It’s been three long years since Game of Thrones came to its disappointing close. With Dany slain and Jon exiling himself to the Wall, Bran was left to rule over King’s Landing. It was an ending no one wanted – for more reasons than one.
Not only did it leave fans feeling dissatisfied, but it also left a Game of Thrones-shaped hole in our lives. Then we heard the exciting news that a prequel was set to hit our screens. Enter House of the Dragon, a show focusing on the much-discussed Targaryen royal house.
Anyone looking through our entertainment section could tell that we were hooked from the word go, and we haven’t lost interest since. But which characters have carried the show in its first season? We take a look below.
1. Prince Daemon Targaryen
When we heard Matt Smith was to star in House of the Dragon, we were immediately excited. With a slew of big shows already under his belt, from Doctor Who to The Crown, we knew the seasoned actor would have no problem putting in a star performance.
Even so, his turn as Daemon Targaryen exceeded all expectations. As this handy infographic shows, Daemon is the brother of King Viserys. He also (slightly problematically) is an uncle to his second wife Rhaeneyra Targaryen, as well as her half-brothers Aegon and Aemond.
Villainous throughout, Daemon is a treat to watch. Whether he’s riding his dragon Caraxes through the skies, chopping off body parts, or having secret conversations with his beloved in Valerian, he lights up our screens with his charisma and cunning. Though he’s a rule unto himself, we love that we never know what he’s going to do next.
2. Princess Rhaeneyra Targaryen
Rhaeneyra is the first-born child of King Viserys and the only surviving offspring of his first wife Aemma Arryn. Holding a special place in her father’s affections, he goes against convention to name her his heir – upholding this pledge even after the birth of two sons.
Rhaeneyra is not a typical fantasy princess. A dragon rider in her own right, she’s fiercely independent yet mindful of her duty. Unwilling to sit on the Iron Throne at any cost, she can see the bigger picture in ways many of the other House of the Dragon characters do not.
Sharing the best qualities of both her parents, she nevertheless has one overriding weakness: her love for her uncle. While it’s in keeping with Targaryen tradition for them to marry, she allows this passion to overrule her more sensible side on numerous occasions. In the end, though, the two undoubtedly make for a powerhouse of a royal couple.
3. Prince Aemond Targaryen (aka Aemond One-Eye)
The second son of the second wife, Aemond Targaryen is a stereotypical middle child. While he initially seems like the lesser evil compared to his feckless older brother, his quietly menacing nature is revealed throughout the series.
We first see this during his claim of Vhagar, when he goes to battle against the other royal children and loses an eye. From this point on, he embraces his roguish side, donning an eyepatch and taking to wearing a dazzling sapphire in his empty socket.
The true depths of his evil, however, were only unveiled during the dazzling finale of season one, when poor Lucerys Velaryon fell foul of his cruel games in the most shocking way.
Tell us, which House of the Dragon character is your favorite? You can read more about the TV shows you enjoy (and lots of other subjects) in our entertainment section.