In House of the Dragon Episode 6, Larys Strong creeps forward from the background and proves himself to be a major player – but who is he, and what role will he play in the show?
Game of Thrones infiltrated the pop-cultural lexicon to a level most shows can only dream of. Over the course of its run, anyone who dabbled in telly would be – at the very least – aware of the Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens, not to mention quotes like, “Dracarys” and, “A Lannister always pays his debts.”
In House of the Dragon, the focus is on the Targaryens under the reign of King Viserys I, and the path to the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.
However, House Strong is worthy of note; particularly Larys Strong, whose royal conniving proves to be a deadly force in Episode 6.
Spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 6 to follow….
House of the Dragon: Who is Larys Strong?
Larys Strong, played by Matthew Needham, is the son of Lord Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes), the Hand of the King. He has an older brother, Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), the Commander of the City Watch.
In George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, he’s also referred to as “the Clubfoot” due to one of his feet being twisted at birth, causing him to have a limp throughout his life.
He appeared on-screen for the first time in Episode 3, talking with the women while the men prepared for the royal hunt. When Rhaenyra returned from the woods, he was seen next to Harwin.
In Episode 5, Larys teases the full extent of his cunning ways when he chats to Alicent by the weirwood, and reveals Rhaenyra drank a contraceptive tea (like the morning after pill) after her night with Daemon. Her decision to distance herself from Rhaenyra comes from this conversation, so he’s already a key figure in the show.
House of the Dragon: Why did Larys Strong kill Harwin?
In Episode 6, Harwin and Lyonel die in a huge fire at Harrenhal, the stronghold of House Strong and the largest castle in Westeros. This fire was orchestrated by Larys, who set three prisoners free, cut off their tongues so they couldn’t blab about it, and got them to set Harrenhal ablaze.
The fire has several suspects in Fire and Blood, including Larys. While the show hasn’t dug into his motivations yet, it’s likely he wanted to kill Lyonel and Harwin so he could inherit Harrenhal and become the head of House Strong.
His private conversations with the Queen have also allowed him to gain a critical advantage, as Episode 6 ends with her feeling racked with guilt over the deaths at Harrenhal, feeling she had some sort of involvement due to her complaints. Larys tells her: “You will reward me when the time is right.”
We won’t reveal further details about his role in the series, but you can expect him to be an active player in the Dance of the Dragons – in simple Game of Thrones terms, he’s this show’s Littlefinger.
House of the Dragon Episode 7 will be available to watch on October 2 in the US and October 3 in the UK.