Harwin Strong’s absence was felt in House of the Dragon episode 7, his rushed role in the show leaving viewers wishing they had seen much more of him.
WARNING! This post contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon episode 7!House of the Dragon episode 7 included multiple references to Ser Harwin Strong that have viewers wishing they saw more of him before his shocking death at the end of episode 6. Harwin Strong was the Commander of the City Watch and heir to Harrenhal. More importantly, he was the not-so-secret father to Rhaenyra Targaryen’s three children.
House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6, “Driftmark,” brought both the rise and demise of Ser Harwin Strong. After a 10-year time jump, Harwin was quickly and heavily hinted at as being the father of Rhaenyra’s children and to have been in a love affair with the princess over the last decade. While protecting his children, Harwin was baited into attacking Ser Criston Cole. The fight leds to Harwin being dismissed from the City Watch and sent back to Harrenhal to serve as a Lord. However, Harwin and his father were quickly murdered upon their arrival by a fire that was indirectly set by Harwin’s brother, Larys Strong.
Harwin’s absence was felt in House of the Dragon episode 7, as the Targaryen family referenced him multiple times. At Laena Velaryon’s funeral, Rhaenyra’s son Jacaerys proclaimed they should not be there, but at Harrenhal mourning the loss of Ser Harwin. In a walk on the beach with Daemon, Rhaenyra also expressed grief over losing Harwin by sharing how the knight brought her joy, made her feel desired, and was worthy of her trust. However, this grief feels hollow, as Harwin’s relationship with the family was largely glossed over and rushed to fit the entirety of the role of Harwin in House of the Dragon episode 6.
House Of The Dragon Could Have Easily Had More Harwin & Rhaenyra Scenes
Expressing this grief over the character’s death fuels the desire for more scenes of Ser Harwin Strong, especially with Rhaenyra. House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6, “The Princess and the Queen,” only scratched the surface of Harwin and Rhaenyra’s relationship, with little more than glances and allusions. Scenes of the two developing their romance would have created more depth and lasting meaning to his death and to her grieving comments in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 7. There was plenty more story to flesh out both with Rhaenyra and Harwin’s love affair as well as with Harwin’s relationship with Rhaenyra’s children. Harwin was already a mentor to the kids, but seeing him help to raise and aide the kids as they grew up would have helped establish how much he cared as a father even when he was not able to publicly acknowledge it.
House of the Dragon skipped over Rhaenyra and Harwin’s relationship, leaving a lack of emotional ties to the family’s grief and a desire to somehow go back and show the development of the relationship. Rhaenyra and her children could have used Harwin’s consolation and protection as the boys fought for their life and Rhaenyra fended off a dagger-wielding Queen Alicent. Instead, the memory of Ser Harwin Strong is already fading now that Rhaenyra has married Daemon and looks toward her coming fight for the Iron Throne.
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