The drama of House of the Dragon picked up back in the events of episode 4 when we saw that King Viserys realized that his former Hand, Ser Otto Hightower, was acting beyond his capacity as the Hand of the King and was seemingly working behind the scenes to put Aegon II on the throne. Of course, Viserys relieved him of his duties and sent him away. That meant that a new person was going to be the new Hand of the King. So, who is King Viserys’s new Hand?
King Viserys’s new Hand is Lord Lyonel Strong, who is the lord of Harrenhal and the former Master of Laws in the Small Council. He is the father of Ser Harwin Strong and Lord Larys Strong. Lyonel ascended to his post as Hand of the King due to his loyalty and objective approach to counseling Viserys.
The rise of Lyonel Strong to the post of Hand of the King was one of the moments that didn’t surprise a lot of fans, considering that he had been one of the king’s most trusted advisers ever since the very first episode. In that regard, no other person was worth earning the new role after Otto Hightower was relieved of his duties. Now, let’s get to know more about Lord Lyonel Strong, the new Hand of the King.
Who Is King Viserys’s New Hand?
From the very start of House of the Dragon, it was already clear that Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, had his own ulterior motives in relation to the succession to the Iron Throne. That’s because he was the one who installed Alicent on King Viserys’s side after Queen Aemma’s death so that he would eventually marry her. Of course, Viserys and Alicent both had two sons who are now seen as more suitable heirs (Aegon II and Aemond) compared to Rhaenyra, who was the one that Viserys named as his heir.
It was in episode 4 that Otto learned of what Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra did while they were out in King’s Landing. One of his spies told Otto that Daemon quite possibly had sex with Rhaenyra, and that was why the king was quick to question his own daughter’s decisions. While Rhaenyra continued to deny the allegations against her, she pointed out the fact that King Viserys should be watching out for Otto Hightower instead because it was already clear that he was only after his own interests instead of staying loyal to the king.
Viserys, of course, met up with Otto and quickly questioned his loyalty to the crown. He went as far as insinuating that Otto was only after his own interests by advancing Aegon II’s claim to the Iron Throne. That was when Viserys dismissed Otto Hightower from his role as Hand of the King while also thanking his service to the crown as it was he who taught him how to become a king.
With Otto Hightower gone, it was only natural for Viserys to find a new man for the job. After all, a king needed a Hand because it is actually the Hand that handles most of the affairs in the Seven Kingdoms. Meanwhile, the king’s purpose was to be able to have the last say in the decisions of his Small Council, the Hand of the King included. So, who was the new Hand of the King that replaced Otto Hightower?
It was revealed during the earlier portion of episode 5 that the new Hand of the King was Lord Lyonel Strong, who was seen wearing the same badge that Otto Hightower used to wear. Considering that Lyonel Strong used to sit on the Small Council as the Master of Laws of the Seven Kingdoms, it was clear that King Viserys was looking for someone he was already familiar with instead of looking for someone else to replace Otto. And because Lyonel Strong already proved himself worthy of the post as Hand of the King when he was advising Viserys earlier in the series, he was obviously the best man for the job as far as the king was concerned.
Who Is Lyonel Strong?
While Lord Lyonel Strong is now the Hand of the King, he isn’t exactly a new character in the series. That’s because he has been around for a while, as he was introduced earlier in episode 1. However, because his role wasn’t too big or too grand, some people may have forgotten that he was already a part of House of the Dragon. So, who exactly is Lyonel Strong in House of the Dragon?
Lord Lyonel Strong is the head of House Strong and is the lord of Harrenhal. While he is away in King’s Landing, his son Larys Strong is the one handling things in Harrenhal. And, of course, Lyonel was always in King’s Landing because he used to work as the Master of Laws in King Viserys’s Small Council.
Lyonel was seen as one of the members of the Small Council debating the succession of King Viserys. While Otto was questioning who was supposed to succeed the king, Otto told him that the succession is already set by precedent and law, as he was most probably referring to Prince Daemon, who was supposedly the rightful heir to the Iron Throne before Viserys disinherited him.
Otto suggested that Rhaenyra also had a claim to the Iron Throne, to which Lyonel replied that no woman has ever ruled the Seven Kingdoms. It was clear that Lyonel was never agreeable to Rhaenyra ruling the Seven Kingdoms.
During the latter episodes, Lyonel was seen as one of the advisers that told King Viserys that it made more sense for him to marry Laena Velaryon. In fact, throughout his entire tenure as Master of Laws, he was almost always someone who looked at things from an objective perspective whenever he was giving the king advice.
So, when Otto Hightower got fired from his job, the person that fit the position the best was Lyonel Strong, who had proven himself capable of advising the king on objective matters instead of pushing his own personal agenda.
In George RR Martin’s writings, however, Lyonel Strong ended up dying years after he took his post as Hand of the King. This came as a result of escorting his son, Ser Harwin Strong, who was removed as Rhaenyra’s sword protector due to the accusations that he was the lover of the princess. However, while in Harrenhaal, a fire broke out and killed both him and Harwin. However, Larys Strong was suspected to be the one who started the fire or, at the very least, hired the people who started it.