House of the Dragon director says HBO show ‘swapped’ two actor without viewers realising

House of the Dragon tricked viewers with an actor switch-up that nobody seemed to notice.

The finale of the Game of Thrones prequel series aired on HBO and Sky Atlantic last month.

Upon the episode’s broadcast, viewers did not seem to notice that one of the characters was played by a different actor entirely.

The detail was revealed by director Greg Yaitanes who, during a podcast interview, said the producers had to improvise when actor Elliot Tittensor got Covid-19 while they were filming the episode.

Elliot appeared in the show alongside his twin brother Luke, as members of the kingsguard Sers Arryk and Erryk, respectively.

Fortunately, when Elliot was unable to perform his lines, Luke stepped in to play Erryk instead.

“There’s that scene, that big scene where Corlys comes down and they’re putting the markers on the table and the messenger comes in,” Yaitanes said on Entertainment Weekly podcast West of Westeros.

He said: “So we swapped him out with his brother.”

Yaitaines acknowleged that, should Elliot not have had a twin, the issue “would have killed us”.

‘House of the Dragon’ actor had to be ‘swapped out’ in finale (HBO)
‘House of the Dragon’ actor had to be ‘swapped out’ in finale (HBO)

Upon the broadcast of the finale, fans highlighted a disturbing yet significant detail about a violent birth scene involving Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy).

The series, which was a hit for HBO, will return for a second season in 2024.