House Of The Dragon: 8 Most Powerful Queen Mothers In Westerosi History

House of the Dragon features all the political intrigue fans of Game of Thrones love. The show is very female-centric, showcasing the lengths Westerosi women will go to to get what they deserve. It’s slim pickings for a woman in the Seven Kingdoms, but a few managed to defy all odds and earn genuine power.

Alicent Hightower will become Queen Mother once her son, Aegon II, reluctantly takes the Iron Throne from Rhaenyra, thus starting the Dance of the Dragons. Her influence was major, and she was a leading figure in the war. Like her, many other Queen Mothers defied expectations, assuming an active role in Westerosi politics.

Although she was never the Queen of Westeros, Olenna was the Queen of Thorns, which might be better. Olenna was the matriarch of House Tyrell, known around the Seven Kingdoms for her wit and sharp tongue. She was not one for beating around the bush, choosing to be direct and decisive, and earning the respect of everyone who was anyone.

Olenna was arguably the most powerful woman in Westeros toward the end of her life. She was the head of the richest house in the realm and had a sharp mind and a gift for politics. Olenna wielded considerable power and, had the Sparrows not taken over the city, she would’ve been the true ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.

Books readers know Alicent Hightower is among the most important HotD characters. Once Viserys dies, Alicent crowns her eldest son, Aegon II, thus beginning the Dance of the Dragons. Alicent remains a prominent figure throughout the war, even if she never actively participates in battle.

Alicent is a cunning politician, having learned from her equally manipulative father, Otto Hightower. She amasses a strong ensemble of supporters in court and exploits Westeros’ sexism to place her son on the Iron Throne. Most impressively, Alicent survives the Dance of the Dragons, unlike many of the war’s other players.

Along with her siblings, Aegon and Rhaenys, Visenya Targaryen is one of Westeros’ original conquerors. She married her brother to strengthen House Targaryen, but he didn’t love her as much as Rhaenys, mainly because of Visenya’s bloodthirst. After Aenys I died, Visenya supported her son, Maegor, when he stole the Iron Throne from his nephew, Aegon.

Visenya remained by Maegor’s side, supporting his rule. Maegor, nicknamed « the Cruel, » was a terrible ruler, but his mother did her best to calm his most vicious instincts. Visenya was powerful throughout her life, and it would’ve been great if House of the Dragon showed Aegon’s Conquest so that fans could see the three conquerors in all their glory.

Unlike many other Queen Mothers, Alyssa Velaryon lived a long and prosperous life. She was Aenys I, becoming Visenya Targaryen’s de-facto prisoner once Maegor the Cruel, took the Iron Throne. Following Maegor’s death, Alyssa’s youngest, Jaehaerys I, ascended, and she acted as Queen Regent until his majority.

As Queen Regent, Alyssa helmed the most power out of any person in Westeros. She was clever and resourceful, meaning no member of the Small Council got the best of her. After Jaehaerys assumed the Iron Throne, Alyssa remarried and became Lady of Storm’s End, thus maintaining her influence in the Stormlands, if not the Seven Kingdoms.

The Velaryons are the most powerful non-Targaryen house in House of the Dragon. They are Westeros’ other Valyrian family, and some are Dragonriders. As such, the Velaryon women are popular choices for Targaryen kings looking for a wife. Daenaera Velaryon was the second wife of Aegon III, the Dragonbane. She married him when she was just six years old, and he was thirteen, becoming the youngest Queen Consort.

Unlike other Queen Mothers, Daenaera’s power came from her kindness. Her cheerful disposition endeared her to everyone who met her, and she even improved Aegon III’s gloomy disposition, if only for minutes. Mushroom claims that when Daenaera smiled, « the singers in the gallery rejoiced, for they knew her, at last, was a maiden worthy of a song. »

Dorne was the only kingdom to resist Aegon’s Conquest, remaining independent for years before willingly entering the royal fold. Even so, the Martells retained their title of Prince and Princess, becoming a viable option for Targaryen kings to wed.

Myriah Martell was the wife of Daeron II the Good. Together, they undid much of the harm done by his late father, Aegon IV the Unworthy. Dornishmen and women flooded the court during Myriah’s rule as Queen Consort, increasing her popularity and influence in King’s Landing. Her marriage to Daeron cemented the alliance between the Crown and Dorne, thus making the Targaryens the true rulers of the Seven Kingdoms.

Also known as Black Betha because of her ebony hair and dark eyes, Betha Blackwood was the wife of Aegon V the Unlikely. She was a beloved ruler, holding the heart and fealty of the nobility and the smallfolk.

Betha went to great lengths to secure advantageous marriages for her children with some of the most powerful houses in Westeros. However, most of her children rejected her wishes, choosing instead to marry for love. Still, Betha’s influence over the Westerosi nobility was considerable, mainly thanks to her husband’s popularity. She maintained her power throughout the rule of her son, Jaehaerys II.

Catelyn Stark was strong, dutiful, and devoted. She was mother to Robb Stark, the King in the North, staying with him throughout the War of the Five Kings. Catelyn was also mother to Sansa Stark, Queen in the North, although she never got to see her daughter ascend.

Beloved among the Northmen, Catelyn could talk to them like an equal. They respected her resilience and strength, listening to her advice and considering her a valuable member of Robb’s Small Council. Although he never appointed any roles, Catelyn was basically his Hand, and she took her duty seriously. Catelyn died during the Red Wedding, when her and Robb’s influence over the Northmen was at its lowest.

Starting as Regent Queen, Cersei Lannister became Queen Mother when her oldest, Joffrey, ascended. Upon his death, Cersei became Queen Regent to her youngest, Tommen. In the show, she eventually became Queen of the Seven Kingdoms following Tommen’s suicide, taking the Iron Throne as Cersei of House Lannister.

Cersei is not very politically savvy, filling the Small Council with sycophants rather than knowledgeable people who could actually help her. However, she understands the nature of power and knows how to wield it. Cersei used her influence as Queen Mother to the fullest, even if it didn’t stop her from getting arrested by the Faith Militant. Still, she remained a figure of immense power until the end of her life.

NEXT: 10 Traits That Perfectly Sum Up Cersei Lannister As A Character In Game Of Thrones