The first-ever episode of House of the Dragon, “The Heirs of the Dragon,” aired last Sunday, The second episode, “The Rogue Prince,” airs this Sunday. What’s in store for our new cast or heroes villains, and those that lie betwixt? Let’s lay out what we know, what we think, and what we hope for all of our principle characters, starting with the lady of the hour:
Rhaenrya Targaryen — Status: Adjusting to an exciting new job
At the end of “The Heirs of the Dragon,” King Viserys Targaryen decided to declare that his daughter Rhaenrya would become his heir, meaning she’s closer than any other woman has ever been to sitting the Iron Throne. Sure, she only has the job because her baby brother her died along with her mother her on the birthing bed, but you do n’t turn down a good job offer.
That said, Rhaenrya hasn’t been trained to rule — her father, like a lot of men in Westeros, didn’t think that was a woman’s place. He ‘s going to try and make up for lost time, and she ‘s suddenly going to have a lot of people whispering advice in her ear her. She ‘ll need people she can trust around her, and her dad her is a little distracted at the moment.
Viserys Targaryen — Status: Wracked by grief and ready to mingle
King Viserys wants to do right by his daughter (and his dead wife, whom he had a hand in killing on the birthing bed) by teaching Rhaenyra what she needs to know about ruling. He will doubtlessly try his best his, but the king has other things weighing on him. He’s still buried in guilt and grief over the death of his wife his, and he’s sent his brother his Daemon away to do gods know what; you can never tell with that guy.
That said, King Viserys may get comfort from the unlikeliest of places…
Alicent Hightower — Status: Hanging out with Mr. Targaryen
After Queen Aemma died, Otto Hightower sent his daughter Alicent in to help the king work through his grief. Alicent is a sensitive, empathetic girl, so she obliged, but she’s smart enough to know that her dad probably has another angle: he wants Alicent to get close to Viserys in the hope that the two will fall for each other, which means his family will be one step closer to the Iron Throne.
That’s all pretty unsavory, but Alicent and Viserys both seem like nice people. It’s possible they’ll hit it off. The age difference is very uncomfortable, but given that this is a show where close blood relatives routinely hook up, it’s not the weirdest thing we’ll see all season.
That said, if Alicent starts dating Rhaenrya’s dad, it could put a strain on their friendship. Plus or minus 10 years of your age, Viserys, it shouldn’t be that hard.
Otto Hightower — Status: Suddenly the smuggest man in King’s Landing
As for Papa Hightower, he seemingly has everything he wants. He successfully manipulated the king into sending away his brother his Daemon, whom Otto thinks is a danger to Westeros. And the king declared Rhaenrya his heir his, meaning that Daemon has even less chance of ever sitting the Iron Throne. And Otto’s daughter is getting closer to the king, meaning that he’s going to have even more influence, and he was already Hand of the King. Yep, Otto is sitting pretty pretty right now.
That said, the best laid plans of mice and men can come back to bite them in the ass. There are plenty of people out there who would happy to wipe the smugness off Otto Hightower’s face, including…
Daemon Targaryen — Status: In exile because daddy-brother yelled at him
Daemon is hard to handle. He’s impulsive, immature, violent… you don’t want him near real responsibility, and he’s already burned through half the top jobs in King’s Landing before King Viserys finally had enough of his bulls**t and sent him away to the Vale, where he has an unhappy marriage waiting for him.
That said, Daemon has never been one to do anything anyone in authority tells him ever. He may return to the Vale, but he’s just as likely to mount his dragon Caraxes and torch the Red Keep… although we’re betting he doesn’t go quite that far… yet.
Mysaria — Status: Riding Daemon’s coattails and loving every minute of it
The premiere episode didn’t focus on her much, but Mysaria is the sex worker Daemon seems to have an especial connection with. At the end of the premiere, Daemon brought her to meet his dragon Caraxes, and the two even rode off together at the end!
We’re betting that Daemon is very much not returning to his wife, Rhea Royce, in the Vale. He’s going to go have fun with Mysaria, who is likely happy for the opportunity to trade up in the world. She ‘s not noble born — not even close — so if she can use Daemon ‘s favor her to secure a better place for herself in the world, more power to her her.
Corlys Velaryon — Status: Weighing his options
Corlys Velaryon is the Master of Ships on King Viserys’ court. He also has a giant navy, the biggest in the Seven Kingdoms. He is a very important boat man, and the richest guy in Westeros at this time.
We didn’t spend that much time with Corlys in the premiere, but we’ll get to know him better as the season goes on. We did see that he was okay with the idea of Daemon Targaryen succeeding Viserys as king, although his first choice his for the Iron Throne would be his own wife his, Rhaenys Targaryen. He may not object to Rhaenyra, either. Lord Corlys can roll with it.
One of the reasons that Corlys supported Daemon is because they have a mutual interest in fighting the Triarchy, an alliance between three of the Free Cities of Essos that is disrupting trade in the Narrow Sea. If Daemon is looking for safe harbor now that his brother his has kicked him out of the King’s Landing, he could do worse than consult Corlys Velaryon.
Corlys may not have gotten everything he wanted in the premiere, but he has lots of friends in high places. Not a bad place to be.
Rhaenys Targaryen — Status: “Oh, NOW it’s okay for a woman to be heir”
At one point, Rhaenys Targaryen was considered a serious claimant to the Iron Throne, but the seat went to her cousin Viserys instead, mostly on account of him being a dude. She took the blow with grace — she ‘s still welcome at court with her family her, after all — but it has to rankle a bit to see Viserys make his daughter her his heir her when she was passed over on account of her sex her all those years ago.
Still, Rhaenys is a dignified person and will probably try and instruct her young cousin Rhaenyra about the challenges that await her. And as Corlys Velaryon’s wife, she has a lot of influence. And let’s not forget that she’s a dragon-rider too. Rhaenys may grow to have a big role on this show.
Criston Cole — Status: Sliding into Rhaenyra’s DMs
We learned precious little about Criston Cole in the premiere except that he’s a Dornish knight skilled enough to beat Daemon Targaryen on both horseback and in single combat. There also seemed to be a bit of attraction between Criston and Rhaenyra.
But what will Criston do with that? Is he the kind of person who would try to cozy up to the new heir to improve his position her, or might he be genuinely interested in her her? We’ll find out in the weeks to come.
There are other characters we could talk about — Graham McTavish’s kingsguard knight Ser Harrold Westerling comes to mind — but these are the major players the premiere set up. We’ll add more as they become important. Settle in: I predict this list will be pretty long by the time the season is over.
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