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House Of The Dragon: You Probably Missed This Season 2 Recasting

Contains spoilers for "House of the Dragon" Season 2 Episode 3

The third episode of the second season of "House of the Dragon" has a new Hightower, and he's pretty annoying — but you've actually met him before. The thing is, at the time, he was played by a totally different actor.

It's completely understandable if you didn't notice that Gwayne Hightower, brother to Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and son of Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), is played by Freddie Fox in Season 2 of "House of the Dragon" — but that last time he appeared, he was played ever-so-briefly by William Willoughby. Now, he's played by Freddie Fox, who brings the irritating, smirking character to life as Alicent insists that he join the Commander of the Kingsguard and Hand of the King, Ser Criston Cole (Fabian Frankel), on a mission to try and make a deal with House Tully at Harrenhal. See, all of the people just mentioned are firmly on Team Green and stand with Alicent as well as her son King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), and against Team Black and the self-crowned Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy).

As Ser Criston and Gwayne set out on horseback, Gwayne proves to be a pretty difficult guest; he keeps asking if they can stop and maybe go stay at an inn, at which point he, Ser Criston, and the entire retinue have to hide out so they're not sighted by Baela Velaryon (Bethany Antonia) atop her dragon Moondancer.

Gwayne Hightower is in the pilot of House of the Dragon — but it's very brief

So when does Gwayne Hightower — as played by William Willoughby and not Freddie Fox — show up in the pilot of "House of the Dragon?" As the series begins, King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine) is preparing to celebrate the birth of his first son, much to the dismay of his then-only child Rhaenyra (played at that point by Milly Alcock). As Rhaenyra and the younger version of Alicent (Emily Carey) sit down to enjoy a joust meant to commemorate the birth of a prince, they watch as several candidates enter the fray, including Rhaenyra's uncle Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) — who eventually becomes her husband — and Ser Criston Cole, who catches both Rhaenyra and Alicent's eyes as they watch him fight.

Gwayne is there too, representing the highborn house of Hightower, but he doesn't speak ... and Willoughby himself is a stunt performer who has worked on massive action blockbusters like the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy, Marvel Cinematic Universe films like "Black Widow," and even "Game of Thrones" (across seven episodes). Willoughby needn't worry, though; he's far from the first person in the "Game of Thrones" universe to be recast after their first appearance.

This isn't the first time that someone has been recast in the Game of Thrones universe

Throughout "Game of Thrones," a whole host of actors were ultimately recast — and some of them were even replaced before they could appear on-screen at all. In the aftermath of the (apparently terrible) unaired original pilot of "Game of Thrones," Tamsin Merchant and Michelle Fairley lost their roles as Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark (which went to Emilia Clarke and Michelle Fairley in the end). Even after the show kicked off, though, a bunch of characters showed up looking extremely different than they once did; sometimes it was obvious, and sometimes, less so.

The Night King was recast a handful of times throughout the series, but that was likely hard for audiences to really notice (owing to the fact that makeup and prosthetics transformed the performers into an eerie undead creature). Similarly, the fearsome fighter known as "The Moutain," Ser Gregor Clegane, was played by Conan Stevens, Ian Whyte, and finally, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. Dickon Tarly was played in his first appearance by "Peacemaker" actor Freddie Stroma, but later on, Tom Hopper took over. Perhaps the most famous "Game of Thrones" recasting, however, is the character of Daario Naharis, who defends and seduces Daenerys as she moves towards Westeros. In Season 3, the new character was played by Ed Skrein ... only for him to magically transform into Michiel Huisman, who doesn't look at all like Skrein, in Season 4.

You can check out the new Gwayne Hightower's continued adventures on "House of the Dragon" on Sunday nights on HBO and Max at 9 P.M. EST.