Every new actor joining House of the Dragon in season 2 (and who they're playing)

Starks, Arryns, and dragonseeds, oh my! House of the Dragon is getting dozens of new cast members in its upcoming second season. Meet them all:
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The second season of HBO's Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon premieres this summer on HBO and Max. The first season already introduced us to a cavalcade of memorable characters, including heir apparent to the Iron Throne Rhaenyra Targaryen, her lecherous half-brother Aegon, her bloodthirsty uncle-husband Daemon, her best frenemy Alicent Hightower, and more. Like Game of Thrones before it, House of the Dragon has a lot of characters, and it's not in the habit of pausing so you can remember who's who.

Season 2 will pick up where season 1 left off: Rhaenyra's son Luke has been killed by her own half-brother Aemond Targaryen, Luke's uncle. The simmering war between these two branches of the Targaryen family is about to boil and bubble over. House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, and the story is about to expand in a big way, introducing us to lots of new places and people.

So who are the new characters we'll get to know in House of the Dragon season 2, and who's playing them? Let's run down the newcomers, with special thanks to Redanian Intelligence for compiling a fantastic list and filling in the gaps in our knowledge.

Tom Taylor
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Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark

First up we have English actor Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark, a name that's sure to attract attention from those Game of Thrones fans who remember the North. If you recall, at the end of season 1, Rheanyra dispatched her son Jacaerys to Winterfell to win the favor of its young lord. Cregan Stark is that lord. We'll probably see him early in season 2, as Jace arrives on his diplomatic mission.

In Fire & Blood, Jace and Cregan become buddies, so maybe House of the Dragon will give us the lasting Stark-Targaryen partnership we never got on Game of Thrones. Cregan definitely recalls some of the stern-faced Starks from the original show: he's loyal, unbending in his values, a bit gruff, and a good fighter. I can definitely see him becoming a fan favorite.

As for Taylor, he's been acting since he was a kid, appearaing alongside Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in 2017's The Dark Tower.

Freddie Fox
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Freddie Fox as Gwayne Hightower

Cregan Stark enters the budding war between Rhaenyra and Aegon for the Iron Throne, known as the Dance of the Dragons, on Rhaenyra's side; her faction is known as the "blacks." Let's meet a character who fights for Aegon, who's faction is called the "greens."

Gwayne Hightower is the brother of Alicent Hightower, Aegon's mother and Rhaenyra's sworn enemy or best friend depending on how she's feeling that day. We actually saw Gwayne very briefly in the first-ever episode of House of the Dragon, when Daemon Targaryen un-horsed him during a tournament. Now that war has broken out between the blacks and the greens, perhaps Gwayne can get his revenge.

Gwayne is played by Freddie Fox, who has a long list of screen and stage credits. He'll shine in this supporting role.

Amanda Collin
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Amanda Collin as Jeyne Arryn

Here's another ally for Rhaenyra: Jeyne Arryn rules over the Vale, one of the Seven Kingdoms and definitely someone you want on your side if you're going to war. Jeyne is a hard-headed ruler who's been at it for years, having successfully stopped a plot to oust her mounted by her cousin Arnold Arryn, who did not think a woman could do the job. In Fire & Blood, it's hinted that Jeyne Arryn is a lesbian, something the show may make plain, since it's not as constrained by the book's format.

Although Jeyne doesn't think much of Rheanyra's husband Daemon, she proves a loyal ally to Rhaenyra throughout the war. Amanda Collin will surely crush this role; you can see her bring gravity to a leading part in the Max show Raised by Wolves, where she plays a maternal android willing to protect her flock by any means necessary.

Gayle Rankin
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Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers

Alys Rivers' motivations are a little harder to figure out than the other characters we've looked at so far. She's a wet nurse who lives at Harrenhal, the huge haunted castle currently ruled over by House Strong; it's said that she's a bastard daughter of a Strong lord herself. It's also said that she's a witch woman who can entrap people with curses and spells. Quite a lot is said about Alys Rivers. She was a mysterious reputation that proceeds her.

In Fire & Blood, Daemon Targaryen spends a lot of time in and around Harrenhal during the Dance of the Dragons. Later, Aemond Targaryen will hang out in Harrenhal. Alys will interact with both of them, but will she be a friend or an enemy?

Gayle Rankin is an experienced actor with roles in shows like GLOW and Perry Mason, as well as movies like The Greatest Showman. If you've seen her work, you know she'll be able to pull off the creepy vibes required to play Alys Rivers.

There are a lot more people to meet. Click the button below to continue: