Littlefinger and Varys influenced a lot of Game of Thrones events, and now House of the Dragon has revealed who fills their roles in the prequel show.
Matthew Needham as Larys Strong and Emily Carey as Alicent Hightower in House of the Dragon
Warning: SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season episode 5 AND Fire & Blood ahead.
House of the Dragon season 1, episode 5 cleverly introduced a character whose scheming could rival that of Littlefinger in Game of Thrones: Larys Strong, a.k.a. Larys Clubfoot. House of the Dragon episode 4 already introduced a web of spies answering to the name the White Worm, who informed Otto Hightower of Rhaenyra’s unbecoming presence in a brothel. That effectively got him demoted from his position as Hand of the King, allowing Lyonel Strong to obtain the role. House of the Dragon episode 5 also showed Larys influencing Queen Alicent’s opinion of Rhaenyra, presenting him as the Littlefinger of House of the Dragon.
While Game of Thrones’ Lords of Westeros wielded power, few acquired as much as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish and Varys did through their numerous informants. Although they had different motivations for manipulating people while also acting upon the secrets they were privy to in Game of Thrones, they both were among the show’s most influential characters. As House of the Dragon season 1 proved to be setting up all the major players of the Targaryen civil war dubbed the Dance of the Dragons, it’s only fitting that House of the Dragon episode 5, “We Light the Way,” showed Larys Strong starting to set up his own scheming.
Larys Strong is the son of Lyonel Strong, former Master of Laws and new Hand of the King, and he is the brother of Harwin Strong. Larys can be seen sharing his remorse over Otto Hightower losing his position in House of the Dragon episode 5. Expressing his clearly fabricated concern about Rhaenyra’s health to Queen Alicent, he revealed how the Grand Maester gave the princess a tea. This all but confirmed Alicent’s worries about Rhaenyra’s lies, as she presumed the elixir to be the moon tea used to prevent pregnancies. The interaction prompted Alicent to investigate Rhaenyra’s whereabouts that night. Learning the truth from Ser Criston Cole effectively brought the queen to choose a side, as was evident in the green dress Alicent wore at the dinner in honor of House Velaryon.
How Larys Strong Fits In House Of The Dragon’s Story
House of the Dragon season 1, episode 5 already proved how Larys Strong’s knowledge was central in swaying Alicent’s opinion, but his role in the Targaryen civil war can be better explained by George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood. Also known as Larys Clubfoot in the book, he eventually became Lord of Harrenhal and Master of Whisperers of Aegon II’s council during the Targaryen civil war. Although he served on the council of the green faction of the war, when King Viserys I died and its members started to debate who, between Aegon or Rhaenyra, should ascend the Iron Throne, Larys Strong did not express his straightforward opinion regarding whom to favor. Fire & Blood dedicates almost an entire page to him, as nobody knew where Larys’s true loyalties lay, saying that he “wove his way all through the Dance of the Dragons, on this side and that side, vanishing and reappearing, yet somehow always surviving.”
Whether Larys Strong’s role will be expanded upon compared to Fire & Blood’s story is unknown. Considering the impact he had on House of the Dragon season 1, episode 5 and how the show’s narration differs from the book’s, he probably will. However, as House of the Dragon presented and set up Mysaria and Larys Strong as the show’s correspondents to Game of Thrones’ Varys and Littlefinger in the roles they hold, they will probably be as central to the plot, similarly guaranteeing chaos and an intriguing story.