Ser Errky Cargyll in 'House of the Dragon'

The Goose, the Sword, and the Crown: The Tragedy of Ser Erryk Cargyll

It’s easy to confuse Ser Erryk for his twin brother Arryk both on the page and on the screen, so here’s a closer look at the House of the Dragon knight.

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Warning: spoilers ahead for the entirety of House of the Dragon.

Ser Erryk Cargyll was introduced alongside his twin brother, both members of the Kingsguard under Viserys Targaryen. They swore their vows together at the age of eighteen and served beside one another. The pair were very close, referring to one another in season 2 as “one soul in two bodies.”

However, while they make look the same, Ser Erryk had differing views to his brother, leading him to take a dangerous and ultimately tragic path when the Dance of the Dragons commenced.

Parting of ways

Cargyll twins stand off against one another on Dragonstone in 'House of the Dragon'

Ser Erryk, like his brother, was in King’s Landing when the Greens usurped the throne to place Aegon on the Iron Throne in front of the public. Erryk and Arryk were charged by Otto Hightower with finding Aegon in the hours after Viserys’ death, with Erryk being the former prince’s sworn shield.

In their search throughout the capital, Erryk revealed his dislike of the prince to his brother, pointing out Aegon’s depraved tastes in entertainment featuring children with filed nails and teeth fighting to the death and one of his many bastards, fathered on sex workers in the city. It came as little surprise then that Erryk took his opportunity while Arryk, Aemond, and Criston Cole were fighting over Aemond to flee.

He returned to the Red Keep, stole Viserys’ crown, and freed Princess Rhaenys. Although he was separated from the princess, they both managed to make their way to Dragonstone and Rhaenyra, she by dragon and he by ship.

Erryk bent the knee to Rhaenyra, swore his allegiance, and delivered her father’s crown, allowing her to be crowned as well as Aegon. His loyalty was quickly put to the taste in episode 2 of season 2 of House of the Dragon, when his brother was sent by Cole to kill Rhaenyra.

Seemingly with an off-screen tip-off from Mysaria, Erryk returned to the queen’s chambers just in time to stop his twin from landing a death blow. The pair fought, with another of Rhaenyra’s Kingsguard, Ser Lorent Marbrand, unable to identify which twin is on his side and therefore unable to intervene.

In Fire and Blood, the twins fought for over an hour, each the equal of the other. In the show, the fight is shorter (for obvious reasons) but the pair do seem to be equally talented with a blade. In between blades, they both say that they love one another but feel honorbound to do their duty as Kingsguard knights on opposing sides.

Tragically, Ser Erryk ultimately gains the upper hand over Ser Arryk and kills him. Stepping back and seeing what he has done, he turns to Rhaenyra and says “I’m sorry, your Grace”, confirming that it was indeed Ser Erryk who won. He then stabs himself in the gut, despite Rhaenyra’s cries to stop him, and dies by suicide.

The tragedy of the two brothers’ deaths was actually foretold earlier in the same episode by Helaena. We see notes she has written saying that “the goose kills its own reflection.” With a goose being the Cargylls’ sigil, this seems to predict their morbid ending. It acts as a perfect representation of how a civil war rips families apart, even those which love one another.

(featured image: HBO)

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