House of the Dragon confirms important character for season 2, casts doubt on others

Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO
Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

HBO dropped the first trailer for House of the Dragon season 2 today, and it’s a doozy. Watch below:

Season 2 will pick up where season 1 left off, with rival branches of the Targaryen dynasty going to war over the Iron Throne. Will King Aegon Targaryen remain on the Iron Throne, or will his half-sister Rhaenyra Targaryen knock him off it? Both sides will attempt to get all of their allies to join the fight, which means we will meet some new characters.

As it happens, HBO gave us a list of those new characters, and who’s playing them. Check it out:

  • Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull
  • Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome
  • Kieran Bew as Hugh
  • Tom Bennett as Ulf
  • Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark
  • Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne
  • Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull
  • Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers
  • Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower
  • Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong.

A lot of these we’ve known about already. Some of them will be important to the story and some will be fairly minor players. I want to focus on a few in particular: the Dragonseeds. We’re gonna get into SPOILERS below. You’ve been warned.

Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO
Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO /

The Dragonseeds are officially a part of House of the Dragon season 2…with one major absence

In George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, there comes a time when Rhaenyra Targaryen will find herself with more dragons than she has people to ride them. So she and her team put out a call: anyone who can tame these riderless dragons on Dragonstone and then vows to fight for Rheanrya in her battle against her half-brother will be rewarded with lands and titles. Many answer the call. Most fail, some fatally, but a few successfully mount dragons. They become known as the Dragonseeds. They are:

  • Addam of Hull rides the dragon Seasmoke
  • Hugh Hammer rides the dragon Vermithor
  • Ulf White rides the dragon Silverwing
  • Nettles rides the dragon Sheepstealer

Now, thanks to HBO’s official list, we know that three out of the four of these characters will appear in House of the Dragon season 2: Clinton Liberty is Addam of Hull, Kieran Bew is Hugh Hammer, and Tom Bennett is Ulf White. It’s great to see confirmation for Addam of Hull in particular. We’d heard rumors that Clinton Liberty would be playing this character, but weren’t sure of the specifics. In the book, Addam rides the dragon Seasmoke after his original rider, Laenor Velaryon, dies. But on the show, Laenor Velaryon survives, and there was speculation that he might take over Addam’s role on the show. But apparently both characters will be around. We’re not sure how that will work, but at least Addam isn’t cut.

But where does that leave Nettles? In my opinion, she’s the most interesting of the Dragonseeds and I was really looking forward to seeing her onscreen. Unlike the other three Dragonseeds, who have Targaryen or Velaryon blood, Nettles is an ordinary peasant who bonds with the dragon Sheepstealer simply by bringing it food everyday. I wanted to see that perspective.

Just because Nettles isn’t on this list doesn’t mean she won’t be on the show. House of the Dragon has a big cast and HBO isn’t going to list them all right here at the top. It’s possible she’ll be introduced in season 3, or glancingly introduced in season 2 and then further developed in season 3. Take a look at this picture. Although we don’t have confirmation, this seems to be an image of (some of) the Dragonseeds, taken behind the scenes during filming on season 2. That looks like Kieran Bew as Hugh Hammer second from the left, and the woman to the right of him matches the description of Nettles from the book.

Another character not on the list if Daeron Targaryen, the fourth child of Alicent Hightower and King Viserys I Targaryen. Like Nettles, he’s missing in action but may yet show up.

We can’t be sure of anything just yet. We’ll learn more when House of the Dragon season 2 premieres on HBO and Max in the summer of 2024.

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