When it comes to the world of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, the one thing we all know is that the true strength of a person isn’t measured by his physical strength or his political power. As mentioned way back when, when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. That means that the strongest person in this highly political world are the ones that know how to survive, regardless of how much power they possess or how strong they are in a fight.
We’ve seen our fair share of strong characters in House of the Dragon. But the fact is that only the ones who are capable of surviving are the strong ones. That means that a person’s strength in House of the Dragon is measured in terms of their fighting skills, political powers, and ability to survive no matter what it takes. So, with that said, let’s look at the strongest House of the Dragon character ranked by survivability.
15. Ser Criston Cole
Ser Criston Cole never aged a day in his life ever since he was first introduced in the series. It has been nearly 20 years since episode 1, but he still looks as youthful as ever. This could be due to his genetics or to the casting budget limits that the showrunners needed to follow. But the fact is that he has not only maintained his youthful glow but has also survived for nearly two decades ever since he joined the Kingsguard.
However, the problem with Criston is that, even though he may be a gifted fighter, he is quite reckless in his approach, especially when his emotions get the better of him. We’ve seen how far his emotions can take him, as he killed Ser Joffrey Lonmouth out of anger. Of course, in the book, he ends up dying in the middle stages of the Dance of the Dragons, as it was clear that he chose the wrong side to support in the war.
14. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
Yes, we are putting the main character of the series high on this list because it is obvious that she has a lot of different enemies waiting to topple her from her spot. We’ve already seen this in the fact that she needed to flee King’s Landing to go live in Dragonstone because she couldn’t stand the backstabbing that had been happening in the capital. It’s not that she is weak, but she simply has a lot of people who don’t like her.
In the book, it is the fact that she isn’t someone who is capable of commanding loyalty that ultimately leads to her death. She may be a headstrong character that knows how to play the game of thrones. But she still had a lot of haters that ended up betraying her at the very end. That’s why her death occurred when one of her sworn knights betrayed her and sold her off to King Aegon II, as she was fed to his dragon.
13. Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, as mentioned by Queen Alicent Hightower in episode 9, should have been the rightful queen back when the Great Council chose between her and Viserys. That’s because she had the temperament of a ruler, and that was something that Viserys was missing, even though he was legitimately a good man. As such, it is the fact that she was a born leader that has allowed her to survive for a long time, as she outlived her younger cousin (King Viserys).
Rhaenys also outlived both of her children because she simply has a gift in terms of her survivability and leadership skills. She may not be a fighter, but she is an experienced dragonrider that rides the fastest dragon in the world, Meleys. As such, as old as she may be, she knows how to survive and even hold her own in an all-out battle because of her dragon. We just wished that she had changed the course of history by uttering a simple Dracarys at the end of episode 9.
12. King Aegon II Targaryen
King Aegon II was not fit for the Iron Throne and didn’t even want to be the king because he didn’t want to carry any kind of responsibility. He isn’t even the kind of fighter that his younger brother Aemond is. But the fact is that, according to the book, he just wouldn’t die despite the fact that the odds were stacked against him multiple times. And that’s saying a lot for a guy that was never a gifted leader or a good fighter.
Because he was never a gifted fighter, Aegon II got injured a lot of times in the different battles he participated in in the Dance of the Dragons. There was even a point where he got so injured that his face was deformed, and he became so weak that he allowed Aemond to rule the Seven Kingdoms in his stead. Nevertheless, he survived his injuries and was even able to survive Rhaenyra’s attack on King’s Landing. He only died two years into his reign when he was poisoned.
11. Ser Laenor Velaryon
Ser Laenor Velaryon has participated in numerous battles, especially after he earned his status as a knight in the war against the Triarchy in the Stepstones. He is a good knight and a gifted dragonrider that enjoyed the many different adventures he had when he was fighting the battles he had with the Triarchy. That says a lot about his ability to survive, as he once said that he even took a lance.
Of course, the true mark of Laenor’s ability to survive was the fact that he basically faked his own death so that he could live his best life in Essos, away from the politics of the Seven Kingdoms and together with the man that he loved. In that regard, he may end up outliving all of the people in House of the Dragon because he stayed as far away from the war as he possibly could after eloping at the end of episode 7.
10. Alicent Hightower
The truth is that Alicent Hightower is not a fighter, but she is damn good at using whatever pieces she has on her chessboard to play a good game, even though she isn’t someone who is willing to do the dirty work. But she was able to surprise her father when she showed a side that not even Otto Hightower knew existed during the scene against Rhaenyra in Driftmark. This was when Alicent basically made everyone see how strong she really was.
On top of that, because she isn’t a fighter, Alicent can survive for as long as she possibly can, just like how Cersei Lannister was able to outlive most of her enemies in Game of Thrones. In the book, Alicent outlived all of her children and survived the Dance of the Dragons, only to die due to illness one year after King Aegon III ascended to the Iron Throne. That speaks volumes of how good she is at surviving.
9. Prince Aemond Targaryen
The most gifted fighter among all of the Green Targaryens is Prince Aemond, who showcased his skills with the sword when he defeated Criston Cole in a duel. Take note that not even Daemon was able to defeat Criston back in episode 1. As such, Aemond is a gifted fighter and is an even more formidable foe in an all-out war because of the fact that he rides Vhagar, the biggest and strongest dragon in the world.
But while he may be strong and skilled, the problem with Aemond is that he can be quite reckless. In the book, he made countless mistakes because he often played into the hands of his opponents. He lost King’s Landing because he wanted to chase Daemon in Harrenhal, only to find out that his uncle had joined Rhaenyra in her attack on King’s Landing. And instead of joining up with the Hightower army, he decided to go on a solo mission to burn the Riverlands, as this decision cost the lives of Ser Criston Cole and a lot of Green soldiers.
8. Rhaena Velaryon
Rhaena Velaryon struggled to have a dragon during the events of House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood but was able to have one near the end of the war. As such, her dragon was far too young to be fighting in the Dance of the Dragons, and the fact that Rhaena was never a fighter was what allowed her to survive for a very long time as she stayed away from the battlefield.
In the book, Rhaena lived a long life that allowed her to marry a noble lord. She was able to live long after the Dance of the Dragons as she stayed away from any true battles due to her more ladylike approach in life. But while she may be weak in a fight, the fact that she survived in the storyline is what gives her the edge over the other characters on this list.
7. Baela Velaryon
Like Rhaena, Baela Velaryon is a survivor that was able to live through the entire war and even enjoyed her life with her family. In fact, she was even a fighter and a dragonrider. This only makes her more impressive, as not a lot of dragonriders ended up surviving the entire Targaryen civil war.
In the book, Rhaena lost her dragon in a fight and was even captured. She was about to be killed by Aegon II. However, thanks to her grandfather Corlys, she survived her captivity, and she went on to live a long life after the Dance of the Dragons. Out of the children that she and Rhaena grew up with, she and her sister were the only ones to survive the Targaryen civil war and live long lives that allowed them to have their own families.
6. Lord Larys Strong
Yes, the creepy guy who pleasures himself to the feet of Queen Alicent Hightower is high on this list simply because this dude knows how to survive. Of course, that’s because he is neither a fighter nor a strong leader. Think of him as a creepy and morally problematic version of Varys due to the fact that he knows how to gain information and use it to his advantage.
The fact that Larys is great at using information and doing the dirty work behind the scenes is what makes him a great survivor despite the fact that he does have a birth defect. Nevertheless, he survived the entire Dance of the Dragons in the books and only died because he was executed for conspiring against Aegon II.
Mysaria, who was introduced as Daemon’s whore, is a survivor despite the fact that she isn’t a noblewoman. In fact, after the whole incident with Daemon in Dragonstone, she was able to find a way to uplift herself from her life as a whore as she worked hard enough to become a powerful person among the smallfolk of King’s Landing.
It is the fact that Mysaria survived for nearly 20 years without the powers of a noblewoman that allows her to be in the top five of this list. Of course, Mysaria will also have a lot of different roles to play in the Dance of the Dragons, as she will use her gift for whispers and espionage to her advantage in the civil war.
4. Ser Harrold Westerling
The truth is that Ser Harrold Westerling actually died early in the storyline of the book. But we were surprised to see that he still survived two major time skips in House of the Dragon as the old yet imposing Lord Commander of the Kingsguard is still looking as strong as ever. We don’t know how long he will survive but what we do know is that he is a survivor.
Ser Harold is known for his prowess as a fighter but is also one of the most respected knights in the Seven Kingdoms. Think of him as the Barristan Selmy of House of the Dragon, as he wasn’t even arrested or killed when he walked out of the Small Council chamber in episode 9, despite the fact that Otto Hightower didn’t want anyone to leave the room.
3. Prince Daemon Targaryen
The rogue prince is not only a good fighter and a gifted dragonrider but is also a survivor that has shown his ability to survive wars despite having the odds stacked against him. It is the fact that he took on an entire army all on his own and survived for an extended period of time that proves just how much of a survivor he is. And he is still a gifted fighter at the age of 49 in the series.
In the book, Daemon could have survived the entire war had he not decided to take on Aemond Targaryen all on his own. Still, despite the fact that it was believed that he also died in the battle that took Aemond’s life, there were rumors that suggest that he may have survived the Battle Above the Gods Eye because his body was never found.
2. Ser Otto Hightower
Arguably the most despised man out of all of the House of the Dragons characters, Otto Hightower is your budget version of Tywin Lannister but is also just as sly and as cunning as anyone can be. He is great at using his chess pieces to his benefit, as he is probably the only Hightower that’s willing to forego the moral high ground to gain any kind of advantage. As such, he is a strong and capable leader that is great at maneuvering the political seas.
However, because of the mistakes that his nephews made during the Dance of the Dragons, Otto Hightower died an early death in the book. He never lived to see the end of the Targaryen civil war because Rhaenyra executed him the moment she won King’s Landing over the Greens.
1. Lord Corlys Velaryon
The strongest character in House of the Dragon in terms of survivability is Corlys Velaryon because this due just will not die. There is a reason why he is called the Sea Snake, as he spent decades voyaging the entire world and was able to discover a lot of things and earn riches while he was out at sea. He lived through all of his adventures and made House Velaryon mightier than ever under his rule.
In House of the Dragon, it is yet to be revealed whether or not Corlys lives through the injuries he suffered in the Stepstones. However, he still has a very long story to tell in the book, as it isn’t probable that the showrunners will kill off such an iconic character to give way to other characters. In fact, he was one of the few people that got to live through the entire Targaryen civil war as he knew how to use his riches and influence to his advantage. Corlys died of old age several years after the end of the Dance of the Dragons.