Just because House of the Dragon starts filming in a few days (*squeal*) doesn’t mean that the casting process for the show is over. An audition tape was recently posted (and even more recently deleted) featuring two actors reading for – very likely – the parts of Arryk and Erryk Cargyll.
Alas, in the twelve hours or so since I drafted this post, the video, titled “Red Gun Audition 1” has been deleted, but I assure you, dear reader, it was an interesting watch.
In it, actors John and Michael Cooke, who are identical twins, read a scene in which their characters, “Edgar” and “Armand” discuss the merits of “Prince Adrian.” Their dialogue and physical gestures (i.e glancing surreptitiously off screen) suggest that they’re guarding the prince while he visits a brothel. “Edgar” is quite disturbed by his liege’s behavior and wonders aloud what sort of king “Adrian” will be if this is how he acts as a prince while “Armand” insists that all men are equally trash and that they should just accept the situation.
I should add that their dialogue name drops “Westeros,” “the Hand and the Small Council” and “Mormont,” in case you were thinking connecting this audition to House of the Dragon was a stretch (also, the video’s deletion really adds to its legitimacy). Moreover, “Red Gun” has been long understood to be the code name for House of the Dragon and using alternative names for characters during the audition process is a pretty common practice when productions are trying maintain secrecy.
Redanian Intelligence speculates that “Prince Adrian” is in fact Aegon II and that “Edgar” and “Armand” are more than likely Erryk and Arryk Cargyll, twin brothers who fought on opposite sides of the Dance of the Dragons.
I suspect that Redanian Intelligence is right on the money. Aegon II was widely known for his promiscuous habits, much like Adrian, and although the dialogue in the video was probably written exclusively for the audition process (another common practice) and is unlikely to actually feature in the show, the conflict between “Edgar” and “Armand” that it showcases mirrors the conflict between Erryk and Arryk perfectly. Edgar/Erryk doubts that Prince Adrian/Aegon will make a good king, foreshadowing his allegiance to the Blacks, while Armand/Arryk seems determined to stand by the prince, regardless of his faults, foreshadowing his allegiance to the Greens.
Even if this scene doesn’t appear in the show exactly as it’s written, I think it bodes very well for House of the Dragon that the writers are interested in delving into the meat of the conflict between the Greens and the Blacks. What does it mean to be a good ruler? Should allegiance to a monarch take priority over family? Is it truly honorable to remain loyal to an unfit ruler? These are the sort of tough questions that made Game of Thrones great, and I’m hopeful they’ll make House of the Dragon great too.