10 Book Details About Harwin Strong That House Of The Dragon Left Out


With just a few episodes left before its conclusion, House of the Dragon season 1 will feature another time jump, supposedly the last of the series, during episode 8. The show has featured many of these jumps, quickly moving throughout the decades to lay the pieces for the Dance of the Dragons. As a result, many characters have come and gone, including Ser Harwin Strong.

Also known as “Breakbones,” Ser Harwin played a small but pivotal role in season 1. As the supposed father of Rhaenyra’s children, Harwin is a vital part of the Dance’s background, and House of the Dragon treats him as such. Still, with so much ground to cover, it makes sense the show left out several details about his backstory.



Nicknames are not uncommon in Westeros, and House of the Dragon has many of them. For example, Rhaenys Targaryen is known as “The Queen that Never Was” for obvious reasons. The late Ser Joffrey Lonmouth was “The Knight of Kisses,” presumably because of his House’s sigil, a quartered of six with red lips against a yellow field and yellow skulls against a field of black.

RELATED: Every Valyrian Steel Sword Seen In House Of The Dragon & Game Of Thrones

Ser Harwin Strong was known as “Breakbones” because of his reputation as the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms. His alias was great, especially considering his position as a knight and, eventually, the captain of the King’s Landing City Watch.

Harwin Was Exceedingly Strong

Making his House proud, Harwin was famous for his immense strength. Fire & Blood describes him as “massive” and “redoubtable,” qualities that made him a no-brainer for a knighthood, especially considering his father sat in King Viserys’ Small Council.

Based on his description, book Harwin shared more similarities with the Clegane brothers than his live-action counterpart. His father had a reputation for being “slow,” which makes it likely that many would also consider Harwin something of a brute — physically strong but nothing more.

Harwin Had Two Sisters

House of the Dragon depicts the Strongs as a family of three men: Lyonel, Harwin, and Larys. However, the books feature a larger clan, with Harwin and Larys having two younger sisters.

RELATED: 10 YouTubers That House Of The Dragon Fans Need To Follow

The Strongs arrive at King’s Landing when Harwin is approximately fifteen, and he quickly becomes part of the gold cloaks before rising to the rank of captain. His two sisters become handmaids to Rhaenyra, but mentions of them cease following Harwin and Lyonel’s deaths. However, it’s likely Lyonel secured advantageous marriages for them because there’s no mention of them throughout the Dance of the Dragons.

Harwin Received Rhaenyra’s Favor

Young Rhaenyra granted Ser Harwin Strong her favor during the tourney, celebrating her marriage to Ser Laenor Velaryon. It’s unclear if their relationship had already begun by that point, but they became inseparable afterward; thus, it stands to reason the tourney was the pivotal moment in their affair.

Tourneys are a big deal in Westeros. A woman’s favor is usually just a tradition, but it can often carry a deeper meaning. Rhaenyra granting hers to Ser Harwin did nothing to dissipate the rumors surrounding them, and the event was important enough to be noted by Maester Gyldayn.

A New Nickname “Brokenbones”

Ser Criston Cole is one of the most villainous House of the Dragon characters. A scorned lover who harbors resentment against Rhaenyra Targaryen, Cole detests her and her presumed lover, Ser Harwin Strong.

In the books, Cole’s animosity to Harwin Strong is less evident. However, they come at odds during the tourney celebrating Rhaenyra’s wedding to Ser Laenor Velaryon, and Cole breaks Strong’s collarbone and shatters his elbow. The notorious fool Mushroom changed Strong’s nickname to “Brokenbones,” and the new nickname stuck. Still, Harwin’s reputation came out intact.

Harwin Wasn’t Lord Commander Of The City Watch

House of the Dragon depicts Harwin as Lord Commander of the City Watch, a privileged position that would’ve granted him a place in the Small Council. The show begins with Daemon Targaryen as Lord Commander, creating the gold cloaks and cementing the position’s importance.

However, Harwin is never Lord Commander in the book. He was a captain and thus a prominent member of the City Watch, but he never rose to the top position. The Lord Commander of the City Watch is unnamed in the book, but he succeeds Daemon and maintains his position until the war breaks.

Harwin Courted Rhaenyra

Young Rhaenyra meets with several suitors, going on tour throughout the Seven Kingdoms to hear proposals from numerous Lords, including Ser Harwin Strong. However, she rejects everyone, ultimately choosing Ser Laenor Velaryon, thus uniting the two most prominent Valyrian Houses in the realm.

RELATED: 10 Things Only Book Readers Know About Rhaenyra Targaryen

The show does not mention Harwin courting Rhaenyra; instead, it depicts their romance beginning after her wedding to Laenor. This is a significant departure from the books, where Mushroom claims he found Rhaenyra and Harwin in bed together in 113 AC, the year between her tour and her wedding to Laenor.

Harwin Goes To Dragonstone With Rhaenyra

Rhaenyra departs for Dragonstone — one of the most iconic castles in Westeros — after her rivalry with Alicent Hightower becomes too intense. The show depicts this happening simultaneously with Harwin’s death, although he and Rhaenyra have already separated.

However, Harwin is alive and well by the time Rhaenyra departs for Dragonstone and accompanies her as her sworn shield. Harwin spends five years there; in fact, his youngest son with Rhaenyra, Joffrey, is born on Dragonstone. By all accounts, Harwin’s life with Rhaenyra in Dragonstone is uneventful, and the two enjoy enough freedom to continue their affair away from prying eyes.

Harwin’s Death Remains Unclear

In both the show and the book, Harwin and his father, the equally honorable but underrated Lyonel Strong, die in a fire while at their seat, Harrenhal. Their deaths were mysterious, although many attributed them to the infamous curse of Harrenhal.

Non-supernatural suspects included his brother, Larys; Prince Daemon Targaryen, who wanted Rhaenyra for himself; and even King Viserys, who wanted retribution against Harwin for dishonoring House Targaryen by fathering Rhaenyra’s bastards. The show lays the blame on Larys, thus eliminating the ambiguity.

Harwin Wasn’t A Player Of The Game

Unlike his politically savvy father and brother, Harwin was content with only being a soldier. Once he gets together with Rhaenyra, he becomes devoted to her, described as “a consistent presence” by her side. Because of his reputation, Harwin is one of the most prominent members of the Blacks.

It’s easy to think that everyone in the story is a player of the game, but some are just onlookers or supporters. Harwin was the latter, a man who was happy being a pawn in Rhaenyra’s game. However, there’s something admirable in his self-awareness; Harwin knew himself and played to his strengths. In a way, he played the game, but a much lower-stakes version.

NEXT: 8 Things We Know About The Game Of Thrones Cancelled Spin-Off


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.