House Of The Dragon: 9 Things Only Book Fans Know About Laenor Velaryon
Warning: This article contains massive spoilers for House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood.As House of the Dragon prepares for the major feud between Greens vs. Blacks, Laenor Velaryon has an important role in the overall story, even if he’s not one of the main players in the Dance of the Dragons. In particular, with the time jump showing Laenor as Rhaenyra’s husband and the supposed father of her first three children, his mutuality with her may hint at his loyalty during the ensuing clash.
It’s no surprise that so many characters come and go when talking about the Dance; however, a few are as impactful or tragic as Ser Laenor. His intervention in the conflict might be short-lived, but his contributions are significant to Rhaenyra’s cause.
House of the Dragon begins with the Great Council of Harrenhal. King Jaehaerys I settles the succession dispute between Viserys I and Rhaenys by declaring Viserys his heir. In the books, the dispute is between Viserys and Laenor, not Rhaenys. Corlys Velaryon, Laenor’s father, believed his son had the right to the Iron Throne and even considered defending it by force.
House Baratheon, Rhaenys’ relatives on her maternal side, backed Corlys’ claim, pushing for Laenor to be declared heir. The show changed this crucial plot point to reinforce the sexist and patriarchal outlook of Westerosi society, but Laenor’s role in the conflict that would eventually become the Dance of the Dragons was clear from the beginning of his life.
In Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, Dragons are crucial to the world as they represent the Targaryen’s legacy. These massive and mighty creatures are the reason behind the Targaryens’ power over the Seven Kingdoms. Thanks to their mother, Rhaenys, the Velaryon children are Dragonriders.
Laenor claimed his dragon, Seasmoke, at the young age of 7; however, he didn’t ride it until much later. Still, bonding with a dragon is a major rite of passage for Targaryen children, and the sooner they do it, the better. Episode 6 of House of the Dragon showed Aemond Targaryen getting bullied by his older brother and cousins for not having a dragon, proving how important it was for the family to always have several Dragonriders.
House of the Dragon showed the close bond between Laenor and his first love, Joffrey Lonmouth. During the tourney held to celebrate his wedding to Rhaenyra, Laenor even gave his favor to Joffrey.
The show has Criston Cole kill Joffrey during the wedding feast, but the books tell a different, less dramatic, but more plausible story. Criston does mortally wound Joffrey, but during the jousting at the tournament. The young Lonmouth spends six days in bed before dying, with Laenor spending day and night at his side. Once Joffrey died, Laenor returned to High Tide, leaving his new wife behind in King’s Landing. The show implies Laenor stayed in the capital with Rhaenyra, marking another departure from his storyline in the books.
The show presents Laenor as a devoted if carefree husband to Rhaenyra. However, the books paint him in a more selfish light. He doesn’t spend much time with her and only returns to King’s Landing on special occasions and events where his appearance is necessary. Instead, he spends his time at High Tide with his new favorite, Ser Qarl Correy.
Once Rhaenyra returns to Dragonstone, Laenor visits her frequently but does not stay with her as the show suggests. House of the Dragon has several untrustworthy characters, but it seems to be doing its best to paint Laenor more positively than his book counterpart. The reasons behind this are uncertain, although it’s likely to increase the audience’s sympathy towards team Black.
Like many details about the Dance of the Dragons and its prelude, mystery and uncertainty surround Ser Laenor’s death. His lover, Ser Qarl Correy, kills him during a brawl at Spicetown nine years before the start of the Dance of the Dragons.
The reasons behind Qarl’s attack are unclear. Septon Eustace claims jealousy was behind his actions, as Laenor’s attention was now on a new, younger companion. However, the legendary Mushroom claims the complex and mercurial Daemon Targaryen arranged Laenor’s murder, presumably to have the road clear to make his move on Rhaenyra. Qarl’s fate is also uncertain, with Mushroom claiming Daemon killed him to silence him. These events will likely happen in episode 7 of House of the Dragon, and audiences will finally get an answer about what really happened between the two lovers.
The Dance of the Dragons had a heavy toll on Rhaenyra’s mental health. Following the death of her son, Lucerys, Rhaenyra’s mind « broke, » leaving her eldest, Jacaerys, to take control. To unite more Dragonriders to his mother’s cause, he called on the dragonseeds — the bastards of House Targaryen. Among these were Addam and Alyn, sons of Marilda of Hull, who claimed they were Laenor’s bastards. Corlys Velaryon accepted them with open arms and had Rhaenyra legitimize them.
Addam and Alyn served Rhaenyra faithfully, offering critical aid during the Dance. These two characters will play a crucial role in the war, and fans will surely get to see them in House of the Dragon, but they’ll have to wait until season 2.
Westeros is a brutal place where people don’t live for long, especially in times of war. Sadly, Laenor’s children were no exception. His three alleged boys with Rhaenyra — Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey — perished during the Dance of the Dragons. Addam, his eldest bastard with Marilda of Hull, also died during the war; only his youngest son, Alyn, survived the conflict and lived to become the Lord of Tides following Corlys’ death.
All these characters will appear in House of the Dragon — three are already there — meaning fans will get to see their tragic end. It’s never pleasant to see characters die, but it was never uncommon as Game of Thrones already featured plenty of sad deaths.
At the end of the Dance of the Dragons, Corlys Velaryon made a last-minute arrangement with Alicent Hightower, saving House Velaryon from Aegon II’s wrath. Thus, Alyn Velaryon, Laenor’s sole surviving child, became loyal to the crown and even transported Aegon II back to the capital after the new king killed Rhaenyra at Dragonstone.
Alyn remained at High Tide, eventually becoming Lord of Tides following the Sea Snake’s death, one year after the Dance’s end. Alyn then supported the crown during the Daughters’ War and the conquest of Dorne, serving two Targaryen kings. His exploits made him famous in the Seven Kingdoms, and he was the subject of three different books recounting his life story.
Laenor’s children with Rhaenyra were most likely not his, and the books make no mention of a strong bond between him and the brown-haired children. The show all but confirms them to be Ser Harwin Strong’s illegitimate children, but Laenor doesn’t seem to care either in the books or the show.
His bastards, Addam and Alyn, arrive long after his death, but Mushroom claimed they were actually the sons of Corlys, not Laenor. However, Addam was a Dragonrider who claimed Laenor’s dragon, Seasmoke, disproving Mushroom’s theory since Corlys was never a Dragonrider nor had Targaryen blood. Still, rumors always surrounded Laenor’s offspring, even after Alyn became Lord of Tides.
NEXT: 10 Most Important Battles In Targaryen History