House of the Dragon: Game of Thrones Prequel Trailer Breakdown

Ser Otto Hightower

Fans of Game of Thrones should immediately recognize the pendant on the chest of this unseen character. That is worn by the “Hand of the King” who is essentially the King of the Seven Kingdoms’ chief of staff. Some Hands of the King are more historically significant than others and the House of the Dragon will depict a particularly important one. Though we don’t see his face, this character is certainly Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).

The Hightowers hail from Oldtown in The Reach, one of the biggest and most powerful cities in the Seven Kingdoms. In fact, before Aegon I’s arrival on the continent and the creation of King’s Landing, Oldtown was THE city in Westeros. As such, the Hightower family that rules Oldtown is extremely powerful. Though Otto’s brother is the Lord of Oldtown, Otto has been a mainstay of King’s Landing for years. He is a deeply political man who counts the king’s brother Daemon as his biggest rival. His daughter is also quite attractive and may or may not catch the eye of King Viserys I.

King Viserys I

Ah yes, King Viserys I: the head honcho. Viserys I (Paddy Considine) is the fifth king of the Targaryen dynasty. He seems to be doing a decent job but that might just be because his reign followed that of his grandfather Jaehaerys I – perhaps the greatest king Westeros ever had. Viserys’s biggest “sin” is his love of his daughter Rhaenyra. Viserys is grooming her to be Westeros’s ruling monarch despite the precdent of patrilineal succession being set under Jaehaerys’s reign.

The prominent inclusion of Viserys’ sword in this shot might not be a coincidence. All Targaryen kings through Aegon IV wielded Aegon I’s Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre. Should someone hypothetically nab that sword in a civil war it would lend an air of legitimacy to their claim.

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy). This may be the closest this story has to a “main character.” Rhaenyra is the apple of her father King Viserys’s eye. In fact, for much of her youth she was pretty much the apple of everyone’s eye. Known as the “Realm’s Delight”, Rhaenyra has a very positive approval rating in the Seven Kingdoms. She is Viserys’s only child from his marriage to Queen Aemma of House Arryn. She appears to have a clear path to the Iron Throne … unless her father does something crazy like say, get remarried.

Daemon Targaryen

Here we have Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen. Daemon (Matt Smith) is the king’s younger brother and therefore Rhaenyra’s uncle. In the war to come, Daemon will be one of the most important players. He is an excellent warrior but also a bit unbearable. Otto Hightower hates him and Viserys himself isn’t too taken by him. His niece certainly loves him though. Perhaps a bit too much. 

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