House of the Dragon cast: A who's who guide to the Game of Thrones spin-off

Recognise these British actors?

a still of the House of the Dragon cast Paddy Considine and Rhys Ifans from an episode
(Image credit: HBO)

The House of the Dragon cast features a crop of both famous and up-and-coming British acting talent that help bring the story to life.

August brought much delight to Game of Thones fans - as spin-off the House of the Dragon finally arrived. Following the end of the hit HBO series in 2019 came the announcement of a new prequel that explores the House of Targaryen and House of Velaryon in all their bloody glory. Those watching along will also be familiar with the arrival of new villain the crab feeder and a huge change in store for Alicent Hightower - with both characters expected to dominate the narrative in forthcoming episodes.

Helping to bring the tale to life is a creme-de-la-creme crop of British actors, that many are bound to recognise from other hit shows. Among them a former Doctor Who and a particularly villianous Peaky Blinders priest who lead the cast line-up.

 Meet the cast of House of the Dragon:

Paddy Considine plays King Viserys Targaryen

Actor Paddy Considine on the House of Dragon cast red carpet

(Image credit: ©Sky UK LTD/Shutterstock)

Viserys was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. Paddy is known for his roles in The World’s End, Dead Man’s Shoes and Peaky Blinders

The actor recently revealed how his mother was the inspiration behind his role as King Viserys, saying: “When I played Viserys Targaryen, I just played my mum, you know. That’s what I played – my mother.” 

Matt Smith plays Prince Daemon Targaryen

Actor Matt Smith on the House of Dragon cast red carpet

(Image credit: ©Sky UK LTD/Shutterstock)

Deamon is the younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. 

Matt, who has also had starring roles in The Crown and Doctor Who, has said of House of Dragon: “I think it's really different to the original series. I mean it has to be. The original series was its own thing and it was, it was so brilliant and, and sort of left a mark in a way that it would be impossible to repeat.” 

Olivia Cooke plays Lady Alicent Hightower

Actor Olivia Cooke on the House of Dragon cast red carpet

(Image credit: ©Sky UK LTD/Shutterstock)

The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most beautiful woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen. 

Olivia, who is known for her roles in Vanity Fair and Bates Motel, said of the series: “The scripts I read were so, so, so, good.” 

Rhys Ifans plays Ser Otto Hightower

Actor Rhys Ifans on the House of Dragon cast red carpet

(Image credit: ©Sky UK LTD/Shutterstock)

The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne. 

Rhys has also starred in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1, Notting Hill and Anonymous. Keeping coy about House of the Dragon, Rhys said last year: "Very exciting… I don’t want to give too much away.” 

Emma D’Arcy plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

Actor Emma D'Arcy on the House of Dragon cast red carpet

(Image credit: ©Sky UK LTD/Shutterstock)

The king’s first-born child, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Actor Emma, who is also known for Hanna and Truth Seekers, has remained tight-lipped about her latest role, but she was spotted filming with Matt Smith on a Cornwall beach in September 2021.

Supporting cast

  • Steve Toussaint (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Mutant Chronicles) plays Lord Corlys Velaryon/"The Sea Snake"
  • Eve Best (The King’s Speech, Nurse Jackie) plays Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
  • Fabien Frankel (The Serpent) plays Ser Criston Cole
  • Sonoya Mizuno (La La Land, Annihilation) plays Mysaria
  • Milly Alcock (Upright, Furlough) plays Young Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
  • Bethany Antonia (Stay Close, Get Even) plays Baela Targaryen
  • Phoebe Campbell (Midsomer Murders, Home from Home) plays Rhaena Targaryen
  • Emily Carey (Wonder Woman, Where Is Anne Frank) plays Young Alicent Hightower
  • Harry Collett (Dunkirk, Dolittle) plays Jacaerys Velaryon
  • Ryan Corr (Holding the Man, The Secrets She Keeps) plays Ser Harwin "Breakbones" Strong
  • Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk, The King) plays Prince Aegon Targaryen
  • Jefferson Hall (Halloween, Sherlock Holmes) plays twins Ser Tyland Lannister and Lord Jason Lannister
  • David Horovitch (The Young Victoria) plays Grand Maester Mellos
  • Wil Johnson (Waking the Dead, Clocking Off) plays Ser Vaemond Velaryon
  • John Macmillan (King Lear) plays Ser Laenor Velaryon
  • Graham McTavish (The Hobbit, Rambo) plays Ser Harrold Westerling
  • Ewan Mitchell (The Last Kingdom, Trigger Point) plays Prince Aemond Targaryen
  • Theo Nate (Time) plays Ser Laenor Velaryon
  • Matthew Needham (The Ritual, Sherlock) plays Larys Strong
  • Bill Paterson (Miss Potter, Kingdom of Heaven) plays Lord Lyman Beesbury
  • Phia Saban (The Last Kingdom) plays Princess Helaena Targaryen
  • Gavin Spokes (The Ipcress File, Hitmen) plays Lord Lyonel Strong
  • Savannah Steyn (Crawl, The Tunnel) plays Lady Laena Velayron

Will any Game of Thrones characters appear in House of the Dragon?

Seeing as House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, it’s highly unlikely that any characters will appear. There’s also a lengthy new cast that didn’t appear in Game of Thrones, so we can safely make the assumption that there will be no returning characters.

However, it is possible that we'll see the ancestors of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons and other families that we’re more familiar with. Depending on exactly how much ground is covered we could also see original Westerosi conquerors Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys Targaryen, as hinted by early casting announcements, though this hasn't been confirmed.

Another familiar face we might see again is dragon Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon’s mount whose skull resided in the dungeon’s of King’s Landing throughout most of Game of Thrones, and who was "historically" ridden by King Viserys I at one point.

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Robyn Morris
Entertainment writer - contributor

Robyn is a freelance celebrity journalist with ten years experience in the industry. While studying for a degree in Media and Cultural Studies at London College of Communication, she did internships at Now and Heat magazines. After graduating, she landed a job at Star magazine, where she worked her way up to features editor. She then worked at Future as Deputy Celebrity Content Director across Woman, Woman’s Own, Woman’s Weekly and Woman & Home magazines.