x Most Influential HOTD Characters, Ranked
Now that King Viserys of House of the Dragon is gone, influence over the kingdom is up for grabs. On the one hand, there is the party known as the Blacks, who support the claim of Rhaenyra to the Iron Throne, while on the other are the Greens, who support Alicent and her son, Aegon, and both sides are poised to launch into all-out war.
As so often in the world of Westeros, how successful one is in the world of politics depends almost entirely on one’s influence over the levers of power. As the series has unfolded, the various players in the game of thrones have shown varying levels of influence.
10/10 Ser Criston Cole
Criston Cole is one of the most notable members of the Kingsguard. He repeatedly shows throughout the first season that he has a particular skill at making meaningful alliaces, though these usually happen due to luck rather than deliberate effort on his part.
In particular, he played a key role in the collapse of Alicent’s and Rhaenyr’as friendship, leading to the enduring enmity that springs up between these two women. Given the importance that this feud comes to play in the affairs of Westeros, it certainly earns him a place among the most influential characters.
9/10 Aegon Targaryen
Though he is now king of Westeros, Aegon is arguably one of the least influential of the great power players. He is far more interested in his various sexual escapades, leaving most of the actual governing to his mother and his grandfather.
However, simply by virtue of his gender, he is still someone of great importance, as he demonstrates when he finally accepts the crown in “The Green Council.” As the powerful houses of Westeros have already made abundantly clear, they are far more willing to follow a boy heir than a female, and the consequences of this bias will be destructive for the entire realm.
8/10 Viserys Targaryen
Paddy Considine brought out some of the remarkable depths to the character of Viserys. Obviously, as the king, he seems to have a great deal of influence. As he shows time and again, however, he is far too willing to go along to get along, which means that, kind as he is, he is often not a very effective king.
While he may not go down in history as one of the most evil kings of Westeros, it is doubtful that history will be kind to him, either. He lacked the strength to truly be the great man he desired to be, but his reign was peaceful and he will be remembered fondly.
7/10 Corlys Velaryon
From the very first episode, it was clear that Corlys Velaryon was one of the most influential men in the kingdom. He not only had a seat on the small council; he also commanded the nation’s powerful navy. As such, he was able to exert quite a strong influence on the doings of the kingdom.
At the same time, however, he was frequently shut out of some of the important decisions. And, while he was a good sailor, he didn’t prove to be particularly effective when it came to the war on the Stepstones.
6/10 Rhaenys Targaryen
Like her husband, Rhaenys is one of those people who yearns for more influence, at least at first. Eve Best captures many of her mannerisms, and there’s no doubt that she is a person with considerable power.
After all, she has a claim to the Iron Throne herself, and there is a lot of Targaryen blood flowing through her veins. And, as someone who has already started to ally herself with Rhaenyra, she clearly hopes to have some measure of impact on the direction that the kingdom takes in the days ahead. And, as she demonstrates when she almost incinerates Alicent and her family, she is a dragonrider who wields enormous power and influence.
5/10 Larys Strong
Larys Strong is one of the smartest characters of House of the Dragon. He has a cunning and shrewd mind, and he is not afraid to use it for nefarious purposes.
After all, he is willing to kill his own father and brother so that he can have a hold over Alicent Hightower. As he shows in their subsequent conversations, he is more than happy to use this information against her. Futuer events will no doubt reveal just how much power he wields in the kingdom, since he is one of those with a keen sense of how power works.
4/10 Daemon Targaryen
Daemon Targaryen is widely and rightly regarded as one of Matt Smith’s best roles. He is smirking and arrogant, but he is also someone who has a sharp mind and some skill when it comes to political maneuvering.
More to the point, he also wields significant influence, because of his Targaryen lineage and his marriage to Rhaenyra (over whom he seems to have a particularly great amount of power). He is also a formidable battlefield commander with a fearsome dragon at his command, which means that he is a very valuable ally and a dangerous enemy. As always in Westeros, influence can be a very powerful weapon in the right hands.
3/10 Rhaenyra Targaryen
Rhaenyra is, of course, one of the most powerful and notable Targaryens. Given the circumstances of her birth–the eldest of all of Viserys’ children with Alicent–as well as her father’s insistence on her being his heir, it makes sense that she would be one of the most influential characters in the series.
As has already been demonstrated, she commands formidable loyalty, not just from her uncle Daemon but from several others as well. What’s more, as she shows with her alliance with Rhaenys, she is someone who knows how to use her children as bargaining chips in the deadly game of thrones.
2/10 Alicent Hightower
Alicent Hightower has already shown that she is one of the smartest characters in House of the Dragon. She has long ago recognized that sometimes it is necessary to do unpleasant things so as to stay alive in the face of one’s enemies.
As the dead king’s widow, she is poised to have a great deal of power in the days ahead. And, as she has already shown in her interactions with Aegon, she knows how to bring the right amount of pressure to bear to get him to do what needs to be done. After all, she was able to get him crowned, even though he clearly didn’t want to take up the position of king.
1/10 Otto Hightower
Whatever his flaws, there’s no question Otto Hightower is one of the best Hands Westeros has seen. During both periods of his rule, he was, for the most part, judicious in the running of the realm.
At the same time, it is also true that he always has an eye out for his own family and its ambitions. He is not above taking advantage of Viserys’ increasing infirmity to assert his own dominance over the court and the realm. This puts him in a very good position to influence the early days of the Dance of the Dragons, as well as his grandson. Though Aegon might be king, Otto will certainly be the one pulling the strings.
NEXT: 10 Subtle Details That Showed Daemon & Viserys’ Complicated Relationship In House Of The Dragon