Warning: Contains major SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, “The Green Council”A fetishistic transaction between Alicent Hightower and Larys Strong in the most recent episode of House of the Dragon has left fans staggered. Larys previously announced himself in the series as a disturbing amalgamation of Littlefinger and Varys from Game of Thrones, aiding Alicent and her family in their ascent to power from the shadows. The traitorous aristocrat has presented a detachment from even the thinnest lines of morality that characterize Westeros, putting his own father and brother to death in order to inherit the Strong family castle of Harrenhal and gain the green Queen’s favor.
Nigh on politically grooming Alicent in her youth, Larys has portrayed himself as one of her only true loyal allies, though his deeper motives outside a rise in station are still somewhat ambiguous. Despite Alicent’s initial disgust at Larys’ methods, as the episodes have passed, the Queen seems to have become more open to the idea of having a master of discretion and whispers by her side in court. Yet, those exact whispers are always at risk of leaking to other ears. With figures like Alicent’s astute father, Otto Hightower, ever present, it is likely Larys’ facade of loyalty won’t last forever.
Leaving fans on Twitter even more unnerved by Alicent’s relationship to Larys, a scene from House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9 “The Green Council”, revealed the mode of payment the Queen offers the unavowed Lord of Harrenhal for his services. Presenting him with her bare feet so that he may masturbate over them, Alicent chips away at her dignity in order to maintain her family’s standing at court. See how fans have reacted below:
Alicent & Larys’ Dynamic Keeps Getting Worse
Clearly, the perverse interaction has left the fandom shocked, which considering audience standards for the characters of Westeros says a great deal about just how chilling a presence Larys has become on-screen. The base level creepiness of the scene is, however, deepened by the implications the moment has on Alicent’s character overall. Since the Queen’s decision to directly combat fan-favorite Rhaenyra Targaryen in her own ascension to the throne, Alicent has been a polarizing character; one minute viewed as a sympathetic girl unceremoniously thrust into the ugly world of politics, and the next a jealous wretch clouded by a lust for vengeance upon her childhood friend.
Arguably, Alicent is becoming one of the most fascinating and complex characters in House of the Dragon, and her relationship to Larys is feeding a debate on her true morality. On the one hand, she is a loving mother simply trying to protect her own bloodline, and has also finally stood up to her father’s wishes in demanding that Rhaenyra be offered peaceful terms rather than being executed. The Queen in green even goes as far as to stare down the terrifying jaws of Princess Rhaenys dragon, rather than offer her son freely to the flames. Though on the other hand, Alicent’s connection to Larys does make the Queen an accessory to murder, and her method of payment is equally a direct contradiction of the decency and righteousness she flaunts over Rhaenyra. Regardless of whether you’re sticking with the Greens or the Blacks, one thing is certain: As long as Larys remains close to Alicent, the Queen will dip ever further into the murky depths of Westeros depravity.
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