The secrecy surrounding the recording and casting of House of the Dragon is a bit silly. In fact, very silly. Considering it’s an adaptation of a book released in 2018, translated into 47 languages , and with over 90 million copies sold, it’s not like fans don’t know what’s going to happen. What we want is to see HOW they will show what happened and for that, only when the series is shown will it be resolved. However, HBO is keeping the cast under lock and key and almost nothing has leaked, although shooting will start in a few weeks. Tiring, isn’t it?
Some secrets are useless. We’ll have Cregan Stark. And we will, of course, have Blood and Cheese, the mercenaries hired to avenge the death of Lucerys Velaryon, son of Rhaenyra Targaryen. I’m ultra late and news about leaked auditions and casting calls has already been circulating the internet, but I’ll save those here as well.
One of the news is that the production is looking for someone for a role with the codename of ‘Goon’. It would be a series regular, a snob, very arrogant and in her late 30s, and needs to have horse riding skills because most of her scenes will be on horseback. Who can he be?
Yeah, “Goon” is what we see as HBO’s concern to maintain secrecy and none of the tests have kept the real names of the story. House of the Dragon is Red Gun 2 and only the initials of the names in the tests seem to suggest who they really are. Another example: Blood could be “Boris” and Cheese could be “Charlie”. Let’s go to the game.
Actor Samuel Edward-Cook, who had a brief stint on Peaky Blinders, taped a test as Charlie (Cheese). If he gets the role, it’s a great option! The tape, apparently, leaked and with that, it was possible to identify how the version of one of the most traumatic events of a bloody civil war in the universe of Game of Thrones will be. Hopefully, the leak doesn’t take Samuel off the list!
Remembering that the Blood and Cheese passage is one of the most violent of the entire saga, it sends a shiver down your spine when screenwriter Sara Hess suggests that it will be something like the Red Wedding of House of the Dragon. The two are the ones driving Rhaenyra’s bloody response to her son’s death at the “hands” of Aemond of the Greens. Following the optics of Alicent Hightower, who one day asked Lucerys’ punishment as “an eye for an eye”, Daemon Targaryen leads the revenge for the stepson, triggering his ex-lover, Mysaria, who will have survived an attempt on her life at the end of the 1st season. It is Mysaria who hires Blood and Cheese.
Blood is a butcher and former sergeant in the King’s Landing City Watch known for his violence and fondness for drink. He has kicked off the Patrol after he beat a prostitute to death while drunk. Cheese, on the other hand, was a rat hunter familiar with the hidden tunnels of the Red Keep. From what we read in the book, they enter the Castle and go to Helaena Targeryan‘s room. The intention would be to take the “king” Aegon II by surprise when he was visiting his children. Anyway, the two take Alicent hostage and attack Helaena and her children, killing Prince Jahaerys, just 6 years old, and taking his head with them.
The big controversy here, based on what leaked from the tests, is that just like Lucerys’ death, shown in the series as “accidental” (Aemond couldn’t hold Vaghar, who attacked his nephew and his dragon), there are surprises in the mission as well.
The test video was available online until a few weeks ago but has since been deleted. In it, we see that “Charlie C” appears to be a servant in a castle – presumably the Red Keep – who takes another person to that castle with the aim of “kidnapping a prince”. Charlie mentions that another group of servants work upstairs (which is not his area) and seems reluctant to participate in the plan, pointing out that his role would have been only to facilitate the man’s entry into the castle. After some pressure, he admits that he knows how to get up the stairs after all, and follows the man.
In the second scene, both are in the royal chambers and wonder if it’s really the prince’s room. Confused as to where they really are, Charlie appears again to be willing to abandon the plan, but his accomplice says “No prince, no gold” and tells him to look for other rooms. Before that, this same man says “I am the blade, you are the map”, confirming Cheese’s role as the connoisseur of the Castle’s secret passages, but taking away the supposed leadership off Cheese’s shoulders.
Cheese’s reluctance is important because in the “History books”, Blood and Cheese are cruel psychopaths who participated in the murder without blinking, the rat catcher being the “brain” of the duo, the most sadistic and the one who forced the tragic choice. Cheese is the one who knows the Red Keep’s secret passages, but he couldn’t have known who would be in which room, which is correct. In addition to Cheese’s insecurity, the script slightly alters the book’s theory, which speculates that the duo’s original target would be King Aegon II, passing the target to Aemond or poor Jaehaerys indeed.
“Kidnapping” the prince may be, according to some fans, to disguise the test, but after Vaghar kills Lucerys and Alicent confuses Viserys’s recommendation (in the book she deliberately ignores his desire to see Rhaenyra as Queen), anything is possible. House of the Dragon might suggest that the greatest tragedies are caused by small mistakes in communication.
And, for the same scene, the search for the actor who will play “Boris”, or Blood, is described as big, tough, and very tall, a man who is willing to do violence without question. But, look at the detail, the actor is also encouraged to have a comic vein. Hey? Fun to slit a kid’s throat? Ah, Game of Thrones…
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