“House of the Dragon” features several great Houses vying for power, including ones we haven’t previously met on “Game of Thrones.” One house that seems to be rising in power is House Strong. Led by Lord Lyonel Strong and his two very different sons, this great House has a big part to play in the drama that is to come.
Fair warning: there are some light spoilers for the book “Fire & Blood” and for possible future “House of the Dragon” plot points ahead! With that in mind, here’s what to know about the three most important members of House Strong so far.
Who Is Lord Lyonel Strong?
After King Viserys removes Otto Hightower as Hand of the King, he promotes Lord Lyonel Strong to the position as his chief advisor. Lord Lyonel has been a member of the king’s council since the beginning, but he has usually been a quieter, more stable voice, in contrast to his louder colleagues.
So far, he’s been seen as a fairly reasonable councilor, even telling the king things he probably doesn’t want to hear. He’s the one who suggested Viserys marry Laena Velaryon to bring unity to Westeros, and he’s the one who proposes the match between Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon for the same reasons. His advice isn’t always fun or likable, but pragmatic, which is a marked contrast from the high drama all around him.
In the book “Fire & Blood,” we learn a little bit more about Lyonel. Prior to inheriting Harrenhal (the seat of House Strong) and the headship of his family, he was studying to become a maester. He studied for several years, progressing far in his training, before deciding not to follow through. His reasons are not made clear, either on the TV show or in the book. Either way, he winds up using that knowledge to advise the king, and he has two sons who have a role to play at court as well.
Who Is Ser Harwin Strong?
There have been a lot of knights roaming around on “House of the Dragon,” but it’s always been easy to spot Ser Harwin Strong, the elder of the two Strong brothers. Nicknamed “Breakbones” for his incredible strength, he has been lurking in the background throughout the season, but has wound up being connected to Rhaenyra on several occasions. In the second episode, after she returns from her hunt, covered in blood, he is the only member of the assembled company to watch her with an approving grin rather than disgust or fear. He also is the knight who bumps into Rhaenyra in disguise during her wild night out with Daemon, and instead of taking her home or telling anyone, he just warns her to be more careful.
He’s seen, yet again, lending support to Rhaenyra when her pre-wedding banquet takes a horrific turn. As the fight between Ser Criston Cole and Joffrey Lonmouth turns deadly and the brawl grows bigger, Ser Harwin dives into the fray, finds where Rhaenyra has been knocked to the ground and gets her to safety.
Readers of “Fire & Blood” will see these interactions as some serious foreshadowing, where rumors spread about just how close Rhaenyra and Harwin really are.
Who Is Larys Strong?
It’s easy to overlook Larys Strong, but that’s exactly what makes him worth keeping an eye on. Born with a club foot, he is looked down on and even mocked by the knights and others at court. His ability to go unnoticed, however, means he overhears things and has a knack for scheming. We get a glimpse of that ahead of Rhaenyra and Laenor’s wedding celebrations when he “accidentally” lets slip to Alicent that Viserys had moon tea sent to Rhaenyra after her adventures with Daemon. He’s also seen with a sly smile when Alicent enters the banquet wearing a green dress — House Hightower’s color for a call to arms.
“Fire & Blood” explores more of Larys’s life, and we’re likely to see some of it unfold on “House of the Dragon” too. His future sees him rising in the ranks through intrigues, similar to the path of Petyr Baelish on “Game of Thrones.” Larys also plays a critical role during the Dance of the Dragons — but how long will his scheming keep him safe?