House of the Dragon finale sets the Cargyll twins up for major Season 2 roles
If the HBO show remains mostly faithful to its source material, then The Cargyll twins are two characters worth keeping track of.
Don’t write them off as pointless side characters: Identical Westerosi twins Ser Arryk and Erryk Cargyll are worth watching (and watching closely, lest you get them mixed up).
We’ve gotten to know Erryk and Arryk — portrayed by real-life twins Luke and Elliott Tittensor — over the last four episodes of House of the Dragon, particularly in Episode 9 when they searched for Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) and stumbled upon Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) in the process.
One Cargyll brother, Arryk, took it upon himself to fight Criston, but the other just looked on. And we already know, based on promotional materials for Episode 10, that we’ll be seeing one of these twins bend the knee for Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and crown her Queen in House of the Dragon’s Season 1 finale.
Potential spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon.
As with all of Inverse’s House of the Dragon explainers and theories, we can’t say for sure that the Cargyll twins’ storyline will play out exactly as it does in its source material. There have already been a few deviations from House of the Dragon’s literary roots, including many characters getting aged up or down, Laenor Velaryon’s “disappearance,” and King Viserys I Targaryen spilling the beans on the Prince That Was Promised prophecy to wife Alicent Hightower.
However, because the series has been faithful to the broad strokes of George R.R. Martin’s canon, we’re confident that Arryk and Erryk will be important to the end of Season 1 and at least the start of Season 2.
Erryk is made the sworn shield of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen by King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) after the death of Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr) during the “mysterious” fire at Harrenhal. Soon after Viserys I’s death, Erryk, along with several other Kingsguard knights, become disgruntled by the lack of transparency among Alicent’s small council, which was plotting to disrespect Viserys I’s wishes and crown Aegon II instead of his half-sister.
Erryk joins Ser Steffon Darklyn (Anthony Flanagan) and Ser Lorent Marbrand (Maxim Wrottesley) in evading capture and fleeing the capital to let their princess know what’s going on in the Red Keep. There, he officially joins the Queensguard.
But while Erryk joins the Blacks, Arryk has always been Team Green. According to the court fool Mushroom, who recorded most of the events that House of the Dragon is based on, Arryk was the first person to find Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) in bed with his niece Rhaenyra, who actually slept together in the canon before she hooked up with Criston. Arryk, not Otto, informed Viserys of the scandal, getting Daemon temporarily banished from the Seven Kingdoms.
Speaking of Criston, he orders Arryk to infiltrate Dragonstone as Erryk to kill either Rhaenyra or her children (House of the Dragon’s source material keeps this ambiguous). The mission soon went awry, and Arryk confronted Erryk in the hallways of the citadel. They fought for an hour, and died in one another’s arms.
The Inverse Analysis — Will we see one of the saddest moments in George R.R. Martin’s prequel novella play out on-screen? It’s difficult to say. The show could stick to the canon, but it wouldn’t hurt the broader story to shake things up and let one (or both) of the Cargyll twins survive. Either way, keep a close eye on the Cargyll twins. Their switcheroo shenanigans may have already begun.