A definitive ranking of House of the Dragon characters, from power hungry to downright evil

Aegon II might be the worst king Westeros has seen

After the first episode of the second season of House of the Dragon aired on Sunday, fans have been weighing in on whether they are team black or team green.

Many fans were left in utter shock by the end of the episode as the dust settled on a new age for Westeros under the rule of Aegon II. In an episode that delivered some stellar performances we were reminded of just how good the characters in the show are, making us constantly question how we feel about certain characters after the unfathomable lengths they will go to for power. So, from the sinister to cunning, here’s a definitive House of the Dragon character ranking:

10. Aegon II Targaryen

via HBO

Aegon II ascended to the throne at the end of season one and couldn’t be more of an unfit king. Yes, he has the arrogance and fierceness that would be effective in war, but, as the latest episode shows us, he is unsure of how to actually perform his kingly duties, relying heavily on the guidance of his hand Otto Hightower, or his mother, Alicent Hightower. On top of his inability to rule, he is also a drunkard and male chauvinist who is constantly seen engaging in some kind of debauchery.

9. Ser Criston Cole

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Criston, played by Fabien Frankel, is an incredibly likeable character at the beginning of the show. A lowly knight who raised to the extremely sought after position of Lord Commander under Viserys after forming an infatuation with Rhaenyra. However, Criston become unbearable after his proposal to Rhaenyra was rejected and he started conniving against her, taking sides with Alicent and convincing Aegon to take the throne. He’s now just simply a leech, grappling onto anything that can give him power, while also struggling to keep it in his pants.

8. Larys Strong

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You will not be able to find a single person that doesn’t find Larys Strong the creepiest person to have graced their TV screens. I hate him. I hate him so much, but that is why he is so good. Larys is willing to kill his family to get what he wants and shows absolutely no remorse for any of the unthinkable things he gets others to commit for him.

Constantly lurking around every corner, Larys is sinister, conniving and a creep. To top it all off, his unspeakable crimes are all in hope of being able to satisfy his foot fetish.

7. Rhaenys Targaryen and Corlys Valaryon

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Of course this is technically cheating by putting these two together, but they both offer as much as each other – incredibly compelling characters that were unfortunate to be on the backseat during a lot of the first season. Corlys was forever loyal to Viserys despite their various disagreements, and his titles as Lord of the Tides and Master of Driftmark are cool enough in their own right. Yet, his priorities aren’t quite straight and his ambitions waver in favour of maintaining a pure bloodline.

Rhaemys is almost the opposite. She’s incredibly indecisive, making it impossible to predict what side she was on for the entirety of the first season, placing power above all else as the Queen Who Never Was. However, her invasion of Aegon’s coronation riding Meleys was one of the coolest moments in the whole of the first season.

6. Otto Hightower

House of the Dragon character ranking

via HBO

Originally Viserys’ Hand, Otto Hightower is an intelligent and sly tactician. Facilitating for the rise of his daughter, Otto seems to always be one step ahead and remains the most level-headed person in any room he is in, which made his panicked screams at the sight of Meleys even more impactful, thanks to some incredible acting from Rhys Ifans.

Although an ever-present character, Otto allows himself to avoid the spotlight, hence stopping him from breaking into the top five of this House of the Dragon character ranking.

5. Aemond Targaryen

House of the Dragon character ranking

via HBO

Just on pure charisma alone Aemond gains so many points. The younger brother who was marginalised by his family and who loses his eye so he goes on to steal one of the most powerful dragons in Westeros. Badass.

Aemond is much better prepared to serve as king than his brother Aegon II and so is cast into his brother’s shadow to suffer his jealous in silence. On top of that, he did prematurely kill Lucerys at the end of the first season and caused us all to shed a tear or two.

4. Alicent Hightower

House of the Dragon character ranking

via HBO

Alicent Hightower is one of the most honourable characters in the whole show. She shows humanity through her reluctance to push herself onto Viserys after his wife’s death. She shows compassion through her caring of Viserys as he continued to suffer with leprosy. She shows her forgiveness when she tries to amend things with her childhood bestfriend, Rhaenyra. And ultimately, she shows how powerful and brave she is, constantly speaking up for herself at council meetings and putting herself in front of Aegon II in the face of Meleys.

It’s also worth noting how seamless the transition between Emily Carey and Olivia Cooke was, both delivering fantastic performances as Alicent.

3. Viserys Targaryen

House of the Dragon character ranking

via HBO

Speaking of performances, Paddy Considine’s performance as Viserys Targaryen is one of the greatest TV performances you will ever see, and it is absolutely criminal that he did not even get nominated for an Emmy award.

Viserys certainly has his mishaps as King which add fuel to the civil war fire, his indecisiveness as King and perhaps far too relaxed approach to Rhaenyra’s exploits massively lost him favour. But through it all, despite his maladies and ailments, he remained a well respected King. Viserys would not have been so brilliant were it not for Paddy Considine.

2. Daemon Targaryen

House of the Dragon character ranking

via HBO

Matt Smith. If that were a good enough reason to place Daemon second then I would leave it at that.

Daemon Targaryen is easily one of the coolest characters in Game of Thrones history. His iconic solo fight at the battle of the Stepstones is one of the most chilling battle sequences you will have witnessed, accompanied with a fantastic score. Yet aside from how breathtakingly brave he is, Daemon is incredibly loyal to his family, willing to go to war at the click of a finger to protect them.

1. Rhaenyra Targaryen

House of the Dragon character ranking

via HBO

There was only going to be one person at the summit of this House of the Dragon character ranking, and that is Rhaenyra Targaryen. As the original heir to the throne, Rhaenyra’s life has been riddled with turmoil, mistreatment and betrayals. Her position as heir was never respected in a patriarchal hierarchy but her independence and perseverance allowed her to gain respect and become one of the most powerful people in all of Westeros.

Milly Alcock’s portrayal of a young Rhaenyra was a wonder to see, landing her the role of Supergirl in the DCEU, but it was Emma D’Arcy’s performance in the second half of the first season which flaunted the depths of the character. The emotional range that Emma was able to display was captivating and, in the first episode of season two we can already see her going from intense grief to intent on revenge. As the focus of the civil war, she is only going to grow as a character that we already love.

Honourable mentions

Before we get into the actual list, we need to recognise just how great these characters were in the little screen time they had.

The first of which is Lucerys Velaryon, whose value is probably placed in the importance of his death rather than the performance of the character. Though he did show his bravery in confronting Aemond Targaryen, it was ultimately foolish to think Arrax and himself could beat Vhagar. Nevertheless, his tragic and untimely death at just 13 was a significant moment in building the tensions leading up to the Targaryen civil war.

Similar to Lucerys, Leana and Leanor Valaryon both deserved much more screen time than they got, but left an impact in the little they did get. Despite deviating from the book, Leana’s death in the show is heart-breaking and profound and gives Vhagar his best onscreen moment in HOTD, helping Leana end her suffering after being unable to give birth to her third child.

Leanor, on the other hand, is supposedly still alive in the show, but he left Driftmark, and his sham marriage to Rhaenyra, behind after faking his death in order for him to live out his days with Qarl Correy in Essos. It was certainly a brave step to leave his family behind in pursuit of love that deserves recognition.

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