House of the Dragon Is Back. Here's a Guide to Who Everybody Is and Why They're Fighting

Quick, for a dollar: Name a single character from House of the Dragon!

Look, it’s fine. The season one finale of the Game of Thrones spinoff aired almost two years ago, way back in late October 2022, and we’ve all had a lot on our plates since then. And it’s not like House made this easy for us. Whereas Thrones was about many different houses from different regions all vying for the throne of Westeros—the Lannisters, the Starks, and so on—almost every player in House of the Dragon’s version of the throne game is a member of House Targaryen in some form or fashion, hence the series’ title.

And there were a lot of characters, with very similar names, and the first season featured a bunch of time jumps, which led to key characters being played by different actors over the course of the first ten episodes. This made keeping track of the characters a little difficult, even before you factor in all the blond wigs.

If you’re still trying to answer the question at the top of this post, don’t fret—we’re here to help. Ahead of the sophomore season premiere this Sunday, June 16, we’ve compiled a handy character guide with a few key details on who is who. And—taking a cue from HBO, who’ve marketed this season by asking viewers to pick a side in the war between the “Greens” and the “Blacks”—we’ve followed suit and divided our rundown accordingly.

But First, a General Reminder As To What Everybody’s Fighting About

House of the Dragon takes place about 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and depicts the civil war that will become known as the “Dance of the Dragons.” At the start of the series, King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) states that his daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen, will inherit the Iron Throne.

On his deathbed, however, King Viserys is gone off that poppy-milk and his wife Alicent hears him muttering about “Aegon.” He’s actually talking about a previous king of Westeros, King Aegon the Conqueror, who had a vision of the future and imparted to his descendants as a prophecy called “The Song of Ice and Fire”—the belief that Westeros will one day face a long winter and fall to the forces of darkness unless a Targaryen sits on the Iron Throne when the cold front moves in from the North.

This should sound familiar—Aegon was predicting the clash between mankind and ice-zombies that takes place toward the end of Game of Thrones. But when Viserys mentions Aegon, Alicent takes it to mean that the old king has changed his mind and wants their son, Aegon II, to rule instead, and at the end of the first season of House of the Dragon, she and the Green team stage a coup and install Aegon II as king, which primes the powder keg. Next up: War!

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