House of the Dragon: Larys Strong actor Matthew Needham addresses Varys and Littlefinger comparisons

Needham said scheming character shared a ‘murky underworld’ with ‘Game of Thrones’ villains

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 05 October 2022 14:38 BST
House of the Dragon episode 8 trailer

House of the Dragon star Matthew Needham has addressed fan comparisons between his character and two Game of Thrones villains.

*House of the Dragon spoilers below*

The British actor stars in HBO’s fantasy series as the scheming and ruthless Larys Strong,  a lord who killed his own father and brother as a display of loyalty towards Lady Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke).

After Needham first appeared in episode six, many viewers quickly compared Larys to Game of Thrones’ Petyr Baelish, also known as Littlefinger, played by Aidan Gillen.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Needham said that he could understand the comparisons to Littlefinger, as well as Conleth Hill’s Lord Varys.

“I do think [the character is] a mixture of Varys and Littlefinger, but I also think they’re three remarkably different people. But they share a sort of murky underworld of the mind,” Needham said.

“I just think they’re three very unique people. But, of course, the ‘chaos is a ladder’ way of life is something they share. Those are wonderful actors and performances, but I didn’t go and study them. I just felt like it’s its own beast.”

Olivia Cooke and Matthew Needham in ‘House of the Dragon'
Olivia Cooke and Matthew Needham in ‘House of the Dragon' (© 2022 Home Box Office, Inc. Al)

Pointing out that House of the Dragon had been created by different writers to Game of Thrones, he explained: “It might be in the same world, but it felt like a different show. I don’t think I would be doing anyone a favour by trying to replicate someone else’s performance, because 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.”

You can read the biggest talking points from episode seven here.

House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO in the US. The episode is shown simultaneously on Monday at 2am in the UK and again at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.

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