House of the Dragon had to swap twin Cargyll actors for finale after COVID scare

House of the Dragon had to swap twin Cargyll actors for finale after COVID scare

Warning: This article and podcast episode contains spoilers from House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10.

Can you tell House of the Dragon twins Luke and Elliott Tittensor (who play Ser Arryk Cargyll and Ser Erryk Cargyll) apart? If so, put your skills to the test by rewatching the season 1 finale.

Director Greg Yaitanes, who helmed the 10th hour of the Game of Thrones prequel's premiere season, told EW about a fun switcheroo they had to pull for filming due to a COVID-19 scare. Elliott contracted the virus during filming, forcing the production to find the next obvious replacement: his twin brother Luke.

In House of the Dragon, Luke's Arryk sides with Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) and the Greens, while Elliott's Erryk sides with Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and the Blacks. In the finale, we see Erryk has stolen the crown of the late King Viserys (Paddy Considine) and given it to Rhaenyra at Dragonstone before swearing fealty to her.

House of the Dragon Episode 9
House of the Dragon Episode 9

Ollie Upton / HBO Twins Luke and Elliott Tittensor play Arryk and Erryk Cargyll in 'House of the Dragon.'

"There's that scene, that big scene where Corlys [Steve Toussaint] comes down and they're putting the markers on the table and the messenger comes in," Yaitanes says on the West of Westeros podcast. "It was a shot over two days and then one got COVID," he adds. "[Elliott] got COVID, so we swapped him out with his brother."

Adding to the confusion were the names of the actors versus the characters. There's Luke Tittensor, the actor who plays Arryk, and then there's Luke Velaryon, the character played by actor Elliot Grihault opposite actor Elliott Tittensor, who plays Erryk. "The way this came to me was the game of telephone," the director jokes.

Yaitanes notes "that would've killed us" if Luke hadn't been able to step in. "We were just about to do all Emma's coverage and he is standing right next to [them]," he says.

Listen to more of EW's interview with Yaitanes by subscribing to the West of Westeros podcast, which goes behind the making of House of the Dragon and the growing Game of Thrones universe.

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