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Grab Your Dragons, Pull up The Iron Throne and Learn All About the ‘House of the Dragon’ Cast

Plus, find out what cast members think about season two of the show 

Things are about to heat up in Westeros now that Season 2 of House of the Dragon, the prequel to the blockbuster Game of Thrones fantasy series, has begun. This year, the realm is on the brink of war as two members of the Targaryen family believe they are the rightful heirs to the crown — with the Green council supporting King Aegon II and his mother, Queen Alicent, while the Black council is on the side of Queen Rhaenyra. Alliances are formed, dragons take flight and armies battle… but the question always remains: Who in the House of the Dragon cast will ultimately sit on the Iron Throne?

Here we take a closer look at all of that — and more!

Matt Smith XI

Matt Smith XI

CHARACTER PLAYED: Prince Daemon Targaryen

BORN: October 28, 1982, in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, UK.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Doctor Who (2010-2014), The Crown (2016-2017), Last Night in Soho (2021) and Morbius (2022)

PERSONAL: Smith is a graduate of the University of East Anglia.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: Sharing his thoughts on what he thinks people will get out of his character, Smith said, “He’s grieving the death of his brother, who he misses deeply, but he’s unable to share or express that to anyone. So you’re left with a quite volatile and confused Damon Targaryen, which will hopefully be entertaining for viewers.”

FUN FACT: Fans of the book weren’t too happy when Smith was cast as Daemon Targaryen, because they didn’t think he was charismatic enough, but after seeing him in season 1, they seemed to have changed their minds.

Emma D’Arcy: House of the Dragon cast

Emma D'Arcy: House of the Dragon cast

CHARACTER PLAYED: Queen Rhaneya Targaryen

BORN: June 27, 1992, in London, England, UK

BEST KNOWN FOR: Misbehaviour (2020), Mothering Sunday (2021) and The Talent (2023).

PERSONAL: D’Arcy studied at Ruskin School of Art, Oxford.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: Much of Queen Rhaneya Targaryen’s character arc in season 2 will revolve around her being away from the rest of the cast. When asked how they felt about that, D’Arcy said, “It really makes you know what you lost, I suppose — every time we do get to work [together], it’s a great privilege and very exciting and very thrilling and nourishes something because it sort of feels old. So much of us making the first series, well, for me, was falling in love with them — with Matt, with Liv, with other members of the cast — so anytime you get joy in that is a treat. But shows have to move on; I think that’s what keeps it exciting, and there are different gravitational pulls this season for [Rhaenyra].”

FUN FACT: D’Arcy and Smith both asked Emilia Clarke, who played Danaerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, for advice on how to play a Targaryen accurately in the show.

Olivia Cooke II

Olivia Cooke II

CHARACTER PLAYED: Queen Alicent Hightower

BORN: December 27, 1993 in Oldham, Greater Manchester, England, UK.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015), Thoroughbreds (2017), Ready Player One (2018) and Sound of Metal (2019).

PERSONAL: Cooke has been with actor Jacon Ifan since 2020.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: In discussing what she feels motivates Queen Alicent Hightower, she said, “In terms of motivations and broad themes, for Alicent, it’s sort of about diminishing power. And what does she do when she doesn’t have agency or any semblance of autonomy within the castle? And who is she if she can’t shape the realm in the background? That was really interesting.”

FUN FACT: Cooke originally auditioned for Queen Rhaneya Targaryen.

Rhys Ifans: House of the Dragon cast

Rhys Ifans: House of the Dragon cast

CHARACTER PLAYED: Ser Otto Hightower

BORN: July 22, 1967, in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Notting Hill (1999), Anonymous (2011), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), Snowden (2016) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).

PERSONAL: Ifans was with Sienna Miller from 2007-2008. Then, he was with Anna Friel from 2011 – 2014.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: When asked about his character’s thought process, Ifans said “Otto is a chess player. Otto can predict what his enemies are gonna do before they even know what they’re gonna do themselves, which served him well in season 1, but in season 2, I don’t know whether his chess skills are entirely going to be helpful, because in season 2, the world is falling apart.”

FUN FACT: Ifans has been in the most episodes out of anyone in the cast.

Graham McTavish

Graham McTavish

CHARACTER PLAYED: Ser Harrold Westerling

BORN: January 4, 1961, in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Rambo (2008), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), Outlander (2014-2020) and The Witcher (2021-2023).

PERSONAL: McTavish has been married to Garance Doré since 2023. He has two children.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: In the books, Ser Harrold Westerling doesn’t appear a lot on the page — which is a drastic shift from the show. When reflecting on what he pictures his character doing, McTavish said, “I just always imagined, you know, Ser Harrold’s [spending] time alone in his room. I don’t really imagine he has a bedroom. I don’t think he’s allowed a bed — I think he just has to sleep standing up — probably because I never got to sit down the entire season. But yeah, I think he has a very, very sad, lonely time of it.”

FUN FACT: He is the only Scottish person in the cast.

Fabien Frankel: House of the Dragon cast

Fabien Frankel: House of the Dragon cast


BORN: April 6, 1994, in London, England, UK.

BEST KNOWN FOR: The Serpent (2021) and Venice at Dawn (2022).

PERSONAL: Frankel has a BA from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: Of his character’s development, Franekl said, “He’s [Ser Criston Cole] very much set up as one thing, and as the show goes on, changes a great deal. That was what was exciting to me. He’s very much set up as a noble, well-meaning knight there to protect Rhaenyra. And for those who’ve read the book, he isn’t that by any means.”

FUN FACT: When he began auditioning for the part, Frankel was told that it was an ‘Untitled HBO Television Series’ and that his character’s name was Clint.

Tom Glynn-Carney

Tom Glynn-Carney


BORN: February 7, 1995, in Salford, Greater Manchester, England.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Dunkirk (2017), The King (2019) and Tolkien (2019).

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: When sharing how he feels about his character being on the Iron Throne, he said, “Aegon’s adopting this new persona of power and strength. It’s the first time he’s had any form of purpose. And he’s taking it in his stride – or at least trying to look as if he is. There’s a spring in his step. Aegon’s probably gained two inches in height. So [at the start of this series], we find him working out what this next chapter is for him.”

FUN FACT: Glynn-Carney worked with Ty Tennant (young Prince Aegon II) on Tolkien (2019) as well. Tennant played the younger version of Glynn-Carney.

Ewan Mitchell: House of the Dragon cast

Ewan Mitchell: House of the Dragon cast

CHARACTER PLAYED: Prince Aemond Targaryen

BORN: March 8, 1997, in Derby, Derbyshire, England, UK.

BEST KNOWN FOR: The Last Kingdom (2017-2033), High Life (2018) and Saltburn (2023).

PERSONAL: Mitchell is almost 6 feet tall.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: When asked about the best part of his character, Mitchell said, “What I love about Aemond is that he has an ambiguity. He could be looking at someone thinking about how he wants to cook them a meal and take them on a date, or he could be looking at someone thinking he wants to make them the meal and take Vhagar [his dragon] on a date.”

FUN FACT: Mitchell has had no formal acting training.

Phia Saban

Phia Saban

CHARACTER PLAYED: Queen Helaena Targaryen

BORN: September 19, 1998, in Hackney, London, England, UK.

BEST KNOWN FOR: The Last Kingdom (2022).

PERSONAL: She was born under the name Sophia Alison M. Boreham Saban.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: When asked about what she hopes people get out of season 2, Saban said I think that you’re gonna feel for us this season. I think that we do some s**t — but we regret it. And hopefully, you’ll see some tenderness as well.”

FUN FACT: Saban’s character is often seen muttering cryptic messages that only make sense in later episodes, leading many to believe that her character has some magical abilities.

Steve Toussaint: House of the Dragon cast

Steve Toussaint: House of the Dragon cast

CHARACTER PLAYED: Lord Corlys Velaryon

BORN: March 22, 1965, in Birmingham, England.

BEST KNOWN FOR: The Knock (1994-2000), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) and Point Blank (2015).

PERSONAL: Toussaint attended Sussex University and was working towards a degree in politics.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: Detailing what he hopes people get out of season three, Toussaint said, “We’re all nervous now because we’re hoping that people like it. We think that we’ve done a good job, but it’s possible the audience might just go, ‘Oh my God, what have you done?'”

FUN FACT: Before getting cast in House of the Dragon, Toussaint auditioned for many roles in Game of Thrones.

Eve Best

Eve Best

CHARACTER PLAYED: Princess Rhaenys Targaryen

BORN: July 31, 1971, in London, England, UK

BEST KNOWN FOR: Nurse Jackie (2009-2015), The Kings Speech (2010) and Lucky Man (2016-2017).

PERSONAL: Best studied English at Oxford.

THOUGHTS ON HOUSE OF THE DRAGON: While Best is very grateful to be on the show, she has admitted that she had never seen its predecessor Game of Thrones. “I was a complete Game of Thrones virgin. I knew it was a big deal but was unprepared for the sheer, gobsmacking scale of it. Walking on to the set was like walking into New York but instead of towering skyscrapers, it’s Dragonstone. The crew was nearly 4,000 people, which was jaw-dropping. I’ve caught up since.”

FUN FACT: Best did not yield any weapons in season one… except for a dragon.

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