- Laenor Velaryon faked his death in House of the Dragon season 1, which had a significant impact on the plot and characters, but his survival will be revealed in season 2.
- The revelation of Laenor’s survival could provide closure to his journey and have a significant impact on the loyalties of characters in season 2, when the Dance of the Dragons begins.
- Learning the truth about Laenor’s survival could lead to acceptance of his sexuality and desire for freedom for his parents, resolving the tension between them and bringing closure to his story.
Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen are devastated by the presumed death of their son, Laenor Velaryon, in House of the Dragon, season 1, episode 7, “Driftmark,” and it’s exactly why they must learn he’s still alive in season 2. In a surprising departure from the show’s source material — the novel Fire & Blood — it is revealed by the end of the episode that Laenor faked his death. The plan devised by Daemon Targaryen and Rhaenyra Targaryen allowed the two to wed and allowed Laenor to escape to Essos with his lover, Qarl Correy.
Laenor’s supposed death had a big impact on the plot and on each of these characters and will continue to impact the House of the Dragon season 2 cast of characters. It’s crucial that Corlys and Rhaenys learn the truth of his survival, however. It’s necessary for several reasons, not the least of which is that it could provide closure to Laenor’s journey. This revelation could also have a significant impact on their loyalties in House of the Dragon season 2, when the Dance of the Dragons truly begins.
Laenor’s Story is Unfinished in House of the Dragon
One point of tension that has existed throughout Laenor’s entire journey so far is the truth of his sexuality and how he struggles to reconcile this with living in a society that doesn’t accept it. This, combined with him being a member of a noble family, means that, despite Laenor Velaryon being gay, he is expected to marry a woman, have children, and be confined to a life where he can never truly be happy. This conflict has created tension between Laenor and his parents. Corlys has said before that he believes Laenor’s identity is a phase that would pass if he met the right woman. Rhaenys has disagreed, suggesting that she may accept Laenor for who he is, hinting that she recognizes he will never be happy living under the weight of the societal expectations of Westeros.
This unaddressed rancor between Laenor and his parents has yet to be resolved. His escape to Essos represents his attempt to pursue a life where he can finally openly be himself and live happily. If Corlys and Rhaenys discover that Laenor is alive and that he left willingly, they may both learn to accept Laenor’s sexuality and his desire for freedom across the Narrow Sea. This would resolve the unhealthy dynamic between them and bring closure to Laenor’s story.
It Makes No Sense for Rhaenyra to Lie in HOTD Season 2
Corlys and Rhaenys suspect that Rhaenyra is responsible for their son’s death, threatening their ability to trust her. It would be in Rhaenyra’s best interest for them to learn the truth about Laenor’s survival as it would strengthen their loyalty to Rhaenyra. In season 1 when Rhaenyra attempts to secure Rhaenys’ support in the impending war by proposing that her two eldest sons wed Rhaenys’ granddaughters, Rhaenys initially refuses as she no longer trusts Rhaenyra. She later accepts this proposal, but only out of a desire to ensure the prosperity of her grandchildren.
All Rhaenys wants is for her family to survive and thrive. If she learns that Rhaenyra did not kill her son but, instead, manufactured a situation that allowed him to pursue a fulfilling life in House of the Dragon season 2, she may come to believe that Rhaenyra cares just as much about Laenor’s happiness as she does. It could very well strengthen her support for Rhaenyra.
Similarly, Corlys expresses in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10, “The Black Queen,” that he believes Rhaenyra killed Laenor, making him wary of supporting her. Rhaenys ultimately convinces Corlys to support Rhaenyra by describing her restraint within her war council. If he, too, were to discover that Laenor is alive, he may have fewer reservations about supporting Rhaenyra, knowing that she did not kill his son.
House of the Dragon season 2 premieres summer 2024 on Max.