Here are all the new characters you'll be meeting in 'House of the Dragon' season 2

Matt Smith, Harry Collett, Emma D'Arcy, Phoebe Campbell HBO House of the Dragon Season 1 - Episode 8
(Image credit: Liam Daniel/ HBO)

Given that the succession war in House Targaryen will very much be heating up in "House of the Dragon" season 2, we already know that we'll be seeing the return of key characters like Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), her hubby-uncle Prince Daemon (Matt Smith), her former BFF Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and her half-brother King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney), who threatens her claim to the Iron Throne. But along with those familiar feuding faces will be a fresh crop of characters joining the story just in time for war. 

There's a long list of actors who have joined the cast of the "Game of Thrones" prequel series for the upcoming season, which debuts on HBO and Max on June 16. Among them is Gayle Rankin who will portray Alys Rivers, a "healer and resident of Harrenhal" that has been frequently compared to Melisandre from "GOT." 

Rankin told Town & Country about playing the mystical figure: "I'm obsessed with her. I've always given the opportunity to play people who are pretty prophetic, which is cool, but it's a lot of pressure!" She added: "My particular storyline is quite, for the moment, contained. Contained, let's say — very wild, but contained."

We already know that Lord Cregan Stark, a deep ancestor of the Stark family, will be making an appearance this season, played by Tom Taylor. But a more recent member of the Hightower clan will also make appearances: Ser Gwayne Hightower (Freddie Fox), the son of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and brother to Queen Alicent. Speaking of family, we will also meet Ser Simon Strong, Castellan of Harrenhal (played by Simon Russell Beale), who is the great-uncle of Lord Larys (Matthew Needham). 

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Abubakar Salim will play Alyn of Hull, a sailor in the Velaryon fleet; he will be joined by Clinton Liberty, who joins the cast as Alyn's older brother, Addam of Hull.

In December 2023, HBO announced that Kieran Bew had been cast in the role of Hugh the Hammer, a blacksmith's bastard from Dragonstone known for his imposing stature. Also new this season are the equally curiously-named characters Cheese (Mark Stobbart), Blood (Sam C. Wilson) — both of whom are assassins tasked with killing the son of the Greens — and Ulf (Tom Bennett), a dragonseed-turned-dragonrider in the Targaryen war.

We will also meet a few more knights, specifically Ser Alfred Broome — sworn to House Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons — and Ser Rickard Thorne (Vincent Regan), a member of the Kingsguard during the reigns of kings Viserys I and Aegon II Targaryen.

It will be interesting to see which side of the succession war these Westeros newcomers take in the soon-to-come season. You can make your own allegiances known with the show's dueling trailers, which give a sneak peek to what "HOTD" fans can expect from the new episodes. 

Tom's Guide will keep you posted on all things "House of the Dragon," including casting news, episode info and more. In the meantime, you can catch up with all of your favorite "HOTD" characters by rewatching the show's first season with a Max subscription. 

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Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is a writer-editor covering culture, food and drink, travel and general lifestyle in New York City. She was previously the Deputy Editor at My Imperfect Life, the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.