House of the Dragon: Larys Strong explained

The Seven Kingdoms is full of villains but House of Dragons may have introduced its most cunning baddie yet, Larys Strong, Queen Alicent's cruel spymaster

House of the Dragon: Larys Strong's bee sigil explained

Who is Larys Strong? The land of Westeros is full of villains and rogues – some of the best Game of Thrones characters happen to be bad guys, in fact – but up until now, House of the Dragon has been more about the corrupting nature of personal ambition.

Now, though, the fantasy series finally has a villain, and they’re not even a Targaryen! No, it’s the conniving and cruel Larys Strong. In House of the Dragon episode 6, we saw how far he was willing to go to make his queen happy (or secure personal power), but who is this man really?

Well, to get to the bottom of it, we’ve been through his House of the Dragon appearances, scoured the internet for fan theories, and even cracked open a book or two, all to bring you the complete history of Larys Strong, one of the most influential House of the Dragon characters.

Larys Strong Early Life

Larys Strong was the younger son of Lyonel Strong. Not much is known about his early life; however, we can infer that unlike his older brother Harwin – who rose to command the Goldcloaks – Larys was never a physically capable man, having been born with a clubfoot which meant he walked with a pronounced limp.

At some point, in the show at least, he seems to have taken the bee symbol as his own personal sigil – much like Littlefinger taking the mockingbird in Game of Thrones – which is a reference to his “honeyed words”.

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Larys travelled to court when King Viserys Targaryen made his father Hand of the King. In the fifth episode of the TV series, we see that Larys went out of his way to befriend Queen Alicent Hightower, a friendship that seems to have grown over the years.

Indeed by House of the Dragon episode 6, Larys and his queen seem very close, having late-night meetings where they discuss the affairs of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Larys conspired with Alicent to have his father and brother killed in a fire so Otto Hightower could serve Viserys as Hand of the King again. Larys also travelled to Driftmark to attend the funeral of Laena Velaryon.

Following the death of his father and brother, Larys became the lord of Harrenhal and rose to become Alicent’s Master of Whispers (and all Alicent had to do was show Larys her feet).

Larys Strong in House of the Drago

Larys Strong during the Dance of the Dragons

Larys wasn’t content to be a simple spymaster, however, and when the opportunity came to join the Greens and cut Rhaenyra from the line of succession, he jumped at the chance. Larys conspired with Alicent and Ser Criston Cole to crown Aegon II king, an act that would spark a brutal civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

As we’ll see in House of the Dragon season 2, Larys served Aegon II as Master of Whispers, but he suffered many personal setbacks. Daemon Targaryen took Harrenhal, and he was present in King’s Landing when Rhaenyra and her armies took the capital and the Red Keep from Aegon II.

Larys Strong in House of the Dragon

Larys managed to get the royal family out of the castle using its many secret passages, right under the nose of The White Worm, but he chose to stay behind. Living in King’s Landing, he manipulated the commonfolk into rebelling against Rhaenyra, forcing her to flee the capital.

This backfired as it led to a pretender known as Trystane Truefyre taking the throne, and Aegon II had to negotiate the return of the capital while fighting his aunt’s forces. Still, Larys, ever the opportunist, manipulated Truefyre into surrendering, after which he was summarily executed.

Larys stayed by Aegon II’s side; however, when it became clear that the Blacks were winning the war, he switched allegiances and began to undermine the Greens. When Aegon II was poisoned, Larys convinced the remaining Greens it was time to surrender and crown Rhaenyra’s son ‘Aegon the Younger’ king.

Larys Strong in House of the Drago

How does Larys Strong die?

When the Greens surrendered and the victorious armies arrived at King’s Landing, Aegon the Younger – now Aegon III – named Cregan Stark Hand of the King. In an event that would become known as the Hour of the Wolf, Cregan had all of those who’d conspired against Aegon II put on trial.

Those found guilty had two options, take the Black or death. Most decided to make the trip to The Wall, but Larys chose death. He was implicated in poisoning Aegon II and beheaded by Cregan. His last request was that his clubfoot be removed so he could be free of it in death, a request the older Stark honoured.

Larys’ head was stuck above the Red Keep, and his body was eventually shipped to Harrenhal. As the last living Strong Larys’ death brought an end to his family line

Larys Strong in House of the Dragon

Why does Larys Strong hate Rhaenyra?

Larys’ exact motives for joining the Greens aren’t known as of yet. However, he likely believed Rhaenyra and his brother Harwin disgraced House Strong by having a treasonous affair.

If you can’t get enough of the Seven Kingdoms, we have a breakdown of the House of the Dragon cast, or you can check out our guide to the best fantasy movies. What you want more? Fine! Check out our articles on the mighty dragons Meraxes and Balerion the Black Dread.