Warning: This contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon and George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood.Fire & Blood readers and House of the Dragon viewers alike have pointed to the possibility that Larys Strong is actually a greenseer. In Westeros, a greenseer is someone who possesses greensight, the ability to see future, past, and current but distant events within dreams. Game of Thrones introduced several greenseers, most notably the Three-Eyed Raven and his replacement, Bran Stark. Meanwhile, though Larys Strong began as a barely noticeable player in the history of House of the Dragon’s Targaryens, Larys might be the Game of Thrones prequel’s first greenseer.
Larys being a greenseer would certainly explain his illustrious career as a master spy, information broker, and advisor to kings despite keeping very few allies. In Fire & Blood, Larys served in the small council as the Lord Confessor and master of whisperers for both King Viserys I Targaryen and his son King Aegon II Targaryen. Much like in House of the Dragon, the original Larys was also extremely cunning, manipulative, and always seemed to see miles ahead of everyone else.
It’s no surprise that House of the Dragon’s Larys Strong has been strongly compared to both Game of Thrones’ Lord Varys and Petyr « Littlefinger » Baelish. However, while Littlefinger’s selfish motivations and Varys’ devotion to the realm were crystal clear, in Fire & Blood, Larys was largely a mystery, and his true motives and loyalties during the Dance of the Dragons remained largely unexplained. Indeed, though these three are unrivaled among Westerosi spies, Larys may have the advantage because he secretly possesses the rare gift of greensight. Here’s everything that House of the Dragon audiences need to know about the possibility that Larys Strong is indeed a greenseer.
Along with his brother Harwin, Larys Strong grew up in the fortress of Harrenhal, which is situated on the northern shore of the Gods Eye lake, right across the Isle of Faces – the first clue that Larys may possess the gift of greensight. The Isle of Faces was where the First Men and the Children of the Forest ended their centuries of warfare through The Pact, which occurred around 10,000 years before the House of the Dragon timeline. The Children of the Forest carved faces on every weirwood on the island to commemorate The Pact, turning each weirwood into a heart tree, which remain there to this day. While Game of Thrones never showed the Isle of Faces, the mysterious island was rumored to still be inhabited by the Green Men, priests who tend to the weirwoods in perpetuity and conceal the island from outsiders through a thick, magical mist. Having spent his youth on the shores of the Gods Eye lake, Larys may have been close enough to the Isle of Faces to hear the whispers of the Old Gods. After all, apart from making their home in the castle that’s closest to the Isle of Faces, House Strong boasts descent from the First Men.
While House Strong is not directly connected to Aegon’s dream or prophecy, they are connected to the Old Gods because they’re descended from the First Men, and in the A Song of Fire and Ice novels, greensight is typically only gifted those who have the blood of the First Men running through their veins. This is because of how many of the First Men adapted the practice of worshiping the Old Gods after The Pact, and many of them became greenseers like the Children of the Forest. Combined with House Strong’s ancestral home being in close proximity to the Isle of Faces, Larys Strong’s blood could have enabled him to not just hear the Old Gods, but actually make it to the Isle of Faces to touch a heart tree.
While it is a well-known fact that the Isle of Faces is just in the center of the Gods Eye lake, no one really goes there – not even the dragons in House of the Dragon. This is because the island is presumed to be magically protected, which would explain the constant fog and the birds that attack people who get too close. However, these barriers may not keep out those with the blood of the First Men. In fact, in A Song of Fire and Ice, House Strong could be one of the southern houses rumored to still be worshiping the Old Gods. It’s plausible that Larys continued this tradition, but then kept his resulting ability of greensight to avoid prosecution.
George R. R. Martin has a tendency to confer greensight to characters with physical disabilities, and Larys is famous for being disabled from birth due to his clubfoot. Bran Stark was another character who had problems with walking, and he not only became the Three-Eyed Raven – the greatest greenseer of the era – but also ascended to become the new king, though Aegon the Conqueror’s Iron Throne was already destroyed by the time of Bran’s rule. Meanwhile, although the Three-Eyed Raven had both eyes in Game of Thrones, his real identity is presumed to be Brynden Rivers, aka Bloodraven, who in the books lost an eye during the First Blackfyre Rebellion. Moreover, Bloodraven was both a Targaryen and a Blackwood, who, like the Starks and Strongs, trace the origin of their house to the First Men. Apart from how Larys also suffers from a disability like the most prominent greenseers of Westeros, Larys became a master of whisperers like Bloodraven in the books.
If Larys is a greenseer, this could be why there is a weirwood tree in King’s Landing when there is no mention of such a tree in the book. Greenseers are able to hear and see through the faces of every weirwood tree that was carved into a heart tree. House of the Dragon season 2 could expose how Larys uses the heart tree in the Red Keep to spy on sensitive conversations in the courtyard, which would explain how Larys knew exactly how to fuel Alicent’s disdain for Rhaenyra, and why the heart tree was already removed during Game of Thrones. Moreover, some greenseers are able to skinchange, the ability to move and see through the eyes of animals and simpler minds. Notably, in earlier episodes of House of the Dragon, the Red Keep had a rat problem – but they could’ve just been acting as Larys’ eyes and ears, only stopping their unusual behavior when Larys perceived that the rats were being noticed. While Littlefinger and Varys employed spies, Larys didn’t have to – his abilities as a greenseer already give him access to all the information he needs.
House of the Dragon’s Larys Strong being a greenseer would not only explain why he’s such a good spy, it may provide context to his seemingly contradictory actions in the book. After all, Fire & Blood was written from the perspective of measters skeptical of magic and prophecy, and any instance of Larys’ greensight may have been swept under the rug as hearsay, which could be how Larys’ true nature was obscured from history. As written in Fire & Blood,
« The enigma that is Larys Strong the Clubfoot has vexed students of history for generations, and is not one we can hope to unravel here. Where did his true loyalty lie? What was he about? He wove his way all through the Dance of the Dragons, on this side and that side, vanishing and reappearing, yet somehow always surviving. How much of what he said and did was ruse, how much was real? Was he just a man who sailed with the prevailing wind, or did he know where he was bound when he set out? So may we ask, but none will answer. The last Strong keeps his secrets. »
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