House of the Dragon: All 8 Great Families Explained

Though set two centuries before the events of the Game of Thrones unravel, the houses featured in the latter HBO show also hold relevance to House of the Dragon.

Published on Jun 15, 2024  |  11:48 PM IST |  36.8K
House of the Dragon Season 2 (YouTube/Max/House of the Dragon Season 2 Trailer)
House of the Dragon Season 2 (YouTube/Max/House of the Dragon Season 2 Trailer)

Trigger Warning: This article contains details of murder and violence, which could be triggering for some readers.

As House of the Dragon Season 2 drifts closer to its premiere, fans prepare for the civil war between the many noble houses in Westeros. On either side of the Dance of the Dragons are the Targaryens, who have sought the support of the houses to back the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. 

Though set two centuries before the events of the Game of Thrones unravel, the houses featured in the latter HBO show also hold relevances to House of the Dragon. Based on author George R.R. Martin’s novel series, The Song of Ice & Fire, HOTD features some new house names appropriate to its historical timeline. 

The 8 great houses in the House of the Dragon are as follows: 

House Targaryen

Most feared and revered for their dragons, House Targaryen flew to Westeros on dragonbacks from Dragonstone. The blonde-haired family of Targaryens were the earliest settlers of the Essos empire, Old Valyria. It was later destroyed by a natural calamity and they had to relocate to Westeros, forming the Targaryen dynasty, who would go on to rule the continent for centuries thereafter, from their capital, King’s Landing. 

King Aegon The Conquerer had established dominance over all other prominent families in Westeros. Most dreaded the Targaryen’s dragons who could burn down whole armies to ashes by breathing fire. The continent had enjoyed peace ever since the Targaryens took over but following King Viserys I’s reign, the house witnessed turmoil for the rightful successor to the Iron Throne. 

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Now, a battle between the Greens and the Blacks within the House Targareyn is impending in Season 2. Rightful queen Rhaenyra Targaryen will fight for her throne leading the Black side against the already-declared king and his younger half-brother King Aegon II Targaryen. 

House Velaryon

House Velaryon also succeeded from Valyria to an island only a stone's throw away from Dragonstone called Driftmark. They pose a similar lineage to the Targaryens with blonde hair and a handful of dragons. Regarded as the second-most powerful family in the HBO show, the house is ruled by Corlys Velaryon, who has propelled the family into being the wealthiest and strongest in the Seven Kingdoms. However, the Velaryons were not featured in the Game of Thrones. 

A naval leader and famous explorer Corlys Velaryon has his fleet of ships ready to back Rhaneyra Targaryen for the Civil War. He is married to Rhaenys Targaryen, the rightful queen’s aunt. 

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During King Viserys I’s reign, he had wedded off his daughter and only heir then, Rhaenyra Targaryen to Corlys Velaryon’s son, Laenor, which was more of a hand for allyship. Rhanenyra and Laenor have three children, but with little similarities to their father, the townsfolk of Westeros doubt if Laenor is the biological parent.

House Hightower

House Hightower is another of the oldest families residing in Westeros for thousands of years. They come from the southern city of Oldtown and their most respectable members have served as close confidants to the Targaryen Kings. 

In House of the Dragon, Ser Otto Hightower served as the Hand to King Viserys I and his father King Jaehaerys Targaryen. A suspiciously vile man, Otto Hightower plots his family’s lineage into the Targaryen dynasty by sending his daughter Alicent Hightower, who was best friends with King Viserys’ daughter Rhaenyra, to comfort the King following his wife’s death. Eventually, they marry and give birth to the future king Aegon II, also becoming Rhaenyra’s stepmother. 

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The Hightowers make up most of the Greens in the Dance of the Dragons. 

House Stark

Unlike Game of Thrones, House Stark doesn’t have a leading role to play in House of the Dragon. The Starks of Winterfell are shown as allies of the Targaryens in Westeros. They were seen promising their loyalty to Rhaenyra as his heir after King Viserys summoned every lord in Westeros in Season 1.

Also a historic family in the Seven Kingdoms, the family of Starks arose from the First Men and ruled their Northern lands independently before their last king, Torrhen Stark accepted defeat in front of King Aegon, in a bid to spare the Stark army. In return, they left the Targaryens to rule Westeros while they became known as the ‘Warden of the North.’


ALSO READ: House Of The Dragon Season 2 Episode 1: Where Will The Plot Begin? Recap, What To Expect & More

House Lannister

House Lannister has been somewhat able to maintain its influence in the House of the Dragon, after their escapades in the original franchise. Known as the ‘Warden of the West’, the Lannisters rule the Westerlands from Casterly Rock. Their history with the Targaryens goes back to King Aegon’s reign when the Lannisters tried to wage war with the dynasty but survived. 

The Lannisters were represented in King Viserys’ small council as Tyland Lannister took over the duties of the Master of Coin. He also tried to win Rhaenyra’s hand in marriage in Season 1, by the end of which the Lannisters were seen siding with the Greens, maintaining their antagonistic acts as in the Game of Thrones. 

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House Cole

Not one of the top-tier noble families of Westeros, House Cole is represented by a singular character in the Houe of the Dragon Season 1. Ser Criston Cole impresses Princess Rhaenyra after defeating Prince Daemon Targaryen in a recreative battle. He is then appointed as a member of the Kingsguard, a first for his family. 

Cole is seen as a low-born Dornishman, with none of his family lineage branching from the nobility of the most revered families in the Seven Kingdoms. However, owing to his sparring flair, Criston Cole finds him in the King’s Landing, swearing to protect the royal family. 

Eventually, he sparks a romance with Rhaenyra, breaking his oath as the two plan to elope to live happily ever after. But Rhaenyra decides against it at the last minute leaving Cole heartbroken. In a fit to avenge her disloyalty, he sides with the Greens during the civil war. 

House Cargyll

Twins Erryk and Arryk Cargyll are inducted into the Kingsguard. It is pretty much what their house is developed upon. They belong to the lesser-known minor family of Cargylls who arrived from the Crownlands. The house is not heard of in the Game of Thrones. Since they are vowed to not bear children, the house is seemingly extinct by the centuries. 

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During the Dance of the Dragons, the twin brothers separate, each siding with the Greens and the Blacks. Erryk backs Rhaenyra and moves to Dragonstone whereas Arryk continues his loyalty to the King’s Landing. 

House Strong

With mere references in Game of Thrones, House Strong is a leading noble family in the House of the Dragon. Lord Lyonel Strong serves as the Hand to King Viserys I shortly before he is murdered along with his older son Harwin Strong by his evil son, Larys.

Their castle of Harrenhal is cursed, as also echoed in the sequel series. The Strongs side with the Greens in the Dance of the Dragons. 

Disclaimer: If you need support or know someone who is struggling with any kind of abuse, please reach out to your nearest mental health specialist, NGO or speak to someone about it. There are several helplines available for the same.

ALSO READ: House of the Dragon Season 2 Showrunner Opens Up About 'Lurking' Series Ending

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