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Graham McTavish Enjoys The Humor In Both House Of The Dragon And The Witcher

Film and TV sets can, by design, be a stressful environment. Besides the pressure of a tight schedule, there are other factors that contribute to a more or less nerve-wracking and taxing filming environment. In many ways a film crew works like an ant colony, each member has their role and if everyone performs their task conscientiously, things work out like clockwork. Even for the most prepared of crews, it is normal for unexpected adversities to arise — it is a matter of how they are handled that distinguishes a team as efficient and adaptable.

Netflix's "The Witcher" and HBO's "House of the Dragon" belong to the fantasy genre and as such, the sets were permeated with a fantastical atmosphere and filled with props we wouldn't find in real life. Because they are both big productions with large budgets, the pressure to get things right and on time can sometimes be very hefty. However, fantasy veteran Graham McTavish — who has worked on both series — has described both teams as having something in common which contributes to a positive environment on set.

McTavish says both shows avoid getting too 'reverent'

On "The Witcher" McTavish plays the antagonistic Sigismund Dijkstra, a spymaster who leads King Vizimir's Redanian Intelligence and who, during Season 2, used the elf Dara to spy for him. McTavish's character in "House of the Dragon" is quite different, Ser Harold Westerling definitely has the honor and scruples that Dijkstra lacks. Appearing as early as Episode 1, The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard is one of the few characters who display integrity and fealty when things go down in Episode 9, "The Green Council."

In an interview with the New York Post, McTavish spoke on the fact that he's been dipping his feet into the fantasy genre for over a decade, and how, at one point, he worked on both aforementioned series on the same day. But being both modern fantasy TV shows is not the only thing that connects these two productions. According to his interview with Express.co.uk, McTavish also compared and commended the disposition of the professionals involved:

In his words: "One of the things that I think characterizes all of them is the humor of the people involved, which is terribly important because there's always a danger with these kinds of shows that they can become a bit too reverent, precious." He added, "But if you have a group of people working on them that actually have a sense of humor, that helps a lot because you have to make them real."

Considering the dark, gritty nature of both series, despite being set in fantasy worlds, it's a relief that both "The Witcher" and "House of the Dragon" crew can find some levity while bringing these epic, intense stories to life.