WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9, and George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood Lord Larys Strong, a.k.a. “Clubfoot,” and Lady Mysaria, a.k.a. “the White Worm,” both make a major return to prominence in House of the Dragon with episode 9 hinting that Larys may even be the one who burns down Mysaria’s building. In an episode that features perhaps the most divergence from the Fire & Blood source material, Larys and Mysaria are each given more screen time and further characterization. Larys’s salacious intentions are continually on display, while a more humanitarian side to Mysaria emerges. House of the Dragon episode 9 pits these two cunning characters against one another, as Larys “Clubfoot” Strong and Lady Mysaria look set to compete for their stake in the state of the realm.
In one of House of the Dragon‘s most unsettling scenes, Larys exchanges information for a glimpse at Alicent’s feet. Larys furthers the divide between the greens, as he reveals that Otto knows about Lady Mysaria spying on Alicent but elects to do nothing about it. Larys is born with a twisted foot in the Fire & Blood book, and this same depiction appears to be carried over in the show. While Larys’s own lived experience makes his foot fetish more understandable, that doesn’t make it any less creepy. Larys’s firefly sigil is representative of his violent proclivities, as his affinity for fire is once again sparked in this episode. Where previously Larys was seen utilizing a group to carry out his crimes, the hooded figure that burns down Mysaria’s building in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 9 appears to have acted alone, suggesting that it could be Larys himself.
Larys’s sinister nature is on full display in House of the Dragon season1, episode 9, with the episode indicating that he could be faking his clubfoot. This would mark a change from the Fire & Blood book, and a turn that would make his character even more villainous. As opposed to Larys having his tongueless prisoners publicly execute his vile wishes, if he is indeed feigning his clubfoot, he could discreetly handle these deeds himself. After all, Larys’s actions come off as overtly suspicious. His choices to establish a personal sigil, brandish it on his cane, and pin it to his cronies’ lapels as they commit arson and murder are curious. But, perhaps the public display of force and the fake clubfoot are part of Larys’s larger schemes.
Larys faking his clubfoot would allow him to use the guise of his firefly-clad goons as an indication of his power, while also concealing his true plans. Although the identity of the hooded figure is difficult to discern, the implication that Larys could have killed Mysaria opens up an array of possibilities for House of the Dragon‘s future. In the Fire & Blood book, Larys’s true allegiances are often ambiguous, but he does seem to be loyal to Alicent and her named heir, King Aegon II. Larys is present at the Green Council meeting in the book and proposes the other members of the green party swear a blood oath in support of Aegon the Elder.
Given that Larys is not present at the Green Council meeting to swear his fealty to Aegon II in House of the Dragon, this wrinkle presents an opportunity to further embellish his character in the series. This change, in addition to the possible fake clubfoot, as well as Larys’s offer to take an eye for Alicent could represent a pattern of feigned devotion to the Hightower cause. While Alicent may have the best interests of the realm in mind, Larys is out for personal gain. His clubfoot-induced gait and assembly of firefly henchmen could be a ploy to convey an air of personal weakness, while in reality he deftly executes machinations of his own accord.
What Larys Burning Down Mysaria’s Building Means
Larys may not be solely responsible for burning down Mysaria’s building in House of the Dragon episode 9, but it’s highly likely that he orchestrates the act. This evident act of sabotage from the greens against Mysaria could sway her to side with the blacks, if she is still alive. Mysaria still has a major role to play in the Dance of the Dragons in the source material, so her death would come as a surprise.
Larys’s treachery against Mysaria foreshadows a potential budding rivalry between the two spymasters, similar to Varys and Littlefinger in Game of Thrones. Larys’s new title as Lord Confessor and his self-serving acts link him to Littlefinger and signify a more active role in the realm’s future events. Further, Mysaria states to Otto, “There is no power but what the people allow you to take.” This line and her advocating for the welfare of King’s Landing children echoes the standpoint that Varys held with his little birds and his stance on serving the interests of the realm. In a way, Larys sparked the inception of conflict in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 5 by telling Alicent about Rhaenyra’s moon tea. Larys perpetually stokes the fire from that point on, beginning with his firefly sigil and repeated acts of arson. Lord Larys’s ongoing ploys of deceit and the open act of violence against Mysaria set up an enticing future for both characters in House of the Dragon.
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