Why House Of The Dragon Gave Larys Strong A Bigger Part in the Story

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6.Ryan Condal, showrunner for House of the Dragon, revealed why the series is giving Ser Larys Strong a larger role than in the show’s source material. In George R. R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood, the history of House Targaryen is depicted through a variety of in-universe historical records and scholarly writings. While there are many figures involved, including Ser Larys’ Kingsguard brother Ser Harwin Strong, Ser Larys himself is never depicted in as prominent a manner as those around him.

House of the Dragon changes Ser Larys’ background role, turning him into a more noteworthy, dangerous figure. In the final minutes of episode 6, Ser Larys is revealed to have set a fire at Harrenhal, killing both Ser Harwin Strong and their father Lyonel, the now-former Hand of the King. Larys accomplished this by using prisoners to do his bidding, removing their tongues beforehand to ensure they did not reveal his involvement in the plot. His decision to do this stems from an outward loyalty to Queen Alicent Hightower and her father Otto, though it is unclear as to where his true allegiances lie.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal explained why Ser Larys Strong was given a larger role in the show compared to Fire & Blood. Condal described how the gaps in historical records presented in Fire & Blood gave the writing team plenty to work with for expanding Ser Larys’ involvement in the story. See what Condal had to say about Ser Larys below:

« We just decided that Larys was smart enough in the history to never to get himself written down into many of the accounts too much, but we knew he was a schemer. We knew he was operating in those places, but he was wise. So nobody really knew what he was actually up to. Of course, you’re only looking at what’s in the historical records. So that doesn’t mean these things didn’t happen.

« You just want to turn the page and read more, but there’s not much there. Because the historians didn’t really get anything on him, it gave us tons of latitude to really draw on and invent with that character. »

Condal and crew’s decision to make Larys a more prominent figure in House of the Dragon than he was in Fire & Blood indicates there may be more surprises in store for book readers. Larys has already made a name for himself among fans of the show, with some viewers taking to Twitter to express their hatred of Larys after House of the Dragon episode 6. Some have even compared him to Littlefinger, a similar conspirator in Game of Thrones who played whichever side of politics benefited him the most in the moment. How Larys will measure up to Littlefinger’s level of plotting remains to be seen. Within his first appearance, though, Larys has already proven himself to be deceitful and hard to trust.

It should prove compelling to see how Larys continues to surprise audiences as House of the Dragon continues. Seeing how he will be woven into the forefront of Targaryen history may alter how certain events are depicted in the show compared to the book. There have already been a few minor changes to the source material, such as the way Lady Laena Valaryon dies and where Ser Criston Cole kills Joffrey Lonmouth. While the general story of the Dance of the Dragons is likely to be adapted faithfully, House of the Dragon now has an opportunity to tell the story uniquely for the small screen.

Source: EW