Emily Beecham may have auditioned to play Alys Rivers in House of the Dragon season 2.
Considering how long we have to wait for the next season of House of the Dragon, it’s understandable that fans are hungry for just about any news of what’s going to happen next. Now, we have word of some potential casting news from The Witcher fansite Redanian Intelligence. They report that Emily Beecham (best known for her performance in 1899) has auditioned for a character identified as “AR,” a character that is most certainly Alys Rivers, an important figure in the mythology of Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin.
This House of the Dragon info leaked out thanks to videos on Vimeo showing casting auditions for the second season. It didn’t take Warner Bros. Discovery long to pounce on those videos, like the Khaleesi pouncing on Westeros, but descriptions of Beecham’s casting video remain. And they paint a fascinating picture of what we might see once season 2 drops in 2024.
If you don’t already know, House of the Dragon as a television series is based on Fire & Blood, a kind of prequel book series from George R.R. Martin. Unfortunately, he hasn’t yet released the second book in that series, just as he hasn’t completed the sixth book in his main A Song of Ice and Fire series. This is why we know a little bit about the Alys Rivers character that Beecham may play, but we don’t yet know her full story.
For example, Fire & Blood isn’t written as a traditional story but instead as a scholarly write-up of the Targaryen dynasty penned by Archmaester Gyldayn. And the historical accounts of the Alys Rivers character differ greatly, meaning there is some confusion over what the character was really like. When she does pop up in the second season of House of the Dragon, this Game of Thrones spinoff will provide our most definitive look at the character (at least, until the second Fire & Blood volume finally comes out).
We know that Alys Rivers is at least 40 but with a more youthful appearance that may be the result of magical abilities. Many consider her to be a witch, though, in the cynical world created by George R.R. Martin, it’s always debatable whether someone has real magical abilities or is just really skilled at bamboozling people. Regardless of how magical she will or won’t be in House of the Dragon, one definitive thing about Rivers is that she is a bastard child whose father is most likely Lord Lyonel Strong.
In Emily Beecham’s House of the Dragon audition video, she was speaking to a Targaryen royal in the creepy halls of Harrenhal, explaining to him that she is “cursed” and that as a result of that curse, some of the local smallfolk refer to her as a witch. It’s not entirely clear whether this scene will appear in the show or if these were more generic lines for an audition, but many fans think the royal she is speaking to is Daemon, and this scene is part of his arrival at Harrenhal where he is introduced to various important characters. But we won’t know what he and Rivers talk about or even if she even got the role until the second season lands sometime in the summer of 2024.