Game of Thrones prequel casts twin Kingsguard brothers

Image: House of the Dragon/HBO
Image: House of the Dragon/HBO /

Like Game of Thrones before it, HBO’s upcoming prequel show House of the Dragon has a ton of characters. We’ve already met a lot of them: Doctor Who veteran Matt Smith is playing Daemon Targaryen, the talented Olivia Cooke is Queen Alicent Hightower, and so on. But although a good chunk of the main cast is in place, there are still lots of supporting roles we’ve heard little to nothing about.

We heard a little something more today. Per Redanian Intelligence, twin brothers John and Michael Cooke posted an audition video for the roles of “Edgar” and “Armand” for a project entitled Red Gun. It’s been known for a while that “Red Gun” is a codename for House of the Dragon, and given what they’re talking about in their audition scene, the roles they’re reading for can only be twin brothers Arryk and Erryk Cargyll.

Who are Arryk and Erryk Cargyll from House of the Dragon?

Now, some context: House of the Dragon is about the Dance of the Dragons, a brutal Targaryen civil war that tore Westeros apart over a hundred years before the original show. On one side, you have Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), the oldest surviving child of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) and his chosen heir. On the other side you have Aegon II Targaryen (we don’t know who’s playing him yet), eldest son of King Viserys by his second wife Alicent Hightower. These two factions will go at, dragon against dragon, brother against brother.

In the cast of the Cargyll twins, I mean that literally. Both of these guys are members of the Kingsguard under King Viserys. But when the king dies and his daughter and son each declare themselves the rightful ruler of Westeros, they face a dilemma. Arryk ends up siding with Aegon and Erryk with Rhaenyra.

I won’t give away everything what happens then, but when you’ve got twin brothers fighting on opposite sides of the war, obviously things get intense. George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood gives some differing accounts of how exactly the twins feel about each other, but whether they’re heartbroken over having to fight one another or cursing each other as traitors, the drama is real.

In the audition scene, Erryk seems to be trying to convince Arryk that Aegon will not a make good king. Indeed, Aegon is known to have dalliances outside his marriage and generally be a bit of a layabout, but obviously in the end this argument isn’t convincing.

We don’t know if this is actual dialog from the show or a scene written just for the audition. We also don’t know if John and Michael Cooke will actually play these characters. The brothers posted the audition video themselves (and since took it down). Usually, that’s a sign that they didn’t actually land the role, although they look pretty convincing to me. Also, how many twin brothers who are both actors could there be out there?

Side note: I wonder if they’ll change the characters’ names for the show. “Arryk” and “Erryk” are spelled differently, but they’re pronounced the same way, which could be confusing onscreen.

When does House of the Dragon come out?

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long to find out. House of the Dragon starts filming this month. It will premiere on HBO in 2022.

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