Graham McTavish not returning for House of the Dragon season 2?

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

The other day, HBO announced that it had begun filming on the second season of House of the Dragon. Last we checked in on our favorite crew of dragonriders, Rhaenrya Targaryen was ready to make war on her half-brother for usurping her throne. Things are about to get intense!

HBO also revealed which actors from season 1 would be returning. The full list includes:

  • Matt Smith (Daemon Targaryen)
  • Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower)
  • Emma D’Arcy Rhaenyra Targaryen)
  • Eve Best (Rhaenys Targaryen)
  • Steve Toussaint (Corlys Velaryon)
  • Fabien Frankel (Criston Cole)
  • Ewan Mitchell (Aemond Targaryen)
  • Tom Glynn-Carney (Aegon Targaryen)
  • Sonoya Mizuno (Mysaria)
  • Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower)
  • Harry Collett (Jacaerys Velaryon)
  • Bethany Antonia (Baela Targaryen)
  • Phoebe Campbell (Rhaena Targaryen)
  • Phia Saban (Helaena Targaryen)
  • Jefferson Hall (twins Jason and Tyland Lannister
  • Matthew Needham (Larys Strong)

That’s a fairly sizable cast. However, fans have noticed that some folk are missing.

Graham McTavish not on the list of returning cast members for House of the Dragon season 2

Most notably, one of the bigger names to appear in season 1 — Outlander star Graham McTavish — isn’t on that list. McTavish played Ser Harrold Westerling, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard who remained loyal to King Viserys Targaryen even after his death; he found Otto Hightower’s plan to seat Aegon II on the Iron Throne distasteful, since everyone knew that Viserys wished for his daughter Rhaenyra to follow him onto the throne.

However, that never happened in George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood; on the page, by the time King Viserys dies, Harrold Westerling has been dead for awhile. Last we saw him on the show, he just sort of wandered out of the Green Council meeting with no one moving to stop him, and Criston Cole was named as Lord Commander in his place.

So does McTavish’s absence from the cast list for season 2 mean he isn’t coming back? It’s too early to tell, although if they changed Ser Harrold’s book fate just to unceremoniously drop him from the show, it won’t reflect well on the writers. If you didn’t have a plan for his character, why not just stick to the book and kill him off?

That said, just because McTavish isn’t included on this list doesn’t mean he can’t show up in season 2, although you’d figure they’d want to highlight his name considering he comes with some star wattage behind him. Not long after the first season wrapped up, McTavish seemed bullish about his future on the show. “He lives! Ser Harrold lives on,” McTavish said at the time. “I love the fact that, what happened there, with his decision to walk out like that, is it really established a sense… in a world like House of the Dragon, and a little bit the same in Game of Thrones, a lot of people working for their own agendas.”

Actors behind twin Kingsguard knights Erryk and Arryk Cargyll not on cast list for House of the Dragon season 2

Incidentally, McTavish isn’t the only actor from season 1 conspicuously absent from the season 2 cast list. Elliot and Luke Tittensor, who play twin Kingsguard knights Erryk and Arryk Cargyll respectively, are also absent.

That’s interesting, because while Harrold Westerling doesn’t have any book plot to carry out in season 2 — again, he’s dead by this point in Fire & Blood — Erryk and Arryk Cargyll have an important storyline coming up…unless they’ve been cut. We’ll keep our ear to the ground for more.

Again, it’s possible that these absences don’t mean much; the characters could still show up. Although we note that Jefferson Hall is on there as the twins Jason and Tyland Lannister, who are pretty minor characters in the grand scheme of things. Why do they get to be on the list while McTavish and the Tittensors don’t?

Time will tell if this forebodes ill or it’s just me being paranoid. House of the Dragon season 2 is due out on HBO and HBO Max sometime in 2024.

Next. Every Game of Thrones spinoff in development HBO, ranked by hype. dark

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