- Game of Thrones -Analyzing The 'House Of The Dragon' Table Read Photo For Clues
When the official Game of Thrones Twitter account started sending cryptic tweets of fire emojis on the morning of Monday, April 26, I immediately thought it was a Taylor Swift-inspired clue. Like any good TV detective, I diligently counted every single fire emoji, realizing that the eight separate tweets featuring various numbers of fire emojis made the sequence: 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 18, 36, 153. Was it a code? A secret message? Of course not. It turns out this was just HBO's way of hyping up the release of the first photo from the set of House of the Dragon, the new GoT spinoff. (I know I should be used to GoT hyping me up only to disappoint me in the end, but thinking about how I counted all those flames still hurts.)
The photo shows a group of 12 people seated around an oval room for a socially distanced table read. Each person has their own desk, and a few are even wearing masks. "Fire will reign," House of the Dragon's official Twitter account wrote alongside the photo. "The @HBO original series #HouseoftheDragon is officially in production. Coming soon to @HBOMax in 2022." So, not only do we have evidence that this show actually exists (TBH, I'm still doubtful), we have a very vague release date.
The House of the Dragon Twitter account followed up the pic with some close ups of each of the actors — confirming that this occasion was, in fact, a table read, and revealing their character names at the same time. So, now we have a release year — 2022 — and a character list. But I think there's more we can glean from this pic.
Who's Not In The Group Photo?
Looking at the group shot, it's clear that production either split up the table read into two or more groups, or just didn't have anyone in the pic. Stars Rhys Ifans, who will play Otto Hightower, and Steve Toussaint, aka The Sea Snake, don't appear in the shot. However, they were later spotlighted on the House of the Dragon Twitter account. So, does that mean that they don't have scenes with the actors that are in the group shot? Or was there an identical set up in another oval-shaped room nearby where the other half of the cast was reading for safety reasons. They did all have microphones and headsets, so, they wouldn't have to be in the same room to read over any shared scenes.
Still, the idea that these two (or more) batches of actors might not have scenes together is interesting, especially considering Otto Hightower's obvious connection to Alicent Hightower (played by Olivia Cooke).
Who Is In The Group Photo But Not Identified?
The woman to the right of this photo, in a white blouse, was later identified in a subsequent tweet as Olivia Cooke, but the other three people in this photo have not. Who's the dude with the manbun? (Is that Fabien Frankel?) And what about the blonde with her back to us? Or the person in the stripped sweater? More importantly...who are they playing?
Firstly, whoever is able to enhance the dialogue on this man's iPad will be a hero to all GoT fans. Secondly, it's interesting that everyone seems to be reading their scripts off of an iPad or tablet. I'm guessing that HBO is using similar technology they used for Season 8 of Game of Thrones, which reportedly involved a special app that prohibited screenshots and automatically deleted each script when the actors were done. I love this for many reasons, but mostly because it makes all these actors at a table read look like they're in high school, with their own assigned desks and iPads. (Also, note the small flowers and personal waste baskets at each desk.)
We already know that House of the Dragon will be a prequel series to Game of Thrones focusing on the story of House Targaryen. Specifically, the show will follow the rise and fall of the Targaryen family. So it's only fitting that the table read would take place in a room shaped like a dragon egg, illuminated by what looks like a ceiling full of smaller dragon eggs. I wonder what HBO is trying to tell us.
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Image: Courtesy of HBO