Now that production is in full swing, casting news for the second season of HBO’s House of the Dragon was sure to be around the corner… and today we get the first tranche of new actors and roles for the show, courtesy of Variety. All four are characters from the original source material, described in George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood:
Brian Cox, star of Succession and many, many other films and television programs over the years, has revealed his near-brush with Game of Thrones in GQ, where an excerpt of his new memoir—titled Putting the Rabbit in the Hat (Amazon affiliate link)—discusses his views on the monetary side of the acting business, and the sheer chance by which some programs become global hits and others fall flat. In the course of the excerpt, Cox writes that he’s often asked if he was ever offered a role in Game of Thrones:
As we’re on the subject, 25th Hour was written by David Benioff, who of course went on to be showrunner for Game of Thrones. I’m often asked if I was offered a role in Game of Thrones—reason being that every other bugger was—and the answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season. I know very little about Game of Thrones so I can’t tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I’m not going to google it just in case he was, because I turned it down.
HBO has confirmed a number of previously-unannounced cast members, confirming at least one casting that was already figured out by fans (the popular Graham McTavish of Outlander, The Hobbit, and Men in Kilts) and a number of other significant characters who play pivotal roles in the events covered by House of the Dragon, which is based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood.
Top L-R: Ryan Corr, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Graham McTavish. Bottom L-R: Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson and Gavin Spokes
HBO has confirmed two new names of actresses cast in the in-production House of the Dragon, and these are particularly interesting as they reveal that flashbacks will be used to convey part of the background to the events of the Dance of the Dragons. Per Hollywood Reporter, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey are part of the cast of the production. Alcock will be playing a young Rhaenyra Targaryen while Carey will play a young Alicent Hightower.
Milly Alcock, hailing from Australia, has appeared in a number of Australian television dramas and mini-series. Emily Carey, from the UK, has also done some television work, but has also been seen in film—notably, playing the young Diana of Themyscira in the first Wonder Woman and the young Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander.
GRRM has finally gotten his wish to break some news regarding House of the Dragon, revealing that British actor Fabien Frankel has been cast in the role of Criston Cole, a knight who will remembered (and reviled) in later days as the Kingmaker. A classically-trained actor who attended RADA and LAMBDA, he is a relative newcomer with his first credits in 2019 (the Emilia Clarke romcom Last Christmas, no less!) Most recently he has appeared in The Serpent, a BBC-Netflix co-production.
Fabien Frankel in Gone Today. Here Tomorrow.
HBO has announced a number of additional castings for House of the Dragon, which is set to begin filming this April. Deadline has a good report with details based on HBO’s official press release, but we’ll summarize here:
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One female lead) has been cast as Alicent Hightower, Emma d’Arcy has been cast as Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown) has been cast as the “rogue prince”, Daemon Targaryen. This follows rumors along those lines about Smith over the last couple of weeks.
Princess Rhaenyra (depicted by Magali Villeneuve), Queen Alicent (depicted by Doug Wheatley), Prince Daemon (depicted by Marc Simonetti)
From EW’s James Hibberd (whose Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon [paid link] is now out), HBO has revealed the first actor cast in next year’s House of the Dragon: Englsh actor Paddy Considine, known for a variety of roles including Edgar Wright comedies and, most recently, HBO’s The Outsider. According to the report, he has been cast to play King Viserys I Targaryen.
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)” href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paddy_Considine_2011_(cropped).jpg”>CC BY-SA from the Cambridge Film Festival
And now a surprise, as George R.R. Martin trots out Froggie the Gremlin for a most unexpected casting clue. For those who’ve missed them previously, for prior seasons Martin has occasionally revealed actors who’ve been cast in roles by the use of clues. Inevitably, he’d use his Froggy the Gremlin avatar to signal when it was a clue.
This one threw me, since it’s rather early to be casting season 4 when the 5th season isn’t even greenlit. But of course, others who are smarter (or at least in earlier timezones) resolved the clue quite quickly: “It’s the Pits!” refers to a specific pit that will be appearing this season, and the “son of Homer” is, of course, Bart Simpson.
A sharp-eyed fan (thanks, Jonas!) stumbled across the fact that Mero of Braavos, called the Titan’s Bastard, has been cast. The role of the notoriously brutal and untrustworthy sellsword captain is to be played by Mark Killeen, according to his CV. He also lists director Michelle McLaren as the director of the episode or episodes he appears in. As we’ve previously reported, MacLaren directed episodes 7 and 8 of the third season.
So, the notable sellswords Daenerys meets in Slaver’s Bay are largely accounted for. Is Brown Ben Plumm also in the cards? We’re pretty sure that if he does appear, it’ll be in the fourth season or even later, but you never really know.