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The Truth About House Of The Dragon's Larys Strong

Spoilers for Episode 6 of "House of the Dragon" and "Fire & Blood" to follow.

There's a new major player in "House of the Dragon" — but what do you really know about him?

Introduced in the series' fifth episode, "We Light the Way," ahead of the ten year time jump in the following installment, Matthew Needham's Larys Strong is already pulling a ton of strings in Westeros... and in this fantastical realm, that usually goes hand in hand with murdering people for one's own personal gain. Larys brings the sixth episode, "The Princess and the Queen," to a close by telling Queen Alicent Hightower — now played in her adulthood by Olivia Cooke — about the "mysterious" deaths of his father and brother, frightening the queen to whom he has pledged his undying loyalty. In "Fire & Blood," the source material for the series, it's never clear that Larys arranges the fire that kills his brother and father at Harrenhal, but the show makes it quite clear, proving that Larys will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

So what's Larys' deal, and what does the actor behind this cunning new player think of the role? Here's what you need to know about "House of the Dragon's" Larys Strong.

Larys Strong will be very important through the Dance of the Dragons

According to "Fire & Blood," Larys isn't just important during the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen (Paddy Considine), but his successor as well. In the aftermath of the rest of House Strong going up in some pretty suspicious flames, Larys is well-positioned to take over important roles in Viserys' cabinet, which he does, ultimately joining Viserys' small council as the Master of Whispers.

After Viserys' daughter Rhaenyra (played onscreen by Emma D'Arcy) is ousted, his son Aegon II (currently played by Ty Tennant) takes the throne, with Larys' loyalty behind him. In fact, Larys eventually helps Aegon take the throne instead of Rhaenyra, sticking with Alicent — Aegon's mother — and fighting in her faction of "greens" against Rhaenyra's "blacks" during the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war for the Iron Throne. Larys continues to work with Alicent for the rest of his time in the story... and if you haven't read "Fire & Blood" just yet, we won't spoil it here, as Larys' story takes a ton of twists and turns.

The bottom line about Larys, however, is that he's constantly working in the shadows to help Alicent's faction, and plays a vital role in the Dance of the Dragons even if he's not on the front lines. Knowing that, it's clear that Needham's performance will continue as long as "House of the Dragon" does.

Matthew Needham has an interesting view of Larys

Speaking to Vulture, the actor behind this fascinating character really delved into his take on Larys... and it very well might surprise you.

When approached with the idea that Larys is, per interviewer Sean T. Williams, the series "first bonafide villain," Needham had a fascinating approach to his role. "I mean, looking at the world, everyone's got very villainous qualities," Needham replied. "I'm playing him like a hero, but I think that's maybe just what I have to do to motivate it. But I don't see him as a villain, really. I'm not playing that. He's got, in my head anyway, quite a noble ambition, but it's probably a sick one from an outsider's point of view."

Needham goes on to discuss everything from Larys' disability (he has a limp that earns him the nickname "Clubfoot") to his willingness to please Alicent, which led the two to a fascinating question: is Larys, who had his father and brother murdered, capable of true loyalty — especially considering that he always had a good relationship with his family? Needham thinks it's more complicated than that. "This sounds really weird, but I think his views on nature are important," Needham mused. "You can either see nature as harmony and things living in perfect balance with each other, or you can see elements of nature as being a succession of tiny murders. For something to grow, something has to die — that sort of thing."

"Larys talks about how love is a downfall," the actor continued. "It's not that he's without love; he's just able to overcome it. He's playing life on life's terms. He's able to play the game, and the game isn't won by sitting around the campfire, singing 'Kumbaya.' I don't think he's without feelings, but you have to be able to turn off your heart. That sounds very strange, but he's a strange person."

Continue Larys' journey on "House of the Dragon," which airs every Sunday night at 9PM on HBO Max and HBO.