Princess Rhaenyra has been involved in quite the scandals. The rumors regarding Rhaenyra and Daemon coupling in the Street of Silk had terrible consequences and alienated Queen Alicent from House Targaryen. Then her decision to sleep with Ser Criston Cole too has backfired. Well, if you expected all of this to go away now that she is married to Laenor Velaryon, you’re in for quite a surprise. There is another scandal that is waiting for Rhaenyra in the future episode. And this one involves Ser Harwin Strong, her new sworn protector.
Ser Harwin Strong is now the sworn protector of Princess Rhaenyra. He has been seen before being supportive of her. Especially when she came back from the forest after killing a wild boar. But according to rumors he is much closer to Rhaenyra. In fact, some believe that Ser Harwin Strong is the true father of Rhaenyra’s children instead of Laenor her husband. However, these are all just rumors and the parentage of Rhaenyra’s children has never been confirmed in the books.
After Ser Criston Cole killed Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, Laenor Velaryon too became somewhat alienated. According to the books, he spent most of his time at the castle of High Tide. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra preferred to stay in the Red Keep and attend court as the heir to the Iron Throne. Ser Harwin was very close to Rhaenyra in the meantime. He had even courted her before in a tourney. This rumor caught on especially because all three children of Princess Rhaenyra were born with brown hair despite both Rhaenyra and Laenor having silver or platinum hair.
While they might be true, there is absolutely no guarantee. In fact all of it might just be a ruse to malign the reputation of Princess Rhaenyra. After all, we know that Alicent Hightower is not beneath using such underhanded tactics. With the matter of succession becoming important, the greens would do everything they can to further Aegon’s claim to the Iron Throne. This rumor would be able to alienate Viserys from his daughter Rhaenyra and maybe even lead him to deem her as an unfit heir.
Another reason why this may not be true is that the brown hair argument has many flaws. Firstly, George R.R. Martin himself has said that genes don’t work the same way in Westeros as they do in real life. What is even more important is that neither Laenor nor Rhaenyra was a hundred percent Targaryen. Rhaenyra’s mother belonged to House Arryn. This House is known for its brown and dark hair. Robert Arryn had brown hair much like that of the children of Rhaenyra. Similarly, Laenor’s mother Rhaenys Targaryen had a mother belonging to House Baratheon. The Baratheons are known for having dark hair as well. So this could easily explain the hair color of Rhaenyra and Laenor’s children. Maybe they were just unlucky in the gene department, nobody can say for sure.
Another thing to note is that in a recently released clip of House of the Dragon, we can see Laenor present in the Red Keep as Rhaenyra gives birth to their son. This might mean that contrary to the books, he has been around Rhaenyra and could have very well fathered her children.
In the preview for episode 6, they have given many hints to this scandal and how Alicent will use it to turn Viserys against Rhaenyra. In the preview Alicent can be seen saying that having one child like that can be a mistake. But having three of those children is an insult. The Hand of the King, Lyonel Strong also claims that people have eyes. There’s also a scene where Lord Larys narrates how a father is compromised by the sins of his son and the shot closes in on Lyonel Strong. Lastly, there’s the following scene where King Viserys is saying that the consequences of the allegation that the two of them had can be dire. These two, while still anonymous, definitely include Rhaenyra and most likely Ser Harwin.