Dragon House star Ryan Corr saw your thirsty tweets. They became the subject of a few group chats of his friends. He’ll be on set, filming his next series now that his turn as Ser Harwin Strong (aka Westeros’ most marriageable bitch) is over, and screenshots of NSFW commentary and old Australian soap opera photos for teenagers in which he starred will appear on his phone.
“My friends are doing well,” Corr told UPROXX.
“All That” is the huge wave of support from the most excited subsection of the HOT fandom, those who retweet gifs of Corr’s character hoisting Milly Alcock over her shoulder at a wedding feast gone wrong with sweaty emojis attached, or announcing Ser Strong as the “himbo baby daddy” whose world needs right now. It’s probably a little overwhelming, especially for an actor who only got a few minutes on screen in the show’s first six episodes, but Corr takes it head on. In fact, he’s pretty damn glad viewers are torn about his character’s death, as he’s put a lot of introspective thought and meticulous effort into making the most of the moments given to him on the show.
Below, UPROXX chats with Corr about that satisfying beating of Criston Cole, his character’s ties to the Red Viper, and whether Harwin will be a Daemyra shipper in the afterlife.
Do you know people are rioting on Twitter over Harwin’s death?
[laughs] I’m glad they’re upset. This is the job done. We want you to fall in love with this man and then take him away. So if that’s how it lands, great. Look, a few of those tweets got leaked. It’s still amazing to me. You never know what will land and what will not. And it turns out that pushing your way through a crowd of people and lobbing the princess over her shoulder is something people like. What I will say, with the small amounts we see of Rhaenyra and Harwin – and especially their love story is evolving, Milly [Alcock] and me, and Emma [D’Arcy] really went there after talking with Miguel [Sapochnik] and ryan [Condal] to do enough in these scenes and have enough nuance and detail that the audience can try to fill in these gaps on their own. It can be a little ambiguous as to what happened specifically so the idea of putting ties in there but giving space for people to project their own meanings and their own relationships was kind of the goal .
Were there any scenes left on the cutting room floor, or was Harwin and Rhaenyra’s relationship still meant to take place off-camera?
It was kind of always that because it was kind of that in the book too, and because we had to cover such a large amount of time. I knew there was little time to tell Harwin’s story. I spoke with Ryan during rehearsals, and he was like, ‘Have you seen the first set?’ And he cited the character of Red Viper and Pedro Pascal and how he was only involved for a limited amount of time, but his story really had a ripple effect on the show. Although he was a very different character, he was a great example of what they wanted to do with Harwin. So I had thoughts in my head and thoughts as to why Harwin and Rhaenyra might have fallen in love.
I think they’re sort of twin flames and I think they see something in each other that celebrates each other’s freedom, and they end up with this wonderful modern family. Also, there’s the idea that he’s this incredible knight who is very strong, and this idea of that strong word and what strength means… it’s not just physical strength. For me, at least anyway. I really like the idea of the strength found in Harwin’s honor and how he loves his children and how happy he is to live his life in the shadows and adore his queen. I think those are the kinds of ideas that were floating around as we were trying to shape the character.
Harwin must interact with two very important men in Rhaenyra’s life. What is his relationship with Laenor compared to his relationship with Criston Cole?
It’s more who Laenor and Criston are as characters. I think he would have known about Rhaenyra’s history with Criston. I think he obviously saw what he did to Laenor’s partner at the wedding. These things obviously stand the test of time. With Laenor, I think they had a really amazing healthy relationship; like a three. They are a wonderfully modern family in the world of Westeros. And I think for them, they found a world where that worked, where they could live their truth and all be happy. At least in that small number of episodes, before the major conflicts happened, I think it’s kind of a little time when everything was just fine and they had found common cause and it worked for everyone . Harwin is a man who wanted to be a good father and I think he was in love with Rhaenyra and was happy to live his life, to take a step back, I think he and Laenor had real respect and understanding for each other.
Why was Cole allowed to kill a man at a royal wedding when Harwin is practically banished from the Red Keep after a little fight?
[laughs]That’s the game in Westeros, you know what I mean? Harwin has come his way, he’s been through the golden cloaks, and he’s the next heir to Harrenhal, but sadly you can’t get your hands on anyone in the royal family. I felt incredibly sorry for him. And I always liked the way he seemed to accept it. I think there’s a certain amount of his ego, a certain amount of his honor, which is ultimately his downfall, of not being able to field those Criston Cole baits. I think Rhaenyra really has a right to be mad at him at that time because this world, this wonderful world that is going so well for Laenor, Rhaenyra and himself kind of shattered at that time . And it’s through a moment of rage and ironically through a moment of strength, which is ultimately the demise of his family.
Was that fight scene getting more and more complex, or was it always choreographed as a one-off knockout?
Miguel said to me while we were doing it, ‘I want you to hit him five times before he hits the ground.’ He’s like, ‘I want you to turn around. I want him knocked out at first, and while he’s falling you hit him another like Wing Chun style. So we knew that for it to be satisfying, it had to be a moment. If this is to be the moment that breaks Harwin and means he is banished and sent away from his children, it had to be at least satisfying. And let’s be honest, after the wedding, we want to see someone punch Criston Cole in the face.
Could Harwin be a Daemyra shipper?
That’s an interesting dynamic, isn’t it? Because I think Daemon and Harwin knew each other. Harwin was the commander of The Watch and the Gold Cloaks after Daemon, I believe, in the books. They would have known a lot about each other given Daemon’s prowess as a warrior. I think there’s kind of an unspoken mutual understanding that I know Matt [Smith] and I kind of touched briefly. I think anyone who takes Harwin away from his family and makes him break his promise to his children, I think he would be mad at him. But I think he was also the man who celebrated who Rhaenyra was in her freedom and loved her despite her choices. So she ended up with him, and that’s what made her happy – in a weird way, that’s part of Harwin’s strength – I think he would have accepted that. I think he was a man who was happy to live his life in retirement as long as it meant he could have his family. I think he had a different moral code than the political code that seems to manifest across Westeros.