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Who Will Be The Next Hand Of The King In House Of The Dragon?

By Chandraboli Majumdar
September 14,2022

In House of the Dragon episode 4, Rhaenyra and her father, King Viserys struck a deal. After the terrible rumor regarding Princess Rhaenyra and Daemon’s dalliance in the Street of Silk, Viserys had lost all patience. He told Rhaenyra that she was going to get married immediately whether she liked it or not. To this Rhaenyra replied by giving him an ultimatum. She told him that she would do her duty as the heir and marry Sir Laenor Velaryon, the son of the Sea Snake. However, in return, he would have to fire Otto Hightower from his position as the Hand to the King. This was obviously because Otto had been after Rhaenyra’s position for a while now and would not back down until he ruined her. Ser Lyonel Strong is now set to be the next Hand of the King.

King Viserys fires Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon

King Viserys fires Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon

King Viserys finally agreed and called Otto in. He even confronted Otto regarding him sending Alicent to comfort the King after the death of his wife Aemma. He realizes that it was a cleverly placed bait that he willingly took. With that, the episode ended. But what will be the consequences of Viserys’ decision?

Viserys relieves Otto Hightower from his duty as Hand of the King

Alicent and Otto Hightower

Alicent and Otto Hightower

During the House of the Dragon episode, we get to hear how Otto Hightower had become the Hand of the King in the first place. As it turns out, he has been serving the realm ever since the reign of Jaehaerys Targaryen. Viserys’ father Baelon Targaryen was meant to be the Hand of the King. However, due to Baelon’s unexpected death, Otto Hightower succeeded him as the Hand of the King. He became the second most powerful man in the realm within 5 days. He kept his position and continued to serve during Viserys’ reign as well. However, Viserys has finally realized his self serving nature and has decided to do something of it with a little encouragement from Rhaenyra.

Otto and King Viserys

Otto and King Viserys

However, despite being fired, Otto Hightower will not stop here. The fact that Rhaenyra is the one who fueled this divide between Viserys and Otto, he will be even more eager to take her down. We already know that he was the one who kept an eye on Rhaenyra and Daemon’s activities using the White Worm’s extensive network of child spies. He also kept pushing the King to replace Rhaenyra with Aegon as his heir. This was very clear during the hunt when he kept reminding Viserys of how auspicious the day was as they had spotted the White Stag. He groomed Alicent to become the wife of Viserys and produce heirs for him.

Now that he has no loyalty for the King and the throne his conspiracies will just increase. There is also a moment during the trailer for episode 5 of House of the Dragon where we see Otto Hightower pressurizing Queen Alicent to prepare her son Aegon becoming the next ruler. He will leave no stone unturned to ruin Rhaenyra’s reputation even it requires him to use unsavory and nasty tactics. In fact, Otto will be instrumental in bringing about the Dance of the Dragons.

Ser Lyonel Strong to be the next Hand of the King

Ser Lyonel Strong in House of the Dragon

Ser Lyonel Strong in House of the Dragon

In the book Ser Lyonel Strong replaced Otto Hightower as Hand of the King. This seems to be a likely outcome in the show as well. Lyonel Strong is the only member of the King’s council whose opinion is untainted by personal bias and agendas. When asked about the ideal suitor for Rhaenyra, instead of suggesting his own son Harwin “Breakbones” Strong, he gives his genuine advice. He tells him that Rhaenyra should marry the dragon-rider Ser Laenor Velaryon as that would be the most politically strategic decision.

It would strengthen the Kingdom by allying its two strongest houses. The King would get back the Velaryon fleet, strengthen the Targaryens’ dragon power and also mend his relationship with Lord Corlys Velaryon. He had also advised King Viserys to marry Lady Laena Velaryon instead of Lady Alicent. Lyonel Strong also served as King Viserys’ master of laws. This way he would not have to worry about his advisor being manipulative.