Battle aftermath, Eve Best, and new Velaryons spotted as ‘House of the Dragon’ filming ramps up!

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Milly Alcock, right, as young Rhaenyra Targaryen, and an unnamed actor likely in the role of Laenor Velaryon.

Corpses on the beach! Tyroshi pirates! Our first glimpses of some important Velaryons! Filming on House of the Dragon has been sprinting along nicely as of late and as the kids say, we’re here for it.

We were gifted with an absolute slew of photos from imgur, pointed out by our friend @MeereeneseKnot on Twitter:

There’s more than four dozen photos of what looks like an intense day of filming by the water. It appears to be the aftermath of a battle at sea, with debris scattered along the shore and prisoners (and a few corpses) staked out in low tide:

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A gruesome fate seems to be in store for these extras.

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Impressive corpse work from the props department!

There’s also some definite pirate looting going on and lots of scenes with soldiers in Targaryen armor, so I’m betting that this is filming the Battle of the Gullet and its immediate aftermath.** I won’t spoil anything for you; suffice it to say that it’s a major engagement during the Dance (and if they pull it off it’s going to rival Blackwater as the best GoT-related naval battle ever put to film).

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Sailors, probably Tyroshi or Lysene, carrying away loot after the battle.

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A Targaryen soldier.

The photos also include several shots of an older woman with Targaryen-blonde hair hiding under a bonnet, and thank the Seven above, it’s our first look at Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen! The Queen Who Never Was plays an important role in the Dance of the Dragons and was an undisputed badass, so it’s exciting to see Best on set for the first time. In these photos, she’s seen alongside two younger male actors, both of whom are sporting what appears to be Targaryen red attire and have — wait for it — brown hair.

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Two of Rhaenrya’s three sons? And definitely Eve Best as Rhaenys Targaryen, right.

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An unidentified actor, likely portraying one of Rhaenrya’s sons with Laenor Velaryon.

If you’re not familiar with the Dance storyline, three of Rhaenrya Targaryen‘s sons with her first husband, Laenor Valeryon, are pretty, ahem, un-Targaryen in appearance — something that plays out to devastating effect in the civil war between her and her half-brother, Aegon II Targaryen. So it looks as though they’ve cast at least two of the three sons so far (my vote is Jaecerys and Lucerys). Hooray for more Velaryons!

**It’s been pointed out that this actually might be the War for the Stepstones, which takes place years before the Dance itself but helped lay the groundwork for the coming conflict. How could I miss Craghas Crabfeeder’s signature move with the prisoners? Sigh.**

Next, we saw a crop of photos from Twitter account Portal House of the Dragon Brasil, featuring young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and — for the first time! — Laenor Velaryon:

The actor playing Laenor hasn’t been announced yet, but given that this actor has the same sigil and pale dreadlocks seen on a different Velaryon (and he’s walking the beach with Rhaenyra) it certainly appears that he’s been cast. And can we take some time to appreciate the costuming game for HotD so far? They’re doing Michele Clapton proud.

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Laenor Velaryon and Alcock as young Rhaenyra.

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Laenor Velaryon and Alcock. Anyone recognize the barefoot guy?

What do you think of these new photos? Who are some of these characters? Let us know in the comments!

36 responses

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    1. ”And can we take some time to appreciate the costuming game for HotD so far?”

      Okay. NOW we’re talking!
      Loving Young Rhaenyra’s red dress.

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    2. Sorry…but while I appreciate the costumes…and the colours, especially Rhaenyra’s blood-red dress, that picture to me depicts two people engaged in some very expensive cosplay! And from that distance…and the angle of the picture Rhaenyra looks an awful lot like Daenerys…

      I sincerely hope that HOTD doesn’t fall victim to the same thing that “The Witcher” did… looking and feeling like a very expensive LARP!

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    3. Yes, I agree with loco73 there is a strong air of cosplay for some of the costumes. (In particularly the young characters on the beach)

      But it will probably look better with proper lighting, makeup, and cinematography.

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    4. Ooooh, I also love the styling of Young Rhaenyra’s dress — maybe there might be a bit of Westerosi fashion history here 🙂

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    5. Actually, not the Battle of the Gullet. I very much doubt they’ll get that far into the Dance in season 1. This is most likely the Stepstones, since staking out prisoners on a beach was the M.O. of Craghas Crabfeeder.

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    6. Adrianacandle,

      • From these and other recent photographs, is it too early (for me) to surmise that Young Rhaenyra and Young Alicent won’t merely be featured in a few brief flashbacks, but will instead have lots of screentime?

      • I assume that the black and green costuming for Rhaenyra and Alicent and their respective followers will occur years later, i.e., with Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke.

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    7. Apollo,

      No problem. For me, I think that I just got spoiled by GOT and Michelle Clapton. Her costumes never felt to me to fall in the “fantasy look” trope. They always had a realistic, functional look and style. Of course there were exceptions and in later season some did go the more fantasy amped look.

      Jany Temime has an impressive track record and resume, but, and of course this is a preliminary but… because it remains to be seen how all her costumes appear on screen, but to me for now at least they have that fantasy artifice built-in to them. To me they scream “fantasy cosplay”.

      As for Laenor Verlaryon, and I’m trying to be kind here, he looks awful. Exactly the type of look that while watching the show will take me out of it. Much like “The Witcher”, where Henry Cavill looks like a dude in a bad Legolas wig prancing around, as I’ve said, in an overly expensive LARP. The same goes for Corlys Verlaryon.

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    8. Just excited to have so many photos all at once! Bring it!

      PS- their covid protocols look… yikes… Tighten up HoTD we want that show ASAP! 😉

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    9. Ten Bears,

      From these and other recent photographs, is it too early (for me) to surmise that Young Rhaenyra and Young Alicent won’t merely be featured in a few brief flashbacks, but will instead have lots of screentime?

      That’s my hope! And if Apollo’s speculation is correct about Stepstones (I’m thinking the war for Stepstones which began in 106 AC when Daemon and Coryls fought for dominance of it?), Alicent and Rhaenyra would both be young.

      I assume that the black and green costuming for Rhaenyra and Alicent and their respective followers will occur years later, i.e., with Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke.

      Those are my thoughts too. In the source material, that would have happened in 111 AC and I can see it featuring D’Arcy and Cooke’s young adult Rhaenyra and Alicent.

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    10. I can say that this news/pictures came just in time because my GoT interest has been sparking a lot recently, to the point that I feel my first full rewatch is on horizon and consequently, HotD is a lot more on my mind as well compared to previous months.

      I really wonder to what extent will young Rhaenyra and young Alicent be featured and in what way… will there be flashbacks inserted to “present time story” a.k.a LOST style or will they appear for an episode or two chronologically before they’re replaced with their grown-up counterparts. Regardless of how it turns out, I’m in big expectation for this TV show.

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    11. Alcock looks very, very much like Daenerys; really nice dress.
      But the guy, wow, it’s such a bad costume. Wig, I mean, this is ridiculously bad. It looks fake from far away. There’s no realism to that whatsoever. Loco actually summed that up very well, Witcher was a huge LARP, and I hope it won’t go that direction. In fact, Witcher’s season 1 was terrible in pretty much every sense, even Cavill didn’t convince me with his acting. Let’s have faith in House of the Dragons.

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    12. If I wanted to understand The House of the Dragon series as well as I know Game of Thrones, what book would I have to read? Fire & Blood? I have it on my shelf but have never cracked it. I did read all the Ice & Fire books thus far, so, like most of us, I knew what was coming on the TV show. But all this talk of battles and Targareyens in the new shows me lost. I have a fleeting knowledge of the Dance of Dragons history but that’s about it.

      On the one hand it’ll be cool to watch without knowing anything, on the other, it’s also fun to know and anticipate the big moments.

      Thanks.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Hollyoak,

      Yeah, the source material for HotD is covered in Fire & Blood. It’s also covered in two novellas: The Princess and the Queen (included in the Dangerous Women anthology) as well as The Rogue Prince (part of the Rogues anthology). You can also get summaries of the material, characters, and wars from A Wiki of Ice and Fire online 🙂

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    14. Why must they keep with such distractingly terrible hairstyles/wigs for the male Targaryens? You can tell that he’s a good looking guy, and they’ve gone with the same mop company that did Rhaegar’s look in GoT. Viserys’ wasn’t perfect, but I think he got the best deal.

      Anyhow, the dress is beautiful, and the staked out corpses are pretty fabulous looking. Yay Eve Best!

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    15. loco73: that picture to me depicts two people engaged in some very expensive cosplay!

      errrrm…. isn’t expensive cosplay just good costuming?? I think you’re highlighting the futility of your argument. I’ve seen plenty of good cosplay at conventions etc, almost film/tv standard. So ‘expensive cosplay’ as you put it is simply the standard you would expect to see in a good film or tv show. Maybe take some time to reflect on that?…
      Also the show isn’t even out yet, these are a mixture of poor to decent amateur photo’s!!!

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    16. House wont take any silliness,

      Expensive cosplay maybe good and there’s nothing wrong with it. But that is not what I personally look forward when watching a series, especially one that is supposed to be at least in the ballpark of the quality of GOT. Case in point “The Witcher”…I’m sure that is really expensive costuming they have on that show. However while watching, I thought the costuming (amongst many other things) sucked and pulled me out of an the experience that is supposed to be immersive. As I’ve said it screamed LARP. I simply hope HOTD escapes that limitation.

      If you had bothered to read what I actually said, you’d see that I mentioned that those are just impressions based on the pictures I saw and that perhaps when we see the finished product with all the bells and whistles added it may all look very different and very good indeed. But for now those are the preliminary impressions I got. It’s not like I’m looking forward to see the series fail. So maybe you should also reflect a bit before replying and looking for something that isn’t there…

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    17. loco73,

      I didn’t think the costumes were so terrible…still I didn’t think season 8* was ghastly the way some folk did. But it’s okay for people to have different opinions as long as unnecessary unpleasantness and name-calling are avoided.

      * Not saying everything was perfect.

      Pigeon, with Covid my supply of home typing dried up so I’ve been looking to see if there’s anything else I could do. With the gig economy so far I’ve earned 25 American cents doing a survey on one of those sites that offers small tasks. You’ve given me an idea – buy up some cheap mopheads and flog ’em as genuine cosplay Targaryen wigs. (I am joking – places like fiverr are genuine but everyone and their great-auntie Mabel seems to be on there already)!!!!

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    18. Hmmm, apparently I’m one of the few who isn’t bothered by the costumes and I certainly won’t judge them before I see them on screen… I remember that amateurish pictures from GoT set never looked particularly appealing to me, something I certainly can’t say anytime I watched GoT on screen. In fact, I actually well remember there was criticism in GoT S1 that the costumes are too plain and not regal enough when the TV show was on air.

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    19. Erik, formerly Lord Parramandas,

      I think that one of the things that had me sold on the show, GOT (of course it is a lot more than that) at least in terms of the costumes, it was that some (emphasis on “some”) of them were plain and even quite unremarkable. It made buying into that whole world that much easier, because the clothes the characters, from the Small Folk to even various nobles wore, especially the Starks (who given the harshness of the North were not necessarily given to flights of fancy in terms of fashion, but were more interested in the sturdiness, durability and comfort of what they wore), could be clothes that people let’s say in the Middle Ages might have worn everyday, in terms of their practicality, style and aesthetic. Without necessarily being specific which place or period in medieval history they were inspired by. So that plain, threadbare and simple look made them even more believable. And when the more intricate costumes and fashions especially from Dorne and across the Narrow Sea made their appearance, I could appreciate them even more.

      Gemma Jackson, Deborah Riley and Michelle Clapton were crucial to the success of the show and what it became. “Game Of Thrones “ would have been, at least in my opinion, less than what it was, without their imagination, vision, skill and talent. As a viewer I was spoiled by them, so I see them as an integral part of GOT. I just hope that HOTD gets the same benefits.

      PS To this day, the costumes/clothes of the Night’s Watch remain amongst my favourites.

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    20. loco73,

      I actually really liked this “plain simplicity” of costumes myself in GoT, to the point I ended up having hard time imagining the more ornate and colorful outfits described in the novels (more “expensive LARP ones” as you would probably label them) whenever reading them. And maybe this is an unpopular opinion but I also liked the absence of crowns for most of the time on TV compared to the novels.

      At same time, I don’t have problems with these outfits I see on those pictures above but I especially won’t judge them until I actually see them on screen with all the enhanced camera visuals and such because I remember how anytime I saw a GoT amateur set picture, it looked nothing special to me but the TV show itself constantly kept visually impressing me, with exception of S1 on rewatches (that season is waaay more toned down compared to the rest in terms of visuals and color grading).

      While this is not really about the costumes, I also have this experience from real life how insignificant and plain may a real-life filming location look compared to what is seen on screen. Back in late August 2013, we had a highschool trip over Balkan countries and on 4th day, we spent the day on Lokrum Island near Dubrovnik where a lot of Qarth scenes were filmed in S2. I ended up almost accidently wandering into where Qartheene market was filmed and I could hardly believe that was a same location shown on screen because it was basically a small courtyard full of overgrown hedges surrounded with collapsing monastery walls with so much ivy covering them. But whenever watching GoT S2, it never feels to me majority of Qarth scenes are filmed at abandoned monastery that is slowly falling apart. So I really won’t judge these costumes and how real they look until I actually see the show itself.

      Bad news was that I was sick with stomach flu that day and I spent most of the day resting on Lokrum’s beach. If I was in better shape, I would have certainly explored Lokrum more for GoT filming locations.

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    21. loco73,

      Ooh! Fashion of GoT – costuming and hairstyling! Can I play too?

      I may offer some completely unqualified, amateur critiques, ranging from whinging to gushing, and scored on a scale of one star ⭐️ to four stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
      (💣 = fashion catastrophe = zero stars),

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    22. Pigeon,

      “Why must they keep with such distractingly terrible hairstyles/wigs for the male Targaryens? You can tell that he’s a good looking guy, and they’ve gone with the same mop company that did Rhaegar’s look in GoT…”

      “The same mop company that did Rhaegar’s look in GoT.” 😂🤣

      • I remember my reaction when I was watching the Rhaegar-Lyanna flashback marriage scene:
      [Me to TV]: “Damn it man! It’s your f*cking wedding! You couldn’t wash your hair and use some conditioner? Instead, you show up with stringy matted hair looking like a tweaker who’s been on a week-long meth binge without sleeping or bathing.”
      • Although I’m a pre-books fan, I thought there’s a passage (about a tourney?) describing how girls in the stands were giggling or cooing when Rhaegar took off his helmet and his long silver hair flowed out.

      The way I had pictured Rhaegar, and Targ family traits in general, was that he’d be strikingly handsome with a great head of hair, kind of like Elizabeth Hurley’s lookalike son except with silvery-blonde hair:

      https://pagesix.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/12/elizabeth-hurley-damian-hurley.jpg?quality=80&strip=all

      No knock on the actor intended. But Show! Rhaegar with the stringy hair didn’t comport with my mental image, or with the numerous illustrations of Rhaegar Targaryen I had seen.

      • Anyway, as you noted about the guy [Laenor Velaryon?] in the photos up top, “You can tell that he’s a good looking guy [but] they’ve gone with the same mop company that did Rhaegar’s look.”
      Zooming in on those photos, I wonder if they were going for a pseudo-dreadlocks look, but with frosted highlights on his dark hair to give it a telltale Targ silvery sheen.

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    23. loco73,

      ”…this is a preliminary but… because it remains to be seen how all her costumes appear on screen, but to me for now at least they have that fantasy artifice built-in to them. To me they scream “fantasy cosplay”.

      As for Laenor Verlaryon, and I’m trying to be kind here, he looks awful. Exactly the type of look that while watching the show will take me out of it. Much like “The Witcher”, where Henry Cavill looks like a dude in a bad Legolas wig prancing around, as I’ve said, in an overly expensive LARP. The same goes for Corlys Verlaryon.”

      While I am reluctant to pre-judge anything until I see the finished product, something about Laenor Velaryon’s costume (which you eloquently described as having an element of built-in artifice, i.e., “fantasy cosplay”) reminded me of the costume design in a sci fi film or TV show from a while back, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

      It could have been the design of his shirt, his boots and his hair. Then I realized I had seen a similar look on the United Federation of Planets officers’ uniforms in the early (original) Star Trek movies…

      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3d/93/eb/3d93ebfa026fa2075164dbf7f6e26f6c.jpg

      … with a bit of Ricardo Montalban’s wig (for Khan’s wild white hairdo) thrown in.

      https://nightout.s3.amazonaws.com/media/posters/60329/large-47aabaf03fd52d5b.jpg?1562942903

      From the photos above, Laenor would fit right in on the bridge of the Enterprise.

      That’s not a Starfleet insignia on his shirt, right? I’ll have to enlarge the photos…

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    24. Interesting that they are jumping in to a big battle in the first season, I had assumed it would more be political and setting up how we arrived at the Dance.

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    25. Ten Bears,

      There’s obviously some similarity to the Star Trek uniforms you’ve mentioned, but Laenor is actually wearing a “sherwani”, a traditional South Asian tunic. They do sometimes have this type of asymmetrical style on the front. For example: https://medias.utsavfashion.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/1000x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/s/o/solid-color-art-silk-asymmetric-sherwani-in-light-blue-v1-mhg1284_1.jpg

      Khan in the original 60s Star Trek show wore the more common style of the sherwani (although it’s normally fastened up to the neck): http://www.kethinov.com/images/startrek/TOS1x22h.png

      I expect real-life eastern fashion influences will be even more prominent in the Nymeria show.

        Quote  Reply

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