How Does Otto Hightower Die in House of the Dragon? (& What Happens to Him)

otto hightower

Out of all of the different characters in House of the Dragon, Otto Hightower seems to be the biggest schemer in the entire storyline because he was the one who helped pave the way for Alicent to become a queen while also moving the gears in preparation for Aegon to become the next king. That’s because he never really wanted a woman on the Iron Throne, and that treacherous thought was what led him to die during the Dance of the Dragons. But how does Otto Hightower die in House of the Dragon?

Otto Hightower died in the storyline when he was the first to be beheaded by Rhaenyra Targaryen after she took King’s Landing from the greens and sat on the Iron Throne as queen. As such, Otto never got to see the end of the Targaryen civil war that he helped start through his treacherous acts.

There is no doubt that Otto Hightower isn’t the most popular character in House of the Dragon due to his devious ways of operating as Hand of the King. As such, fans will be delighted to know that he will die in the middle of the Dance of the Dragons. Now, with that said, let’s talk more about how Otto dies in the storyline.

What Happens To Otto Hightower In House Of The Dragon?

Ever since the start of House of the Dragon, we were able to witness the fact that Otto Hightower is someone who tends to put his personal interests first during the events that led to the Targaryen civil war. It all started from the fact that he was the Hand of King Jaehaerys Targaryen and was able to witness how the entire realm chose Viserys to be king over a woman in Princess Rhaenys, who had a better claim to the Iron Throne.

As such, when King Viserys named Princess Rhaenyra to be his successor, Otto started plotting against her because he understood that the realm would tear itself apart if a woman were to sit on the Iron Throne. That was why he installed his daughter, Alicent, to comfort the king while he was mourning the loss of his wife, Queen Aemma. Eventually, this led to King Viserys choosing Alicent as his next wife and queen, as the union bore two sons.

otto and alicent

Because Viserys now had a male heir in Aegon, Otto wanted the boy to be named the heir to the Iron Throne. Still, Viserys decided against it not only because he didn’t want to disinherit Rhaenyra but also because he loved her so much due to the fact that she reminded him of his late wife. No matter what Rhaenyra did, Viserys didn’t take her right to be heir away from her, as she even convinced Viserys to fire Otto Hightower as Hand of the King.

The death of Lyonel Strong ten years later allowed Otto to step up as Hand once more, as he became Alicent’s best ally against her quest to bring Rhaenyra down. And when King Viserys became too weak to rule the realm, he was the one who sat on the Iron Throne as the regent of the Seven Kingdoms.


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This was one of the events that prompted Rhaenyra and Daemon to return to Dragonstone during the king’s final days. As such, Otto was able to take advantage of this when King Viserys died, as he attended a Small Council meeting together with the other conspirators against Rhaenyra. With the help of Queen Alicent and Lord Commander Ser Criston Cole, Otto Hightower was able to proclaim Aegon II as the new king of the Seven Kingdoms. This led to the Dance of the Dragons, as Rhaenyra also crowned herself queen and declared war on the Greens of the Hightower faction.

During his time as Hand to King Aegon II, Ser Otto Hightower focused more on gaining allies that would help them in the king’s fight against the Blacks led by Rhaenyra. In fact, he was able to contact the Triarchy, who hated Daemon Targaryen due to their past in the War for the Stepstones.

The Greens by naomimakesart

However, when Daemon was able to take Harrenhal, Aegon II grew impatient because he thought that his grandfather and Hand was too lazy and slothful in his approach. He didn’t recognize Otto’s efforts of gaining allies as a proper way to wage war on the Blacks. That was the reason why Aegon II eventually fired him from his post as Hand of the King and replaced him with Lord Commander Criston Cole, who was more of a man of action but lacked Otto Hightower’s diplomacy skills. 

During that time, Otto Hightower stayed in King’s Landing, even as Queen Dowager Alicent pleaded with Aegon to rethink his decision to fire the seasoned politician. Nevertheless, Aegon II was firm in his decision.

How Does Otto Hightower Die In House Of The Dragon?

In response to Daemon taking Harrenhal, Ser Criston Cole and Aemond Targaryen took a large army to take back the castle. However, when they got there, Daemon was nowhere to be found because he had decided to join Rhaenyra in her attack on King’s Landing. As such, neither Criston nor Aemond was there to defend the capital from Rhaenyra’s attack.


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Rhaenyra was able to swiftly take King’s Landing from Aegon II, who managed to escape. However, Ser Otto Hightower was one of the few allies of the Greens that never had a chance to flee the capital during Rhaenyra’s attack. As such, he was captured by the Blacks when Rhaenyra sat on the Iron Throne and reigned as queen.

Because Ser Otto Hightower was the first person to plot against Rhaenyra and her status as heir to the Iron Throne, he was the one that she hated the most as she thought that no one would have challenged her claim had Otto not decided to try to install Aegon as king. As such, out of all of the traitors that Rhaenyra was able to round up, Otto Hightower was the first to be beheaded.

Otto’s death was a fitting one for the traitor that started the entire movement to usurp the Iron Throne from Rhaenyra. Considering that he was the first one to plot against Rhaenyra even when she was just a young girl, Otto needed to be the first to die when the rightful queen took the Iron Throne. As such, Otto Hightower never got to see the end of the war that he was responsible for starting, as he was one of the first Greens to die quite early in the Dance of the Dragons.

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