As production for House of the Dragon season two gets underway in Spain, cast members have started to arrive: Fabien Frankel (Ser Criston Cole) and newcomer Freddie Fox (Ser Gwayne Hightower) have been seen repeatedly in Cáceres. According to Spanish fansite Los Siete Reinos, Phia Saban (Queen Helaena Targaryen) was seen as well, although there’s no photographic evidence yet, just as there isn’t for Olivia Cooke (Queen Mother Alicent Hightower) or Emma D’Arcy (Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen). They were the first actors rumored to be involved in the Spanish shoot, and there have been some dubious faraway photos that could be them, but there’s been nothing conclusive yet. That’s not the real news today, however. That comes from yesterday’s filming in Trujillo, which confirmed our SPOILERIFIC suspicions about what they were exactly planning to film on the streets of this town and in Cáceres. Read below at your own risk!
Thanks to local press Hoy, the bloody cart we’d glimpsed was seen as the center of a Green victory procession through the strets of King’s Landing… with a dragon-shaped blue prop ready to be turned into the severed head of a large dragon in post-production. The head is either skewered by lances or those are meant to be Meleys’ characteristic crown of horns.
Either way, in case it wasn’t clear what we were seeing here, behind the dragon you can see the banners of House Staunton, defeated at Rook’s Rest, which is where Meleys will fall. There are also banners or other houses—Stokeworth, Rosby, and Darklyn— that, in the source material, were either defeated by the Greens’ Crownlands campaign or surrendered to them, just before Rook’s Rest.
According to Los Siete Reinos, the reaction of the smallfolk will be quite different from what’s reported in Fire and Blood: the death of a dragon shocked the city into silence and made many of its inhabitants flee the capital in terror, as they dreaded what could come next. Reportedly, however, the extras were cheering. Considering the addition last season of Rhaenys and Meleys interrupting Aegon’s coronation by killing at least dozens and maybe even hundreds of the smallfolk present at the Dragonpit (who’d been forced to be there against their will, mind you), I don’t find this change particularly surprising. We’ll have to wait and see whether we’ll actually see only cheers or the terror described in the book will be depicted as well.
Filming will continue tomorrow, this time in Cáceres. It’s all going to be King’s Landing, so it’s possible we’ll see more of this aftermath to the battle at Rook’s Rest there. Even if we don’t, there’s the funeral procession of poor Prince Jaehaerys, which will definitely be filmed in Cáceres.
It’s not all dead children and dragons, however. Just like Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, House of the Dragon can be cheery sometimes, and funny—in intelligent ways… and also in more infantile ways, as exemplified by the appearance in Cáceres of an inn name-tagged the “Cock Inn”, as reported by Javi Borrega:
Look, I know what a ‘cock’ is. They put up one right there next to the doors! But you can’t tell me they didn’t do this for the joke. And I’m fine with that!
UPDATE! Thanks to JR Álvaro González, we’ve now got video —and audio— from the victory parade, with a clearer look at the scene and with someone amongst the Greens (presumably Frankel’s Ser Criston Cole, or perhaphs another Kingsguard; I don’t recognize the voice) exclaiming the following:
“Behold! The traitor dragon Meleys—slain at Rook’s Rest for your king! For Aegon!”
— JR Álvaro González (@jalvarogonzalez) May 19, 2023
Also, I’d like to note that the smallfolk are booing, not cheering, despite previous reports—now, the question is, of course, whether they are booing the troops or the head of Meleys and what it represents. I guess we’ll see!
Finally, a local fan going by the name of Jeyne Poole on Twitter and her twin sister have taken pictures with Fabien Frankel, Phia Saban, Freddie Fox and Luke Tittensor (Ser Arryk Cargyll):
Fabien Frankel me ha dado incontables abrazos, me ha deseado lo mejor en mi vida y me ha llamado sweetheart❤️🩹
He tenido el encuentro más bonito del mundo con esta persona y voy a estar agradecida eternamente por ello✨🦋
Gracias Fabien, eres la mejor persona del mundo pic.twitter.com/5A7QglP60c
— Jeyne Poole (@_JeynePoole_) May 17, 2023
Phia Saban es la persona más linda y adorable que existe, y además es fan de HELAEMOND🥰
— Jeyne Poole (@_JeynePoole_) May 19, 2023
Freddie Fox y el gran Luke Tittensor, los chicos más graciosos y simpáticos que existen❤️
Hemos chocado puñito con ser Arryk porque éramos gemelas como él y su hermano Eliott y le ha hecho mucha ilusión🥰
— Jeyne Poole (@_JeynePoole_) May 19, 2023
Another fan has, Inma, has taken a photo with Olivia Cooke, finally seen with Frankel just before filming starts in Cáceres:
— Inma 🌈💜 (@magi2296) May 19, 2023
We’ll update you again tomorrow as filming begins in Cáceres!