‘House of the Dragon’ pauses UK filming due to positive COVID-19 case

Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) look appropriately concerned.

It’s certainly not ideal, but as the world is still in the grip of a pandemic, it’s not entirely surprising that there has been a report of a positive COVID-19 case on the UK set of the Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon.

First reported by Deadline and confirmed by Variety, a production member on the series tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation. The case was discovered as part of industry guidelines that mandate frequent testing, among other rules. Production will reportedly resume on Wednesday after a two-day pause.

There is no word yet if this will affect the timetable for the upcoming shooting in Spain and Portugal. Follow Watchers for any and all updates that we receive!

**This post has been updated to identify Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower in the photo. He was incorrectly named as Paddy Considine, who will play Viserys I. Samantha apologizes for the error, as she was distracted by a cranky toddler when she wrote up this story.


  1. Crumbs, that’s unfortunate. There was a Freedumb march in London today though when I can’t understand the logic when it’s the first day back to “normal”. I think we need to be careful but I want a return (as much as possible) to pre-pandemic times as much as anyone There’s a minority (but a vocal one) in the UK that’s gone down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole and I just hope that being able to interact in person will help people break free from the nuttier side of the internet. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been glad of Zoom and Skype meetings to help stop me going mildly nutty over the last year and a bit. Anyway, fellow WONW followers don’t need my ranting – I just hope HoD is back on track as soon as possible.

    Anyway, a humorous interlude – the (now-ex) British Health Secretary was caught by the Sun Newspaper having a kiss and a cuddle with a lady who was not his wife. Here is a (short) parody by comedian Munya Chawawa (built up a following on TikTok I believe though being an oldster I do ‘do’ Tiktok). I must admit I don’t know all the slang words. The ‘Dominic’ is Dominic Cummings, formerly an aide to Boris Johnstone but they aren’t palsy-walsy anymore. https://youtu.be/XPAoAMsJuxE

  2. Dame of Mercia,

    I must admit, I’m not familiar with “palsy-walsy” either. Must be British slang.

    I’m learning much about British slang from “The Great British Baking Show”. I’ve never heard the phrase “push the boat out” until I started watching that show.

  3. Michael H Byrd:
    I thought Paddy was the King. Why is he wearing the Hand badge?

    Good spot!
    I thought Rhys Ifans is going to play Hand of the King Otto Hightower, and as you said, Paddy Considine will be playing King Viserys.

    Isn’t that Rhys Ifans in the photo? Or is it Paddy Considine?

  4. Azor Asshai,

    It’s still difficult for me to picture Rhys Ifans in a “serious” dramatic role, since the first time I saw him was as the goofball roommate “Spike” in “Notting Hill” (1999).
    [Two clips below. ⚠️ Major Spoiler Alert! for anyone who hasn’t seen “Notting Hill” starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant]

    • at 0:40 Spike meets the press in his underwear

    • at 0:30 (Spike: “You daft pr*ck!”)
    Also, I think that’s Tim McInnerney (GoT’s Lord Glover) in the blue shirt at 0:22.

  5. Sad to read this and speedy recovery to the unfortunate person. Sadly reflective of how things are here in the UK right now with very high cases – which are thankfully now declining – and huge numbers off work due to sickness.

  6. Damn it! I had been hoping to go to New York City next month for the “Global Citizen Live” concert in New York’s Central Park on September 25, 2021.


    But Florida is now the Covid capitol of the country thanks to our anti-mask, anti-vax Trumpist governor and his gaggle of dummies. The sh*tshow has gotten so bad down here that I doubt I’ll be able to leave. I would not be surprised if New York bars travelers from Florida, or requires ten-day isolation in quarantine upon arrival.

    Look at this list of performers for the NYC concert:

    The New York lineup includes Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Meek Mill, and Shawn Mendes, with special guest performances by Alessia Cara, Burna Boy, Cyndi Lauper, Jon Batiste, and Lang Lang. Even more artists will be announced in the weeks ahead…”

    At least it appears the show will be televised live on September 25, so I can watch it here in my Sky Cell.

    ”….Everyone can catch the once-in-a-generation event on Sept. 25 on ABC, ABC News Live, BBC, FX, iHeartRadio, Hulu, YouTube, TIME, Twitter, and more.”

  7. I’m getting a Covid testing kit sent to the house – I was asked to get a test by Track & Trace here in the UK and because I don’t have a car to go to a walk in centre and the nearest walk in test is in a town some miles to the east I’m being sent a home kit to test. It’s a bit strange because the person I spoke to from Track & Trace said because I’m doubly vaccinated I don’t need to self-isolate but in the follow-up email they asked me to get a test done. The person I know who has the virus was doubly vaccinated so maybe they are playing safe.

    I hope the person I know who has the virus recovers soon – he didn’t sound too bad on the voicemail. Hopefully the person from HOD who tested positive is on the mend now as this thread is now a few weeks old.

  8. Off Topic 🗡
    At the Met Gala in New York City on September 13, 2021: Rose Leslie, Kit Harington and Maisie Williams. Links to photos to folllow…

  9. Very late response since I’ve only just seen this comment:

    Ten Bears,

    It’s still difficult for me to picture Rhys Ifans in a “serious” dramatic role,

    I recommend watching “Berlin Station”. Rhys Ifans is superb in a (mostly) very serious role as one of the main characters, playing a veteran CIA guy. Really charismatic — he basically steals every scene he’s in. My opinion that Rhys is a fantastic addition to HotD is based on his performance in this show.

    Berlin Station was cancelled after 3 seasons, but it’s still definitely worth checking out. Along with Rhys Ifans there are a few other familiar faces in major roles too — Richard Armitage, Michelle Forbes, later Ashley Judd and James Cromwell too. Intelligent and nuanced show with timely contemporary storylines, nice ensemble international cast, great acting all round.

  10. Sorry to be negative as appreciate the post but this sort of thing is frustrating when most of the world are not able to travel into the USA due to the travel bans yet we have TV and sports stars somehow able to slip through.

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