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‘House of the Dragon’ star Graham McTavish sleeps next to his giant sword


Scottish actor Graham McTavish is king of the franchises.

He’s been in hit sci-fi and fantasy adaptations (“The Hobbit,” “Outlander”), he’s entered the Marvel world (in animated form) and he’s currently in two juggernaut shows concurrently: as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Harrold Westerling, within the already renewed “Game of Thrones” spinoff “House of the Dragon” (Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO) and as Sigismund Dijkstra in “The Witcher” (Netflix), currently filming Season 3.

McTavish, 61, spoke to The Post about his profession. 

Were your roles in these franchises a deliberate selection?

Yes, it’s a campaign of world domination. If it’s got a sword in it, and a cloak, and perhaps a candle, and a horse, I’m there. I sleep with those things by my bed. Well, perhaps not the horse. But I’m very in tune with my type of fantastical self. I like those things, I’ve all the time been a giant sci-fi and fantasy fan. Really, it’s just the way it’s worked out. The last 10 to 12 years, it’s been one fantasy after one other. I’m filming “The Witcher” in London in the intervening time. I had the bizarre experience of filming “The Witcher“ in the course of the day, after which literally having to get become my outfit for the premiere for “House of the Dragon.” It was very odd. Literally shedding one character to go and speak about one other. 

Graham McTavish AFP via Getty Images

Were you a fan of “Game of Thrones” before getting forged in “House of the Dragon?” 

Oh yes, absolutely. So I used to be excited to be a part of that world. I remember I got the news, and I used to be with my children on the time, they’re 10 and 15. And their first query was, “Do you get to ride a dragon?” I needed to disappoint them because I didn’t. But I spent numerous time around [dragons]. It’s a wierd thing, because obviously you’re having them represented in all styles of strange ways on set — one in all which was literally a laser pen on the roof that we’d have a look at, and that will be the dragon flying around. We use our imagination on a regular basis once we’re acting, but in a situation like that, you’ve to fight against the instinct to feel slightly silly, taking a look at a tennis ball on the tip of a stick and attempting to imagine that that may be a fire-breathing dragon. It was great fun, though. 

After I walked into the throne room, it was just me and Milly Alcock, who plays the young Rhaenyra — and whenever you see that iconic Iron Throne if you happen to’re standing there in a suit of armor with a large sword, little or no acting is required. You simply immerse yourself in that world. 

Ser Harrold Westerling (Graham McTavish) with Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) in Ser Harrold Westerling (Graham McTavish) with Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Milly Alcock) in “House of the Dragon.” Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO

You were also in “The Hobbit” movies. Are you planning to look at the “Lord of the Rings” TV show? 

Oh yeah, I’m going to be very interested to see the way it is. Once you’ve been a part of that Middle Earth fandom, you get slightly proprietary, you wish to see how that legacy is being taken care of. So I feel I’m not going to be alone among the many forged of “The Hobbit” or “The Lord of the Rings.” We’ll all be tuning in.

What are you able to share about Season 3 of “The Witcher“?

I can’t share any of the plot, but I can say that I’m having an exquisite time. It is absolutely a stunning forged. There’s numerous laughter on that set, and Henry Cavill is a stunning guy to work with. It’s great; [my character] Sigismund Dijkstra is a cunning, manipulative individual. He has an agenda, he is not going to be deflected from it [and] we are able to expect slightly more of that from him. 

Graham McTavish as Sigismund Dijkstra in Graham McTavish as Sigismund Dijkstra in “The Witcher.” Courtesy of Netflix

And there’s more of your travel docuseries “Men in Kilts” along with your “Outlander” co-star Sam Heughan?

Season 2 is about in Latest Zealand. I spend a part of my time there because that’s where my children are, so Sam [Heughan] joined me and we drove across the country from top to bottom. For those who thought I used to be scared in Season 1, wait until you see how scared I get in Season 2. [Sam] is set to — I don’t know, give me a heart attack, everlasting PTSD, nightmares. It looks like his goal in life is to cut back me to tears as often as possible.

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