Speaking to Insider, Ryan Corr discussed his character on Dragon House. Ser Harwin “Breakbones” Strong was first introduced in episode three, when he, young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and the rest of the royal court travel to Kingswood for a hunt. Fast forward to episode six, where Harwin becomes the lover of a now adult Rhaneyra (Emma D’Arcy) and has three illegitimate children with her. And then he dies at the very end of the episode.
“We always knew Harwin had a limited time on the show,” Corr said, referring to himself and showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik. “I spoke with Ryan and Miguel at the beginning of trying to create maximum impact. I remember Ryan telling me about the Red Viper, Pedro Pascal’s character in the first series and the fact that he didn’t was only there for a limited time, but its resonance through the series has endured.”
From George RR Martin Fire & Blood doesn’t provide much detail regarding Harwin’s inner life or motivations, Corr had to provide “as much detail as possible” using body language and dialogue with the two Rhaenyra actors. One such moment occurs at the end of Harwin’s first episode, where he’s the only one who looks impressed that the princess killed a boar.
“Harwin being a hunter and a knight of the realm, I think coming back and seeing Rhaenyra having slaughtered a boar was quite impressive to him. I was always amazed at the reaction of people when he looked at the woman over a skinned rabbit . But hey, you can’t choose those things sometimes.”
Corr and Alcock are both Australian and have worked together in the past. In fact, they bumped into each other at the airport on their way to rehearsals and spent time talking about the relationship between their characters. Corr mentioned several times during the Insider interview that it’s about “twin flames,” meaning the idea that the two are indeed half of each other. .
“Because we skipped time on the show, you have little time to lay the groundwork for this love story and who they could have been to each other. We both had the idea that ‘they were twin flames and that Harwin still had eyes for Rhaenyra for who she was.”
Being Twin Flames
Corr said they wanted people to stand up for this love affair and Harwin’s love for his children. So he had ideas in his head that physical strength is one thing, Harwin is a strong knight who is called Breakbones for a reason, but Corr also believed that strength could manifest in many other ways.
“It occurred to me while reading the book that he is a man who is happy to live in the shadows and just support Rhaenyra and be a loving father. I always saw strength in my own dad and how he was always there for his kids and those around me, so those ideas really appealed to me trying to have fun with Harwin as we explored that kind of stuff.
In episode six, there is a training session for the Royal Family overseen by Harwin and Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel). After Cole insinuates the open secret that Rhaneyra’s children were fathered by Harwin and not by her husband, Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan), he is beaten in response. This public defense got Harwin sent back to Harrenhall for crediting the rumours.
“We have this side of the father who is obviously very much in love with his children and happy to step back. And we have to see the other side of Harwin who is this very strong and potentially very violent man who has the ability to create destruction We really wanted to walk that line of having both a man of honor who is there for his family and based on love and found a twin flame with Rhaenyra, but that can also be very dangerous and unstable. .”
Another example of Corr’s performance conveying something without dialogue is during Harwin’s final farewell with Rhanenyra. They look at each other in a way that makes it clear to the audience that this is a painful but necessary parting to preserve some honor and protect their illegitimate children. Still, there’s an intimacy there that tells Rhaneyra’s son, Jacerys (Leo Hart), how the rumors surrounding his parentage are true.
Corr’s time on the show officially ended when Harwin’s brother Larys (Matthew Needham) arranged to have Harrenhall burned down in favor of the court with Queen Alicent (Olivia Cooke). Corr said while your ego says “No!” after experiencing such an early death, having been on a game of thrones the production was one of the most exciting days of his career.
“I remember going to rehearsals with the writers quite early on, and they were like, ‘Thank you so much for coming and I’m so sorry that you were killed.’ Sometimes it’s the breaks. I was always so excited to be involved in this world. It was everything I imagined it would be when I got there and more.