See the "House of the Dragon" Characters Before and After the Time Jumps
On "House of the Dragon," time is flying by faster than the Targaryens on their dragons. Now, as we head deeper into the second half of the first season, two major time jumps and even more cast changes are upon us. With so much time elapsing between episodes, it's the perfect chance to revisit how these characters start out when we first meet them and what they look like now.
For some, aging has been kind — so kind, in fact, that they look almost the same! For others, they're looking very different, whether because of the character's failing health or an outright recasting. Let's take a look back at some of the key players then and now.
Sign up for HBO Max now to watch "House of the Dragon."
Rhaenyra Targaryen Then (Milly Alcock)
When we first meet Princess Rhaenyra, she's a young teenage princess and the presumed heir to the Iron Throne. Following the death of her mother and would-be brother in childbirth, Rhaenyra's father, King Viserys, officially declares her his heir.
Rhaenyra Targaryen Now (Emma D'Arcy)
Years later, Rhaenyra is still the heir to the throne, but her grasp on power is more tenuous than ever. She is married to Laenor Velaryon and has a friendly relationship with him, but he is gay and "their" children are actually the sons of Ser Harwin Strong, her guard and lover. As her half-siblings through her father's marriage to Alicent grow older, it becomes clearer that she will have a struggle on her hands to take the throne.
Alicent Hightower Then (Emily Carey)
Alicent is first introduced as the teenage daughter of Viserys's closest adviser, Otto Hightower. She's also best friends with Rhaenyra, who is just a few years younger than her. After the death of Queen Aemma, however, she's pushed into becoming Viserys's second wife, changing the course of her life.
Alicent Hightower Now (Olivia Cooke)
Over a decade into her marriage to Viserys, Alicent is the mother of three sons and a daughter — and she's grown more and more certain that her eldest son, Aegon, should be the next king. With scheming allies like Ser Criston Cole and Larys Strong, she's building a power base to take the reins.
Viserys Targaryen Then (Paddy Considine)
From the beginning, King Viserys I is an "OK" king. He's interested in the welfare of his people and his family, but he's also heir-obsessed enough to give the go-ahead to a brutal operation that kills his first wife, Aemma, in the futile hope of saving the life of the child she is struggling to birth. After Aemma's death, he names his daughter, Rhaenyra, as heir, but the scheming going on around him tugs him in many directions — and even the Iron Throne itself seems to reject him.
Viserys Targaryen Now (Paddy Considine)
Years later, Viserys's ongoing illnesses have severely weakened him, leaving him looking visibly frail. He has suffered from numerous infections after getting cut on the Iron Throne, and it's clear that his health is failing him, although he's still trying to hang on and do what is right for Westeros.
Daemon Targaryen Then (Matt Smith)
We first encounter Prince Daemon, Viserys's younger brother, as a swaggering playboy prince. He's frustrated over his own place in the line of succession and itching to consolidate his own power.
Daemon Targaryen Now (Matt Smith)
Following the time jump, Daemon is both seemingly ageless and seemingly just as interested in power, albeit a slightly mellower personality after his marriage to Laena Velaryon. He is the father of two daughters, though still a little too interested in the gossip surrounding his niece Rhaenyra, and lives in Pentos with his family, far from King's Landing.
Laena Velaryon Then (Nova Foueillis-Mosé)
Laena, the daughter of Corlys Velaryon and "the queen who never was" Rhaenys Targaryen, is introduced as a potential second wife for Viserys after Queen Aemma's death. When we first see her in person, however, it's shocking: she's only 12 years old. Viserys is equally surprised and turns down her parents' proposed marriage between them.
Laena Velaryon Now (Nanna Blondell)
After Laena is briefly portrayed by Savannah Steyn as a teenager, Blondell rounds out Laena's story as an adult. Married to Daemon Targaryen, she has two daughters and is a dragonrider. When the birth of their son goes terribly wrong, Laena takes matters into her own hands.
Laenor Velaryon Then (Theo Nate)
Although he is very briefly spotted as a young child (played by Matthew Carver), Laenor's first real introduction comes when he is a young man, serving with Daemon Targaryen during the war in the Stepstones. He's the son of Corlys and Rhaenys and an esteemed knight who is betrothed to Rhaenyra in an attempt to reunite the branches of the Targaryen clan.
Laenor Velaryon Now (John Macmillan)
A decade after his marriage to Rhaenyra, Laenor is content enough with his life. He and Rhaenyra are friends, and he continues his relationships with men with her blessing. In turn, he accepts her long-term relationship with Ser Harwin Strong. When she realizes the need to start gathering support for her claim to the throne, he's right there at her side.
Criston Cole Then (Fabian Frankel)
At first, Ser Criston Cole seems to be the paragon of knighthood. Chosen for the Kingsguard by Rhaenyra herself, they form a friendship, and he seems to be kind and honorable — at least for a little while.
Criston Cole Now (Fabian Frankel)
It's been a decade since Rhaenyra rejected Criston's offer to elope, and he immediately turned against her to work with Alicent. Now, he's Alicent's adviser, Rhaenyra's enemy, and an outright bully, taunting Rhaenyra's sons and deliberately fanning conflict between them and the sons of Alicent and Viserys.
Harwin Strong Then (Ryan Corr, left)
For the first few episodes, Ser Harwin Strong is a background player. As House Strong comes to prominence, he and his brother, Larys, do, too, and he seems to find himself frequently in proximity to Rhaenyra.
Harwin Strong Now (Ryan Corr)
After the time jump, we learn that, in the intervening decade, Harwin and Rhaenyra have fallen for each other. Their ongoing affair — conducted with Laenor's knowledge and blessing — has resulted in three sons, all of whom resemble Harwin but are officially claimed to be Laenor's.
Larys Strong Then (Matthew Needham)
Larys, the younger brother of Harwin and the second son of Lyonel Strong, is introduced as the overlooked member of House Strong because of his clubfoot. His keen observations and knack for stirring up trouble earn him the ear of Alicent.
Larys Strong Now (Matthew Needham)
When we rejoin the story after the time jump, Larys is more powerful and shrewd than ever. His scheming has turned from gossip to assassination, arranging for the deaths of his own father and brother to serve both his and Alicent's ends.
Jacaerys and Lucerys Valaryon Then (Leo Hart and Harvey Sadler)
Jacaerys and Lucerys Valaryon, officially known as the children of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Laenor Valaryon, have no clue that they are actually fathered by Ser Harwin Strong when they are first introduced.
Jacaerys Velaryon Now (Harry Collett)
After the time jump coming in episode eight, Jace will be portrayed by Harry Collett.
Baela and Rhaena Targaryen Then (Eva Ossei-Gerning and Shani Smethurst)
When we meet Rhaena and Baela Targaryen, they're living a life of solitude in the Free Cities with their parents, Daemon and Laena, but they return to Driftmark after their mother's tragic death.
Baela Targaryen Now (Bethany Antonia)
After the time jump in episode eight, Baela Targaryen is portrayed by Bethany Antonia.
Lucerys Valaryon and Rhaena Targaryen Now (Elliot Grihault and Phoebe Campbell)
After the second significant time jump, Lucerys and Rhaena are played by Elliot Grihault and Phoebe Campbell.
Aegon Targaryen Then (Ty Tennant)
When we're introduced to Aegon, he's played by Ty Tennant and not remotely interested in becoming King, but that won't last long if Alicent has anything to do with it.
Aegon Targaryen Now (Tom Glynn-Carney)
In episode eight, Tom Glynn-Carney takes over in the tole of Aegon.
Aemond Targaryen Then (Leo Ashton)
When we meet Aemond, he's dragon-less and determined to claim one as soon as possible.
Aemond Targaryen Now (Ewan Mitchell)
Ewan Mitchell takes over as Aemond in episode eight, and he's taken to wearing a patch over the eye he lost after claiming Laena's dragon Vhagar.