It speaks volumes to the size of House of the Dragon's impressive ensemble cast that no fewer than 18 actors and actresses are credited as main characters within the show's billing
As the dust settles from the shocking events of House of the Dragon's first season finale, it is worth noting that perhaps the most impressive aspect concerning the new cast has been the manner in which House of the Dragon adopted a key facet of Game of Thrones' success. Many of these actors are relatively new, unestablished faces to many casual observers, turning themselves into household names amongst a sea of fire and blood as the Targaryen civil war unfolds on HBO.
Ranking nearly 20 main characters is no mean feat, especially when one considers the complex nature of the many conflicting personalities; in many cases, it is genuinely like comparing apples to oranges. Nevertheless, several performers within HBO's latest offering have made their role on House of the Dragon their own from the very second they first appeared on screen, with polished performances eliciting a deep emotional response - be it empathy or disdain - from the engrossed audience.
As such, several stand considerably higher than their peers in terms of their lasting impact amongst viewers. Without further ado, let us set about ranking the most significant players introduced in the lead up to the bloody Westerosi conflict that became to be known as the Dance of the Dragons, in the wake of Vhagar's shocking murder of young Prince Lucerys and his dragon Arrax over Storm's End.
17. Helaena Targaryen
The shamelessly eccentric sister wife of Aegon Targaryen and Alicent's only daughter is a bit of an anomaly amongst the haughty nobility that makes up the majority of House of the Dragon's key players. Helaena possesses absolutely no verbal filter whatsoever, leading to some rather awkward martial revelations at what was supposed to be a nice dinner in The Lord of the Tides.
With that being said, a rather interesting facet of Helaena's seemingly nonsensical babble is that it indicates that she may actually possess the gift of second sight, the ability to see and predict events before they actually transpire. Viewers scoff when Aemond's sister suggests that all he has to do to attain a dragon is "close an eye"; lo and behold, the young Prince loses an eye moments after claiming Vhagar. Helaena also ominously predicts Meleys and Rhaenys' spectacular gate-crashing of Aegon's coronation, warning her family of "the beast beneath the boards".
With that being said, Helaena to date has come across as more of a wacky supporting character designed to provide darkly comic relief than an integral part of the main cast. It will be interesting to see whether HBO's retelling of Fire and Blood decides to go down as dark a route for the new Queen Consort of the Seven Kingdoms as the one Martin lays out for her in his canon.