[SPOILER'S] Death in 'House of the Dragon' was a Humanizing Moment

"You get to see the real human side of him pierce through," Elliott Tittensor said of the scene.

Sara Belcher - Author

Jun. 24 2024, Published 1:05 p.m. ET

Arryk and Erryk in 'House of the Dragon'
Source: HBO

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This article contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 of House of the Dragon.

Season 2 of House of the Dragon isn't pulling any punches. Episode 1 saw the death of Prince Jaehaerys, the new heir to the Iron Throne, in a brutal assassination plot orchestrated by Daemon (and kicking off the Dance of the Dragons). But Episode 2 wasn't kind, either, seeing the death of the Cargyll twins.

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Erryk and Arryk Cargyll are twin knights, each conducted into the King's Guard at a young age. As the royal family executes its clear divide between the Hightowers and the Targaryens, Erryk and Arryk split, with one pledging alliance to the greens and the other to the blacks.

Episode 2 depicted an intense brotherly battle, with Erryk killing his twin and then himself. But why did the knight choose to fall on his own sword?

The fight between Erryk and Arryk in Episode 2 of 'House of the Dragon'
Source: HBO
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Why did Erryk kill himself? The actors explain the heartbreaking moment.

The showdown between Erryk and Arryk unfolds as a result of Ser Criston Cole's hypocritical order to seek vengeance on Rhaenyra. He orders Arryk to go to Dragonstone and pose as his identical twin to sneak into Rhaenyra's room and assassinate her. Begrudgingly, Arryk agrees and sets off on his mission.

In the book, Fire & Blood, Arryk never makes it to Rhaenyra's chambers before they face off, but the HBO show makes the two go head-to-head in front of the Targaryen.

The scene is a brutal one, with both men taking some serious wounds before Erryk stabs his twin brother, sobbing as he does so. As the body of the twin fighting for team green falls to the ground, dead, Erryk looks to his queen before saying, "Your grace, forgive me," and skewering himself on his own sword. Rhaenyra tries to stop her guard from doing so, but the deed is already done.

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Though the brothers separated from each other to protect and serve their respective monarchs, this moment serves as a testament to Erryk's love for his twin brother. Though he and Arryk may have each pledged their lives to protect their ruler, the guilt of killing his twin isn't something that Erryk is capable of living with, resulting in his decision to kill himself at the end of the battle.

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Erryk and Arryk are played by real-life twin brothers Elliot and Luke Tittensor, and though we won't be seeing more of them on-screen this season, their impact was great this season already.

"Arryk was forced to make the decision, and it's obviously a death mission," Luke told of the scene, noting it was the mutual brotherly love that resulted in the murder-suicide. "But Arryk's willing to fulfill that duty because all he's got is his honor, duty, and love for his brother."

"You get to see the real human side of him pierce through," Elliott told the outlet.

"The pain Erryk felt when he kills his brother is the most intense feeling he's ever felt. When he says, 'Forgive me' he's saying it to Rhaenyra because he's about to sacrifice himself in front of her. But it's also directed towards his brother."

House of the Dragon airs new episodes on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO and Max.

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