HBO’s House of the Dragon prequel series gives the Targaryens the spotlight, with the other families of Game of Thrones spread out across Westeros. With the Lannisters and Baratheons not yet in control of the Iron Throne, House of the Dragon will have far fewer families vying for power in King’s Landing, as most of the conflict instead comes from the Targaryen Civil War. However, when the action begins for the Dance of the Dragons war, the ancestral families from Game of Thrones will slowly begin taking sides and leaving their homes to take up arms.
While Game of Thrones primarily centered on the Stark family, Ned’s ancestors will be taking the backseat at the start of House of the Dragon’s timeline. Since House of the Dragon season 1 will likely be laying the groundwork for the Dance of the Dragons after the death of King Viserys I; it’s possible that House Stark may not have a significant presence in the story until season 2. Rather, the most important houses at the start of House of the Dragon will be the Targaryens, Hightowers, and Velaryons, the latter two of which weren’t prominently featured in Game of Thrones.
Since House of the Dragon’s timeline seemingly begins approximately 170 years before Game of Thrones season 1, the prequel series won’t be bringing back any of the original characters. However, the major houses from Game of Thrones will still be playing with power during this timeline, with certain families having already established themselves as prominent nobility before House of the Dragon’s story takes place. Here’s a breakdown of where every major family from Game of Thrones will be during the events of HBO’s House of the Dragon.
House Targaryen will be in King’s Landing throughout House of the Dragon, with the family having sat on the Iron Throne for over 100 years by this point in time. When the story begins, King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) will sit on the throne in King’s Landing with his daughter and heir, Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), ruling from the Targaryens’ historic home of Dragonstone. Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), the brother of Viserys I and uncle to Rhaenyra, will also be located in Dragonstone while she rules, where he will marry his niece without his brother’s permission. In addition, King Viserys I’s wife Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and his son Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) will be in the Red Keep, where the latter two characters will remain after the King’s death.
When House of the Dragon’s conflict about the succession to King Viserys I begins, House Stark will be located back in Winterfell, where Lord Cregan Stark leads the family. Before the Dance of the Dragons, House Stark had largely refrained from engaging in royal politics or conflicts at court. Then in 129 AC, Queen Rhaenyra sent her firstborn son to Winterfell to gain support for her claim, with House of the Dragon‘s Lord Stark and Jacaerys officially making the Pact of Ice and Fire. Cregan remained in Winterfell for most House of the Dragon’s events, though he would finally march to King’s Landing in 131 AC after Rhaenyra’s death. Known as the Hour of the Wolf, Cregan Stark’s arrival at King’s Landing saw him hold court at the Red Keep for six days, whereafter he was named Hand of the King by Rhaenyra’s son, Prince Aegon the Younger. However, he quickly resigned from his position as the Hand, and once King Aegon III Targaryen was officially crowned, Cregan finally began his journey back to Game of Thrones‘ Winterfell.
As expected, House Lannister still had an important role to play during House of the Dragon’s timeline. During this time, the Lannister family was led by Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall), who had unsuccessfully vied against his twin brother for the hand of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen years before. House of the Dragon’s Lannister characters will also see Jason’s twin brother Ser Tyland play an important role here, as he served as the master of ships for King Viserys I Targaryen before his death and later as the master of coin for Aegon II Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons. Jason and Tyland supported Aegon II against Rhaenyra’s claim, with Jason based in Casterly Rock while Tyland had an important location in King’s Landing. On the night King Viserys I dies, it will be Tyland Lannister who gathers the small council to discuss the succession plan and claim Aegon II as the rightful king of Westeros.
The leader of House Baratheon in House of the Dragon‘s civil war is Borros Baratheon, who was the Lord of Storm’s End during the reigns of both King Viserys I and Aegon II. Since Rhaenyra and Borros were cousins, it was assumed he would support her claim to the throne, though he unexpectedly chose to side with the greens when they visited him in Storm’s End. Lord Baratheon would primarily remain in Storm’s End aside from leading a few marches during the Dance of the Dragons, only heading to King’s Landing once Rhaenyra died. Borros’ daughter Ellyn Baratheon will also be featured as a character in House of the Dragon, and although her role in season 1 is unclear, she’ll eventually come into play at Storm’s End when various kingdoms try to make marriage pacts with her father.
Lord Dalton Greyjoy, The Red Kraken, will unsurprisingly be found at the Iron Islands during House of the Dragon. The ancestor of Game of Thrones‘ Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) comes to power before the death of Viserys I Targaryen, where the young Lord would become known as one of Pyke’s great ironborn heroes. After the Green counsel first appeals to Lord Grejoy on Pyke, Dalton eventually chooses to support the claim of Rhaenyra and joins the Black Allegiance.
If House of the Dragon features flashbacks to Rhaenyra’s early childhood, the prequel will feature her mother, Aemma Arryn, in King’s Landing as the wife to King Viserys I prior to her death. House of the Dragon will also see Jeyne Arryn, the Maiden of the Vale, leading her house from the Eyrie during the reigns of King Viserys I and Aegon II Targaryen. House Arryn would quickly support Rhaenyra’s claim, with Jeyne remaining in the Vale throughout the majority of the war. House Arryn’s family member Joffrey Arryn will also be an important figure in the Eyrie, as the Knight of the Gate, who was also Jeyne’s heir. Toward the end of the Dance of the Dragons, the Arryn family will become extremely important once a dragon egg belonging to the Black Allegiance hatches in the Eyrie.
House Tully, the family of Game of Thrones’ Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), saw three changes in leadership during the Dance of the Dragon war. House of the Dragon will begin with Lord Grover Tully in charge and located at Riverrun. Grover’s advanced age during the House of the Dragon led his grandson Elmo Tully to take matters into his own hands, where he decided to remain neutral in the war until Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen’s bannerman finally visited Riverrun. Elmo would then leave the Trident and succeed his grandfather as Lord of Riverrun, soon leading an army to King’s Landing. Elmo would quickly die on the road from bad water, where his eldest son, Ser Kermit Tully, became Lord of Riverrun and took up his father’s role leading the host at the Battle of the Kingsroad.
House Martell will be joining House of the Dragon’s story from their home of Dorne, where Prince Qoren Martell leads the Game of Thrones family. House Martell remains in Dorne during the reign of Viserys I and the Dance of the Dragons, with the Lord of Sunspear refusing to take part in the Targaryen Civil War. While Game of Thrones‘ House Martell joined the War of the Five Kings’ conflicts late, the family has virtually no role in House of the Dragon’s political battles.
Like House Martell, the Tyrell family decides to stay out of the conflict during House of the Dragon, with the noble house instead dealing with rampant division already within the Reach. When House of the Dragon’s Targaryen Civil War begins, the Lord of Highgarden is only an infant, with his mother serving as regent. Though it was assumed that Lyonel Tyrell’s mother would side with the Hightowers and Aegon II, she ultimately refused to participate in the war. This is a stark change from Game of Thrones, where House Tyrell was a far more greedy and power-hungry institution. Instead, House Tyrell will likely serve a similar role to that of Lysa Tully and Robin Arryn in Game of Thrones, who largely avoided the war as they stayed isolated in the Vale.