Otto Hightower and Alicent in House of the Dragon

House Hightower’s Loyalty To House Targaryen Exists Beyond ‘House of The Dragon’

If you’d ever want to make a list of the best buds in Westeros, you might want to mention House Hightowers’ loyalty to House Targaryen while it held the Iron Throne. From House of The Dragon to the Game of Thrones, they’ve been supporters of and fought for the Targaryens.

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In House of The Dragon, Ser Otto Hightower may have put his own machinations in place on certain occasions, but his ultimate thought was always for the good of the realm and the Targaryens ruling it. He served as a good Hand to two kings, Jaehaerys I and Viserys I, before his own grandson King Aegon II Targaryen took the throne. 

Clearly, the house stuck with the Targaryens through thick and thin. But what happened to House Hightower during the Dance of The Dragons and after it? 

Spoilers ahead for House of The Dragon season 2 and Fire and Blood!

The Greens: Aegon, Aemond, and Helaena Targaryen, with Alicent and Ser Otto Hightower

In House of The Dragon season 1, we find out that Ser Otto Hightower is the second son of his house, and his nephew, Ormund is the Lord of Oldtown. During Rhaenyra’s engagement feast, when Alicent Hightower wears the green dress, we see her speak to her the members of House Hightower who show her support.

In HOTD season 2 episode 1, when Alicent is lighting candles at the sept for her loved ones who have passed, we hear her begin by praying for Alyrie Florent. That is her mother, who belongs to a great house of the Reach, House Florent. One of the reasons that we see Alicent so devout to the Faith of the Seven is because it’s her house, House Hightower that was one of the first ones to accept the religion when it was brought over by the Andals to Westeros. Theirs is an ancient family that existed since the dawn of time and grew rich and powerful by aligning with the Andals and engaging in trade.

Ser Otto Hightower and Ser Gwayne Hightower


By the end of HOTD season 2 episode 2, Ser Otto has been removed as Hand of the King by his grandson, King Aegon II for spilling ink and not blood in war. While he returns to Oldtown, where Alicent’s third son Daeron Targaryen has been fostered, he is able to make some important contributions to the war through his diplomatic efforts on behalf of King Aegon II.

Ser Gwayne Hightower in a helmet rides at a tourney in House of the Dragon

However, when King’s Landing fell to the Blacks, Ser Otto Hightower was declared a traitor and beheaded. His son, Ser Gwayne Hightower, whom we see during the tourney in episode 1, was also killed. However, Rhaenyra decided to spare Alicent’s life for her dead father Viserys’ sake.

Alicent Hightower and her children and grandchildren

Olivia Cooke as Queen Alicent Hightower lighting candles at the sept in House of the Dragon season 2 episode 1

Alicent suffered many losses in the aftermath of this. Her daughter, Helaena died by suicide. Her second son, Prince Aemond was killed in battle by Prince Daemon Targaryen. She had already lost her eldest grandson, Prince Jaehaerys before the war began. The only survivors then of Alicent’s family were her son, King Aegon II and granddaughter Princess Jaehaera.

Although King Aegon II did reclaim the Iron Throne from his step-sister and burnt Rhaenyra to death by his dragon Sunfyre, the king didn’t reign long and was poisoned in a bid to end the war. Alicent tried to fight against her granddaughter Princess Jaehaera’s betrothal to Rhaenyra’s son, Aegon III, but in vain. After her son was poisoned, Alicent was imprisoned by the Velaryons, to be eventually released once Cregan Stake took control of King’s Landing during the Hour of the Wolf.

However, a hostile Alicent was eventually confined to her chambers in Maegor’s Holdfast where she spent the last year of her life, going mad, weeping for her daughter, and talking to herself. In the end, she died from sickness.

House Hightower after the Dance of the Dragons

According to the books, Daemon Targaryen was the biggest rival of Ser Otto Hightower. However, you might be surprised to know that Daemon’s daughter, Rhaena Targaryen was wed for a second time to the son of Otto’s nephew Ormund, Garmund Hightower, and had six daughters with him.

Ser Gerold Hightower and Ser Arthur Dayne at the Tower of Joy in Done from Game of Thrones season 6

But HOTD isn’t the first time you’ve heard of the Hightowers of Oldtown, have you? In A Song of Ice and Fire series, Ser Gerold Hightower was the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard for King Aerys II Targaryen (the Mad King). He was the one who inducted Ser Jaime Lannister into the Kingsguard. In Game of Thrones season 6, he was one of three Kingsguards guarding Lyanna Stark at the Tower of Joy while she was pregnant with Rhaegar Targaryen’s child. Ser Gerold died at the hands of Lord Eddard Stark and his companions.

Such loyalty!

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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.