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Bend the Knee to House of the Dragon's Cast In & Out of Costume

Jun 29, 2023

Bow down to these dragon masters.

Who are now officially Emmy nominees. On July 12, nearly a year after HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon premiered, the show nabbed four nods including Best Drama Series.

Focusing on Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen's ancestors from House Targaryen, the series (co-created by author George R. R. Martin) takes place hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones, which ended in 2019. Of course, there are more than just Targaryens in King's Landing, as other prominent families find themselves looking to make powerful alliances. It is a Game of Thrones prequel after all. (As for everything we know about season two, click here.)

Naturally, the cast—which includes Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Fabien Frankel, Steve Toussaint and Eve Best—absolutely slays in their roles. After all, those Emmy nominations were well deserved.

Perhaps especially the show's recognition in the Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes category. So bend the knee and keep reading to see these stars in and out of costume. We guarantee your jaws will drop...

King Viserys Targaryen was chosen by the Lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather's legacy. But good men do not necessarily make for great kings.

At San Diego Comic-Con 2022, Considine said his character is a "kind man" who is "trying to keep the peace time going within the kingdom."

He added, "He's a man who cares about things...but he's also carrying something else, a kind of secret that's revealed in the show that kind of refers to the possible fall of man."

The younger brother to King Viserys and heir to the throne. A peerless warrior and a dragonrider, Daemon possesses the true blood of the dragon. But it is said that whenever a Targaryen is born, the gods toss a coin in the air…

The daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most comely woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She was raised in the Red Keep, close to the king and his innermost circle; she possesses both a courtly grace and a keen political acumen.

The king's first-born child, she is of pure Valyrian blood, and she is a dragonrider. Many would say that Rhaenyra was born with everything… but she was not born a man.

Milly Alcock plays a younger version of the character.

As for what drives Rhaenyra? "Fire," D'Arcy said at Comic-Con 2022. "I think Rhaenyra is fueled by that old Targaryen stuff...working out when to let that fire burn and when to dampen it."

He is Lord of House Velaryon, a Valyrian bloodline as old as House Targaryen. As "The Sea Snake," the most famed nautical adventurer in the history of Westeros, Lord Corlys built his house into a powerful seat that is even richer than the Lannisters and that claims the largest navy in the world.

At Comic-Con, Toussaint said his character a "famed nautical man."

Of Dornish descent, the common-born son of the steward to the Lord of Blackhaven. Cole has no claim to land or titles; all he has to his name is his honor and his preternatural skill with a sword.

Princess Rhaenys, played by Eve Best, is a dragonrider and wife to Lord Corlys Velaryon, "The Queen Who Never Was" was passed over as heir to the throne at the Great Council because the realm favored her cousin, Viserys, simply for being male.

Eve said the title of "The Queen That Never Was" really pisses off her character, adding, "She should've been the queen and it's kind of annoying that she isn't."

She who came to Westeros with nothing and has been sold more times than she can recall. She could have wilted... but instead she rose to become the most trusted—and most unlikely—ally of Prince Daemon Targaryen, the heir to the throne.

The Hand of the King, Ser Otto loyally and faithfully serves both his king and his realm. As the Hand sees it, the greatest threat to the realm is the king's brother, Daemon, and his position as heir to the throne.

George R. R. MartinMatt SmithPaddy ConsidineOlivia CookeEmma D'ArcyFabien FrankelSteve ToussaintEve BestMilly AlcockEve Best