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SYFY WIRE House of the Dragon

'House of the Dragon' director explains the origin of Larys Strong's foot fetish, shooting that scene

House of the Dragon took a Tarantino-style twist in its penultimate episode.

By Josh Weiss
Matthew Needham in House of the Dragon Season 1 Episode 9

House of the Dragon got unexpectedly kinky in the penultimate episode of its first season with a look at Larys Strong's sexual turn-ons. 

As we learn, the oily confidant of the crown (played a little too perfectly by Matthew Needham) carries out all sorts of shady missions on behalf of Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) in exchange for a look at her feet while he — *checks notes* — oh, boy....strokes the weasel, shall we say. That's right, the success of Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) remaining on the Iron Throne partially rests on the shoulders of a creepy spy with a foot fetish. 

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, series director Clare Kilner revealed that the idea for Lorys' private proclivity originated with writer/executive producer Sara Hess. "Her mind is incredible," Kilner said. "I mean, she really wrote us a wonderful episode, I have to say. But, yeah, that was an interesting scene actually... Funnily enough, you get the intimacy coordinators [for] all the nudity, but they don't think about it for this. It's so intrusive and invasive. It's a really dirty scene."

"In his head, despite it being a very manipulative relationship, I think there is a sort of sick, weird affection," Needham remarked during an interview with TVLine, later adding: "I think he can see the real her. I think. This is just my own opinion, but I think he can see what she’s capable of, and he wants to draw it out."

Chatting with EW on a separate occasion, he described the character as "a mixture" between two Game of Thrones fan favorites — Varys (Conleth Hill) and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) — both of whom were known for treachery and secret keeping. 

"Those are wonderful actors and performances, but I didn't go and study them," the actor admitted. "I just felt like it's its own beast. And it's different writers. It might be in the same world, but it felt like a different show. I don't think I would be doing anyone a favor by trying to replicate someone else's performance, 'cause it's been done beyond perfectly by those guys. I don't think either of those guys burnt their family alive. I'm sure they did other horrible things, but he's his own strange guy, I think. He's on his own path."

Episodes 1-9 of House of the Dragon are now streaming on HBO Max. The Season 1 finale drops next Sunday — Oct. 23 — at 9 p.m. Eastern. A second season of the Game of Thrones prequel has already been green-lit.

Looking for more fantasy adventure? The entire Harry Potter film saga is streaming now on Peacock.