House of Dragon: House strong, explained

House of the Dragon features several great houses vying for power, including ones we haven’t met before in Game of Thrones. One house that seems to be gaining power is House Strong. Led by Lord Lyonel Strong and his two very different sons, this magnificent house figures prominently in the upcoming drama.

Fair warning: There are some slight spoilers for the Fire & Blood book and possible future plot points of House of the Dragon! With that in mind, here’s what you should know so far about the three key members of House Strong.

Who is Lord Lyonel Strong?

After deposing Otto Hightower as the King’s Hand, King Viserys promotes Lord Lyonel Strong to his chief adviser. Lord Lyonel was a member of the King’s Council from the start, but he was usually a quieter, more stable voice than his louder peers.

He’s been known as a fairly sensible councilor, even telling the king things he probably didn’t want to hear. He is the one who suggested Viserys marry Laena Velaryon to bring Westeros unity and he is the one who suggests the match between Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon for the same reasons. His advice isn’t always funny or personable, but rather pragmatic, which is a stark contrast to the high drama surrounding him.

In the book “Feuer & Blut” we learn a little more about Lyonel. Before inheriting Harrenhal (the seat of the House of Strong) and the head of his family, he studied to become a maester. He studied for several years and made great strides in his education before deciding not to continue. His reasons are not made clear in either the TV show or the book. In any case, he uses this knowledge to advise the king and he has two sons who also play a role at court.

Who is Ser Harwin Strong?

Many knights have wandered around House of the Dragon, but it was always easy to spot Ser Harwin Strong, the older of the two Strong brothers. He is nicknamed the “Breakbones” because of his incredible strength. In the second episode, after she returns from her hunt covered in blood, he is the only member of the assembled company who watches her with an appreciative grin rather than disgust or fear. He’s also the knight who encounters Rhaenyra in disguise during her wild night with Daemon, and instead of taking her home or telling anyone, he just warns her to be more careful.

He has once again been seen supporting Rhaenyra when their pre-wedding banquet takes a terrible turn. As the fight between Ser Criston Cole and Joffrey Lonmouth turns deadly and the brawl intensifies, Ser Harwin dives into the fray, finds where Rhaenyra was knocked down and guides her to safety.

Fire & Blood readers will take these interactions as serious heralds of rumors spreading about just how close Rhaenyra and Harwin really are.

Who is Larys Strong?

It’s easy to overlook Larys Strong, but that’s exactly why he’s worth keeping an eye on. Born with a clubfoot, he is despised and even ridiculed by the knights and others at court. However, his ability to go unnoticed means he overhears things and has a knack for intrigue. We get a glimpse of this before Rhaenyra and Laenor’s wedding celebrations, when he “accidentally” tells Alicent that Viserys sent Moontee to Rhaenyra after her adventures with Daemon. He is also seen with a sly smile as Alicent enters the banquet in a green dress – House Hightower’s color for a call to arms.

Fire & Blood explores more of Larys’ life, and we’ll likely see some of that in House of the Dragon as well. His future sees him rising through the ranks through intrigue, akin to Petyr Baelish’s path on Game of Thrones. Larys also plays a crucial role in the Dance of the Dragons – but how long will his intrigue protect him?

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