So far only two Lannister characters have been announced for the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, meaning the Lannisters will likely play a very different role in the plot. Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood series, House of the Dragon is said to take place 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. The main focus of the prequel is the story of House Targaryen and how the silver-haired, violet-eyed, dragon-riding family became the stuff of legends. Considering that the main plot of House of the Dragon is the Targaryen line, how exactly do the Lannisters fit in?
In addition to the principal Targaryen cast of House of the Dragon, the only Lannisters thus far are twins Lord Jason and Tyland Lannister, both played by Jefferson Hall. Little is said about Lord Jason, other than that he is the Lord of Casterly Rock. Tyland, on the other hand, will be a cunning and artful politician. The Lannisters are still rich in HotD, after all the house’s unofficial motto is “a Lannister always pays his debts.” However, because of the part the Lannisters play in Fire and Blood, the house’s words, “Hear me roar,” might not be embodied in the same way it was in GoT.
With what is known about Fire and Blood‘s events it is impossible that the Lannisters will hold the same power and influence in House of the Dragon. Lord Jason is reportedly killed during the Targaryen’s Dance of the Dragons, an event set presumably early in the series. Tyland Lannister does become Master of Coin to the Targaryen king. However, the position is short-lived when Tyland is later held captive and tortured. While Tyland does become more integral to the storyline when serving as Hand of the King to Aegon III, that particular subplot may go beyond the scope of the series. Tyrion is held captive, like Tyland, early on in season 1, and eventually is named Hand of the King by Bran. Cersei manipulates her way to the throne and with her twin Jaime’s protection, she leaves a trail of blood behind her on her path to power. Tywin makes sure that the shocking moments of the Red Wedding come to pass, brutally wounding the Stark families’ rebellion. Jason and Tyland’s part in the new series is a far cry from the importance held by Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime, and Tywin in GoT.
Audiences grew attached to the complex and corrupt Lannister family. Their exploits and forever-changing allegiances made the house an interesting one to watch and kept the winding plot of GoT churning, whether they’re adversaries or friends. It seems that roles previously filled by Lannisters will be manifested in other characters. While the Lannisters are still wealthy they won’t stand out so much as others, such as Lord Corlys Velaryon. Lord Corlys of House Velayron is richer than the Lannisters and has the largest navy in all of Westeros. It is yet to be seen if he is the same ruthless and cunning patriarch Tywin Lannister was. Alicent Hightower parallels Cersei, whose exploits have real historical inspiration, in her own quest for power as Alicent fights to have her son put on the Iron Throne, even if he doesn’t deserve to be there.
A talented cast has been announced, such as Paddy Considine as the kind King Viserys Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as the politically savvy Alicent Hightower, and Emma D’Arcy as the stubborn Rhaenyra Targaryen. It will be interesting to see what Jefferson Hall brings to the table as a Lannister with a lot less power than Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion, or Tywin. Love them or hate them, the Lannisters played a pivotal part in Game of Thrones and, despite the finale of Game of Thrones’ backlash, excitement for House of the Dragon among fans is palpable. However, with the cast announcements and given what is known about the book, it’s hard to imagine how this once powerful family will get the same screen time as before.