Otto Hightower

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House Hightower.png
Otto Hightower
House Hightower.png

Title Ser
Hand of the King
Allegiance House Hightower
The Greens
Died In 130 AC, at King's Landing
Book(s) The Rogue Prince (Appears)
The Princess and the Queen (Appears)
A Storm of Swords (Mentioned)

Ser Otto Hightower was considered a man of great learning in his time. He was haughty, blunt, and domineering.[1]


Ser Otto was famous for his knowledge. For this ability, he was named Hand of the King. He is now a warning to future Hands that knowledge is not everything. He served as Hand of the King under Jaehaerys I, Viserys I, and Aegon II, but was not Hand continuously.

He first served as Hand after the death of the Old Kings former hand and son Prince Baelon. Jaehaerys was devastated by the death of his son and loss of his beloved wife earlier, becoming grief stricken, and with his health failing he became bedridden. Otto effectively ruled the kingdom as Hand in the final two years of Jaehaerys reign while his daughter nursed the ailing King.

Two of the three kings he served fired him at various times.[2] Otto was father to Viserys I's second wife, Queen Alicent of House Hightower. In 109 AC, Otto was fired for hounding Viserys to declare his grandsons heirs instead of Rhaenyra.[1]

In 120 AC, Otto returned as Hand after Lyonel Strong died.

He played a crucial role in making his eldest grandson, Aegon II Targaryen King of Westeros, in defiance of the last will of Viserys I. This defiance precipitated the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.[3]

The Dance of the Dragons

The opposing faction, the blacks, included the battle-tested Prince Daemon Targaryen, who, in the course of his pre-war adventures, had made many foes. Ser Otto had been amongst the first of these. He reached out to other enemies of the prince, the Kingdom of the Three Daughters, as allies. These allies were crucial in breaking the Velaryon blockade in the Battle in the Gullet.[4]

Aegon II, however, perceived Otto's diplomacy as slothful at a time when Prince Daemon had captured Harrenhal and many houses had declared for the blacks. This led to his replacement as Hand by Ser Criston Cole, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, despite the pleading of Ser Otto's daughter (and Aegon's mother) Queen Alicent. It was only after his dismissal that his efforts bore fruit.[4]

Otto was the first to be executed as a traitor by Rhaenyra Targaryen when she took King's Landing in 130 AC, just as he had predicted.[4]

References and Notes