House of the Dragon: Who is Harwin Strong? Actor's previous roles and character's relationship with Rhaenyra
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There are a whole host of new characters and houses in Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon.
Set almost 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the show explores the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of Dragons.
We’ve already been introduced to many of the main players in the Dance, but Harwin “breakbones” Strong is a background character who is about to be thrust to the forefront in the next few episodes.
Here’s everything we know about him, including the actor who plays him, and what happens to his character in the lore.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for the House of the Dragon TV series and George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.
Who plays Harwin Strong in House of the Dragon? Actor and previous roles
Harwin Strong is played by Australian actor Ryan Corr in House of the Dragon.
The 33-year-old from Melbourne has previously appeared in Neighbours, Wolf Creek 2, in The Water Diviner with Russel Crowe, and Mary Magdalene opposite Rooney Mara.
Who is Harwin Strong in House of the Dragon?
Harwin Strong is a knight and heir to Harrenhall, which is the seat of House Strong in Westeros.
Nicknamed “breakbones”, he is said to be the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms at the time of the Dance of Dragons.
Harwin’s father is Lyonel Strong, a trusted adviser to King Viserys (Paddy Considine) who is Master of laws and later becomes Hand of the King, replacing Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans).
House Strong is a prominent noble house based in the Riverlands, whose members are believed to be descended from the First Men.
The mighty castle Harrenhall is the largest in the realm, having been built by Harren the Black hundreds of years before the events of House of the Dragon.
Having boasted that his fortress was "impregnable” Harren was burned alive within it by Aegon Targaryen and his dragon Balerion the Black Dread. Since, the castle fell into ruin and there were rumours it was haunted.
Harrenhall is seen in Game of Thrones Season 2 when Arya (Maisie Williams) is captured there and bumps into Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance).
What happens between Harwin Strong and Princess Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon?
Spoilers ahead. In George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood – which House of the Dragon is based on – Harwin Strong is rumoured to be the father of Rhaenyra Targaryen’s (Milly Alcock/ Emma D’Arcy) three sons Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey.
Though Rhaenyra is married to Laenor Velaryon, in the source material it is implied that he is gay and theirs is a marriage of convenience.
Gossip starts to stir about Rhaenyra and Harwin when all three of her sons have his dark hair – when both their mother Rhaenyra and alleged father Laenor have silver hair.
House of the Dragon has already hinted towards this storyline, with Harwin Strong appearing in a couple of scenes with Rhaenyra.
However, Fire & Blood is written like a historic account of the events from multiple unreliable sources – so it’s likely we’ll find out what actually happened in the show.
What happens to Harwin Strong in Fire & Blood?
More spoilers ahead. In Fire & Blood, Princess Rhaenyra grants Harwin her favour during a tourney celebrating her wedding to Laenor Velaryon. But, during the tournament, Ser Criston Cole breaks Strong's collarbone and shatters his elbow.
Strong becomes a protector of Rhaenyra and is constantly seen at her side at court. He is present at the birth of her second son Lucerys. When tensions rise over who is heir to the Iron Throne, Strong is a key member of the Blacks – supporting Rhaenyra’s claim over Queen Alicent’s son Prince Aegon (the Greens).
However, Strong is killed in a mysterious fire at Harrenhall, alongside his father Lyonel Strong. The blaze is said to be an accident – but there are rumours it was started by agents working for Daemon Targaryen, Lord Corlys Velaryon, or even King Viserys I.
It is likely the true series of events will be revealed in House of the Dragon.
Who is Harwin Strong’s brother Larys Strong?
Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), known as The Clubfoot, is Harwin Strong’s younger brother.
Due to his disability, he is overlooked and seen as harmless – and this enables him to listen in and find out everything that is happening at court.
In Fire & Blood, Larys rises to be incredibly powerful, a Master of Whispers like Varys in Game of Thrones.