Martin, showrunners, and cast delve into the height of Targaryen power; Hightower character casting revealed!

Young Alicent Rhaenyra Syrax Header

The latest House of the Dragon featurette released by HBO has author George R.R. Martin giving us a history lesson about the Targaryen dynasty at its height; co-showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik discussing the setting of this new show as well as its all-new cast and impressive sets; and cast members Paddy Considine (Viserys I), Milly Alcock (Young Rhaenyra) and Matt Smith (Daemon) briefing us on their characters. And new footage, with a new character revealed!

We also get new shots from the show and behind the scenes, including these:

Young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey), BFFs forever, no backsies
Young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey), BFFs forever, no backsies
That's Syrax in the background!
That’s Syrax in the background!
Young Rhaenyra heats up a dragon egg...
Young Rhaenyra heats up a dragon egg…
Young Rhaenyra's looking quite bloodied here!
Young Rhaenyra’s looking quite bloodied here!
Yes, that's Rhaenyra about to grasp THAT famous Valyrian steel dagger!
Yes, that’s Rhaenyra about to grasp THAT famous Valyrian steel dagger!
Daemon (Matt Smith) greets his brother King Viserys at the Small Council
Daemon (Matt Smith) greets his brother King Viserys at the Small Council
New Kingsguard Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) kneels
New Kingsguard Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) kneels
The Red Keep's looking a little different two centuries earlier...
The Red Keep’s looking a little different two centuries earlier…

Perhaps most interestingly, we see Lord Hobert Hightower as one of the Lords of Westeros swearing fealty to Viserys (and presumably Rhaenyra as his heir too, if this is that same scene we’ve seen in several trailers). I certainly expected Lord Hightower to be cast in future seasons, as he has a crucial role to play in the war, but to be quite honest I was surprised to see him so soon. Pleasently so!

Meet Lord Hobert Hightower!
Meet Lord Hobert Hightower!

Lord Hobert appears to be played by Steffan Rhodri. He’s a Welsh actor, just like Rhys Ifans, who’s playing Hobert’s younger family member, Ser Otto. In Fire and Blood, the Lord of Oldtown, Otto’s nephew, is named Ormund; Hobert is Ormund’s cousin, a relatively minor knight whose claim to fame doesn’t come until his very last act in life. It may seem like a strange change, but there is always the possibility that this isn’t Otto’s nephew with his name changed or Ormund’s cousin with a much higher position, but instead Ormund’s father, who’s yet unnamed in the source material. If this is supposed to be the same Lord Hightower that takes part in the Dance of the Dragons, however, before the war begins you should get accustomed to Rhodri’s face! The Hightowers of Oldtown won’t be trifled with, if their lord has anything to say about it…

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3 Comments

  1. I am actually pretty excited to see this on Monday now especially with the positive reviews from the premiere. I don’t want to expect GOT level of show (that’s an unfair benchmark) but it sounds like it’s a very good show in its own right which gets the blend and throwbacks spot on too.

  2. I am actually pretty excited to see this on Monday now especially with the positive reviews from the premiere. I don’t want to expect GOT level of show (that’s an unfair benchmark) but it sounds like it’s a very good show in its own right which gets the blend and throwbacks spot on too.

    Hopefully this site also picks up and some of the old contributors return for the debate and speculation.

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