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Why Lord Allun Caswell From House Of The Dragon Looks So Familiar

For fans of a show like "Game of Thrones" or its prequel series "House of the Dragon," one of the biggest draws is the depth and complexity of the world. On both shows, even minor characters like Ser Steffon Darklyn or Lord Lyman Beesbury or Mysaria can have compelling backstories that are just as interesting as what the main characters are up to.

One such "House of the Dragon" character is Lord Allun Caswell, one of the many nobles in the court at King's Landing. He's the Lord of Bitterbridge and, naturally, the head of House Caswell. He doesn't have much to do during Season 1, appearing in three overall episodes. In two of them, he exchanges brief pleasantries with Rhanerya (Emma D'Arcy) and Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). His pivotal moment comes during Episode 9, "The Green Council," during which Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) finally usurps Rhanerya and places her own son Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney) on the throne. Lord Caswell reluctantly goes along with Alicent's plot after seeing Lord Merryweather (Paul Clayton) and Lady Fell (Miriam Lucia) arrested. However, when he tries to leave the Red Keep a little too quickly, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) and Larys "The Clubfoot" Strong (Matthew Needham) intercept him. Under duress he admits to supporting Rhaneyra and gets hanged in the courtyard. That pretty much makes him the "House of the Dragon" equivalent of a redshirt.

Lord Caswell is played by Irish actor Paul Hickey, who's appeared in dozens of movies and TV series before (via IMDb). There's a good chance you've seen him in one of these roles.

Paul Hickey played Inspector Gregson on Doctor Who

"House of the Dragon" watchers who are also Whovians no doubt recognize Paul Hickey best for his role as Inspector Gregson, the Victorian-era detective. Hickey played the character twice: once was in the first episode of Series 8, titled "Deep Breath," which aired in 2014 and introduced Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor. Hickey also played the role in the prequel to that episode, "Vastra Investigates: A Christmas Prequel," which aired online (and is one of the few episodes that didn't feature The Doctor–per The Doctor Who Wiki).

In "Deep Breath," Inspector Gregson calls on the 65 million-year-old Silurian Madame Vastra to help deal with a dinosaur that suddenly shows up in the River Thames. When they discover the dinosaur has a nasty cough, they realize it's because the TARDIS is lodged in its throat–with The Doctor inside. When the dinosaur coughs up the TARDIS, out comes the doctor. In "Vastra Investigates," the inspector calls in Madame Vastra to solve a murder.

Paul Hickey played the English Ambassador on Catherine the Great

Like the name suggests, "Catherine the Great" is the four-part miniseries about the life and times of the German-born Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great. It aired in the UK and on HBO in 2019 and starred Helen Mirren as the lead character.

Paul Hickey shows up in the fourth episode, which partly deals with a Russian war with the Ottoman Empire, during which Russia has invaded the Crimean Peninsula and laid siege to a fortress. At one point, England and Russia both send their ambassadors to Catherine's court to demand that Russia remove its troops from the region, or else both countries will declare war. Hickey plays the unnamed English ambassador. His scene isn't very long, and it ends with Catherine telling him in no uncertain terms that she won't be capitulating to their demands. Hickey is wearing a powdered wig to cover up his distinctive bald dome, but it's definitely him.

Paul Hickey played Sergeant Johno O'Riordan on Red Rock

Fans of Irish television and/or police procedurals might recognize Paul Hickey from his most recent series regular role, which was Detective Sergeant Johno O'Riordan on "Red Rock." For those not familiar, "Red Rock" is an Irish cop show about the detectives and denizens of the fictional seaside town of Red Rock. The series ran for three series from 2016 to 2020, totaling 117 episodes.

O'Riordan showed up in the middle of Series 2 and stuck around through Series 3. As a character, he's old-fashioned, sarcastic, and unafraid to rub people the wrong way–all traits necessary for a character brought in to whip the detectives at Red Rock's Garda Síochána station. He even manages an unlikely romance with the imperious matriarch of an influential local family, Patricia Hennessey (Cathy Belton).

The rest of Hickey's resume mostly includes roles in other British and European TV series, along with brief appearances in the flms "Michael Collins" and "Saving Private Ryan." "House of the Dragon" is his first American television series, so hopefully that will lead to more work stateside.