The first episode of House of the Dragon introduced the various important characters of the show. Here’s a quick look at all of them.
Meet the heir to the Iron Throne, daughter of King Viserys, Princess of Dragonstone, Princess Rhaenyra. Rhaenyra is shown to be a fierce, fearless and strong woman. She is a dragon rider and rides Syrax. The princess is as powerful as they come and wants to be on the battlefield instead of giving birth. However, her biggest grievance is that she wasn’t the son that her father always wanted. Her father’s neglect and disregard lead to her harbouring feelings of inferiority and sadness, especially after she lost her dear mother. She is shown to have a special relationship with her Uncle, Prince Daemon which we hope is explored further in upcoming episodes of House of the Dragon. She is also close friends with Alicent Hightower, daughter of Otto Hightower, Hand of the King.
Prince Daemon, brother of King Viserys is hungry for power and wants to sit on the Iron Throne. A ruthless and sadistic man, he antagonizes almost everyone. He is quite quickly established as the big bad of the show. He is also the commander of the City Watch. With his 2000 men, he storms King’s Landing and publicly mutilates and kills criminals. This scene provides the first episode with a lot of unnecessary gore and violence. Nonetheless, it shows the savageness and wildness of Daemon. He does not follow the rules, has no sense of responsibility and takes risks to the highest degree. However, there is one person that he would yield to and that is his niece, Princess Rhaenyra.
The kind and gentle king of the seven kingdoms of Westeros is played by Paddy Considine. However, good people aren’t meant to sit on the Iron Throne. He is driven by his desire to have an heir, a newborn son. This leads him to overlook and neglect his daughter Princess Rhaenyra. This eventually leads to him making a shocking and disastrous decision. He chooses to sacrifice his wife Aemma to save his son but ends up losing both. His relationship with his brother Daemon also gets worse.
Ser Otto, the Hand of the King is introduced as a loyal and faithful man who looks after the King’s every interest. He is also shown to have a strong dislike or rather passionate hatred for the King’s brother, Prince Daemon. In fact, it is due to the information that Ser Otto relayed to the King that Daemon was banished from King’s Landing and ordered to return to Runestone. However, he too has some dubious intentions as he asks his daughter to go comfort the King after the death of his wife and that too in his private chambers wearing one of her mother’s dresses.
The daughter of Otto Hightower, Alicent, is a close friend of Princess Rhaenyra. She seems like a quiet and demure lady. From her very first scene, she refuses to ride dragons and chooses to appreciate them from afar. She worries about her friend Rhaenyra as they sit to read history under the shade of a tree. The conversation also gives us a slight glimpse of how aware Alicent is about royal politics and how she cares about position and power.
Lord of the tides, the Sea Snake, Lord Corlys Velaryon is the Master of Driftmark, and head of House Velaryon. He is also the husband of Princess Rhaenys. During the initial council meeting, we see a glimpse of his personality as he voices himself and his doubts. He is someone who is capable of taking charge and clearly wanted control so as to do things his way. He often voices his support for Prince Daemon despite the resistance from the others. This becomes even clearer when he shows no empathy whatsoever for King Viserys after the death of his wife and newborn son. He immediately recommends his wife as the next heir of the Iron Throne. He even took it a step further when he suggested their sons, in case patriarchy still disallowed Rhaenys.
Played by Eve Best Princess Rhaenys Targaryen was King Jaehaerys’ eldest descendant and cousin to King Viserys. She was a victim of patriarchy as she was not allowed to inherit the Iron Throne despite being the King’s closest relative. She is quite naturally dissatisfied with the current leadership of King Viserys and has her eyes on the throne as well. In fact, she has been dubbed The Queen Who Never Was.
House of the Dragon also had some smaller roles that we only hope get bigger with time such as that of Ser Creston Cole and Craghas Drahar.