House of the Dragon star Matthew Needham has addressed the scene with Alicent’s feet, arguing Larys Strong doesn’t actually have a foot fetish – it’s “weirder” than that, apparently.
House of the Dragon, the much-doubted prequel to Game of Thrones exploring the Targaryen dynasty hundreds of years before The Mad King (and Queen), is one of the best shows of 2022.
Whether it was politicking, gut-emptying battles, or epic warfare with dragons, every episode in Season 1 was as good as the last – and there were more than a few water-cooler moments, including a notorious scene between Larys and Alicent Hightower.
While it was inevitable the scene would spark all sorts of social media posts and articles, the actor behind Larys doesn’t think it’s as clear-cut as fans have made out.
House of the Dragon star says Larys doesn’t have a foot fetish
In Episode 9, Larys Strong keeps a keen eye on Otto and Alicent’s efforts to find Aegon in King’s Landing. As we saw with the murder of his brother Harwin, he’s a schemer looking to curry favor with the Queen, and he once told her: “You will reward me when the time is right.”
Alicent later finds Larys in her chambers, wishing to tell her how Otto managed to find Aegon first – but at a price. Is it money, or the promise of power under her son’s stewardship of the throne? No, he just wants to see Alicent’s ordinary feet, with each tease – the removal of shoes, and then her stockings – seen as payment for more information.
While appearing at the official Game of Thrones convention in Los Angeles, Needham addressed the scene and fans’ reactions to it, explaining (as per EW): “The apex of his ambition is not feet. As great as that is, it’s not.
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“I don’t think it’s a foot fetish like we understand in 2022. I think it’s weirder than that. It’s not just about a man with a clubfoot being attracted to feet. It’s that he can make her do it.
“This is a very disturbed person with a lot of trauma… it’s about making her feel as much shame as she does for that part of her body as he does for his.”
“He can cut out tongues and he can cut out eyes. I think he likes that … I think he likes making people incomplete. He can’t do that with her.
“He can, though, associate that part of her body with a trauma so that long after he’s gone, she’s got this sick feeling about it that’s connected to that.
“That’s the thing about assault like that: it makes the victim’s body the scene of the crime, and I think that’s what he likes to do. So I don’t see it like he loves feet. It’s the fact that she’s not into it and he can make her do it.”
House of the Dragon Season 1 is available on HBO Max now. You can find out more about Season 2 here, and check out the rest of our coverage here.