House of the Dragon cast: Our guide to the characters in Game of Thrones prequel about the Targaryen family

Check out our guide to the cast and characters in House of the Dragon, which takes us deep into the story of the Targaryen dynasty.

By Alex Fletcher Updated: 20 September 2022 - 10.17am
Alicent Hightower – Played by Olivia Cooke, and Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen – Played by Emma D’Arcy

Stream House of the Dragon weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW from Monday 22 August.

Fire will reign! If you need a handy quick introduction to the full House of the Dragon cast, here is our beginner’s guide so you know your Targaryen from your Velaryon.

Three years after Game of Thrones ended, we return to Westeros for House of the Dragon – a prequel set 200 years before the events of the original series.

Based on the Targaryen war of succession known as the Dance of Dragons and events chronicled in George R.R. Martin’s bestselling novel Fire and Blood, the series is focused on the House of Targaryen and begins at the peak of their dragon-riding dynasty.

Although the central story may focus on the Targaryen family, there are plenty of other recognisable family names from Game of Thrones and the usual expansive cast of characters you would expect from a George R.R. Martin story.

Meet the cast and characters of House of the Dragon:

House Targaryen | House Hightower | House Velaryon

House Lannister | House Strong | Additional Characters

Stream House of the Dragon weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW on Mondays

House of the Dragon full cast list

  • King Viserys Targaryen - Played by Paddy Considine
  • Prince Daemon Targaryen – Played by Matt Smith
  • Alicent Hightower – Played by Olivia Cooke
  • Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen – Played by Emma D’Arcy
  • Lord Corlys Velaryon, The Sea Snake – Played by Steve Toussaint
  • Princess Rhaenys Velaryon – Played by Eve Best
  • Ser Criston Cole – Played by Fabien Frankel
  • Mysaria – Played by Sonoya Mizuno
  • Otto Hightower – Played by Rhys Ifans
  • Young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen – Played by Milly Alcock
  • Baela Targaryen – Played by Bethany Antonia
  • Rhaena Targaryen – Played by Phoebe Campbell
  • Young Alicent Hightower – Played by Emily Carey
  • Queen Aemma Arryn - Played by Sian Brooke
  • Jacaerys Velaryon – Played by Harry Collett
  • Ser Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong – Played by Ryan Corr
  • Aegon II Targaryen – Played by Ty Tennant/Tom Glynn-Carney
  • Aemond Targaryen – Played by Leo Ashton/Ewan Mitchell
  • Tyland Lannister – Played by Jefferson Hall
  • Lord Jason Lannister – Played by Jefferson Hall
  • Grand Maester Mellos – Played by David Horovitch
  • Ser Vaemond Velaryon – Played by Wil Johnson
  • Ser Laenor Velaryon – Played by John Macmillan
  • Ser Harrold Westerling – Played by Graham McTavish
  • Ser Laenor Velaryon – Played by Theo Nate
  • Larys Strong – Played by Matthew Needham
  • Lord Lyman Beesbury – Played by Bill Paterson
  • Helaena Targaryen – Played by Phia Saban
  • Lord Lyonel Strong – Played by Gavin Spokes
  • Lady Laena Velayron – Played by Savannah Steyn/Nanna Blondell
  • Admiral Craghas Drahar aka The Crab Feeder - Played by Daniel Scott-Smith
  • Samwell the minstrel - Played by Jonny Weldon
  • Gerold Royce - Played by Owen Oakeshott
  • Lady Rhea Royce - Played by Rachel Redford
  • Ser Joffrey Lonmouth aka The Knight of Kisses - Played by Solly McLeod

House of the Dragon: Reviewed

House of the Dragon - Guide to the Houses

House Targaryen

King Viserys Targaryen - Played by Paddy Considine 

Paddy Considine as King Viserys

Viserys was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal.

A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy, but as we’ve learned from Game of Thrones, good men do not necessarily make for great kings.

Talking about Viserys at Comic Con, Paddy said: “He’s a kind man. He inherited the crown because he was a good scholar, a man of good temperament and a kind man. He’s trying to keep peace time going in the kingdom. That’s why he was chosen as king.

“I wanted to imbue him with as much humanity as I could. He’s a man who cares about things. There’s great tragedy in him.  He loves his family. He’s also carrying a great secret in him that’s revealed in the show that refers to the potential fall of man in the future.”

Paddy Considine's incredible run of TV shows and movies includes Dead Man's Shoes, Hot Fuzz, Tyrannosaur, Peaky Blinders and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Prince Daemon Targaryen – Played by Matt Smith

Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen

The younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air.

“I hope me and Paddy found a lot of richness in their relationship”, said the former Doctor Who star. “Everything is about his brother for Daemon.”

Matt Smith is one of the most in-demand actors in the world after starring roles in Doctor Who, The Crown, Morbius and Last Night in Soho.

Young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen – Played by Milly Alcock

Milly Alcock portrays young Rhaenyra Targaryen & Emily Carey portrays young Alicent Hightower

She's the king’s first-born child, of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.

Austalian actress Milly Alcock has starred in dramas such as Janet King and Reckoning in her home country.

She also had a breakout performance in Tim Minchin's comedy Upright, which will return for season 2 soon.

The series is about struggling musician Lucky (Minchin) and the unlikely bond he forms with runaway teen Meg (Alcock).

Upright is streaming now on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

Alcock will be replaced in later episodes by Emma D'Arcy as the show time jumps forward several years.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen – Played by Emma D’Arcy

Emma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

The king’s first-born child. She is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.

"Rhaenyra is fuelled by that old Targaryen stuff," said D’Arcy.

"The journey over the course of the series is recognising when to let that fire burn and when to dampen it."

D'Arcy is a non-binary and goes by the pronouns they/them, and is most recognisable for their roles in Prime Video’s Truth Seekers, Hanna and Wanderlust. 

They admitted in an interview with The I that when they auditioned for the show, they believed it was a Game of Thrones spoof.

"Everyone’s making fantasy series these days, so I just thought it was some spoof version," they said.

"I didn’t realise until I was asked to send in another audition tape."

Queen Aemma - Played by Sian Brooke

From House Arryn, Aemma marries into House Targaryen as Lord Viserys' wife and cousin. At the start of House of the Dragon, we hear about her struggles with Viserys to have a baby boy and heir to the Iron Throne.

They have one daughter, Rhaenyra, but history suggests a female can't be the head of the Seven Kingdoms.

Queen Aemma is played by Sian Brooke, who you may recognise from her role as Eurus Holmes in the BBC's Sherlock, Apple TV+ series Trying, Doctor Foster, Good Omens or Shannon Matthews drama series The Moorside.

Young Aegon Targaryen II - Plays by Ty Tennant

Ty Tennant as Aegon II Targaryen in House of the Dragon episode 6

The teenager Aegon II is played by David Tennant's son and Peter Davison's grandson Ty.

It's a bold performance from the young Tennant, who has to tackle an interesting scene at a windowsill. You'll know it when you've seen it.

Young Aegon is an unpleasant character, but appears happy to let Princess Rhaenyra take the Iron Throne. However, his mother Queen Alicent is determined to make sure he succeeds his father King Viserys,

Tennant's screen credits include (Doom Patrol, War of the Worlds, Tolkien).

Aegon Targaryen II – Played by Tom Glynn-Carney

Tom Glynn-Carney will take over as Aegon II as he becomes an even dark character and at the forefront of the battle for the Iron Throne.

Glynn-Carney's film and TV credits include previous credits Dunkirk, The King, the Last Post, Domina and he will star later this year in BBC drama SAS Rogue Heroes.

Young Aemond Targaryen - Played by Leo Ashton

Leo Ashton as Young Aemond Targaryen

The brooding and sinister Young Aemond, the second son of King Viserys and Queen Alicent spent episode 6 complaining about his lack of a dragon. Luckily for him, one very special one came available at the end of the episode.

Young Leo Ashton have a great performance as the terrifying Targaryen. You may have seen the young actor before in ITV's The Bay and Deep Water or BBC series Red Rose.

Aemond Targaryen – Played by Ewan Mitchell

Ewan Mitchell will take over the role  of the second-born son of Viserys, nephew to Daemon, and half-brother to Rhaenyra.

Trust us when we say, Aemond is a character you're going to see a lot more of in future episodes and seasons.

Ewan Mitchell is known for his performances in World on Fire, Trigger Point and as Osferth in The Last Kingdom.

Helaena Targaryen – Played by Phia Saban

The second-born daughter of Viserys, sister to Aegon and Aemond, half-sister to Rhaenyra.

House Hightower

Otto Hightower – Played by Rhys Ifans

Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower

The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.

Rhys Ifans is a Welsh actor who has starred on stage and screen since the 90s.

He's best known for his performances in Notting Hill, Enduring Love, The Amazing Spider-Man, Berlin Station, Elementary and Mr Nice.

Young Alicent Hightower – Played by Emily Carey

Emily Carey as young Alicent Hightower

The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. Alicent was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.

The teenager and rising star has previously appeared in Casualty as Grace Beauchamp, played a young Lara Croft in 2018's Tomb Raider and starred in iPlayer thriller Get Even.

Emily Carey will be replaced by Olivia Cooke when the show jumps forward in time.

Alicent Hightower – Played by Olivia Cooke 

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower

She’s the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.

You may recognise Olivia Cooke from Ready Player One, Bates Motel, ITV’s Vanity Fair, Apple TV’s Slow Horses and the movie The Limehouse Golem.

Hobert Hightower - Played by Steffan Rhodri

Steffan Rhodri as Hobert Hightower

Otto's older brother and the Lord of Oldtown, Hobert is the head of House Hightower.

Hobert appears to be behind the plot to get the Hightower family into power through Otto's daughter Alicent and her marriage with King Viserys.

You will recognise Steffan Rhodri from playing Reg Cattermole in Harry Potter, We Hunt Together, The Last Kingdom and most famously, Dave Coaches in Gavin and Stacey.

House Velaryon

Lord Corlys Velaryon, The Sea Snake – Played by Steve Toussaint 

Steve Toussaint in House of the Dragon as Corlys Velaryon

The lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As The Sea Snake, the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and which claims the largest navy in the world.

Steve Toussaint's TV and movie credits over the last 28 years include Judge Dredd (1995), Prince of Persia, Shooting Dogs, It's a Sin and Line of Duty.

Hitting back at the racist comments about his casting in the show, Toussaint told Men's Health: "They are happy with a dragon flying, they're happy with white hair and violet-coloured eyes, but a rich black guy? That's beyond the pale."

Princess Rhaenys Velaryon – Played by Eve Best

Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon in House of the Dragon

A dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, The Queen Who Never Was was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male.

Eve Best's long list of past TV shows includes Fate: The Winx Saga, The Honourable Woman and Nurse Jackie.

Jacaerys Velaryon – Played by Harry Collett

The eldest son of Rhaenyra Targaryen.

Ser Vaemond Velaryon – Played by Wil Johnson

Wil Johnson as Ser Vaemond Velaryon

The younger brother to Coryls Velaryon and commander in the Velaryon navy.

Introduced into House of the Dragon in episode three, he appears to be more restless and ready to rebel against King Viserys than his brother.

You may previously have seen the British actor in Waking the Dead, Clocking Off or Emmerdale, where he played Dom Andrews.

Young Ser Laenor Velaryon – Played by Theo Nate

Theo Nate as Young Ser Laenor Velaryon

The son of Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen was introduced in episode 3, where he was fighting at the Stepstones and being offered as a possible suitor to Rhaenyra. We also saw him introduce the dragon Seasmoke into the series when he flew into battle with the Crab Feeder.

Theo Nate previously starred alongside Game of Thrones alumnus Sean Bean in BBC drama Time.

Ser Laenor Velaryon – Played by John Macmillan

John Macmillan as Ser Laenor in House of the Dragon

John Macmillan took over the role of Ser Laenor from Theo Nate in episode 6 The Princess and The Queen.

Lady Laena Velayron – Played by Nova Foueillis-Mosé / Savannah Steyn / Nanna Blondell

Nanna Blondell in House of the Dragon episode 6 as Laena Velaryon

The daughter of Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen, was offered as a potential marriage option for King Viserys. However, he baulked at the idea of wedding someone so young. 

She returned played by Savannah Steyn (Intergalactic, The Tunnel, A Discovery of Witches) in the wedding of Rhaenyra and Laenor, dancing with Prince Daemon.

Swedish actress Nanna Blondell took over the role for Laena's final epic appearance in episode 6, where she flew on Vhagar the dragon.

Baela Targaryen – Played by Shani Smethurst (young) / Bethany Antonia

Young Baela and Rhaena Targaryen in House of the Dragon

The eldest daughter of Laena Velaryon and Prince Daemon and rider of the young dragon Moondancer.

Rhaena Targaryen – Played by Eva Ossei-Gerning (young) / Phoebe Campbell

The second daughter of Lady Laena and Prince Daemon and sister to Baela.

Additional Characters

Ser Criston Cole – Played by Fabien Frankel

Fabien Frankel as Ser Criston Cole

Of Dornish descent, Ser Criston is the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. He has no claim to land or titles; all he has to his name is his honour and his preternatural skill with a sword.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen chose Ser Criston as her protector, despite protests from Otto Hightower. Rhaenyra believes his combat experience will come in handy if she ever finds herself in danger... she might be on to something.

Ser Criston becomes a pivotal character in season one, when he begins an affair with Rhaenyra. Despite the fact she initiated the romance, he is turned down by the Princess when he offers her the chance to run away with him.

He reacts terribly to her decision and continues to resent the Princess. As a result, he aligns closely with Queen Alicent.

Fabien Frankel has previously starred in rom com Last Christmas and as Dominique Renelleau in the BBC drama The Serpent.

Mysaria – Played by Sonoya Mizuno

Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria in House of the Dragon

She came to Westeros with nothing, was sold more times than she can recall, and she could have wilted... but instead she rose to become the most trusted - and most unlikely - ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne. 

In episode 2, Mysaria came to the fore as Prince Daemon revealed plans to wed and start a family with his ally - causing quite the outcry.

Sonoya Mizuno has previously starred in Devs, Ex Machina, Netflix series Maniac, and films Crazy Rich Asians, La La Land and Beauty and the Beast.

Ser Harrold Westerling - Played by Graham McTavish

Graham McTavish as Ser Harrold Westerling

Ser Harrold has served in the Kingsguard since the days of King Jaehaerys; he is a paragon of chivalry and honor.

The casting of Graham McTavish suggests that we should expect big things from Ser Harrold.

The Scottish actor has previously played Dwalin in The Hobbit, Vlad Dracula Tepes in Netflix's Castlevania and Dougal and William MacKenzie in Outlander.

Admiral Craghas Drahar aka The Crab Feeder - Played by Daniel Scott-Smith

Craghas was the leader of the Triarchy, which was the alliance of three of the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea - Lys, Myr, and Tyrosh.

Introduced in episode two and three of House of The Dragon, the Crab Feeder earned his nickname from his painful way of dealing with enemies - using a stake  to pin them down and feeding to the crabs on the Stepstones beach.

Played by British actor Scott-Smith (Jungle, Men In Black: International), there were nods to the original Game of Thrones series with his character suffering from greyscale and wearing a mask as worn by the Sons of the Harpy in Meereen.

Lord Lyman Beesbury – Played by Bill Paterson

Bill Patterson as Lord Lyman Beesbury in House of the Dragon

Lord of Honeyholt and Master of Coin on King Viserys's small council, Lord Lyman is shown to be suffering from his old age as she struggles to keep up with the conversation in episode 6, The Princess and The Queen.

He is played by legendary Scottish actor Bill Patterson, whose long list of credits includes Auf Wiedersehen Pet,  Wives and Daughters, Little Dorrit, Fleabag, Good Omens and Brassic.

Samwell - Jonny Weldon

Popular Twitter comic Jonny Weldon made a cameo in House of the Dragon episode three as the lute-playing minstrel Samwell, who gets caught in the middle of some tension between Alicent and Rhaenyra.

If you haven't watched any of Weldon's Twitter videos about life as a struggling actor, check them out now.

Grand Maester Mellos – Played by David Horovitch

Grand Master Mellos, played by David Horovitch

 A voice of reason and trusted advisor to King Viserys, Mellos has been doing his best to help treat the King Viserys with his various ailments.

Actor David Horovitch is best known for playing Inspector Slack in Miss Marple.

Ser Joffrey Lonmouth aka The Knight of Kisses - Played by Solly McLeod

Fabien Frankel and Solly McLeod in House of the Dragon

Anyone known as The Knight of Kisses didn't stand a chance of lasting long in House of the Dragon. Ser Leanor's secret lover was beaten to a bloody pulp in episode 5 by Ser Criston Cole, after he foolishly tried to strike a deal with the Dornish warrior.

Solly McLeod previously starred in Sky series The Rising and will be seen again on your screens soon in the title role of ITV's Tom Jones adaptation.

Lady Rhea Royce - Played by Rachel Redford

Lady Rhea, the head of House Royce, made only a brief appearance in episode 5, before being bumped off by her husband Prince Daemon.

'The Bronze B***h' was played by Rachel Redford, who you may have seen in hit Netflix series Shadow and Bone or E4 series Gap Year.

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House Strong

Lord Lyonel Strong – Played by Gavin Spokes

Gavin Spokes as Lord Lyonel Strong

Lord Strong is master of Laws to King Viserys and Lord of Harrenhal. His sons Harwin and Larys also appear in season one.

Talking about his character to People, Spokes said: "[Strong] always believes that he is trying to do the right thing.

"Whether he is or not is for us to judge but he's quite a decent person."

Spokes has previously appeared in 2022 remake The Ipcress Files, Sky comedy Hitmen and Channel 4's Brexit: The Uncivil War.

Ser Harwin ‘Breakbones’ Strong – Played by Ryan Corr

Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin Breakbones Strong

As his nickname 'Breakbones' would suggest, Harwin is said to be the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms.

Ser Harwin is the eldest son to Master of Laws Lyonel Strong and heir to Harrenhal.

Introduced in episode 3, Rhaenyra appeared to catch the young knight's attention.

Ryan Corr is an Australian actor know for his roles in TV dramas and films such as Packed to the Rafters, Love Child and Wolf Creek 2.

Larys Strong – Played by Matthew Needham

Matthew Needham as Larys Strong

The younger son of Master of Laws Lyonel Strong, Larys has the distinctive feature of a clubfoot. However, don't let his physical weakness fool you, this member of House Strong has a significant role to play in the story ahead.

Matthew Needham's TV credits include Sanditon, Doctor Who, Casualty and The Hollow Crown.

House Lannister

Tyland Lannister – Played by Jefferson Hall

A crafty and calculating politician, twin to Lord Jason Lannister.

Jefferson Hall plays the dual roles of Tyland and Jason (see below).

Lord Jason Lannister – Played by Jefferson Hall

Jefferson Hall as Lord Jason Lannister

The Lord of Casterly Rock and twin to Ser Tyland Lannister is introduced in episode 3.

A distant relative of Tyrion and co, Jason has all the arrogance and thirst for power you would expect from a Lannister.

Jefferson Hall had a small role in Game of Thrones as Ser Hugh of the Vale. He's also appeared in Wizards vs Aliens, Vikings, Taboo and the 2018 film Halloween.

Talking to Entertainment Tonight about how he wanted to acknowledge the great Lannister characters in Game of Thrones, Jefferson said fans could expect "tiny little drops of Tyrion or tiny little drops of Cersei".

"I put it in there as a sort of teaser. But fundamentally, realistically, they’re so far removed," he said.

"And this is really about the genesis of this house, before it came to the power they were in on Game of Thrones."

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