House of the Dragon.

House Cole

Ser Criston Cole stands at the entrance of a room with his knight armor and his helmet in the House of the Dragon.

Photo: Ollie Upton

Stewards to Dondarrion’s home in Blackhaven, a castle in the Dornish Marches. Their weapon is ten black circles on a red field.

We met the handsome Ser Criston Cole in the series premiere when he defeated Daemon Targaryen in the Heir’s Tournament – a loss made all the more spicy by the fact that Cole is natural. Criston’s father is the steward of the Lord of Blackhaven, but despite it being technically called a noble house, House Cole is largely looked down upon in noble society for their lowborn status. Cole’s Dornish ancestry probably doesn’t help either.

House Westerner

Ser Harrold Westerling, dressed in his armor, sits atop his white horse in front of a rocky hill in House of the Dragon.

Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO

A noble house of the Westerlands that is loyal to House Lannister. Their seat is the Crag.

Ser Harrold Westerling has long been a member of the Kingsguard and began his service under the reign of Jaehaerys. He currently serves as Rhaenyra Targaryen’s sworn shield. In Game of Thrones, the only time Huis Westerling showed up was when they handed over their seat to Robb Stark. In the Song of Ice and Fire books, however, this house played a much more prominent role, with Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling instead of Talisa Maegyr, as he did in the series.

House Lannister

“Hear me roar!”
The rulers of the Western countries. Their seat is Casterly Rock. Their weapon is a golden lion on a crimson field.

House of the Dragon will give us at least two Lannisters this season: twins Tyland and Jason, the current Lord of Casterly Rock. With Lannister as one of the great houses of Westeros – and one of the most beloved houses of Game of Thrones – we’re curious what kind of impact this new batch of Lannister twins has on political proceedings.

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