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Episode 9 of House of the Dragon“The Green Council” is arguably HBO’s most explosive episode Game of Thrones prequel series not yet. The usual court intrigue that the show has set its bones on has continued, but after the dramatic events of episode 8, “The Lord of the Tides,” the drama in Westeros unfolds at a faster pace.
You might also think you are seeing double. But don’t touch that dial and don’t put down your Negroni sbagliato; those two handsome bearded men are twin brothers. Both are members of the Kingsguard, and both have sick facial hair and a general air of ‘being together’. And they are twins named Arryk and Erryk.
[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for episode 9 of House of the Dragon.]
The two brothers spend much of the episode tracking down Aegon, who has disappeared into the underbelly of the city just when his family needs him most – when he must get rid of his spoiled ass and be anointed king. must be. Ser Erryk, the sworn shield of the then Prince and now King Aegon, complains to Ser Otto Hightower that he cannot follow the young king-to-be because the younger flaunts his power to make excuses to escape. When they finally find Aegon, they drag him out, but are thwarted by Ser Criston Cole and Aegon’s brother Aemond, who take Aegon to take credit for the find.
But in the meantime, something very interesting happens: while Ser Arryk duels with Ser Criston (and loses), his brother Ser Erryk just watches and then stops the whole procedure. Disgusted by the political machinations following the death of King Viserys, he sneaks Rhaenys Targaryen out of the castle, leading to the episode’s explosive finale.
It’s delicious, for many reasons. First of all, twins are definitely fun in the cinema: They’re a staple of the direct-to-video action movies I love, and these two guys (played by real-life twins Elliott and Luke Tittensor, best known for their dual roles as Carl Gallagher in the UK shameless) would be a perfect fit for trading kicks with the likes of Scott Adkins.
But it is also thematically gripping. The entire episode focuses on a shattering kingdom and the division between the ruling class and the people they want to care for, and the rifts that arise when power vacuums appear (and who gets hurt in the process). What better example of this than twin brothers, torn apart by an impending war? It was a beautiful device in one of my favorite fantasy novels, Ken Liu’s The grace of kingsand i’m excited to see where House of the Dragon takes it too.
It’s also a big upgrade for a character whose Thrones Wiki entry was led by, at the time of writing, the following exchange:
Alicent: “Whatever it is, Ser Arryk, it’ll have to wait.”
Erryk: “I’m Erryk, Your Grace.”
I would like to quickly send this next part of the mail to Arryk and Erryk’s parents. Cargylls – what the hell were you thinking??? (George RR Martin, I already know what swear words you’re up to.) How on earth have you yelled at one and not the other, or praised one and not the other? Why did you put yourself in this bond???
I reached out to the official parent of two of Polygon, Matt Patches, for comment:
While I can see the benefits of summoning two twins by shouting a vaguely similar name from across the castle, this is a smart fail for anyone dealing with these fools. Real “who comes first” shit.
Ser Arryk and Erryk Cargyll, I salute you. But maybe think of a nickname.