‘House Of The Dragon’ Episode 6 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Harwin Strong Dead?


The sixth episode of “House of the Dragon,” titled “The Princess and the Queen,” takes a leap of almost 10 years and makes us privy to the rising hostilities in King’s Landing. Alicent was harboring a lot of insecurities and was looking for an opportunity to undermine the authority of Princess Rhaenyra. She wanted her son, Aegon, to sit on the Iron Throne. The bond she once shared with Rhaenyra didn’t mean anything to her now. She was blinded by her vulnerabilities. Rhaenyra, on the other hand, was much more in control of her sensibilities. She was also looking out for her immediate family, but in that process, she wasn’t blinded by that feeling. She was open to making things work and reaching a middle ground. But soon, she realized that she wouldn’t be able to keep her head above water if she continued staying in King’s Landing.

Spoilers Ahead

Is Ser Harwin Strong The Real Father Of Rhaenyra’s Sons?

“House of the Dragon” Episode 6 begins with Rhaenyra Targaryen giving birth to her third son. The first two sons, Jacaerys and Lucerys, didn’t look anything like their mother or their father. They were dark-haired and bore an uncanny resemblance to Ser Harwin Strong. The third one was no different. Laenor Valeryon names her third son Joffrey without even consulting Rhaenyra about the name. Later, Ser Harwin Strong came to visit the Princess of Dragonstone privately and asked to take a look at her newborn son. The Commander of the City Watch looks at the newborn with the kind of affection that makes you realize that he was indeed the biological father of the child. Laenor also knows about it. But he is still supportive and treats Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey as his own. He knew that he couldn’t blame Rhaenyra because he himself had agreed to her terms and conditions. Rhaenyra had stated to him very clearly that their marriage was nothing but a political arrangement. They both agreed to carry on with their extra-marital affairs even after marriage. Laenor also had an illicit affair with Ser Qarl Correy, and Rhaenyra knew about it. Even though both the partners had agreed to this arrangement, there was a kind of uneasiness that often arose due to the conflicting nature of their relationships. There was a strong feeling of animosity brewing between Rhaenyra and Alicent. The former friends now didn’t miss an opportunity to take a jibe at each other. As soon as Joffrey was born, Alicent asked for him, as she wanted to check who was the real father of the newborn. It was a matter of succession, and both the women wanted their sons to sit on the Iron Throne. During the meeting of the small council, both of them started arguing in an attempt to undermine each other’s authority. It felt like Rhaenyra was more inclined towards ending this enmity once and for all. She proposes that her son Jacaerys could get married to Alicent’s daughter, Helaena, and that would, in turn, resolve the conflict. Alicent says that she would think about it, but deep down, she knew that she was never going to accept that proposition. Alicent believed that Rhaenyra was just like that cunning fox, who was hiding its real intention because it was being cornered by the hounds. 

Ser Criston Cole had sworn his allegiance to Alicent after Rhaenyra declined his offer to get married. All the royal children used to come to him for combat lessons. Criston Cole was biased towards Alicent’s children, Aegon and Aemond. In the yard, when they were practicing, he made Aegon and Jacaerys go against each other. Aegon was quite older as compared to Jaceys and obviously had an upper hand in the duel. Ser Harwin also arrived at the scene and didn’t like the way his own sons were being mistreated by Cole. He lost his temper and ended up beating Criston Cole mercilessly.

Alicent often used to scold Aegon for having the kind of attitude he had towards his own younger brother. Aemond was the only one who didn’t have a dragon. Aegon often used to side with his cousins, Jacaerys and Lucerys, and make fun of his real brother, Aemond. Alicent told him that he couldn’t do that, not even in light-hearted humor. Aegon, at this moment, doesn’t understand why his mother is asking him to take sides and go against his own cousins. They’d all been brought up together, and their pure and innocent hearts never learned to play politics. Their souls were still untainted by greed. Alicent tells Aegon that the day would come when the sons of Rhaenyra would contest his claim to the Iron Throne. Alicent wished to instill in her sons the same hatred that she felt. She just wanted to expose the illicit affair of Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin Strong and make her own children the heirs to the Iron Throne.

Is Daemon Missing Westeros, Especially Rhaenyra? Is Laena Dead?

After marrying Laena Velaryon, Daemon had gone to Pentos because he was very sure that his presence wouldn’t be welcomed in Westeros. Daemon had a lot of regrets from his life. His life was nowhere close to what he had once aspired to be. He loved Rhaenyra, and the two wanted to get married to each other. But he also knew that his brother Viserys Targaryen would never let that happen. Even when Rhaenyra was about to get married to Laenor Velaryon, he asked her if she really wanted to do so or not. Rhaenyra liked her uncle far more than any other man she had met. She tells him that she would readily agree to be his wife if he had the courage to kill her father’s Kingsguard and take her away with him. Daemon loved Rhaenyra, but he also had a lot of affection for his own brother. He knew he couldn’t do that. His barbaric fervor often used to take over his prudent sensibilities, but he still couldn’t entertain the thought of going against his own family. He held his family in high regard and respected the bonds he shared, even though, at times, his brazen attitude would have pointed out otherwise. Daemon and Laena had two daughters named Baela and Rhaena. They were voyaging the free cities when the Prince of Pentos, Reggio, gave Daemon an offer. The Triarchy had risen to power once again under the leadership of Qoren Martell of Dorne. The Prince of Pentos was ready to give a permanent residence to Daemon and his family if they helped Pentos in the war against the rising rebellion. Laena didn’t want to stay in Pentos. She wanted her children to be raised in Driftmark. She knew that she was not Daemon’s first choice, and she was ready to live with that fact for the rest of her life. During her third pregnancy, complications arose, and the maesters didn’t know what to do to help her. Laena was in excruciating pain. She wasn’t able to deliver the child, and she had also lost all will to live. Had her marital life been flourishing, then she might have fought the odds. But maybe she had nothing to look forward to. She always felt unwanted and tried her level best to keep Daemon happy. Laena gave up in despair. She went to her dragon, Vhagar, and ordered the beast to burn her alive. Daemon was left alone with her daughters. As long as Laena was there, he could run away from the responsibilities he had as a father, but now the girls had only him. Though Daemon was in Pentos, he always dreamt of going back to King’s Landing. A man who had nothing to do with books all his life used to sit in the library for hours, reading about the Targaryen dynasty. Daemon was confused, and once again, life had made him stand at a crossroads, and he didn’t know in which direction he should head.

What Was Larys’s Plan? Are Lyonel And His Son, Ser Harwin Strong Dead?

Viserys was an idealist who wanted to reside in his own imaginary world as reality was too harsh for him. He knew that, though his grandsons bore the surname Velaryon, they were Ser Harwin’s sons. He knew that his daughter Rhaenrya had an affair with Ser Harwin Strong, but he didn’t want to accept it. He had created this perfect image in his mind where his sons and grandsons lived in a state of harmony. That is why he was elated when Rhaenyra proposed to get her son married to Alicent’s daughter. He thought that it was the best solution that would resolve every issue. Alicent tried to tell him to open his eyes, but the King resisted. Maybe he was too scared to accept the dysfunctionality of his own family. After the incident in the yard, where Ser Harwin Strong fought with Ser Criston Cole, Lyonel Strong came to meet the King. Lyonel was an honorable man, and he was well aware of the illegitimate acts of his son, Harwin. He wanted to resign from his position and take his son back to Harrenhal. But Viserys was in no mood to allow him to do that. Alicent provokes him and asks him the real reason behind him wanting to take his son away from King’s Landing. She wanted Lyonel Strong to say out loud that his son was having an affair with Princess Rhaenyra. She wanted the hand of the King to accept that Harwin was the biological father of Viserys’ grandsons. But Lyonel didn’t accept it. He didn’t want to hurt the ailing Viserys even more. He wanted Viserys to keep living in his imaginary bubble if that’s what gave him some peace. Viserys does not allow Lyonel to resign, which greatly infuriates Alicent. Lyonel Strong was going back to Harrenhal with Ser Harwin. Ser Harwin was going to become the Lord of Harrenhal, and Lyonel Strong deemed it fit to keep his son away from King’s Landing. Rhaenyra also decided to leave King’s Landing for good. She knew that circumstances were not conducive for her family. The rumors of her affair with Ser Harwin Strong had started affecting her. Her sons were asking her if Harwin was their real father. She feared that in her absence, the Queen would influence the King and ask him to make Aegon the heir to the iron throne. But her political aspirations were now causing a threat to her family. She went and talked to Laenor and told him about her decision to leave for Dragonstone. She asked him to take his lover, Qarl Correy, with him, as she very well knew that a battle was about to commence, and they would need as many hands as possible.

Alicent, disappointed by the decision made by Viserys, confides in her trusted ally, Larys Strong, who had eventually risen to the position of her advisor. She tells him how her father would have had the courage to tell the King the truth, no matter how bitter it was. Larys was Lyonel Strong’s son and the younger brother of Ser Harwin Strong. Clubfoot, as he was nicknamed, was a conniving and shrewd conspirator. Larys had a plan in mind. He went and offered the prisoners in King’s Landing a deal of sorts. He told them that they could evade their death sentence if they accepted his offer. A few prisoners came ahead and accepted the offer. Their tongues were severed, and they were sent to Harrenhal on a mission. The prisoners, under the orders of Clubfoot, burnt Lyonel Strong and Ser Harwin alive in their castle. When Alicent got to hear about it, she couldn’t believe her ears. Yes, she had wanted to have her way and had expressed her desires to Larys Strong. But she didn’t know that he would go ahead and kill his own father and his brother. Larys very calmly tells Alicent that he only did what she desired. His demeanor, and his eyes, could make anybody’s blood run cold. Even though he had granted Alicent’s wish, she was petrified of looking at the man and realizing what he was capable of. It is an undeniable fact that Larys Strong and his frightening motivations will have an impact on the future of the Iron Throne. It would be interesting to see to what extent Alicent would be willing to go in order to fend for her own desires. With Laena dead, Daemon would also try to return to Westeros, as it was evident that he didn’t want to stay in Pentos. As the greed for power takes over the fragile minds of the mortals, King’s Landing inches closer to a civil war that would ultimately decide the fate of House Targaryen.

See More: ‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 7: Recap & Ending, Explained: Is Laenor Dead Or Alive?

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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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