Game of Thrones was notable for having several character names overlap within the original series, and House of the Dragon has a few characters whose same names will be weird for fans to adjust to. House of the Dragon is the first new Game of Thrones series to be released following the divisive season 8 finale, which means it will have a lot of pressure to make up for the franchise’s mistakes in the eyes of fans. The new HBO series is set to premiere in 2022, following House Targaryen’s climactic civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, where the entire realm is split as to which Targaryen they support in their claim to the iron throne.
As House of the Dragon takes place over 170 years before Game of Thrones’ timeline, specific characters won’t overlap, but the families and namesakes of the latter show’s characters will. Multiple characters having the same name was already an aspect of Game of Thrones that made it hard to keep track of, such as Robb Stark being named after Robert Baratheon, Bran after notable Brandon Starks, and Jon Snow after Jon Arryn. While most of the core characters’ namesakes were left out of the original series, House of the Dragon will actually feature many of them as prominent characters, making it harder to dissociate the familiar Game of Thrones character from the “new” character.
Above others, one House of the Dragon character will be the most difficult for Game of Thrones fans to adjust to based on his name: Joffrey. Now considered one of the best villains in television history, Game of Thrones’ Joffrey Baratheon was a vile, cruel teenager who came to (unrightfully) be the King of Westeros for the first four seasons. When someone says Joffrey, the first connotation is of an evil, brutal character, so House of the Dragon’s character will, unfortunately, be disadvantaged by this association. House of the Dragon’s character is Joffrey Velaryon, the third-born son of prominent character and protagonist Rhaenyra Targaryen. Joffrey will also be a child or teenager at the time of House of the Dragon, though he’s known to be good and kind – quite the opposite to Game of Thrones’ villainous Joffrey. Trying to associate the name Joffrey with a sympathetic character will be a difficult feat for Game of Thrones fans.
Another significant character in House of the Dragon will be plagued with the same issue, though not at the same difficulty. The drama that unfolds in the Game of Thrones prequel series truly kicks off at the death of King Viserys I Targaryen, whose children Rhaenyra and Aegon II both vied to succeed him as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. House of the Dragon’s Viserys, like the new Joffrey, isn’t considered a villain unlike his descendant of the same name. Game of Thrones’ Viserys was established as a villain in the premiere episode, becoming Daenerys’ key antagonist for the first season. Since both series’ Viseryses also come from the same family, it’ll be difficult for Game of Thrones fans to place the prequel character in a positive light.
The reverse will also be true for House of the Dragon’s Aegon II Targaryen, whose name will be conflicted with sympathetic characters from Game of Thrones like Jon Snow (born Aegon Targaryen) and Maester Aemon’s beloved brother Aegon V “Egg” Targaryen. The latter character wasn’t actually seen in Game of Thrones, though the kind-hearted Maester Aemon’s love for his brother paints him as a positive figure, which will be very different from how House of the Dragon’s Aegon II is perceived. Aegon II will be the antagonist brother of Rhaenyra who tries to take the throne from her after Viserys I already decided she would be his heir, leading the duo to engage in the civil war that will underscore House of the Dragon’s core conflict.