Like its predecessor Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon aims to explore some of the darker dimensions of power. While it has an earthy reality to it that is at odds with some elements of traditional fantasy, the presence of dragons lets the viewer know that this is an extraordinary world beyond what is familiar.
And, while it has a very different feel to it than, say, Dungeons and Dragons, it is still nevertheless useful and interesting to view its characters through the lens provided by the classic game’s various classes. Doing so reveals new depths to these individuals as they all set the stage for the cataclysmic Dance of Dragons.
Viserys I Targaryen shows from the beginning that, while he might not be one of the best kings to have sat upon the Iron Throne, he at least isn’t one of the evilest. As a Paladin, he is committed to a sacred vow, not just to be the best king he can be, but also to ensure that his bloodline stays strong for the threat which will eventually emerge from the North.
At times, however, his adherence to this particular vow gets in the way of him being a truly great king. Kind as he is, he sometimes can’t see outside of his own particular vision of the world and his place in it.
Daemon Targaryen is arguably one of Matt Smith’s best roles. Sneering and contemptuous he might be, but he also happens to be incredibly charismatic. Like most of those who are Rogues, he has a tendency to want to break the rules, particularly when they get in the way of what he wants to accomplish.
In the series, this ranges from going to war in the Stepstones against his brother’s orders and attempting to seduce his own niece so that he can obtain her hand in marriage. For Daemon, nothing stands in the way of power and his attainment of it.
One of the most notable aspects of Rhaenyra’s character is that she tends to charge into various political battles without fully considering what the consequences of her actions might be. While this makes her a character who is easy to cheer for, it gives her father no small amount of headaches.
Like most of those who are of the Barbarian class, she is someone who is very passionate and driven, even when she doesn’t have a great deal of foresight. As her actions in the Dance of the Dragons will make clear, her Barbarian persona will be both her greatest strength and her most damaging liability.
Alicent Hightower, like many of the great female characters of Game of Thrones, is someone who knows how to make the most out of what she has been given. She exhibits many of the traits of the Bard, in that she knows how to talk her way out of problems that arise.
Most notably, she manages to become so close to King Viserys because she knows how to say what he wants to hear when he is still immersed in crushing grief over the death of his first wife, Aemma. And, as later events will show, her skills in this area will serve her very well.
House of the Dragon, like Game of Thrones, is a strong new fantasy series precisely because it focuses so much on the machinations of power. And few of the show’s characters are quite as skilled at manipulation and power-playing as Otto Hightower.
Like his daughter–and like many other people who are aligned with Bards–he has a way with words. For quite some time, he manages to use his persuasiveness to control events from behind the scenes. His slyness and his subtle mind will always remain some of his most notable political assets.
The Targaryen family is filled with many notable members. One of the most remarkable of these to appear in House of the Dragon is Rhaenys Targaryen, who was passed over for the Iron Throne by the Great Council (because of her gender). However, despite this, she consistently shows that she is a subtle thinker, which aligns her with the Ranger class.
Like her husband, Corlys, she knows how power works in Westeros, which is why they are both so determined to see one of their children married into the royal family so that they can gain the power they feel they deserve.
Even before the series starts, Corlys Velaryon has shown that he is truly one of the great Fighters. He has journeyed across the seas and accrued quite a lot of wealth, and he is remarkably versatile. He not only shows his skills as a sailor, but he is a formidable person in the small council as well.
For this reason, he is one of the most intimidating characters to appear in the series. In fact, his cleverness and flexibility are precisely what will make him a valuable ally once the Dance of the Dragons begins to take place in earnest.
There have been many notable members of the Kingsguard, and in House of the Dragon, Criston Cole has already distinguished himself as someone special. From the moment he appears, he shows that he is very much a Fighter. He is skilled at various martial efforts, and he demonstrates this most effectively when he manages to defeat no less a warrior than Daemon Targaryen in hand-to-hand combat.
Even though he comes from a rather humble background, his initiative and drive means that he will never be willing to just rest on his laurels.
Even though she has only hovered in the background so far, it’s still clear that Mysaria is a very important character in her own right. As a Cleric, she seems to have a connection to the spiritual world. Indeed, she sometimes seems as if she is not entirely of the same world as the rest of the characters, which is precisely why she is so menacing and sinister.
While her precise motivations are not exactly clear, it’s nevertheless obvious that she has ambitions of her own and that she is willing to do whatever she has to in order to see those brought to fruition.
As another member of the Kingsguard, Harrold Westerling clearly cares deeply about the institution of which he is a part. Like others who are Paladins, he takes his vow as a member of the Kingsguard very seriously.
It is the lodestar that is one of the most important things in his life, and he is particularly protective of the young Princess Rhaenyra. Every time that he appears, he makes it clear that it was very wise for him to be appointed to the Kingsguard, as he will not let his own feelings get in the way of his duty.
NEXT: 10 Best Performances In House Of The Dragon