'House of the Dragon' Season 2: Meet the New Characters

(L-R): Harry Collett as Jacaerys Targaryen and Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark in <I>House of the Dragon</I> Season 2. Credit - Ollie Upton—HBO

As if the first season of House of the Dragon didn't give viewers enough characters to keep track of, Season 2 of the Game of Thrones prequel spinoff, premiering June 16, is set to introduce a number of new players with a role to play in the fiery struggle to come.

The moment Lucerys Velaryon (played by Elliot Grihault) and his dragon Arrax were killed by Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) and his dragon Vhagar in the final minutes of the Season 1 finale, the escalating conflict between the two rival factions of House Targaryen officially passed the point of no return. Now, the Dance of the Dragons—the contest to decide who will rule the Seven Kingdoms in the wake of the death of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine)—is set to become a full-blown war.

As the factions known as the Blacks—those who support Viserys' eldest daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), as the rightful heir—and the Greens—those who back her younger half-brother, Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney)—both attempt to shore up alliances across Westeros, here's what to know about some important new additions to the House of the Dragon fold.

Note: Since House of the Dragon is based on George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire companion novel Fire & Blood, you can always find out more about these characters' trajectories in the book if you so desire. But we'll avoid any significant spoilers here.

Cregan Stark

(L-R): Harry Collett as Jacaerys Targaryen and Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark in <i>House of the Dragon</i> Season 2.<span class="copyright">Ollie Upton—HBO</span>
(L-R): Harry Collett as Jacaerys Targaryen and Tom Taylor as Cregan Stark in House of the Dragon Season 2.Ollie Upton—HBO

Just as Lucerys was on a mission to form an alliance with House Baratheon before he got chomped by Vhagar, we last saw his older brother Jacaerys (Henry Collett) heading off to secure the support of House Arryn and House Stark by treating with their respective heads, Lady Jeyne Arryn and Lord Cregan Stark (Tom Taylor). In the Season 1 finale, Rhaenyra told Jace that Cregan was closer to his age than hers and that she hoped they would be able to find some common ground.

Judging by the Season 2 trailer, Jace's visit to Winterfell will include a trip to the Wall with Cregan, who's known by the nickname the Wolf of the North. "He's very powerful," showrunner Ryan Condal told Entertainment Weekly of Cregan. "Everybody's vying for his army. He's quite a bit younger than Ned Stark was, so it's interesting to see the Young Wolf, the young Stark lord, and how he carries himself in the world, and the burden that's on his shoulders being the Warden of the North. I'm excited for the audience to see and experience that."

However, Sara Hess, Condal’s lead writing partner on House of the Dragon, warned fans not to get their hopes up for an extensive Season 2 storyline about House Stark, the focal point of the first Game of Thrones series. "Expect very little,” she told EW. “Our POV is the Targaryens, and our POV is split between King’s Landing, Dragonstone, and then when Daemon goes to Harrenhal. We just don't have the eyes to really be everywhere at the same time."

Alyn and Addam of Hull

Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull in <i>House of the Dragon</i> Season 2.<span class="copyright">Ollie Upton—HBO</span>
Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull in House of the Dragon Season 2.Ollie Upton—HBO

Alyn of Hull (Abubakar Salim), a sailor in the Velaryon fleet who served under Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) in the Stepstones campaign of Season 1, and his shipwright older brother, Addam of Hull (Clinton Liberty), will be officially introduced in Season 2 as House Velaryon moves to fortify their blockade of the Gullet—the stretch of sea between Dragonstone and Driftmark that connects Blackwater Bay to the Narrow Sea—in order to cut off supplies from King's Landing in support of the Blacks.

"We're so used to dealing with the upper echelons of society in this story, and they are always trying to climb to be part of that society, whereas Alyn doesn't care," Salim told EW of his character. "He just does his job. He knows what he's good at and he knows what he wants. He cares not for those people who are sitting in their little thrones because that was crushed the day he was born."

However, his relationship with Lord Corlys will prove to be an important one. "That is certainly a new dynamic," Toussaint said. "One of the things that Corlys is having to deal with is past indiscretions coming back to haunt him."

Read More: What to Remember About the War Between the Greens and Blacks Before House of the Dragon Season 2

Hugh Hammer and Ulf the White

In Martin's Fire & Blood, the term "dragonseed" is used to describe illegitimate children of Targaryen descent who, by nature of their heritage, have the potential to bond with dragons. That's all we'll say about Hugh (Kieran Bew) and Ulf (Tom Bennett) for now.

Blood and Cheese

Considering the Season 2 premiere is titled "A Son for a Son," it's easy to make a pretty educated guess about what the Blacks are seeking as retribution for Lucerys' death. Two King's Landing lowlifes known as Blood (Sam C. Wilson) and Cheese (Mark Stobbart) will play a grisly role in that plot.

"A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones have really conditioned people to expect the unexpected and expect the horrible," Condal told EW of this particular storyline. "But, yeah, that one's pretty horrific. We'll see what people make of what's to come."

Gwayne Hightower

After being violently unhorsed by Daemon during the Heir's Tournament in House of the Dragon Season 1's premiere, Gwayne Hightower (played in Season 2 by Freddie Fox)—the son of Hand of the King, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), and brother of Queen Mother Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke)—is set to make a long-overdue return to King's Landing in Season 2.

"Gwayne is kind of this posh boarding school kid who had all the finest horse-riding instructors and combat trainers and things like that, but nobody in this world has been to war, because we've been at peace for essentially three-quarters of a century," Condal said of Fox's character during an appearance on Sky TV's superfan sister show House of the Dragon: War Room. "So he brings a lot of his swaggery upbringing into the story and then is suddenly thrust into a very real war."

Simon Strong

Although Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) has been serving as the Hightowers' unofficial Master of Whisperers since orchestrating the fire that killed his father, Lionel Strong (Gavin Spokes), and brother, Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), in Season 1, his great-uncle, Simon Strong (Simon Russell Beale), is the castellan of House Strong’s seat of Harrenhal. That means Simon is in charge of managing and defending the pivotally located, and supposedly cursed, castle in Larys' absence.

As Season 2 gets underway, Daemon (Matt Smith) will head to the Riverlands to try to claim Harrenhal for the Blacks, positioning him to share a number of scenes with Simon.

Alys Rivers

Like Melisandre in Game of Thrones, Alys Rivers (Gayle Rankin), the rumored illegitimate daughter of Lionel Strong, is a mysterious figure with supernatural abilities. At Harrenhal, Alys is known as a healer with powers of prophecy—or, as some might call her, a witch.

"My particular storyline is quite, for the moment, contained...very wild, but contained," Rankin told Town & Country. "I want to really ground her and find her humanity—I always try to find my way into that, but she has a lot of power, too...I don't think we've seen half of it yet, so that will be fun."

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.