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Meet the cast of House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel series

We're going back to Westeros this summer.

Matt Smith House of the Dragon
Published: Monday, 16th May 2022 at 1:16 pm
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After a long wait and one false start, HBO is almost ready to debut its Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, which takes place hundreds of years before the events of the original series.

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While the US broadcaster has tapped some big names for the project and is pouring plenty of money into it, the show still faces something of an uphill battle thanks to the residual bad taste of the divisive Thrones finale.

Numerous disgruntled fans have taken to social media to declare their unwillingness to return to the franchise, but it remains to be seen if this is merely a vocal minority or a genuine hurdle for House of the Dragon to overcome.

We'll know soon, but in the meantime, you can get up to speed on the key figures in the House of the Dragon cast below, including where you may have seen these actors before.

Paddy Considine plays King Viserys I Targaryen

Paddy Considine as King Viserys
HBO/Sky

Who is King Viserys I Targaryen? King Viserys is the warm-hearted king of the Seven Kingdoms. He inherited the throne from his grandfather, whose 50-year reign was defined by peace and prosperity, which it is hoped will continue for many years to come. However, there is tension brewing around both Viserys' ascension to the throne and who his successor might be, which is causing factions to emerge and could lead to major conflict.

What else has Paddy Considine been in? Considine is known for his roles in films such as 24 Hour Party People, Cinderella Man, Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum and The Death of Stalin. On the small screen, he has appeared in Channel 4's Red Riding, ITV's The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, BBC One's Peaky Blinders and Sky's The Third Day.

Matt Smith plays Prince Daemon Targaryen

Matt Smith in House of the Dragon
Sky/HBO

Who is Prince Daemon Targaryen? Prince Daemon is the younger brother of King Viserys, who is formidable in battle but held back by his impulsive and, at times, reckless behaviour. Therefore, while he is technically heir to the throne – as Viserys does not have a son – there is a strong feeling among the lords of Westeros that he should not be allowed to rule.

What else has Matt Smith been in? Smith is probably best known for his stint as The Eleventh Doctor on the BBC's long-running sci-fi drama Doctor Who, during which time he also made cameos in The Sarah Jane Adventures and An Adventure in Space and Time. After leaving the role, Smith portrayed a young Prince Philip on Netflix's royal drama The Crown, while he has also taken film roles in Terminator Genisys, His House, Last Night in Soho and Morbius.

Emma D'Arcy plays Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen

Emma D'Arcy in House of the Dragon
SEAC

Who is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen? Princess Rhaenyra is the daughter of King Viserys, who hopes to become the first queen of the Seven Kingdoms when her father's reign ends. However, tradition dictates that only a male may rule, so it could prove difficult to get the Lords of Westeros to back this idea.

What else has Emma D'Arcy been in? D'Arcy starred opposite Toni Collette in the BBC/Netflix co-production Wanderlust, before taking later roles in ITV's Wild Bill as well as Prime Video originals Hanna and Truth Seekers. On the big screen, she is known for British dramas Misbehaviour and Mothering Sunday.

Rhys Ifans plays Ser Otto Hightower

Rhys Ifans in House of the Dragon
SEAC

Who is Ser Otto Hightower? Ser Otto holds the powerful appointed role of Hand of the King, serving as the closest adviser to Viserys and having authority to make decisions in his name. He has a strong dislike of the King's brother, Daemon, and aims to keep him out of power by any means necessary.

What else has Rhys Ifans been in? Ifans is known for his film work in Notting Hill, Kevin & Perry Go Large, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Alice Through The Looking Glass. Marvel fans will know him as the super villain Lizard, who first appeared in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man and returned in last year's smash-hit No Way Home. On the small screen, he played Mycroft Holmes in US drama Elementary and Gubby in Sky's Temple.

Olivia Cooke plays Lady Alicent Hightower

Olivia Cooke in House of the Dragon
SEAC

Who is Lady Alicent Hightower? Lady Alicent is the daughter of Ser Otto. With her father serving as Hand to the King, she has spent much of her life in the royal household, during which time she developed a friendship with Rhaenyra. However, that bond will be tested in the years to come.

What else has Olivia Cooke been in? Cooke's breakthrough performance came in Psycho prequel Bates Motel, where she played a childhood friend of the troubled Norman Bates. She later bagged film roles in horror films The Quiet Ones, Ouija and The Limehouse Golem, as well as Steven Spielberg blockbuster Ready Player One and Riz Ahmed's awards contender The Sound of Metal. She currently plays Sid Baker on Apple TV+ spy thriller Slow Horses.

Steve Toussaint plays Lord Corlys Velaryon

Steve Toussaint in House of the Dragon
SEAC

Who is Lord Corlys Velaryon? Lord Corlys is the leader of House Velaryon, whose legendary seafaring has resulted in him being known across Westeros as the Sea Snake.

What else has Steve Toussaint been in? Toussaint has recently appeared in critically acclaimed dramas It's A Sin and Small Axe: Red White and Blue, with earlier projects including Our Girl, Death in Paradise, Lewis and Scott & Bailey.

Eve Best plays Princess Rhaenys Velaryon

Eve Best attend the The Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway Opening Night Of Old Times
Eve Best attend the The Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway Opening Night Of Old Times Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for FIJI Water

Who is Princess Rhaenys Velaryon? Princess Rhaenys is the cousin of Viserys and Daemon, who married the wealthy adventurer Corlys Velaryon. She has twice been in line for the throne, but both occasions she has been passed over in favour of a man, which is the cause of estrangement between herself and Viserys.

What else has Eve Best been in? Best is known for playing Dr Eleanor O'Hara in the first five seasons of US drama Nurse Jackie, while she later appeared opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal in acclaimed miniseries The Honourable Woman. Most recently, she played headmistress Farah Dowling in Netflix's Fate: The Winx Saga. On the big screen, viewers may recognise her from a supporting role in Best Picture winner The King's Speech.

Fabien Frankel plays Ser Criston Cole

Fabien Frankel in House of the Dragon
SEAC

Who is Ser Criston Cole? Ser Criston is a knight from a minor house.

What else has Fabien Frankel been in? Frankel played Dominique Renelleau in true crime drama The Serpent, starring Jenna Coleman.

Sonoya Mizuno plays Mysaria

Sonoya Mizuno plays Mysaria in House of the Dragon
SEAC

Who is Mysaria? Mysaria is a former dancer and prostitute who has become a trusted ally of Prince Daemon.

What else has Sonoya Mizuno been in? Mizuno is known for her collaborations with writer-director Alex Garland, having appeared in films Ex Machina and Annihilation, as well as miniseries Devs. She has also appeared Netflix cult favourite Maniac along with major box office hits La La Land, Beauty and the Beast, and Crazy Rich Asians.

House of the Dragon is coming to Sky Atlantic and NOW in August 2022. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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