House of the Dragon has already split a family apart, with the battle for succession about to cause a tragic war. One such story of tragedy is of Erryk and Arryk Cargyll, the twin brothers whose tale the bards sing of centuries later. This article covers everything we know about the Cargyll twins.
SPOILER ALERT: The article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon. Consider yourself warned.
Who are the Cargyll brothers?
Erryk and Arryk Cargyll are twin brothers serving in the Kingsguard of King Viserys I. They look so similar that even the members of the Kingsguard with whom they serve cannot tell them apart. The brothers are members of House Cargyll from the Crownlands, located near Blackwater Bay. The arms of House Cargyll are a golden goose on black and red. Luke Tittensor plays Ser Arryk and Elliot Tittensor plays Ser Erryk.
The Tittensor brothers both played the role of the same character, Carl Gallagher, in the UK television series Shameless. In Episode 8 of House of the Dragon, Ser Erryk delivers the message to Queen Alicent that her son Prince Aegon is misbehaving with a housemaid. Even Queen Alicent is not able to tell the two apart, mistaking him for his brother Arryk.
During The Dance of the Dragons
In the Dance of the Dragons, the twins pick opposing sides in the civil war. Ser Erryk joins Rhaenyra and the blacks, and Ser Arryk joins Alicent and the greens. The reasons for their choices may be due to how they experienced the workings of the royal family. In the books, Ser Arryk found Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra in bed together and reported the incident to King Viserys.
For this, Viserys exiled Daemon from the Seven Kingdoms. It is possible that Ser Arryk disapproved of Rhaenyra and Daemon for this, and hence supported the greens. Ser Erryk serves as Rhaenyra’s personal guard by order of King Viserys after the departure of Harwin Strong. As we have seen from the episode, Erryk was a witness to Prince Aegon’s misdemeanors and likely thought that it was not behavior befitting a king. It could explain why he opted to side with Rhaenyra and the blacks.
Their story came to a conclusion when Ser Criston Cole devised a plan to infiltrate Dragonstone, where the blacks had their base. He commanded Ser Arryk to enter the castle dressed as his twin, knowing no one would recognize him. Unfortunately, as Erryk was passing through a corridor, his brother discovered him. Thus commenced an epic duel, about which the bards wrote many songs. The bards say that they fought each other for well over an hour until they both mortally wounded each other.
There are multiple accounts of this tale. Some say that each brother called the other a traitor before dying. Other accounts say that they held each other in their arms and apologized, professing their love for each other before dying. In the end, history remembered them as yet another casualty in the Dance of the Dragons. George R. R. Martin based the tale of these twins on the Arthurian legend of Sir Balin and Sir Balan, written by Thomas Mallory.