Yes, House Of The Dragon’s Matthew Needham also sees the Larys/Varys comparisons

Matthew Needham acknowledges Varys/Larys similarities
Matthew Needham acknowledges Varys/Larys similarities


Matthew Needham

Spoiler warning: The following contains spoilers for House Of The Dragon episode seven.

History repeats itself on House Of The Dragon (or establishes itself, given Game Of Thrones takes place after HOTD). Targaryens ride dragons, would-be rulers battle for the Iron Throne, and sneaky dudes align themselves with potentially powerful women in an assortment of horrific ways. So it is with Larys Strong (Matthew Needham), who may immediately remind you of Varys (Conleth Hill)—not just in name—and perhaps even more so with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen).

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“That’s not an accident, is it?” Needham admits in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. “George R.R. Martin is an extraordinarily intelligent man. I don’t think he would make a mistake like that. That’s a very purposeful thing, so ignore it at your peril. I do think it’s 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.”

He even heaps praise on his predecessor, saying, “Conleth Hill is actually one of the reasons I’m an actor. I saw him in loads of plays growing up and just thought he was absolutely magic. So I owe Conleth Hill a lot, actually.” However, he adds, “Those are wonderful actors and performances, but I didn’t go and study them. 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.”

So, while “the ‘chaos is a ladder’ way of life is something they share,” as Needham puts it, he still sees the characters as distinct from each other. “I don’t think either of those guys burnt their family alive,” he observes, fairly. “I’m sure they did other horrible things, but he’s his own strange guy, I think. He’s on his own path.”