9. Up - Devious Otto Hightower
After three episodes of House of the Dragon, fans could be forgiven for assuming that Otto Hightower is a long lost descendant of Petyr Baelish; such are the levels of devious plotting the Hand of the King and villain in the making has exhibited to date.
On the surface Otto may be a soft spoken advisor, utterly dedicated to the welfare and prosperity of the King, but in reality the younger Hightower brother is a venomous snake winding his way through the halls of King's Landing. Otto is constantly whispering into the King's ear and demonstrating a gaping black hole where the center of his moral compass should be located; look no further than his appalling suggestion that Rhaenyra should be betrothed to her younger brother to solve the inheritance conundrum (and conveniently enough elevate his own grandson to the position of heir). Even Viserys, of a family famed for their incestous marriages, recoils at the prospect.
Rhys Ifans is doing an exemplary job of portraying manipulative schemer Otto, and continues to do so as Martin's answer to Thomas Cromwell in this weeks iteration. The strength of the veteran character actor's performance continues to be underlined in the subtle nuances Ifans exploits to ominously bring one of the most devious schemers in Westeros to life; how else can you explain a character who does so little in the way of obvious evil already being so universally hated by the Westerosi fanbase?
By the time Otto's insidious plans come to fruition, fans might just find themselves missing a certain Littlefinger.