Tomorrow will be the last day of House of the Dragon season two filming in Spain, but do not fret: there are still news coming from Cáceres! Spoilery details have surfaced from the funeral procession scene, and several new cast members have been sighted in the city, including one we know from Game of Thrones!
Let’s start with the not-so-new cast member, Eddie Eyre, who was spotted in Cáceres hanging out with the cast of House of the Dragon, and whose involvement in the show’s second season is more or less confirmed by his CV on Spotlight. In season six of Game of Thrones, Eyrie played Ser Gerold Hightower, one of the two knights of the Kingsguard young Ned and his friends have to kill to get to his sister Lyanna at the Tower of Joy, just before she dies giving birth to Jon Snow.
It’s natural to assume that he’ll play another Hightower, but that’s not necessarily the case: Jefferson Hall, who originally played Ser Hugh of the Vale in the first season of Game of Thrones, later found in House of the Dragon a larger recurring role—or rather, roles—as the Lannister twins Tyland and Jason. Although Eyre playing another Hightower would be a nice nod to his brief yet memorable original role, realistically he could well be playing a character from any other family.
We know Eyre was in Cáceres thanks to Michelle Bonnard, who we saw in “The Green Council” as the brothel madame Aemond knew and interrogated. That scene was filmed in Cáceres and it looks like she’s back, as she shared the selfie above on her Instagram… with not only Eyre but also Jordon Stevens, who plays Elinda Massey, Rhaenyra’s main lady-in-waiting. Although she’s only a background character in the first season, if one pays attention she’s always by Rhaenyra’s side by the time she’s an adult. Of course, this raises the question of what Rhaenyra’s lady-in-waiting will be doing in King’s Landing while it is ruled by the Greens.
In other words, what does this mean for Rhaenyra? We had our theories about why Emma D’Arcy was in Spain. Are they merely visiting and incidentally messing with us? Will we perhaps see Rhaenyra in King’s Landing in a vision? Or are they accelerating the plot to such an extent that Rhaenyra will be back in King’s Landing by the end of season two? The latter remains unlikely to me, but the presence of Elinda Massey, who we’ve only seen close to her queen so far, is another point in its favor. There are other possibilities, of course: maybe Elinda will be sent to King’s Landing in a mission, or Cáceres could be used for scenes not only set in King’s Landing… though I can’t imagine what other location, other than Dragonstone, would fit Rhaenyra and her lady-in-waiting at this time. Perhaps the towns of Hull or Spicetown in Driftmark? For now, it’s all a bit of a mystery.
But those aren’t the only new cast sightings. Redanian Intelligence have identified several new cast members in Cáceres from the photos above provided by El Periódico Extremadura. From left to right: Ralph Davis (SAS: Rogue Heroes), Tok Stephen (The Larkins), Barney Fishwick (Doctors) and Scroobius Pip (Taboo), who as well as an actor is a podcaster and hip hop artist. The first three haven’t only been seen in costumes but also hanging out with the some of the cast:
— Lady Rowena⸆⸉ (@girlwithoneeye7) May 22, 2023
From left to right (amongst those seated) we can see Tok Stephen, Ralph Davis, Phia Saban (Helaena Targaryen), Barney Fishwick, and Freddie Fox (Gwayne Hightower). Considering the CV of these new cast members, they are unlikely to have huge parts, but it’s still nice to see the cast list for season two starting to bulk up!
Redanian Intelligence has unveiled another presumed new cast member, though she hasn’t been sighted and we haven’t been able to independently confirm it. According to their sources, Anna Francolini (Rome) has recently filmed scenes for season two at Leavesden Studios. We don’t know who she’ll be playing, but considering her appearance, age, and pedigree as an actor, my first thought (and everyone else’s, from what I’ve seen) was Lady Jeyne Arryn, who Jace was sent to win over for Rhaenyra’s cause at the end of last season. Since Jace is expected to visit the Eyrie before moving on to Winterfell, we have been waiting for the Lady of the Eyrie to be cast. Francolini could be playing someone else, but if the shoe fits…
Before wraping up, we should revisit the presumably now-finished filming of the funeral procession in Cáceres. Spoilers ahead! Spanish fansite Los Siete Reinos claims that, according to their local sources, the people of Flea Bottom will throw food at Alicent and Helaena’s carriage and then mob them. The Kingsguard will kill some of the smallfolk in defense of their queens, who will be forced to flee back to safety as the people chant Rhaenyra’s name. Although this scenario isn’t described in Fire and Blood, the book does make it clear that Aegon’s rule wasn’t welcomed by the city’s populace. Personally, I think seeing more of how the smallfolk are feeling throughout is a great adaptive choice, considering where the story leads.
Just how bad do you think the riots in King’s Landing will get in season two? And, what do you think about the new cast members? Do you believe Eddie Eyre is playing another Hightower, or someone else entirely? Have we found our Lady Jeyne Arryn? What’s Rhaenyra’s lady-in-waiting doing in King’s Landing?