In several episodes of “House of the Dragon” that have aired so far, fantasy fans have something to appreciate. With its exotic creatures, glorified dragons, vast landscapes, stunning cinematography and breathtaking costumes, the first of many “Game of Thrones” spin-offs has inspired some fans to give the burgeoning fantasy franchise another chance. So far, several new and incredibly memorable characters have appeared in the Targaryen series, but it’s not a Targaryen character that outshines everyone.
In several episodes of “House of the Dragon” that have already aired, viewers have found themselves becoming attached to various characters. Brave and confident Rainira (Millie Alcock) captivated many with her journey and intrigued by where she could go. She is contradicted by several characters, including Damon (Matt Smith), her much more eccentric and slightly irrational uncle. However, it is Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), a character not belonging to the Targaryen Dragon House, who has escaped with the hearts of countless viewers.
Ser Harvin had very few scenes in The House of the Dragon, but that didn’t stop him from winning the love of HBO viewers. He first appeared in the third episode of House of the Dragon as one of the many observers of Rhaenyra’s triumphant return to the lavish celebration of Aegon’s name day, where she was covered in blood. Harvin was then seen in the next episode of House of the Dragon as a member of the City Watch. Traditionally, his character is considered the strongest man in the Seven Kingdoms, having received the nickname “Bones”. He hasn’t had a chance to prove it in the Dragon House yet, but the opportunity to do so should come soon. Until then, Harvin has established himself as a significant addition to the Dragon House in other ways.
In “His Second Name” (season 1, episode 3), Harvin is one of several viewers who watch Rainira walking through the camp, covered in boar blood. King Viserys (Paddy Considine), Alicent (Emily Carey) and Otto Hightower (Rhys Evans) look at Rainira with various contemptuous expressions, while Jason Lannister (Jefferson Hall) looks at her with disgust. Harvin’s reaction stands out among these cuts of various characters, as his facial expression is both pleased and proud of Rainira’s recent adventure. His silent but enthusiastic support of Rainira in this scene creates a bond between Harvin and the Dragon House audience, who are proud of Rainira’s confident step into the camp.
Harvin went on to redeem himself in the next episode of House of the Dragon titled “King of the Narrow Sea”. Harvin is seen again only for a brief moment in the episode, but gives viewers another reason to continue to trust or admire Harvin’s character. As a member of the City Watch, Harvin runs into Rainira during her secret night out with Damon. At first, he believes that Rainira has disguised herself as a city boy, but, realizing that she is a princess, jokes with her before letting her leave with Damon. Given the speed with which the “King of the Narrow Sea” is moving towards investigating what happened between Rainira and Damon that night, Harvin’s apparent silence and potential unwillingness to come forward to confirm or deny these statements allows both viewers and Rainira to view Harvin as a likely candidate who will believe in moving forward.
As the eldest son of Lionel Strong (Gavin Spox), the House of the Dragon has already begun to assert that Harvin comes from a reasonable judgment. Lionel established himself as a reliable ally of King Viserys, serving as his master of laws. Lionel tried to convince Viserys to do what was right for his House and kingdom throughout the Dragon House, although Viserys was not always wise enough to heed his advice. It is also worth noting that Lionel refrained from using his connection with Viserys for personal purposes. It was Lionel who suggested Viserys to restore relations with Lord Corliss (Steve Toussaint), at least for financial reasons. He proposed to Viserys to marry Corlis’ daughter Laena. When Viserys refused, Lionel suggested it again between Rainira and Corliss’ son Leinor (Theo Tate).
So far, Harvin has had few on-screen moments and even fewer words, but that’s likely to change as the series progresses. If “House of the Dragon” stays true to the book from which it is adapted, Harvin will become an important character in Rainira’s development and her attitude towards her marriage and possible children. The House of the Dragon has already begun to sow some seeds for this to happen thanks to Harvin’s desire to support the tendencies of Rainira that others seek to destroy.