HBO’s new series “House of the Dragon” is making waves for being one of the best new shows on television right now. As a spin-off of the previous hit series “Game of Thrones,” the show follows the illustrious Targaryen family — who ruled over the fictitious land of Westeros unchallenged for hundreds of years — as they pit against each other in a struggle for the Iron Throne.
“Game of Thrones” was heralded for introducing us to an array of well-written, interesting and multi-layered characters — and “House of the Dragon” offers much of the same. Despite most characters being of House Targaryen, they are each cunning and thoughtful in a variety of ways, differentiating themselves as solid characters in their own right.
Characters representing House Targaryen, however, do not always dominate the screen. “House of the Dragon” has introduced many other players into the mix, including Corlys Velaryon who wants the Iron Throne for his house; Alicent Hightower, the Targaryen king’s second wife; and Larys Strong, the cunning wallflower spinning the wheel from behind the curtain.
All represent a host of different personalities — making it interesting to consider how they might translate into modern society. How would they cope as students, for example? Which universities would they attend?
We take a look at five “House of the Dragon” characters and predict which UK university they would best be suited to.
Rhaenyra Targaryen: University of Edinburgh
Rhaenyra Targaryen is one of the main protagonists of “House of the Dragon.” As current king Viserys’s eldest daughter, Rhaenyra was declared his sole heir and the first woman to inherit the throne after his death — but her future ascension is challenged by the existence of his sons born during his second marriage to Alicent Hightower, as well as questions surrounding the legitimacy of her own son’s birth.
The most recent episode shows how Rhaenyra has developed from a defiant and rebellious princess to a cunning and careful future queen. Her softer desires and playful demeanour — whilst faint — still manage to peek through once in a while, showing audiences that the young heir is still very much the pure-hearted girl she once was.
This makes her a great fit for the University of Edinburgh. As one of the oldest universities in the UK, the University of Edinburgh is steeped in tradition, a reflection of Rhaenyra’s Targaryen blood. At the same time, the university is fairly progressive in its programme offerings.
Most of all, the city of Edinburgh itself is frequently alight with exciting new events and performances, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe — a facet which satisfies Rhaenyra’s own thirst for adventure and action.
Daemon Targaryen: University of Cambridge
Where Rhaenyra represents the lighter side of the Targaryen family tree, Daemon is representative of its darker, more ruthless and deceitful characteristics. As Viserys’s scorned younger brother, Daemon spent most of his youth unsatisfied by being in the king’s shadow. Years have turned him into a disillusioned shell of the man he once was, lacking the ambition that used to drive him.
The intelligent Targaryen needs a university that is befitting of him — and the University of Cambridge fits the bill. As the second oldest university in the UK, Cambridge has a reputation for being one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. It frequently produces great minds, but its programmes are notoriously difficult to get through, requiring students to have a high level of mental resilience to come out on top.
More than that, its age-old traditions — such as rowing — point to a history that runs deep, much like the Targaryen dynasty.
Viserys Targaryen: University of Reading
In “House of the Dragon,” Viserys Targaryen is the current king of Westeros. His rule has not seen any great wars or strife, marking a stable but ultimately unmemorable era. Naming his daughter as heir was perhaps the most controversial move the king had put forward, which is causing much division among leading figures of other houses.
Viserys is calm and stable, lacking the usual fire within a Targaryen’s blood, but is still well-intentioned as king in his own right. He might be best suited for the University of Reading. Nestled in the quaint town of Reading just a short train ride from London, the university is known for consistently producing high-quality graduates who go on to achieve success later on in life without the constant stress and pressure students at Cambridge might face.
As a town, Reading is also known for its quiet, traditional feel — all cobble-stoned paths and old architectural design.
Alicent Hightower: University of Warwick
Alicent Hightower has certainly made a name for herself in Westeros. Beginning as a simple girl in King’s Landing whose biggest role was being a best friend to Princess Rhaenyra, Alicent climbed the ladder and became the second wife to the king, thus earning the title of queen of Westeros.
The years have seen her grow spiteful at Viserys for refusing to name the true-born sons she’d given him as heir, as well as resentment towards Rhaenyra for lying to her about important matters. In this, she is beginning to shed her kind heart to better play the game for the Iron Throne.
Alicent is not a malicious character by any means — first and foremost, she is led by duty and honour. However, she has proven to be intelligent — pointing to a place at the University of Warwick. Another well-established university, it is one of the top and most competitive institutions in the UK. It’s also a true campus university — nestled in the outskirts of Coventry and away from the bustling demands of city life.