After the ten-year time skip between episodes 5 and 6 of House of the Dragon, we were able to see the alliance between Alicent Hightower and Larys Strong in full effect. Larys was now a close confidant that told secrets and rumors to Alicent, who was quick to confide in him as well because she knew what he was capable of. In that regard, he ordered some cutthroats to start a fire in Harrenhal and kill Lyonel and Harwin Strong. So, why did Larys kill his father and his brother?
Larys Strong killed his family because he wanted to get on the good side of the queen’s favor. He was a nobleman that needed to distinguish himself one way or another because he was not as strong as his brother and was not his father’s heir. As such, he killed his family so that Alicent would owe him a favor.
Among all of the different characters in House of the Dragon, Larys is one of the most complex individuals because it can be quite difficult to tell what his ambitions are and what he ultimately wants to happen to the Seven Kingdoms. Nevertheless, it is clear that he has been a close confidant of the queen and is looking to do the dirty work for her to get what he wants.
How Did Larys Kill Lyonel And Harwin?
The grander scheme of things in House of the Dragon ultimately revolves around House Targaryen and the many different personalities within that family. Of course, we all know that the series is set to feature the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, as Alicent’s faction will eventually go to war with Rhaenyra’s faction.
But while the story does revolve around the Targaryens, we all know that there are also other people around the members of this household. These people have their own agenda and personal interests at the heart of the larger political scheming going on in the Seven Kingdoms, and that means that these different people are looking to manipulate the pieces in their favor as well.
One such character that was obviously going to become an integral part of the war that is eventually going to break out is Larys Strong, who is the son of the Hand of the King and the brother of the man that is rumored to be the father of Princess Rhaenyra’s children. While Larys was an important piece in strengthening Alicent’s hunches regarding Rhaenyra’s virtue back in episode 5, he clearly became a close confidant to the queen during the ten-year time skip between episodes 5 and 6.
After Alicent realized that Rhaenyra’s third child still resembled Harwin Strong, that was when she brought the matter up to Viserys, who was quick to show that he was willfully blind to what his daughter had been doing. Of course, everyone in the Red Keep had their own hunches, as Criston Cole brought this up during the training session of the Targaryen and Velaryon boys. This led to Harwin assaulting Criston and to his expulsion from the Kingsguard.
As such, Lord Lyonel Strong brought this up to his son, as he decided to resign from his position as Hand of the King so that he could repent for the shame that his son had caused and to make sure that the rumors surrounding Harwin and Rhaenyra would be quieted. But because Viserys loved the fact that Lyonel never showed any personal interests while serving as the Hand, he decided to reject his resignation. Viserys, however, agreed to allow Lyonel to escort Harwin back to Harrenhal so that his son could now fulfill his duties as the castle’s lord.
However, Larys was told of this by Alicent herself. Their partnership had grown to a level where Larys was now allowed to visit the queen’s chambers and dine with her, all while they were sharing with each other what they knew about what was happening around the Red Keep. As such, Larys realized that his father and his brother were on their way to Harrenhal.
After that, he “rescued” condemned criminals from the dungeons so that he could hire them as cutthroats. He had their tongues cut out so that they could never tell anyone who hired them. That was when they followed Lyonel and Harwin all the way to Harrenhal. And while the father and his son were sleeping, a fire broke out and killed both Lyonel and Harwin within the castle walls.
When confronted by Alicent, Larys clearly admitted the deed while also telling her that everyone knows that the walls of Harrenhal are cursed, and that was the reason why he was confident that no one will ever think that he was the one who hired the people that started the fire. Nevertheless, Alicent was still quite shocked about what had happened as she never asked Larys to kill Lyonel and Harwin. Unaffected by that, Larys simply told her to contact her own father to replace Lyonel as Hand of the King.
Why Did Larys Kill His Own Family?
From the very start, it was clear that Larys’s relationship with his family was actually quite good. Harwin was said to be a stern protector of his younger brother, who could never protect himself because of a birth defect that made it difficult for him to walk without the use of a walking stick. On the other hand, Lyonel was never ashamed of his son.
In that regard, Larys and his family had a pretty good relationship in the sense that they never fought. Larys was even often seen together with Harwin during the first five episodes. But Larys, while he never bore any hatred towards his own family, had larger ambitions.
The reason why Larys killed his own family was that he was a secretly ambitious man that wanted to rise up through the ranks as well. He could never distinguish himself as a knight because of his condition. Of course, as the second-born son, Harrenhal was never going to be his. As such, the only way for him to rise up was for his father and his brother to fall.
There is also something bigger hiding underneath that ambitious nature, as Larys himself knows that the queen wanted her own father back in court as Hand of the King. While Larys couldn’t care any less who was the one sitting by Viserys’s side as the new Hand, he knew that the queen was easier to manipulate than Rhaenyra. And by doing the queen a favor, Larys could get a favor back from Alicent.
Alicent, at this point, might be thinking that she is the one with all of the cards in her hand because she has been playing Rhaenyra’s camp with all of her accusations against her and the paternity of her children. But what Alicent didn’t know was that Larys was also playing her by acting as her close confidant and rumor-monger. And the more favors that Larys was doing for the queen, the more that the queen would owe her.
In that regard, it is clear that Larys probably doesn’t care who sits on the Iron Throne as long as he gets what he wants. And whatever it is that he wants is something that is yet to be revealed in House of the Dragon.