Power-ranking all the major characters in the new House of the Dragon
Every character who has died, who might die next, and who will make it all the way to the Iron Throne after that first episode...
Hello and welcome to our weekly power-ranking of the characters of the first season of House Of The Dragon.
Need a quick reminder on this 200-years-earlier prequel to Game Of Thrones? Click right here.
Each week, we'll be listing all of the major characters who have died - OUT! - as well as ranking from least likely to make it to the next episode, all the way up to who is the most likely to be ruling Westeros as we know it come the series' end.
So here we go, the power-ranking for the very first episode of House Of The Dragon, fittingly titled The Heirs Of The Dragon...
OUT! - Pretty much every single criminal in King's Landing
An incredibly violent attack on every known (and suspected?) criminal in all of King's Landing ended with a horse carting off a pick 'n' mix of body parts. Prince Targaryen was truly flexing his muscle by chopping the hands off thieves, the heads of murderers, and even more besides.
OUT! - Some jousters who are very bad losers
The huge jousting tournament to celebrate the arrival of King Targaryen's new son - and future heir - was fun for the most part, reminiscent of Heath Ledger's entertaining A Knight's Tale. That was until some of those who got knocked off their horses couldn't take the loss, and wanted to continue to fight on foot. Cut to extreme close-ups of smashed-in skulls, and background characters vomiting from the excess violence. We're right there with you, guys.
OUT! - Queen Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke)
But even that wasn't the most peeking-through-your-fingers sequence in this first episode. Nope, that goes to Queen Arryn's horrendous birthing scene, in which the King must choose between saving his child via caesarean (which will definitely kill his wife), or hoping that the birth somehow sorts itself out (which will almost definitely kill his wife and child). He opts for the former, only for his brand-new son to die soon afterwards anyway. Absolutely harrowing stuff.
ELEVEN - The various Lords and Grand Maesters on the Council
The King's advisory gang are all still pretty interchangable at this point - except for Otto and Corlys, but we'll get to them - so if any of them were to suddenly get bumped off in the second episode, we wouldn't really mind. At the moment, all they're really good for is their pearl-clutching reactions to Daemon's inventive swearing.
TEN - King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine)
Yikes, he's really been put through the ringer in just one episode, hasn't he?
He was voted into becoming the King, a job he very clearly didn't really want and is way too nice to actually be good at. His brother is a loose cannon, we find out he and his wife have had FIVE previous attempts at having a male heir, and then his wife dies delivering the sixth, and then his newborn son dies soon afterwards. All of that AND his throne is literally killing him.
Is it just rust getting into his wounds? Or is someone poisoning the sharper parts of that hot seat?
NINE - Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno)
The internet has already lost its collective minds thanks to the sex scene between Mysaria and Daemon, and then the subsequent orgy scene which has them both at the centre of it. She's aligned herself with Daemon, which could be tactical, but we've yet to meet Daemon's apparently "homely" wife, and she might not react well to her husband sharing their bed with another woman on the regular...
EIGHT - Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best)
The Queen Who Never Was seems to still have the hearts of the people of King's Landing - where were they when she needed the votes to win the crown? - and it is clear that if she were ruler, this entire show would be over in about 20 minutes. Having the actual favour of the population is likely to inspire jealousy in the men in actual power. And as we know from Game Of Thrones, jealousy tends to make Westeros people do crazy things.
SEVEN - Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel)
The hunky Dornish warrior was skilled enough to both knock Daemon off his horse and then defeat him in hand-to-hand combat. And THEN he asked for the favour Princess Rhaenyra! In front of everyone! But especially in front of Daemon, who seems to have developed an icky liking for his brother's daughter. Poor Criston has no idea what he's got himself involved in.
SIX - Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith)
On the one hand, there is no way they'll kill off a character as entertaining as Daemon this early on, who seems to be equal parts Joffrey and Tyrion. On the other hand, at the start of the episode he had maybe five people in all of King's Landing that actually seemed to like him, and by the end of the episode, that was down to one, maybe two. It is never a good idea to make enemies of, y'know, pretty much everyone.
FIVE - Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans)
Clever, clever Ser Otto. Seeing an opportunity to fill a void left by a recently departed wife and child, Otto sends in his own daughter Alicent to "comfort" the King in his time of need. That could've been taken at face value if it weren't for the fact that he then suggested Alicent wear one of her dead mother's dresses. Yikes. Gross. Yikes and gross. General note: don't pimp out your children.
FOUR - Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint)
We already know that Corlys is not going to be taking any shit from anyone, with his only obvious ally being his wife Princess Rhaenys. Between them, they are King's Landing's ultimate power couple, and word has it that Coryls is also an incredible warrior, and a self-made millionaire (or whatever the Westeros equivalent is for a millionaire). If he's going out, he's going out in battle, and even then, he's probably not going out, cos he's real good at battles. We like this guy.
THREE - Every single dragon
Everyone agrees that even though Targaryens seem to control the dragons, they actually don't. There is a sort of understanding between them, and should they want to, the dragons could just burn it all down and fly towards the sunset. So the dragons will be sticking around for a while, at least until those who ride them start to turn them against each other.
TWO - Alicent Hightower (Emily Carey)
It is already very clear that the biggest heartbreak of this first season will be the slow degradation of the first-love friendship between Alicent and Rhaenyra, two BFFs who just want to frolic in the fields together and giggle while checking out the hunky warriors. But the men in their lives have other ideas, and Alicent has been placed on a path with the King that will result in some awkward conversations with...
ONE - Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock)
Obviously, only one episode down, this is still all very aggressive guesswork. (Yes, we know we could read the book, or at least the Wiki description of the book's plot, but we won't!) But it is likely that this will all come down to Alicent and Rhaenyra going head-to-head. Or if not that, then them both pitting their own first-born sons against each other. As the newly named heir to the throne, Princess Rhaenyra has just had the biggest target painted on her back. But she's got a huge dragon to help her defend herself, so... there's that.
House of the Dragon Episode Two - titled The Rogue Prince - will be available to watch on NOW and Sky from Monday, 29 August.