Otto Hightower smiles in the firelight in "House of the Dragon"

‘House Of The Dragon’ Fans Pit Otto Hightower Against This ‘Game Of Thrones’ Character

It's a war of the Hands!

Can we all agree that Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower, Hand of The King, was the real MVP of season 2 episode 2 of HBO’s House of The Dragon?

Recommended Videos

While the Greens were struggling with their anger, guilt, and uncertainty over the brutal murder of the young Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen, it was the Hand of the King who kept his head on straight and focused on business.

Without a minute’s hesitation, Ser Otto was able to come up with a plan that would, in one fell swoop, earn the Greens some sympathy votes from the people of King’s Landing (and God knows they need them) and make Rhaenyra look like a cruel, heartless kinslayer.

Under a more astute king, Ser Otto would thrive. But alas, nepotism doesn’t always guarantee a good boss. The king on the Iron Throne is Aegon II, Otto’s grandson, who seems to have made a couple of rash decisions in his rage over his son’s death. You know, like having every single ratcatcher in the palace’s employment hanged because they found out one of them was responsible for a child’s death. And sanctioning a silly idea from Ser Criston Cole for an assassination attempt on Rhaenyra at Dragonstone.

Let’s not forget, Otto also may or may not know of his daughter, the Dowager Queen Alicent’s transgressions with a certain Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Criston Cole. 

Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower in House of the Dragon and Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones

Surrounded by tiresome fools who keep ruining his best-laid plans, Ser Otto was so frustrated by the end of the episode that he called King Aegon a fool. To His Grace’s face! For the fans, the scene and dynamics between f*ckup King grandson and frustrated Hand grandfather were rather familiar, reminding them of King Joffrey Baratheon and his grandfather, Lord Tywin Lannister, who became Hand of the King in Game of Thrones.

The parallels are quite uncanny. Because not only is Ser Otto’s grandson acting brashly, like Lord Tywin’s grandson King Joffrey did, but also both the Hands’ daughters, the Queens, were sleeping with their Kingsguard—Alicent with Ser Criston Cole and Cersei with Jaime Lannister.

Now sure, Aegon is his grandson, and as a grandsire, you’d say Ser Otto was right in calling out Aegon’s foolery. But as the Hand in employment of the King, whose position is often precarious, this was an impulsive move that was bound to backfire. As we see, Aegon fires his grandfather as Hand and gives the position to Ser Criston Cole.

For someone who might be screaming on the inside at his grandson’s stupidity, Ser Otto takes this slight rather calmly. But here’s where fans point out he might be different from Lord Tywin Lannister. They think Tywin would never have taken that so coolly.

History has a weird habit of repeating itself in Westeros. It remains to be seen what Ser Otto Hightower does next, after returning to his home in Oldtown, where another grandson awaits (hopefully, not a fool this one). But it’ll be more interesting to see how the Greens survive after losing one of their most seasoned strategists on the eve of war, and how Ser Criston Cole, who has a string of bad decisions on his resume, leads the charge. 

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt
Jinal Bhatt (She/Her) is a staff writer for The Mary Sue. An editor, writer, film and culture critic with 7+ years of experience, she writes primarily about entertainment, pop culture trends, and women in film, but she’s got range. Jinal is the former Associate Editor for Hauterrfly, and Senior Features Writer for Mashable India. When not working, she’s fangirling over her favourite films and shows, gushing over fictional men, cruising through her neverending watchlist, trying to finish that book on her bedside, and fighting relentless urges to rewatch Supernatural.