Well, it has been quite the episode for House of the Dragon.


As if a 10-year time jump wasn't enough to deal with, the episode also delivered us some next-level villainy from the slippery figure of Larys Strong (Matthew Needham).

Having previously wormed his way into the confidence of Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke, Emily Carey) in the fifth episode of the season, the new status quo in episode 6 shows that he is one of her chief advisors.

The Queen's relations with her stepdaughter and former friend Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy, Milly Alcock) are the worst they have ever been and she longs for more allies at court.

Enter Larys, who decides to do something so brutal that it even shocks Queen Alicent to the core when he makes clear what he has done: kinslaying.

So, why on earth does he choose to kill members of his own family, Lord Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes) and Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr)?

**Spoiler warning for House of the Dragon episode 6**

Why did Larys Strong kill Lord Lyonel Strong and Ser Harwin Strong in House of the Dragon?

Gavin Spokes as Lord Lyonel Strong in House of the Dragon
Gavin Spokes as Lord Lyonel Strong in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton / HBO

Well, there are a number of reasons why Larys Strong chose to kill his own father and brother.

Firstly, Queen Alicent Hightower had made clear that she missed the counsel of her own father Ser Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans), Lord Lyonel's predecessor as the Hand of the King.

Eager to please the Queen and ingratiate himself with her further - whilst also then maintaining a hold over her himself - Larys brought them closer together by removing Lord Lyonel from his position... permanently.

Secondly, killing Lord Lyonel also makes the seat of Harrenhal open for inheritance.

This is also why Larys would have something to gain by killing his older brother, Ser Harwin, who is his father's heir and stood to inherit the large castle and its surrounding land.

Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin Strong in House of the Dragon
Ryan Corr as Ser Harwin Strong in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton / HBO

Additionally, as Ser Harwin was widely known as Princess Rhaenyra's lover and the likely father of her three sons, he was also a loyal supporter of the Princess and so killing him removed another potential enemy of Alicent's.

Of course, all of these factors would not matter if Larys had any love for his father and brother, which clearly he does not.

The series has not developed the relationships within the Strong family to a great degree but previous scenes showed them all to get along well enough.

We can likely take this as a sign of Larys' own ruthlessness and Machiavellian streak, a true player in the game of thrones and someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to win and advance his own station.

Aidan Gillen as Lord Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger in Game of Thrones
Aidan Gillen as Lord Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger in Game of Thrones Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Many fans have already compared Larys to the infamous Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen) and, similarly, Larys has spies and is aware of all the goings-on in King's Landing and keeps well informed.

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Larys also keeps his true motives to himself but it is clearly self-interest that serves him most.

We will have to wait and see if Larys lasts as long in the series as Littlefinger did.

Who killed Lord Lyonel Strong and Ser Harwin Strong in the book Fire and Blood?

Matthew Needham as Larys Strong in House of the Dragon
Matthew Needham as Larys Strong in House of the Dragon HBO

In the book Fire and Blood, it is never revealed who was responsible for killing Lord Lyonel Strong and Ser Harwin Strong.

Larys Strong is suggested as one of the culprits for many of the same reasons he does in the show.

However, there are a number of others who are suggested as potential killers.

One person suggested as the killer is Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) as he may have hoped to remove Ser Harwin as a potential rival for the heart of Princess Rhaenyra.

Another potential suspect suggested is Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) who may have wanted revenge on Ser Harwin for the sake of his son Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate, John Macmillan) being cuckolded and humiliated.

Finally, one suspect suggested is King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), who wanted to end the rumours surrounding his grandchildren by Rhaenyra as many were spreading rumours that they were bastards fathered by Ser Harwin.

The series has settled on Larys being responsible and, frankly, it makes the most sense and is consistent with his character.

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