House of the Dragon: 24 Best Characters Ranked

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house of the dragon's best characters

House of the Dragon treats us to the same elements that made Game of Thrones a generational phenomenon: 

Beautiful sets, thrilling battle scenes, romantic entanglements, and royal politics galore. Above all, there are also a colorful new cast of characters. 

This all-new cast makes House of the Dragon a little messy at times. Fresh faces, multiple timelines, and different actors playing the same characters at different ages can be mind-blowing to say the least. 

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But now that season one has wrapped, we’ve gotten a grip on this new story within George R.R. Martin’s world. 

Now, with season two nearing its release, we want to look back at the show’s standout characters. Keep scrolling to see our ranking of House of the Dragon’s best characters.

24. Aemma Arryn

Aemma Arryn

Aemma Arryn seems like a cool lady. She’s a good wife (to Viserys) and mother (to Rhaenyra) and she’s also admirably lighthearted during her tough pregnancy. Unfortunately, that same pregnancy becomes her doom when she’s sacrificed to let her baby live (he doesn’t, for long).

So, nothing personal here; Aemma is an interesting and impactful character, but she doesn’t last long enough to rank higher.

23. Erryk Cargyll

Erryk Cargyll

The world in this TV show is so vast, that interesting characters often get cast aside. That’s kind of what happens with Erryk Cargyll and his twin, Arryk.

What we remember most about these brothers is that they wind up on opposite sides of the Targaryen Civil War. Like when Erryk splits from the Hightowers and delivers King Viserys’ crown to Rhaenyra. He seems like a potentially fun side hero. But let’s hope for a bit more personality in season two.  

22. Mysaria

Mysaria

Mysaria is a fascinating character: Daemon Targaryen’s paramour, and an informant similar to beloved Game of Thrones characters, Littlefinger and Varys. She roams brothels gathering information, and her whispers in Daemon’s ear can definitely sway events.

If we’re being honest though, Mysaria’s character in season one is mostly remembered for her baffling accent. Here’s to hoping it’ll be softened in season two. 

21. Rhaena Targaryen

Rhaena Targaryen

The daughter of Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon, Rhaena doesn’t have a ton to do in season one. The only thing we learn about her is that she can’t get a dragon egg to hatch.

Between this and the fact that Daemon seems to openly prefer Rhaena’s sister Baela, however, Rhaena is one of the few sympathetic characters in season one. That counts for something. 

20. Lucerys Velaryon

Lucerys Velaryon

If Rhaena is the most sympathetic character, her cousin Luke – Rhaenyra’s youngest son – may be the most realistic. He’s just a kid, trying to relate to his older brother and cousins, anxious about his responsibilities, and sometimes too hot-headed for his own good.

These traits add up to Luke aggravating his psychotic cousin Aemond one too many times, and, well… he gets swallowed up by Aemond’s gigantic ancient dragon. Poor kiddo. 

19. Baela Targaryen

Baela Targaryen 

Baela is Rhaena’s slightly older twin sister, and definitely the edgier of the two.

Rider of the dragon Moondancer and ward of Princess Rhaenys, she appears in season one to be an emerging force for the ‘Blacks’ (Rhaenyra and Daemon’s side of the Civil War). Personality-wise, she’s a little stony, but we love a young dragon rider. 


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18. Lyonel Strong

Lyonel Strong

Lyonel Strong isn’t the most exciting character in House of the Dragon. As Hand to King Viserys, he spends most of his time sitting gruffly in council meetings. He also doesn’t survive the first season.

While all of this makes Lyonel a minor character, he has one thing going for him: he’s just about the only guy prioritizing the good of the realm without distraction.  

17. Vaemond Velaryon

Vaemond Velaryon  

Vaemond has the cool factor. He’s a fearsome warrior, full of attitude. He’s also the only person on the Blacks side of the Civil War who’s happy to state the obvious about Rhaenyra’s sons not being Velaryons.

You have to admire his pure, no-nonsense devotion to his family’s honor. But you do not have to admire his honesty; Vaemond learns the hard way that calling the king’s grandsons bastards can get one’s head sliced in half.  

16. Jacaerys Velaryon

Jacaerys Velaryon

As Rhaenyra’s oldest son, Jacaerys is the heir to the Iron Throne as far as the Blacks are concerned. As a character, he’s a little ho-hum.

Jace is a good young lad; he’ll get in on the pranking and rough housing with his cousins and brother, but he’s the noblest of the three. He’s mature and (mostly) well-mannered, and ranks this high, because he’s the only one among Alicent’s and Rhaenrya’s four combined sons who seems princely. 

15. Helaena Targaryen

Helaena Targaryen

Perhaps the sweetest among all the cousins born to Alicent and Rhaenyra, Helaena almost seems detached from the rest of this show. She does as she’s told, and is shown to be more interested in bugs than politics.

The coolest thing is her ability to foreshadow the future. This, combined with her Luna Lovegood-ish demeanor (shoutout Potterheads) makes her fascinating heading into season two. 

14. Ser Criston Cole

Ser Criston Cole 

Ser Criston Cole is one of the most despicable characters on the show. Handsome…but despicable. He proves to be disloyal (flipping allegiance from Rhaenyra to Alicent) and is just all-round a petty man.

Criston Cole remains deadly, perhaps more than any soldier but Daemon Targaryen, and that makes him interesting. He might rank higher on this list if he didn’t come across so…cranky

13. Harrold Westerling

Harrold Westerling

We don’t see a whole lot of loyalty in Westeros, so good old Harrold Westerling is one of the show’s better characters.

This dude is just an old pro, reminiscent of GoT’s Ser Barristan Selmy; he’s on the Kingsguard to serve the royal family. He’s also loyal to Rhaenyra, and seems to stay that way even with the Hightowers’ treachery. 

12. Aegon II Targaryen

Aegon II Targaryen 

Aegon II, eldest son of King Viserys and Alicent Hightower, is shaping up to be one of the most complex characters in House of the Dragon.

On the one hand, he’s an entitled princeling: binge-drinking, womanizing, and roughhousing with his cousins. On the other, he gets thrust into an usurper role, and he doesn’t seem to hate the idea. Heading into season two, he’s kind of a slightly less evil Joffrey Baratheon. 

11. Laenor Velaryon

Laenor Velaryon

Laenor Velaryon is an easy favorite. He’s a brave and capable soldier, he rides an awesome dragon named Seasmoke, and he’s a faithful friend to Rhaenyra once they’re married.

He’d rank higher if he were as steely off the battlefield as he is on it. Then again, he’s also one of the most intriguing characters for a simple reason: We don’t know if we’ll see him again. Laenor fled Westeros after staging his own death, and he could return. 


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10. Larys Strong

Larys Strong

Whatever timeline of Westeros we’re in, it needs its schemers. This time round, Larys Strong is obviously the Littlefinger or Varys of House of the Dragon. Then again, this guy is also his own kind of creep.

He burns his own father and brother to death to advance the Hightower cause, and lends Alicent favors in exchange for…well…that foot stuff. He ranks in the top 10 because he feels like a total, chaotic wildcard. 

9. Laena Velaryon

Laena Velaryon

Laena Velaryon is an appealing character, because she has a stronger sense of self than anyone else in the show.

In claiming the great and ancient dragon Vhagar, she has self-confidence; in her devotion to Daemon and their children, she demonstrates love and political savvy. Frankly, Laena is a likable character that deserved a bigger part. 

8. Aemond Targaryen

Aemond Targaryen

If you’re looking for a cross between Joffrey Baratheon and Daemon Targaryen, here’s the right character. Like Joff, Aemond is a sadistic, entitled monster of a prince. But like his own uncle Daemon, he’s also a shrewd and deadly warrior.

He might not be someone to root for, but this combination makes him a mesmerizing character as we move forward.  

7. Otto Hightower

Otto Hightower

You could say that Otto Hightower’s ambition is the root of all evil. The guy basically shoves his daughter in front of a newly widowed king, desperate for a child-bearing bride, and kicks off an eventual war of succession. It’s…well…not cool, and it’s only the beginning of his treachery.

That treachery is sold beautifully by actor Rhys Ifans, resulting in Otto becoming one of the show’s most gripping villains. 

6. Corlys Velaryon

Corlys Velaryon

Ruler of Driftmark, patriarch of a great family, and a fierce naval commander, Corlys Velaryon is King Viserys’ strongest ally. It is Corlys’ ambition, however, that makes him more complex than all that.

This guy basically spends the first season seeking conflict to further his own glory and position. It doesn’t always make sense, but it makes him a lot of fun to watch.

5. Alicent Hightower

Alicent Hightower

Alicent is tricky to get a handle on, and that’s what makes her one of the best characters on the show. Is she an innocent girl thrown into political schemes by an ultra-ambitious father? Is she a well-meaning queen driven to cruelty by threats to her family?

Or is she a born schemer fueled by girlhood competition with best frenemy Rhaenrya? The answer is kind of that she’s all three, and that makes for a fascinating figure. 

4. Viserys Targaryen

King Viserys

It might once have been hard to imagine a character who is both pitiful and kingly. But in House of the Dragon, that’s pretty much the balance King Viserys strikes.

He’s just and righteous – a sort of B+ of a ruler. But he also inherits peace and stability, earns the throne controversially, and fails to produce a male heir – all of which eats away at him. These factors combine to create a pretty original character for the world of Westeros. 

3. Rhaenys Targaryen

Rhaenys Targaryen

They don’t come much cooler than Rhaenys: The rightful Queen of Westeros, who was cast aside so that a man could take the throne. But when we meet her, she has made the most of the situation by ruling Driftmark alongside Corlys Velaryon, raising two badass kids, and becoming a feared dragon rider.

Let’s be honest, though: Rhaeneys ranks as one of the best characters, thanks to the instantly iconic moment when she blasts through Aegon II’s coronation on dragonback. 

2. Daemon Targaryen

Daemon Targaryen 

George R.R. Martin called Daemon his favorite Targaryen, so you know we had to rank him as the second-best House of the Dragon character. And what’s not to love? Sure, he can be nasty, but Daemon is magnetic and powerful.

He is interesting enough as an elite warrior and dragon rider, but it’s his more tender moments that make him special. When we see Daemon singing to dragon eggs or fiercely defending Rhaenyra’s honor, we’re drawn in, enticed, and almost obsessed by his character. 

1. Rhaenyra Targaryen

Rhaenyra Targaryen

What makes Rhaenyra such a compelling central figure is that she’s kind of every Thrones-verse character in one: schemer and warrior, daughter and mother, heir and outcast. She is both wise and foolish, heroic and brutal, sure of herself and at a loss for what to do next.

Some of these contradictions might fade moving forward, but they’ve already made the badass Rhaenyra House of the Dragon’s best character so far.

Who are your best House of the Dragon characters? How would you rank them? Let us know in the comments below…

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  • Angela Stephanou

    After completing her BA in Communication, Media and Film studies, Angela launched Tell Tales Online, and now writes and oversees the content and strategy across the site. As a pop culture junkie, she follows more celebs than real-life people, her guilty pleasure is watching The Kardashians, but she's also a fan of Marvel and Game of Thrones.

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