John Macmillan as Laenor Velaryon in 'House of the Dragon'

Breaking Down ‘House of the Dragon’s Stunning Laenor Velaryon Plot Twist

Few TV shows in history have done plot twists better than Game of Thrones, and House of the Dragon season 1 showed us the spinoff can do them equally well, if not better.

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One of the most intriguing twists happens in season 1, episode 7, “Driftmark,” which was predominantly about Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen’s marriage, as they finally act upon their plan of using their union as a combined front to strengthen Rhaenyra’s claim to the throne and perpetuate the Targaryen bloodline. A major hindrance to their plan was Rhaenyra’s husband, Laenor Velaryon, as the couple were locked in a loveless marriage, with both of them involved in illicit relations outside wedlock.

However, Daemon conjures up a plan that sees Laenor Velaryon die (well, not really), which eventually paves the way for his and Rhaenyra’s union. Laenor’s lover, Qarl Correy, is paid off to put an end to his paramour, and he does it with due diligence and with witnesses around. However, at the end of the episode, in a plot twist that would put M. Night Shyamalan’s films to shame, Laenor is shown to be alive and leaving for Pentos along with Correy.

Interestingly, in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood (the source material for House of the Dragon), Laenor stays dead after he dies in a quarrel with Correy, and it is heavily alluded to that Daemon is involved in the plan to facilitate his demise. It is confirmed in the text that Corlys Velaryon takes Laenor’s body away and gives him a customary funeral.

As seen with the later seasons of Game of Thrones, HOTD showrunners are likely to make some changes while lifting content from the books to shape the viewers’ perceptions. A good reason for not killing Laenor off could be to show Rhaenyra in a positive light and make her stand out from the evil and perpetually scheming Greens. By contrast, Alicent’s direct orders to execute Harwin and Lyonel paint her as a clear antagonist from a neutral point of view.

There’s a good probability that we have seen the last of Laenor Velaryon in House of the Dragon, but with this show, you never know!

House of the Dragon season 2 is available to stream on Max.

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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.