That blacksmith in House of the Dragon season 2, episode 1 is actually an important book character

House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon season 2, episode 1 might contain one of the most jaw-dropping, horrifying moments in Game of Thrones history – but it also contains a pretty significant introduction, and one you might have missed at first glance. 

Now, before we go any further, a warning that the following will contain spoilers for the House of the Dragon season 2 premiere. We also delve into a story contained in George R.R. Martin's source material, which means there are also spoilers for the book! Turn back now if you don't want to know what might be happening next! 

Still reading? Then let's delve into the appearance of the mysterious blacksmith Hugh Hammer. 

Who is Hugh Hammer in House of the Dragon?

Kieran Bew

(Image credit: Getty Images/Kate Green / Stringer)

In House of the Dragon season 2, episode 1, King Aegon holds court over the small folk who come to petition him for favors. One blacksmith in particular, who goes only by Hugh in the episode, is set to be a pretty significant part of Westerosi history. 

His introduction sees him petitioning Aegon to be paid before he and his team have built the Scorpions used to defend against dragons, since the cost of iron has grown, so it seems clear this is none other than Hugh Hammer. Kieran Bew is playing him.

Hugh Hammer's story explained *book spoilers* 

House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

In George R.R. Martin's Fire and Blood, Hugh is a bastard with Valyrian heritage. During the Dance of the Dragons, Rhaenyra's son Jace Velaryon puts out a call for people who might be able to ride dragons – thanks to his Valyrian blood, Hugh is one of these "dragonseeds." Hugh eventually claims the dragon Vermithor and fights on the side of the blacks. 

But, eventually, he switches allegiances – he and his fellow turncoat Ulf White are dubbed the Two Betrayers when they join the side of the greens. 

Hugh aspires to become king and manages to get soldiers on his side thanks to a prophecy predicting a new king: "When the hammer shall fall upon the dragon, a new king shall arise, and none shall stand before him." Game of Thrones fans might remember Rhaegar Targaryen was killed by Robert Baratheon's hammer…

Hugh crowns himself with black iron, but is ultimately killed by a knight fighting on the side of the greens – fittingly enough, he's killed with Valyrian steel. 

House of the Dragon continues weekly on HBO in the US and Sky and NOW in the UK. For more, check out our pieces on:

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.