What You Need to Know About Harrold Westerling, The Lord Commander in House of the Dragon
In House of the Dragon, episode 9, we’ve seen Ser Harrold demonstrating loyalty and honor to the late King and the institution of the Crown. His courage, bravery, and unwavering principles got many fans to wonder, who exactly is Ser Harrold Westerling? So, in this article, we’re going to discuss his character in a bit more detail. Here’s all you need to know about Harrold Westerling, The Lord Commander of Kingsguard.
Ser Harrold Westerling is the Lord Commander of Kingsguard under King Viserys I Targaryen. He was a knight from the House Westerling and a member of Kingsguard since the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen. Ser Harrold is known for being a paragon of chivalry and honor.
Even though in the books, this honorable Lord Commander is only mentioned when he dies, in the TV show House of the Dragon, he is given a much more expansive role. We see him standing up for his beliefs and integrity even though not many are on his side, which is admirable. So, let’s see what there is to know about this loyal knight.
What you need to know about Harrold Westerling
Ser Harrold Westerling is Lord Commander of Kingsguard under the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen. The exact information on when he became Lord Commander is unknown, but he most likely succeeded Ser Ryam Redwine, who died in 105 AC. He was a knight from the House Westerling, and he became a member of the Kingsguard when Jaehaerys I Targaryen was King. When Viserys was crowned King, he was first appointed as Rhaenyra’s sworn shield.
Even though the books do not mention Ser Harrold much, in the show, the role of this character is expanded. We meet him in the first episode, where he welcomes Rhaenyra back after she returns from a dragon ride. He then confessed to Rhaenyra that he is always relieved when she returns back safe because he would lose his head if that wasn’t the case.
Harrold Westerling was always very protective of Rhaenyra and took his job seriously. When he found Daemon sitting on the Iron Throne, he was ready to confront Daemon, but Rhaenyra interfered. Later, Rhaenyra showed interest in who Ser Criston Cole was, and Harrold gave her an answer. As a member of the Kingsguard, he was also protective of King, and he even drew his sword when Daemon wanted to get close to the King sitting on the Throne.
Later on, after Ser Ryam Redwine died, Ser Harrold became Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. During his time as Lord Commander under Viserys’s reign, he showed that he was an honorable man, devoted to his sworn duty, and loyal to the King and the Crown. This was best depicted in episode 9 of House of the Dragon.
In that episode, the word of King Viserys’s death got out, and Alicent and Otto presided over the Small Council and gave them the news about King’s demise. Otto said to the Council that King Viserys, with his last breaths, impressed upon the Queen his final wish: that his son, Aegon, should succeed him as King of the Seven Kingdoms. When the Council heard that, they were not very surprised as they had been planning Aegon’s ascension for some time now, even though the Queen didn’t know about that.
However, one of the members of the Small Council, Lyman Beesbury, opposed the accession of Aegon over Rhaenyra. He stated that he does not believe that Viserys changed his mind about who his successor should be, and he called Aegon an imposter. Ser Cole approached him to shut him up and forced him to sit down. Ser Cole pulled Lyman so hard that Lyman hit his head on the table and was dead immediately.
Ser Harrold stood calmly in the room up until that point. Then he pulled his sword and ordered Ser Criston that he is to throw down his sword and remove his cloak. Ser Criston overstepped his duties, and Ser Harrold had no intention of tolerating that. Criston Cole backed off only when the Queen implied that no harm was done toward her, and she also thought that Cole exaggerated.
After that, the rest of the Small Council plans the coup in which Rhaenyra is to be killed. The King’s Hand, Otto Hightower, ordered Lord Commander Westerling to take his knight to Dragonstone and kill Rhaenyra and her family quickly and cleanly. Ser Harrold immediately took off his White Cloak and said he was Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. He stated that he recognizes no authority but the King’s, and until there is one, he won’t take any orders from anyone. And then he left the room.
In a moment like that, a man can show his true character. And what Ser Harrold Westerling showed us is that he is an honorable man who stands behind his principles and that his loyalty toward the King, the Crown, and Princess Rhaenyra has never changed.