House Of The Dragon Season 2: Showrunner Confirms Who Won The Tragic Cargyll Fight In Episode 2


House of the Dragon’s showrunner clarifies which twin won the duel in episode 2. The latest season 2 episode follows the immediate aftermath of young Jaehaerys’ slaying. Team Green, more specifically King Aegon II and Ser Criston Cole, plot an infiltration by Ser Arryk Cargyll, in which he would pose as his twin brother Erryk and assassinate Queen Rhaenyra. The impostor is spotted by Mysaria, who presumably warns Team Black, and a duel between the two twin brothers ensues in which one is defeated in combat and the other, out of grief, kills himself.

House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal confirmed to Decider that Ser Erryk won the duel by killing his own twin brother, with the hint being when Erryk said “Your Grace” to Queen Rhaenrya. Condal praised the performances of the Tittensor twin actors, who did the duel without stunt doubles. The showrunner also shared a helpful tip for telling the twins apart and said that the brothers have tricked their own mother with their identical appearance.

How The Duel Between Arryk & Erryk Unfolded In The Book

There Were A Few Changes, But The Tragedy Still Remains

In the book, Fire & Blood, Ser Arryk’s infiltration of Dragonstone was conjured up just after King Aegon II appointed Criston as his hand, replacing his grandfather, Ser Otto Hightower. Aegon initially wanted to storm Dragonstone on dragonback “to seize or slay his half-sister and her ‘bastard sons.’” The green council dissuaded Aegon, and Criston urged that the monarch use stealth like his enemies did, choosing Arryk as their tool for revenge.

Still, while the show portrayed the duel differently, it conveyed the love the two brothers had for each other, resulting in a different but faithfully heartbreaking adaptation.

In the book, just like in House of the Dragon, Arryk was unhappy about the mission and even visited the Red Keep’s sept to pray for forgiveness. What’s different in the book is that Arryk’s target is unclear, going back and forth between Rhaenyra herself and her sons. When he arrived at Dragonstone, he infiltrated the castle without hindrance until he ran into his brother.

In Fire & Blood, one account says that Erryk said, “I love you, brother,” as he unsheathed his sword, and that Arryk replied with, “And I love you, brother,” as he drew his own. According to the account told by Grand Maester Munkun, the brothers dealt mortal wounds to each other and died in each other’s arms with tears on their cheeks, which is a slight book change in House of the Dragon season 2. Still, while the show portrayed the duel differently, it conveyed the love the two brothers had for each other, resulting in a different but faithfully heartbreaking adaptation.

The Cargyll Showdown Was Far More Effective Than Game Of Thrones’ Cleganebowl

Brother Against Brother Never Seems To End Well…

House of the Dragon’s Cargylls were seemingly destined to fight, having found themselves on opposite sides of the slowly escalating war between the Blacks and the Greens. The circumstances of their showdown proved more tragic than could have been anticipated, however, as Arryk embarked on a desperate mission with nothing but misgivings in his heart, forcing things to a doubly horrific conclusion in which Erryk survived their duel, but felt compelled to fall on his own sword rather than live under suspicion of also being a traitor.

When Game of Thrones pitted brother against brother, placing Gregor “The Mountain” and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane on opposite sides, the drama played out for multiple seasons before culminating in season 8’s long-awaited Cleganebowl. Unfortunately, when the fight finally happened, it became lost amid the mess of season 8, and felt anti-climactic.
While that Game of Thrones scene also had two brothers locked in a fight that would lead to both of their deaths, House of the Dragon’s Cargyll showdown was more effective as an emotional gut-punch, given how its stakes were set up and that it played out in front of a stunned Rhaenyra. The Cargylls’ screentime on HOTD may have been small, but their impact proved substantial, and their battle delivered an early season 2 highlight.