Matthew Needham discusses the bizarre foot scene in House of the Dragon

The controversial scene in the penultimate episode of the first season stirred up strong reactions among fans.

During Game of Thrones' 8-year run on HBO, fans of the series became acquainted with strange, unconventional scenes that challenged every moral creed known to man. However, a scene from the first season of House of the Dragon pushed the boundary further than the audience expected.

Larys Strong

The prequel, which is based on George R. R. Martin's 2018 novel Fire & Blood, is set about 100 years after the Seven Kingdoms are united by the Targaryen Conquest, nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and 172 years before the birth of the last Targaryen, Daenerys Targaryen. The series details the events that began the fateful downfall of House Targaryen, particularly the civil war of succession that came to be known as the Dance of the Dragons.

In the ninth episode, Larys Strong, who serves as the Lord Confessor and Queen Alicent's trusted confidante, shocked fans when, in exchange for revealing to Alicent how her father, Otto Hightower, managed to find her son Aegon after he went missing, he requested to see her feet. Holding back information from her, Alicent had to remove her shoes and stockings and lay her bare feet on the table, an act that Larys used to sexually gratify himself.

Alicent Hightower
With almost 10 million viewers, House of the Dragon's pilot episode was the most-watched series premiere in HBO's history.

During the panel session of the official Game of Thrones Convention in Los Angeles, Larys Strong's actor Matthew Needham shed more light on the particular scene, saying:

The apex of his ambition is not feet. As great as that is, it’s not. I don’t think it’s a foot fetish like we understand in 2022. I think it’s weirder than that. It’s not just about a man with a clubfoot being attracted to feet. It’s that he can make her do it. This is a very disturbed person with a lot of trauma… it’s about making her feel as much shame as she does for that part of her body as he does for his. He can cut out tongues and he can cut out eyes. I think he likes that … I think he likes making people incomplete. He can’t do that with her. He can, though, associate that part of her body with a trauma so that long after he’s gone, she’s got this sick feeling about it that’s connected to that. That’s the thing about assault like that: it makes the victim’s body the scene of the crime, and I think that’s what he likes to do. So I don’t see it like he loves feet. It’s the fact that she’s not into it and he can make her do it.

Daemon Rhaenyra
Only five days after the pilot episode aired, it was announced that the episode received around 20 million viewers across all official HBO platforms, and the show was renewed for a second season.

Fans will have to wait and see what the future holds for Larys Strong in Season 2, which was renewed earlier this year. Filming is expected to begin in spring 2023, which means that we won't be seeing the second season until sometime in 2024.

Caleb Sama

I'm just your average Joe Schmo with a love for films and a knack for writing. I can tell you all about the latest blockbusters and indie flicks, but I'll also sneak in some obscure references and dad jokes that will make you groan and roll your eyes. My reviews are like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're gonna get, but you'll probably want more. Link up with Caleb on Steam.