The Hand of the King is an iconic character in the Game of Thrones world, and in House of the Dragon, we have a new schemer to get used to.


Otto Hightower, played by Rhys Ifans, is the new Hand of the King and will play a pivotal part in the HBO spin-off series.

But who is he? What are his connections? And what does he want? Read on for your guide to Otto in House of the Dragon.

Who is Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon?

Rhys Ifans in House of the Dragon
Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon. SEAC

Ser Otto Hightower was a knight who became the Hand of the King to Jaehaerys Targaryen when he lost his son, Baelon Targaryen.

Jaehaerys was said to be so distraught by the death of his son and his wife, Alysanne, that his health deteriorated quickly and Otto was essentially the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, making key decisions while the king was in ill-health.

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Otto's daughter, Alicent Hightower (played by Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke), helped to nurse the king and was a great confidante to him.

When Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) was declared the next king by the Lords of Westeros, Otto stayed on as the Hand.

Viserys's ascension wasn't without controversy, as he was essentially chosen for being a man, and when he came to choose his successor, he struggled to decide between naming his only child, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock and Emma D'Arcy), or the next male heir, his brother Daemon (Matt Smith).

Otto had strong feelings about this, believing Daemon was too much of a hothead to rule. And while he was probably right, Daemon wasn't a fan of Otto's opinion.

With divisions beginning to form, which side of history will Otto and his Hightower bloodline end up on?

Who is Rhys Ifans?

Rhys Ifans attends the Sky Group Premiere of "House Of The Dragon" in Leicester Square on August 15, 2022 in London, England
Rhys Ifans at the House Of The Dragon Premiere. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Established actor Ifans has been in the industry since the early '90s, making a name for himself in the likes of Notting Hill, Kevin & Perry Go Large and Little Nicky.

He also appeared in the Ian McEwan adaptation of Enduring Love opposite Daniel Craig and played McBunny in Garfield 2.

Ifans also starred in box office smashes Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 as Xenophilius Lovegood, and The Boat That Rocked as the illusive Gavin.

More recently, Ifans appeared in Sky series Temple as Gubby, Spider-Man: No Way Home as The Lizard, and The King's Man as Grigori Rasputin.

If that wasn't enough, Ifans also made a guest appearance in Oasis's music video for The Importance of Being Idle.

House of the Dragon premieres on Sky Atlantic and NOW on Monday 22nd August 2022. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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