HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Houses That Didn't Appear on GAME OF THRONES - Nerdist
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HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Houses That Didn’t Appear on GAME OF THRONES

Game of Thrones featured a clash between the most powerful, most important noble houses in the Seven Kingdoms. But as House of the Dragon‘s premiere showed, the Realm is so much bigger than just its most famous families and wardens. Long before Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, other lords and their kin made lasting contributions—-both good and bad—to Westeros. That included those who played monumental roles during the first Targaryen civil war known as The Dance of the Dragons. If you’re only familiar with George R.R. Martin’s world of ice and fire through the original HBO series, though, they’re all new to you. So let us introduce you to the new House of the Dragon houses so you can enjoy the prequel spinoff without having to figure out who everyone is.

New House of the Dragon Houses; Jump to House Hightower // House Velaryon // House Strong // House Beesbury // House Blackwood // House Bracken // House Cole // House Westerling

House Hightower

Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon. House Hightower is one of the new Game of Thrones houses.
Ollie Upton/HBO

The most significant Great House not to factor into Game of Thrones story is House Hightower of Oldtown along Westeros’ southwest coast. But this house is destined to be a huge figure on House of the Dragon.

House Hightower is one of the most ancient, most powerful, most respected families in the Realm. It gained its great wealth through shipping and trade. The family’s name and sigil both also refer to the Hightower, a tall castle and lighthouse it built in the center of Oldtown. Their position as lords of the city also contributed to their standing in Westeros. Oldtown is home to the maesters’ Citadel. It was also where the High Septon resided before the Faith of the Seven’s leader relocated his seat to King’s Landing.

Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon
Ollie Upton/HBO

Ser Otto Hightower, noted by Daemon Targaryen as a second son, served as Hand of the King during the end of King Jaehaerys’ reign. Ser Otto essentially ran the kingdom as the Old King’s health declined. He then continued in the position under King Viserys I. The widowed Otto also brought his young daughter Alicent to court with him. She tended to the elderly Jaehaerys before his death, and (initially) became friends with Rhaenyra Targaryen. But the family’s story is just getting started.

House Velaryon

Corlys Velaryon at the tourney in House of the Dragon's premiere. House Velaryon is one of the new Game of Thrones houses.
HBO

Like House Targaryen, House Velaryon is an old noble family of Valyria. But unlike the Targaryens, Velaryons were not dragonlords. Instead, they were great seafarers whose family’s head is known as the Lord of Tides. House Velaryon rules over the island of Driftmark just west of Dragonstone in Blackwater Bay. They are the oldest and most loyal bannermen of their Valyrian kin, but House Velaryon actually came to Westeros before the Targaryens.

They also provided most of the royal fleet for House Targaryen. No surprise then that master of ships on the Small Council essentially turned into a hereditary one for Velaryons. Just as it did with the title of lord admiral.

Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Princess Rhaenys Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Ollie Upton/HBO

House of the Dragon‘s Lord Corlys Velaryon is known as the Sea Snake. He is Westeros’ most famous sailor, as he traveled to and from places no other person in the Realm ever had. His famed exploits also made his family so rich they surpassed even the Lannisters in wealth for a time. The Sea Snake used that money to build House Velaryon a new seat of power, the castle known as High Tide. Corlys is also the husband to The Queen Who Never Was, Rhaenys Targaryen. And along with House Hightower and House Targaryen, House Velaryon will play the biggest role in the Dance of the Dragons.

House Strong

Lord Strong at the Small Council on House of the Dragon. House Strong  is one of the new Game of Thrones houses.
HBO

House Strong of the Riverlands traces its lineage back to the First Men. They also have a long history with House Targaryen in Westeros. Ser Osmund Strong served as Aegon the Conqueror’s fourth Hand of the King. Osmund also was in charge of the completion of King’s Landing and its great walls. A Strong also served in King Jaehaerys’ Kinsguard. (Though that didn’t end well.) And it was Jaehaerys who named House Strong—whose sigil is a white field with a blue, red, and green stripe running down the center—lords of Harrenhal. That’s where Jaehaerys held his Great Council to name his heir.

Lord Lyonel Strong is King Viserys’ master of laws in House of the Dragon. But he won’t be the only member of his family to play a significant role on the show. Unfortunately, revealing what other members of House Strong will do on House of the Dragon and how would double as major spoilers.

New House of the Dragon Houses; Jump to House Hightower // House Velaryon // House Strong // House Beesbury // House Blackwood // House Bracken // House Cole // House Westerling

House Beesbury

Lord Beesbury at the Small Council on House of the Dragon. House Beesbury is is one of the new Game of Thrones houses.
HBO

House Beesbury is a minor noble house that also traces its founding back to the First Men. Sworn bannermen of House Hightower in the Reach, the family’s seat of Honeyholt sits north of Oldtown. Their sigil features three yellow beehives on a black and yellow striped field.

On House of the Dragon Lord Lyman Beesbury serves as master of coin under King Viserys. Lord Beesbury previously held the same position under King Jaehaerys, despite some of his ancestors ending up on the losing end of trials by combat with Targaryens. That included one where King Jaehaerys himself killed Ser Baxton Beesbury.

House Blackwood

House Blackwood's young son pitches himself to Rhaenyra on House of the Dragon
HBO

House Blackwood of Raventree Hall is an ancient family who once ruled as kings of the riverlands during the Age of Heroes. Its sigil depicts three black ravens above a white weirwood tree on a red field.

They aligned with Aegon during his Conquest against their own king, Harren the Black. Since then they have served as loyal bannermen to House Tully. However, they can amass an even bigger army than their lord. And while the blood of the First Men flows through them, they merged their family with the Andals. But unlike most everyone else outside of the North, they have never given up the old gods, who they still worship.

House Blackwood is best known as the longtime bitter rivals of House Bracken.

House Bracken

A young member of House Bracken during the courting of Rhaenyra at Storm's End on House of the Dragon
HBO

House Bracken of Stone Hedge traces their roots back to the First Men. During the Age of Heroes they ruled as kings until overthrown by House Blackwood, who they claim hired sellswords to defeat them.

Their sigil features a red stallion against a yellow field. They are also loyal bannermen to House Tully, but can put together an even larger army with than the Tullys.

Their conversion to the Faith of the Seven after they merged their family with the Andals only added to the deep enmity between their family and House Bracken.

(We met members of House Bracken on Game of Thrones, but only in very minor roles.)

New House of the Dragon Houses; Jump to House Hightower // House Velaryon // House Strong // House Beesbury // House Blackwood // House Bracken // House Cole // House Westerling

House Cole

Ser Criston Cole with a blood lip looks up at the King's box during a tournament on House of the Dragon. House Cole is one of the new Game of Thrones houses.
HBO

House of the Dragon made clear how small and unimportant House Cole was in Westeros at that time. Princess Rhaenyra had no idea who Ser Criston Cole was. Even the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard knew little about the family. The talented knight’s shabby armor also made clear his family is not a rich one.

House Cole, a former noble family, comes from the Dornish marshes of the Stormlands and swear allegiance to House Dondarrion. The family sigil is 10 black pellets—mostly likely pieces of coal that gives the house its name—against a scarlet field. Not much more is known about the Coles. But House of the Dragon will reveal why Westeros will never forget the name of this new Game of Thrones house.

House Westerling

Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Harrold Westerling sits on his horse on House of the Dragon. House Westerling is one of the new Game of Thrones houses.
HBO

House Westerling of the Crag in the westerlands is a name readers of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire know well. In the books, Robb Stark didn’t marry Talisa like on Game of Thrones. He married Jeyne Westerling, despite her family being the “principal bannermen” of House Lannister. That ancient noble house, whose sigil is six white shells on a beach, also often married Lannisters.

At the start of House of the Dragon, Ser Harrold Westerling serves as Lord Commander of King Viserys’ Kingsguard. Well, he does so long as Rhaenyra returns safely from riding her dragon. If she doesn’t, he fears his head might end up on a spike.

Is that what actually happens to him? We’re just here to help you keep track of all the important and new Game of Thrones houses on House of the Dragon. You’ll have to watch to see what those families do.

New House of the Dragon Houses; Jump to House Hightower // House Velaryon // House Strong // House Beesbury // House Blackwood // House Bracken // House Cole // House Westerling

This post originally published on August 22, 2022.

Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.

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