House of the Dragon's Matthew Needham thinks Larys is more than just a combination of Littlefinger and Varys

House of the Dragon's Matthew Needham thinks Larys is more than just a combination of Littlefinger and Varys

Warning: This article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 7.

"The 'chaos is a ladder' way of life is something they share," says Matthew Needham, the actor who portrays Larys Strong in House of the Dragon.

But Neeham adds that his role is more than just an amalgam. "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," he tells EW. "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."

In episode 7, Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) aligns herself more actively with this "dark animal," as Needham calls him. Despite her horror over the assassinations of Lyonel (Gavin Spokes) and Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr) — actions Larys says he took over at her subtle behest — she knows it's better to have someone like him working for her rather than as her enemy.

EW caught up with Needham, who says Larys is a "dark animal" who's "got a strong direction and something he's trying to achieve."

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6- EPISODE 4 Aidan Gillen as Petyr Littlefinger Baelish Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO ; Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO Matthew Needham HBO House of the Dragon Season 1 - Episode 6; Game of Thrones Season 5 Conleth Hill photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO
Matthew Needham discusses the Littlefinger and Varys parallels to Larys on 'House of the Dragon'
| Credit: Baelish Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO ; Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO; Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What did you know about this character to start with? He's really not mentioned in the books much during the time period the show is currently depicting.In your approach to this character, do you think Larys has a master plan in mind all along, or was your approach really contingent on this enigmatic quality?He obviously makes such a bold move in episode 6 when he tasks those men on death row to kill his own family. When you came across that moment in the script, what was your big takeaway?In that later scene in episode 6 between Larys and Alicent, when you give the facial response to her being horrified, it evokes this sense of madness, almost. Was that intentional? Were you leaning into the fact that maybe this character is a bit mad?Steve Toussaint told me that he auditioned for House of the Dragon with Tywin Lannister dialogue. And then Olivia Cooke said she auditioned with Cersei Lannister dialogue. And Milly Alcock said she used Arya Stark dialogue.I was curious if for this audition you read any characters from Game of Thrones.When I say the name Larys fast, I sometimes accidentally call him Varys. And then in my mind, I'm seeing these parallels between our old Master of Whisperers on Game of Thrones and this character now. Was that a direct parallel for you in thinking about Larys?It's easy to call out the Varys parallel, or even the Littlefinger parallel. Do you feel those parallels are warranted, or that Larys is doing something a bit more unique?In episode 7 you have that great moment with Alicent on the ship. It was very telling that Larys was like, "Do you want an eye? I'll go fetch you an eye." Man, woman, or even child, he does not care. He's gonna do it. Was that another big milestone for you in understanding just how far this character will go?Do you think this is setting him up to be a more active player in the events that are gonna transpire in season 1? to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.
House of the Dragon's Matthew Needham thinks Larys is more than just a combination of Littlefinger and Varys