Wiki of Westeros

HOTD205 House of the Dragon: Season 2, Ep. 5: "Regent" is now streaming on Max.


Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros

Daemon: "You are a strange kind of woman."
Alys: "I'm no woman at all. I'm a barn owl, cursed to live in human form."
— Daemon Targaryen and Alys Rivers[src]

Alys Rivers is a healer who resides at Harrenhal during the Dance of the Dragons. Although not a maester, she has acted in that capacity since her predecessor fled the ruined stronghold shortly after arriving.


House of the Dragon: Season 2[]


Alys witnesses the surrender of Ser Simon Strong.

Alys is present at Harrenhal when the castle's castellan, Ser Simon Strong, capitulates to Daemon Targaryen. When Daemon has a vivid hallucination and suddenly finds himself in front of Harrenhal's weirwood tree, Alys tells him "You will die in this place."[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Alys was codenamed "AR" in casting calls.[2] On April 24, 2023, HBO announced that Gayle Rankin had been cast in the role for House of the Dragon: Season 2.[3] Her character description reads as follows:

"A healer working in the service of House Strong."[4]

In the books[]

In Fire & Blood, Alys Rivers was a wet nurse at Harrenhal during the Dance of the Dragons. She was allegedly a bastard of House Strong, the rulers of Harrenhal at this time, though her exact relationship to them is disputed between rival historians. The ribald and fantastical account of the court jester Mushroom maintains that she was a witch wielding magical powers; Septon Eustace claims she was a simple-minded woods witch; the more professional accounts by Grand Maester Munkun dismiss these, contending that she was simply a healer at Harrenhal with a decent knowledge of medicinal potions.

Munkun and Eustace both believed that Alys was probably a bastard daughter of Lyonel Strong, but Mushroom claims that she was in fact a wet nurse to Lyonel himself when he was an infant, making her old enough to be the grandmother of Lyonel's adult sons at the time of the war. Mushroom believed that Alys practiced dark magic to maintain the appearance of youth, such as bathing in the blood of virgins. Munkun and Eustace similarly dismiss these claims, only to then grudgingly admit that while Alys had to be at least forty years old by the time of the war, all eyewitness accounts agree that she looked unnaturally young for her age.




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