Wait, So How Old Are These House of the Dragon Characters Supposed to Be?

All these time jumps make for a lot of math.
Published: June 15, 2024
Wait, So How Old Are These House of the Dragon Characters Supposed to Be?
Photo: Courtesy of HBO

Spoilers ahead.

It’s been a year and a half since House of the Dragon last graced our screens, fire, blood, and all. And yet, when the second season premieres on June 16, only about 10 days will have passed in Westeros. It can be hard to keep up after Season One’s multiple-time jumps. You would be forgiven if, during your Sunday night appointment viewing (or Monday morning if you live in Singapore), you asked yourself: "How old is that person supposed to be?"

It’s a fair query, considering the first season lurched forward 10 years mid-season (and then six more), causing characters to be re-cast, especially for the younger roles, to mark the passage of time. These folks aged so fast that we barely had time to squeeze in a bathroom break. Some questionable age gaps don’t help with the confusion either, like King Viserys Targaryen marrying his daughter’s then-best friend Alicent Hightower, or Rhaenyra marrying her uncle, Daemon. (With incest in the mix, that’s a whole other problem. Targaryens, what can you do!)

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To add to the chaos, not all the ages of the House of the Dragon characters are revealed outright on the show, and the actors aren’t necessarily the same age as their onscreen counterparts. Suffice to say, we could all use someone keeping tabs on this unanticipated math.

Luckily, we can look to George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, the basis for the series, for a bit of guidance. Keep in mind, though, that some details have been changed for the screen adaptation, which will soon be airing weekly again on HBO. 

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We do know is that episode one of House of the Dragon begins in the year 101, when King Jaehaerys announces his grandson Viserys as his heir. Then the timeline jumps to the ninth year of King Viserys’ reign, and the following episodes make minor (and, eventually, major) leaps forward as they move along. Here, we try to make sense of how the characters are ageing through it all.

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Alicent Hightower

According to Fire & Blood, Alicent, born around 88 years after Aegon's Conquest (AC), arrives to King’s Landing when she is 13 years old to accompany her father, Otto Hightower. She is 17 when Queen Aemma dies and 18 when she becomes Viserys’ second wife. In the book, she’s nine years older than Princess Rhaenyra, but in House of the Dragon they’re meant to be around the same age: 15 years old as of Season One episode one, then roughly 17 or 18 during episodes three to five. Emily Carey, the actress who plays young Alicent, was 19 years old when season one came out.

As of House of the Dragon’s mid-season time jump in episode 6, Alicent is aged up by a decade to somewhere around 28. Episode eight takes place another six years later, when Alicent is in her mid-30s. Olivia Cooke, who plays the older Alicent, is 30.

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Rhaenyra Targaryen

In season one, episode two, Viserys mentions his daughter, Rhaenyra, is 15 years old. Then, following a time jump in episode three, he mentions she is now 17 (and “of age” to marry). This marks a significant change from the book, which states that Rhaenyra was born in 97 AC, and would be only nine years old when her father marries Alicent. Milly Alcock, who plays young Rhaenyra, was 22 around the time of Season One.

As of the mid-season time jump, Rhaenyra is aged up to 27, then—as of episode eight—to 33. Emma D’Arcy, who plays the older Rhaenyra, is 31.

Viserys Targaryen

In the book, Viserys—born 77 AC—marries 18-year-old Alicent shortly before he turns 30. They are meant to be 11 years apart in age. But in House of the Dragon, Viserys is significantly older, as Paddy Considine, the actor who plays him, was 49 when season one aired. In the book, Viserys is 52 when he dies; but on screen, his age isn’t confirmed.

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Otto Hightower

In the book, Alicent’s father, born roughly around 76 AC, should be a year older than Viserys. That means he’s about 25 by the time Viserys is named heir, and 30 when Alicent and Viserys marry. As played by Rhys Ifans in House of the Dragon, he’s likelier to be in his 50s in episodes one to five, then in his 60s and 70s in episodes six to eight. Although Otto’s exact age remains unconfirmed onscreen, the Notting Hill and Amazing Spider-Man star who plays him is 56 years old.

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Daemon Targaryen

Born in 81 AC, Daemon is supposed to be four years younger than his brother, Viserys, according to the chronology in Fire & Blood. Matt Smith, who portrays Daemon, is 41 years old. Given that Smith’s Daemon doesn’t appear to age much during the 10-year time jump from episodes five to six, House of the Dragon may have aged Daemon down a few years from his original inception in Fire & Blood.


The exact age of Mysaria—or Lady Misery—is unclear in both the book and the show. But as Daemon’s paramour and ally, she appears to be around his age in House of the Dragon. Sonoya Mizuno, who plays Mysaria, is 37.

Laena Velaryon

Laena’s first appearance in Dragon is in episode two, where she is meant to be 12 years old (played by Nova Fouellis-Mosé). The character isn’t in episodes three or four, but she returns as a teenager in episode five and then as an adult in episode six, portrayed by actresses Savannah Steyn and Nanna Blondell, respectively. When Laena dies in Season One episode six, she is likely around 25 years old.

Laenor Velaryon

The older son of Corlys and Rhaenys, Laena’s older brother and Rhaenyra’s first husband, Laenor is only three years older than the princess in Fire & Blood. If that’s also true of the show, he’d be about 20 years old when we see him fighting in the Stepstones in episode three, and in his early 30s as of episodes six and seven.

Corlys Velaryon

Born in 53 AC in the book, the famed Sea Snake is supposed to be 48 when Jaehaerys names an heir, which would make him in his early 80s as of episode eight of Dragon. But because actor Steve Toussaint is 57, Corlys has likely been aged down a bit in the show.

Rhaenys Targaryen

Born 74 AC in Fire & Blood, Princess Rhaenys was 27 when Jaehaerys passed her over as heir and named Viserys next in line for the throne instead. That would place her in her early 60s as of episode eight. Eve Best, who plays “The Queen Who Never Was,” is regal at 52.

Ser Criston Cole

According to Martin’s The World of Ice and Fire, Ser Criston was born in 81 AC, making him 16 years Rhaenyra’s senior. But House of the Dragon’s Ser Criston is likely much younger: Fabien Frankel, who portrays the knight onscreen, was only eight years older than Alcock’s young Rhaenyra during Season One (he is 30 now). That would place Criston in his late 30s or early 40s as of episode eight.

Aegon II Targaryen

Born in 106 AC in the book, the first son of Viserys and Alicent is two years old when he’s first introduced in episode three. In episode six, we see him for the first time as a young adolescent; in episode nine, he confirms he is 20 years old. The actor who plays him in episode eight, Tom Glynn-Carney, is 29.

Helaena Targaryen

Viserys and Alicent’s daughter—born in 109 AC in Fire & Blood—is an infant when we meet her in episode three. By the final season time jump in episode eight, she’s likely around 17. Phia Saban, who plays Helaena, is 25.

Aemond Targaryen

The third and final child of Viserys and Alicent, Aemond is a child in episode six, though older than Rhaenyra’s children. In Fire & Blood, he’s born in 110 AC, making him only a year younger than his sister, Helaena. That would place him somewhere around 16 years old by episode eight. Ewan Mitchell, who places the latest version of Aemond, is 27.

Jacaerys “Jace” Velaryon

Born in 114 AC, Rhaenyra’s first son by Laenor Velaryon (but, really, by Ser Harwin Strong) is meant to be four years younger than his half-uncle Aemond. That means he’d be around 12 in episode eight, but House of the Dragon likely aged his character up a bit: The actor who plays him, Harry Collett, is 20.

Lucerys “Luke” Velaryon

Rhaenyra and Laenor’s second son was born in 115 AC, a year after Jace. That would make Luke around 11 in episode eight, though it seems Dragon has made Jace older and widened the age gap between the brothers.

Joffrey Velaryon

Given that we witness Joffrey’s birth in episode six and he’s still an infant in episode seven, the Joffrey we meet in episode eight is likely around six or seven years old.

Rhaena Targaryen

One of two twin daughters born to Laena Velaryon and Daemon Targaryen in 116 AC, according to Martin’s books, Rhaena and her sister, Baela, would be around nine or 10 in episode eight. But it would appear House of the Dragon has aged them up from Fire & Blood, making them the same age or slightly older than Rhaenyra’s children. Phoebe Campbell, who plays the older Rhaena, is at least 25.

Baela Targaryen

The second twin daughter of Laena and Daemon, Baela is the same age as Rhaena, meaning she’s likely in her early-to-mid teens in episode eight. Bethany Antonia, who plays the older Baela, is 26.

This article was first seen on ELLE US.

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