A lot happened in the latest episode of House of the Dragon as Rhaenyra Targaryen’s (Milly Alcock) wedding to Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate) turned to bloodshed. The biggest moments included a brutal murder, Alicent Hightower’s (Emily Carey) green dress declaration of war against her step-daughter, and Daemon Targaryen’s (Matt Smith) latest dramatic return from exile.
Amid all of the drama, you’d therefore be forgiven if you missed the centering of an important character in Rhaenyra’s future. Now, before we go any further, be warned that we'll be getting into show and book spoilers from here on out. Turn back now if you want to avoid any potential reveals about the coming episodes of the show.
If you’re still reading, then you’re ready to delve into spoiler territory. The Strong family became a bigger part of the narrative in the latest episode of House of the Dragon. Lyonel Strong (Gavin Spokes) took over as the Hand of the King and his son Larys Strong (Matthew Needham) was the one whispering in Alicent’s ear about Rhaenyra’s after-hours escapades.
However, it was actually Lyonel's other son who was featured in one of the most prophetic moments of the episode. Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), who is nicknamed Breakbones, has been lingering in the background of episodes so far after we caught a glimpse of him grinning when Rhaenyra returned covered in blood after besting a boar in episode 3.
However, it was only in episode 5 when he got his first dialogue as he and his brother discussed Alicent’s dress. Then later in the episode, he was the one who carted Rhaenyra away from danger when the fight broke out in the banquet hall.
He took her away from Ser Criston Cole’s (Fabien Frankel) violence and Daemon’s advances by carrying her over his shoulder. It's a small moment but one that readers of George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood will likely have clocked as Harwin is an important figure in the young princess’s future.
In the book, the knight and heir to Harrenhal becomes her rumored lover before her marriage to Laenor. According to accounts from Mushroom – who is one of the narrators of the book – their relationship then continued after her marriage as Breakbones becomes her close confidant and protector.
Intriguingly, Harwin is also the supposed father of her three sons with her first husband Laenor. While accounts differ on this, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey are thought to be his children by birth, and Harwin was even at her bedside when they were born.
Fire and Blood is written as a series of accounts so we don't know yet whether HBO's adaptation will follow this storyline exactly going forwards. However, given the latest trailer for episode six features Harwin heavily, it seems likely we could be about to see this twist in motion.
House of the Dragon airs weekly on HBO in the US and NOW TV and Sky Atlantic in the UK. Check out our episode release schedule to make sure you don’t miss a moment.