As the fight for the Iron Throne quite literally heats up once more in House of the Dragon, there are many runners and riders who could become the next ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.


One character who's not technically in the running but has a major part to play in who is, is Queen Aemma Arryn (played by Sian Brooke).

The queen to King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is tasked with birthing an heir – but trouble lies ahead for the ruling the family.

Read on for all you need to know about Aemma Arryn, including who plays her in House of the Dragon.

Who is Aemma Arryn in House of the Dragon?

Paddy Considine and Sian Brooke in House of the Dragon
Paddy Considine and Sian Brooke in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton/HBO

Queen Aemma Arryn is the wife of King Viserys I Targaryen and the Queen Consort of the Seven Kingdoms.

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Aemma descends from (you guessed it) House Arryn. The family sit at The Eyrie, an impenetrable castle within the Vale of Arryn.

Aemma herself is actually half Targaryen, as her mother was Princess Daella Targaryen, who was married to Lord Rodrik Arryn. Daella was the daughter of the Old King, Jaehaerys.

That does mean, for those good at family trees, that Aemma actually married her cousin, Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine).

Aemma and Viserys have one child together, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock, Emma D'Arcy), who is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. The pair try to birth a male heir, but it sadly doesn't work out for them.

In a brutal birth scene, King Viserys chooses to have Queen Aemma undergo a caesarean section - against her will - which kills her in a bid to save the baby. Sadly, both mother and child did.

The predicament leaves Viserys with a tough decision to make: does he choose his brother, Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), who is technically the next male heir, or his daughter, the next heir in terms of official lineage, as his successor?

Who is Sian Brooke?

Sian Brooke.

Sian Brooke takes on the role of Queen Aemma Arryn in the fantasy series, and it isn't her first foray into a fandom.

The actress is perhaps best known for playing Eurus Holmes in the BBC's Sherlock. Brooke had auditioned for multiple characters for the hit series, but it was eventually revealed to her she was actually auditioning for just one: Sherlock's secret sister.

Following her turn in the series, Brooke went on to star alongside Sheridan Smith and Game of Thrones alum Gemma Whelan in The Moorside, a miniseries based on the kidnapping of Shannon Matthews.

She also played Karen in Apple TV+'s Trying. A third season is currently airing.

Brooke has also appeared in the likes of Doctor Foster, Guilt, Good Omens and Stephen.

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House of the Dragon airs exclusively on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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