House of the Dragon solves a major Fire & Blood mystery

House of the Dragon reveals the cause of the devastating fire at Harrenhal

Matthew Needham as Larys Strong in House of the Dragon

Since the HBO series House of the Dragon is based on George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, fans who have read the book already have an idea of what will happen in the TV show. However, last Sunday’s episode of House of the Dragon proved that the show is not merely an adaptation of the novel, as it also tries to fill in gaps in the story that the novel seemingly overlooked.

In Fire & Blood and in the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, Harrenhal, which was once burned down by dragons in Aegon’s Conquest, has long been considered a cursed castle. Every unfortunate incident that ever happened at the castle was blamed on the curse, including the devastating fire that killed Lyonel Strong and his son, Harwin.

That specific fire was detailed in Fire & Blood but the book never revealed its cause. Readers, of course, had their theories, and one of those suppositions was confirmed to be correct in the latest episode of House of the Dragon.

House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6

In the show’s sixth episode titled, The Princess and the Queen, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen gives birth to her third child, Joffrey. Like his brothers Jacaerys and Lucerys, Joffrey has brown hair, confirming that all of Rhaenyra’s children were fathered by Harwin, and not by her husband Laenor Velaryon.

King Viserys Targaryen refused to address the issue head-on, but Queen Alicent Hightower mentioned to Larys Strong that she wanted to do something about it to keep the family clear of scandal once and for all.

Lyonel offered his resignation as Hand of the King over rumors regarding his son, Harwin. Wishing her father, Otto Hightower, was still the king’s Hand, Alicent wanted Viserys to accept Lyonel’s resignation. But Viserys didn’t accept Lyonel’s resignation and instead allowed him to take his son, Harwin, to Harrenhal.

In the latter part of the episode, Larys approached a group of prisoners that are set to be executed. He offered them their freedom in exchange for doing him a favor and having their tongues cut out. Fast forward to the final moments of the installment, those same men appeared at Harrenhal and started a fire that killed Lyonel and Harwin.

At the end of the episode, Lyonel admitted to Alicent that he’s the one who orchestrated the fire, expecting some sort of reward from the queen as the deaths of Lyonel and Harwin benefit her. For one, the fire took Harwin out of the equation, and Alicent can now influence Viserys in choosing his new Hand.

As for Larys, the deaths of his father and brother made him the only remaining legitimate man in House Strong. This means that Larys will inherit Harrenhal and everything else that belonged to his father.

House of the Dragon | S1 EP6: Inside the Episode (HBO)

House of the Dragon season 1, episode 7

The next episode of House of the Dragon, titled Driftmark, premieres on Sunday, October 2nd at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. Watch the trailer for the episode below:

Season 1 Episode 7 Preview | House of the Dragon (HBO)
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