House Of The Dragon Totally Swapped Actors During The Finale And No One Seemed To Notice

Ser Erryk and Ser Arryk in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

It’s hard to tell identical twins apart if you aren’t close friends or family with them, it’s even harder when their names are Erryk and Arryk, like the twins played by Elliott and Luke Tittensor in House of the Dragon. Turns out their identical features came in handy during the finale of show, because one of them got sick and the other had to fill in as his brother's character. Clearly, it worked because out of the millions who tuned into the shocking finale of the 2022 TV schedule hit most didn’t seem to notice at all.

In the episode, Elliott Tittensor was supposed to be in the episode as Erryk Cargyll. However, the actor got COVID-19, and so his twin brother, Luke Tittensor, who played Arryk Cargyll stepped into the finale to play his brother’s character. Talking about the scene Greg Yaitanes, who directed the finale, explained the situation that caused the switch to EW, saying: 

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. It was a shot over two days and then one got COVID. [Elliott] got COVID, so we swapped him out with his brother.

To add a bit more context, the scene in question is a major one from the shocking Season 1 finale where the Blacks are beginning to plan their attack on the Greens. The meeting took place right after those at Dragonstone learned the news that Viserys had died and Aegon, Alicent’s son had ascended the throne without the other Targaryens knowing. Yaitanes also said that if Luke hadn’t been able to play his brother it “would’ve killed” them because he was standing next to Rhaenyra the whole time, and she’s one of the main players in the scene. Meaning it would have heavily altered the show's shooting schedule. 

They really did pull off the little switcheroo, I know I didn’t notice, and it seemed like most people watching the show didn’t either. I mean it doesn’t help our chances of spotting the difference when the two brothers are not only identical, but they also dress the same and have painfully similar names. I mean Erryk and Arryk…come on, we don’t stand a chance of telling them apart. 

I do think it’s plausible that the show could use their identical looks in the plot as well, not just for logistical reasons. While we don’t know much about Season 2 of HOTD, we do know that the twins have fallen on different sides of the battle, with Erryk on the side of the Blacks and Arryk siding with the Greens. I could totally see the show using the twins as undercover agents to get intel on the other side as the Dance of the Dragons begins. 

At the end of Season 1, both twins were still alive, so I’d expect we’ll be seeing more of Erryk and Arryk, and possibly the actors swapping places, come Season 2. While we’ll have to wait a while for the next season of HOTD, you can still go back and watch Season 1 of the show with an HBO Max subscription, and check out all the other Game of Thrones shows in development

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.