house of the dragon features an exceptionally large cast of characters, and while the main focus has been on the Targaryen royal family, several others have also shared the spotlight. Criston Cole, the knight chosen by Princess Rhaenyra to be part of the Royal Guard, is one such individual.
Although Criston Cole steals many of his scenes throughout house of the dragon first season, there’s still a lot that fans don’t know about him. It’s likely that he will continue to play a major role in future seasons of the show, so fans of the series should learn more about him now and not later.
10/10 Criston Cole prefers his Morningstar (or flail) to a longsword
The vast majority of Westerosi knights prefer a sword to any other weapon, so it is noteworthy that Criston Cole, a member of the esteemed Royal Guard, does not often fight with one. both in the A song of ice and fire series of books and house of the dragon television adaptation, Cole uses a spiked weapon instead of a blade.
Curiously, house of the dragon he decided to equip Cole with a flail instead of the Morningstar he uses in the books. Still, the choice helps to distinguish it from the myriad of knights that decorate King’s Landing.
9/10 Criston Cole is of Dornish descent
By the time the events of game of Thrones transpire, Dorne has been unified with the Seven Kingdoms for generations. However, that’s not the case during the reign of Viserys I, which makes Criston Cole being Dornish a bit unexpected, especially considering his role in the Kingsguard.
In George R. R. Martin’s novels, it is never hinted that Cole is of Dornish descent, but according to the creators of house of the dragon, that is exactly the case. House Cole resides in the southernmost region of all of Westeros, so his connection to the arid kingdom definitely fits into the series’ canon.
8/10 Criston Cole was born to a butler
Westerosi society is defined by the relationship between its great houses, and as a result, people of lower social status often find it difficult to wield much influence over the kingdom. However, that didn’t stop Criston Cole (born of a butler) from climbing the ranks in King’s Landing.
Cole’s father swore an oath to House Dondarrion, a not-so-influential group that resides deep within the Stormlands. So it’s a bit of a shock that his son finally found her way to the illustrious capital of Westeros, King’s Landing.
7/10 Cristin Cole gained notoriety through Westeros’ conflict with Dorne
Since Cristin Cole lacked nobility, her rise to fame depended on her success on the battlefield. Weather house of the dragon makes it clear that Viserys I presides over an era of peace, he also takes note of the endless border conflict between Westeros and its Dornish neighbors.
This conflict provided the perfect setting for an upstart like Cole to earn his stripes. Very few battle-tested warriors lived in the Seven Kingdoms during Cole’s lifetime, so his fighting experience along the kingdom’s southern border played a large part in Rhaenyra’s decision to select him for the Kingsguard. .
6/10 Criston Cole is known throughout Westeros as the kingmaker
Westerosi royalty often carry nicknames that reflect some aspect of their identity. For example, Viserys I eventually became known as Viserys the Peaceful, aptly reflecting his affinity for pacifism. While this practice isn’t as common for gentlemen like Criston Cole, it doesn’t stop it from earning him his own nickname: the kingmaker.
Cole earns this title due to his connection to the dispute over Viserys I’s successor. The knight originally serves as Rhaenyra’s protector, symbolizing at least part of her legitimacy as heir to the Iron Throne, but all this changes when he decides to support Rhaenyra. Queen Alicent Hightower and her son, Aegon II. They take the Iron Throne, and for her efforts, Cole is given a nickname that represents her shifting allegiances.
5/10 The character of Criston Cole seems to be an allusion to Richard Neville
George RR Martin has made his love of history known on multiple occasions; therefore, he would include various historical allusions throughout his extensive library of novels. While the author has not confirmed Criston Cole’s relationship with Richard Neville, the 14th-century English nobleman, it appears that the latter was Martin’s inspiration for his character.
Both individuals gained fame through their military exploits. However, what really brings Criston Cole and Richard Neville together is his shared nickname, the Kingmaker, and his decisions to help usurp the rulers they originally pledged allegiance to.
4/10 Criston Cole is the only named character in his house
Although Criston Cole doesn’t come from one of the established houses of Westeros, logic dictates that at least some of his relatives would appear throughout the series. After all, between A song of ice and fire, game of ThronesY house of the dragonthere are plenty of opportunities for a member of House Cole to show up here and there.
However, despite Criston Cole’s importance to the Targaryen dynasty, none of his family members have made it into the franchise. In George RR Martin’s novels, there is a brief mention of two Golden Company soldiers with the surname Cole, but there is no confirmation that these two have any connection to Westeros, let alone House Cole.
3/10 Criston Cole owes House Dondarrion for his rise to fame
Due to Criston Cole’s low social status, he was in desperate need of a respected benefactor to help him rise through the ranks. Fortunately for him, Ser Arlan Dondarrion and his house were more than willing to acknowledge the young knight for his efforts in the Stormlands.
After Cole set fire to two Dornish watchtowers, Arlan Dondarrion knighted him, making him the first member of House Cole to receive such an honor. The Dondarrions had previously hired Cole’s father as a butler, so his knighthood was a shining badge of honor for the Cole family.
2/10 Criston Cole is one of the youngest Lord Commanders of all time
While the Royal Guard is, in theory, filled with the most capable knights in Westeros, these warriors are often past their prime. Members of the Royal Guard wield a great deal of influence, so the position generally requires its members to be highly experienced. This precedent makes Criston Cole’s rapid rise through the ranks all the more shocking.
Cole is still green when Rhaenyra selects him for the Kingsguard, and though house of the dragon he never confirms his exact age, clearly he must not be more than 20 years old. Not long after this, Queen Alicent Hightower appoints him Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, a move unprecedented up to that point in history.
1/10 Criston Cole has a connection to the most famous member of the Game of Thrones Royal Guard
Westerosi history takes note of the importance of Criston Cole; after all, he is referred to as the Kingmaker throughout the events of A song of ice and fire. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that his legacy is of interest to later members of the Kingsguard, such as Jaime Lannister.
In A Feast for RavensJaime mentions Cole’s controversial nature, pointing out the duality of his life as a Kingmaker. Considering that Jaime earned his own nickname, Kingslayer, by usurping the Mad King, it’s safe to say that these two individuals have quite a bit in common.
NEXT: 10 Fantasy Shows Better Than House Of The Dragon