Did Larys Strong Kill His Father And Brother? What Does The Symbol On Clubfoot’s Walking Stick Represent?

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Larys Strong was the kind of person who always had a plan, even though he would make it look like his whole existence was nothing but an unprecedented coincidence. Larys Strong liked to see the world burn, even if it didn’t fulfill any particular vendetta of his. Maybe that is why he was even more lethal. Everybody, from King’s Landing to the free cities, was fighting for their own personal gains, and here was a man who enjoyed the sight of a raging conflagration. He enjoyed seeing structures being reduced to rubble. He fed on chaos and savored mayhem. He thrived off the very facets of life that nurtured wreckage. Maybe Larys Strong didn’t have a destination in mind, but he was the kind of person who just enjoyed the voyage. He loved to be the cause behind the ruination of other individuals. 

We first see Larys Strong in the fifth episode of “House of the Dragons,” when he meets Alicent and calls her a refugee trying to survive amidst the natives. Alicent tries to make a casual conversation as she doesn’t know what Larys Strong wanted to imply. But Larys was not willing to let her go so easily. He wanted to ascertain what Alicent felt about the recent developments. He wanted to know if he could sow a seed of vengeance inside her. He wanted to know if she was pragmatic enough to sever all ties and go beyond her limitations. He wanted to know whether she could be selfish enough to burn King’s Landing in order to make her son, Aegon, sit on the Iron Throne. One couldn’t find any plausible reason why Larys Strong was present there. His father, Lyonel Strong, had been made the hand of the king as a replacement for Otto Hightower. He should have been celebrating out there, but here he was, trying to have a conversation with the Queen, with an aim to become her ally.


Why Did Larys Strong Kill His Father, Lyonel And Brother, Ser Harwin?

Larys Strong, a.k.a. Clubfoot was the master of whisperers in the small council of King’s Landing. He was somebody who had his ears to the ground. Through his spy network spread across King’s Landing, he was able to know and observe things that many times didn’t come to anybody’s attention. He was a schemer, and one never knew what was going on in his mind. Because of his disability, Larys could never be a warrior, unlike his elder brother, Ser Harwin Strong. Maybe, earlier in his life, Larys was not given the respect that he deserved. Maybe he was not treated properly and was subjected to injustice. We made that speculation because it felt like he had a lot of resentment. He had held onto it for so long that his core had become bitter now. Now the peculiarity of this situation was that this vengeance was not objective in nature. He didn’t have a grudge due to some specific incident or individual. There would have been many such things that would have accumulated over a period of time and caused him to become this shrewd and ungrateful individual. He tells Alicent that those who are not allowed to speak always learn to observe over a period of time. It is evident that the man always felt that he never got the respect that he deserved. Clubfoot was an intelligent man. He had foreseen that Kings Landing would soon be divided into two factions. He had placed his bets on Alicent Hightower, maybe because he thought that the odds of her son sitting on the Iron throne were much greater as compared to Rhaenyra. 

Larys gives the Queen an offer to be her ally. He knew that Alicent needed a confidant. She needed somebody who would not judge her for harboring sinister thoughts and evil intentions. But Alicent needed more than just his words to rely on him. Larys knew that, and he very cunningly told her that Rhaenyra was given the Moon Tea by the archmaester on the orders of King Viserys Targaryen. Alicent was always a bit skeptical about Rhaenyra’s intentions, but now that suspicion was given some factual basis. He couldn’t be held totally responsible for causing a rift between Alicent and Rhaenyra, but he did give a gentle push to the Queen in the desired direction. The seed of vengeance was nurtured with suspicion, doubt, mistrust, and greed, and finally, at the end of episode 5 of “House of the Dragons,” we saw Alicent making her intentions very clear by wearing a green dress on the first day of the seven-day wedding ceremony of Princess Rhaenyra and Laenor Velaryon. Larys thrived, seeing the growing discontent in the heart of Alicent. He knew he had the means to reach where he always wanted to. He derived sadistic pleasure from seeing the world burn.

In the 6th episode of “House of the Dragons,” Clubfoot unleashes his wrath, so much so that even his ally, Alicent, gets scared by the look in his eyes. Alicent came and told Larys about whatever had transpired in Viserys’ chamber. Lyonel Strong, Larys’ father, wanted to resign from the post because of his son’s doing. Ser Harwin had an illicit relationship with Rhaenyra. Lyonel knew that his judgment was impaired, and he couldn’t stay unbiased as was expected from a man in his position. The way Larys talks about his brother and father makes you realize that somewhere he was not very fond of them. He had that disdainful glare in his eyes and called the actions of his brother nothing less than willful transgressions. He got to know that Lyonel was taking Ser Harwin back to Harrenhal so that the latter could resume his duties and take charge of their family seat. Truth be told, Alicent gave Larys the “Green Signal” that he wanted. He unleashed the demon hidden inside his core. His motivations were now unbridled and ready to wreak havoc on Harrenhal. He devised an atrocious plan. A plan to kill his own father and brother. His monstrosity could be ascertained by the fact that he severed the tongues of the prisoners, whom he sent to kill his father and brother, so that they couldn’t speak against him even if they had a change of heart. 


What Did The Firefly On Clubfoot’s Walking Stick Represent?

Ser Harwin and Lyonel Strong were burnt alive, and the devil sat in King’s Landing comfortably as if nothing much had happened. He considered them mere impediments and didn’t have any kind of guilt. The handle of Clubfoot’s walking stick had a golden, gem-studded firefly mounted on it. When he sent his men to Harrenhal to kill his own kin, they also wore small firefly badges on their chests. In a lot of mythologies, “Fireflies,” which belong to the family of beetles, are considered to be a bad omen. It is said that they bring bad luck and death wherever they go. Most people do not know what a firefly looks like in reality. They associate it with the gleaming light on its belly. If one sees a firefly during the daytime, one most probably wouldn’t be able to recognize it. The gleaming light gives a sense of purpose to the firefly. It uses it to attract mates. It shows that it wants to be conspicuous by being noticeable in the darkness of the night, but on the contrary, the light puts a veil on its actual physical form.

Much like a firefly, Larys gave way to all his evilness in the darkness of the night. He had a deceitful exterior, which made him keep his real intentions camouflaged. He limped his way through the corridors of Kings’ Landing, gaining sympathy and making others believe in his Bonafide intentions. He was not somebody who talked too much, and people counted it as one of his good qualities. But the “Master of Whisperers” only did that so that he could hear all the whispers very clearly and access the information that the others couldn’t. Larys knew that he could not defeat his enemy on the battlefield, so he tried to find other ways to destroy them and get the upper hand in a world that, according to him, had always been unfair to him. Larys Strong came from a different school of thought altogether. He had pierced through the fickle human emotions and seen how fragile they were in nature. He had a philosophy behind whatever he did. This negative spirituality had sabotaged his sensibilities. He had found a way to channel all the pain that had accumulated inside his core. He calls Harrenhal a cursed place and describes how it passes judgment on all those who pass through its gates.

Alicent had realized that maybe he was the kind of predator who could chew his own master alive. At this juncture, you realize that Larys was never serving the realm or the Queen, as he pretended. He was blatantly using everybody who came his way as a means to serve his own purpose. At the end of the 6th episode of House of the Dragons, he once again holds that same flower that he had once held when he talked to Alicent. He had called Alicent an outsider trying to thrive in a foreign land. We feel that the analogy suited him more. Maybe he felt like an outcast who had realized that, in order to thrive, he needed to snatch what was rightfully his. In an attempt to balance the scales of society, he had become a personification of the same injustice and lack of empathy of which he had been the victim.


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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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