Production for House of the Dragon season 2 is set to start in March and casting for one particularly infamous, yet pivotal scene may have begun.
According to the Film & Television Industry Alliance (FTIA), season 2 of House of the Dragon will begin filming on March 6 in Spain (no cities specified as of it) and London. The show’s profile also lists Alan Taylor as director, though we know from an announcement made last August that he’ll also be serving as executive producer.
In more speculative news, Redanian Intelligence reports that casting for one of House of the Dragon‘s most morbidly anticipated scenes may be underway. ***SPOILERS for season 2 and Fire and Blood below ***
House of the Dragon is looking for 3-4 year-old twins with shoulder-length blond hair to film for a few days between April and June. More than likely, this casting is for Jaehaerys and Jaehaera Targaryen, Helaena’s children and Blood and Cheese’s victims. Now, in Fire and Blood, Helaena is forced to choose between her eldest son, Jaehaerys, and her youngest, Maelor, as per Daemon’s vengeful promise: “a son for a son.” There’s been no sign of Maelor in the show so far so it seems likely that the powers that be at HBO have chosen to limit the number of traumatized children on House of the Dragon by omitting Maelor and forcing Helaena choose between her twins, instead. A child for a child.
And this may not be the only adaptational liberty taken with this scene. An audition tape recently surfaced of an actor named Samuel Edward-Cook reading for the the role of Cheese (code-named Charlie C).
Samuel Edward-Cook auditions for the role of Cheese in season 2: according to the tape, the plan is to ‘kidnap Prince Jaehaerys’
SPOILERS! In the book he is beheaded. pic.twitter.com/X3u9phUnC2
— 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊𝐒 ＆ 𝐋𝐄𝐆𝐀𝐂𝐘 (@theblacks_) January 28, 2023
It’s a little hard to hear, but at 00:19, the person reading off screen says, “To kidnap a royal fucking prince, where do you think we’re going to find him?” This has stirred up concern among fans that the murder of Jaehaerys (the presumed “royal fucking prince” in question) will be yet another character decision turned misunderstanding. I’ll admit, the prospect of House of the Dragon changing Jaehaerys’ murder into a kidnapping-gone-wrong doesn’t thrill me. However, considering Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon‘s longstanding practice of giving actors fake scripts for auditions in order to prevent leaks, I’m not putting much stock in the precise wording of Edward-Cook’s tape.
Helaena is one of the low-key favourite characters, and it’s really an awful thing to do to anyone, but her in particular. People are going to change teams a few times, methinks. 🙂
I love Helaena too and I’m curious to see how fans who say they’re looking forward to watching Rhaenyra get her revenge react to 🩸🧀. GRRM has a way of horrifying fans by giving them exactly what they want
That’s a great way to put it – so right!!!
Helaena is like the Luna Lovegood of Westeros: seriously into natural history, fundamentally benevolent, dreamy and a little strange in her interactions with people. It’s hard not to root for her, even when you know that it’s hopeless.
Looks to me like a fake script. I doubt they’re going to change this scene.
100% agree with Petra. It’s such a memorably horrific, iconic moment in the Dance of the Dragons story that I really, really hope they don’t change it in any significant way–least of all to another misunderstanding scenario. Granted, I can understand going for that angle in the case of some of the more ambiguous historical events, but Blood and Cheese is NOT that. In fact, we have more information about what went down there (including actual lines of dialogue provided) than a lot of what follows.
Removing Maelor, if this is indeed what they are doing, really bugs me.
Helaena chooses Maelor because he’s so young, it’s unbelievably tragic but also a choice you can understand. Instead they go for the eldest. There’s an extreme tragic poignancy to that.
Imo it will feel very weird if instead she simply chooses her daughter to die. There’s just no reasoning there for choosing one twin over the other, and if Helaena chooses her daughter, the audience will come away from it yet again feeling like a female character’s life has less value than a male character’s life.
Choosing Maelor, as horrifying as it is, is a decision that has some sense to it, as he’s the youngest. Choosing one twin over the other just won’t really play that well imo, regardless of who show Helaena names.
I haven’t listened to the recording, but going by the description, one other way this could be interpreted is that Cheese will be portrayed as more reluctant, and as such, he was simply TOLD this was to be a mere kidnapping.
I really hope they are not changing the sequence to kidnapping because I’m starting to worry now they’re trying to make HotD too “clean”, especially in regards to GoT even though I always felt The Dance of Dragons was even more twisted and brutal than GoT was. All those interviews where they talked about making HotD as more quasi-“sophisticated” product compared to GoT (but in my eyes, that’s nothing but toning down and implicitly “censoring” stuff)… I expressed my worried about that before and now it’s resurfacing. I already feel society is already getting involved too much in the world of creative art.
Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,
My takeaway is that Cheese only THINKS it’s supposed to be a kidnapping, but Blood has other plans. I definitely think we’re going to see one of those kids die.
I 100% agree with what you say about society getting too involved in creative arts though.
The above article could be a little “spoilery” for people who haven’t read any of the books. I know there is only one main book – which I haven’t read though I have listened to part of an audio version of ‘The Princess and the Queen’ novella.
I hope I don’t come across as complaining. I can understand people wanting to speculate where the show may be going.
Yes, I do believe it can be effectively done in such manner you described (I personally did like TV version of Aemond & Lucerys scene a lot) and there’s always unreliable narrator at play (there weren’t really many witnesses during that moment) but at same time, I do worry that they may be toning down stuff for the sake of toning down because of this “outside pressure”. All those interviews where they seem to be kind of putting down GoT for its gritty and brutal tone and presenting HotD as some more “sophisticated” product… I don’t want to watch some PG13-show just because society gets so quickly offended by everything now.
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