Ser Laenor Velaryon has had the most interesting life among the different characters involved in Princess Rhaenyra’s troublesome affairs. Chosen as the one to eventually succeed Driftmark and then given a chance to become king consort by marrying Rhaenyra, he wasn’t given much of a choice regarding what he wanted out of life. Of course, episode 7 of House of the Dragon made us believe that his fate had been sealed when Rhaenyra and Daemon started scheming so that they could marry each other. So, is Laenor really dead?
Laenor did not die but only made everyone believe that he had died in a duel with his lover, Qarl. We were also made to think that Daemon hired Qarl to assassinate Laenor. However, it was only a scheme to make everyone think that he was killed, as he used a fake body and then escaped Westeros with Qarl.
The story of Laenor is one where all that mattered to him was to be with someone he loved. As such, he was finally able to do that at the end of episode 7 of House of the Dragon when he was allowed to live out the rest of his life with Qarl over at the Free Cities. Now, in that regard, let’s take a good look at Laenor Velaryon’s supposed death in House of the Dragon.
Is Laenor Really Dead?
One of the most endearing House of the Dragon characters to audience members around the world is Ser Laenor Velaryon, who is the eldest son of Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. And that’s because Laenor is one of the few people who care nothing about power and authority as he merely wants to have fun and love whoever he wants to love.
But Laenor found himself in a situation that he probably didn’t like when he was told to fulfill his duty to his family by marrying Princess Rhaenyra, the heir to the Iron Throne. However, he agreed to the arrangement because he and Rhaenyra had a secret arrangement of their own. They were allowed to love who they wanted to love as long as they married each other and fulfilled their duties to their families.
In that regard, Laenor tried his best to fulfill his duties, only for us to see that he could never conceive a child with Rhaenyra, as her sons were supposedly sired by Ser Harwin Strong. But, throughout his time as Rhaenyra’s husband, he spent his days with a lover named Qarl, as he played the end of his bargain with the princess and was mostly hanging out with men.
But because Laenor wasn’t there when a fight broke out between Rhaenyra’s children and Aemond Targaryen, he realized that he had been missing in his supposed family’s life the entire time. That was when he told Rhaenyra that he decided to be more of a husband to her and a father to her children because that was when they needed him most, as Queen Alicent had already begun plotting against her.
This, however, was against Laenor’s conscience because he knew deep inside his heart that he never wanted to do anything with the politicking happening in King’s Landing. On top of that, he wasn’t supposed to be a father to children that he never sired. He had faithfully played his part in the entire arrangement with Rhaenyra, and he knew that he deserved to be happy with the person that he chose to love.
Rhaenyra, of course, began plotting with Daemon in relation to their union, as they could not marry each other while Laenor was still alive. Both of them knew that they needed to unite as one so that they could stand together against Alicent and her minions. And that was when they put together an elaborate scheme that involved Qarl, who Daemon seemingly convinced to assassinate Laenor in exchange for gold.
This led to Qarl challenging Laenor in a duel inside one of the halls of Driftmark. Qarl was seemingly fueled by how he thought Laenor always looked down on him. There were no witnesses, however, as Laenor’s attendant rushed to get help. And by the time Corlys and Rhaenys got to the hall, they found a burnt body in the fireplace, as this seemingly belonged to Laenor, who was their only surviving son.
After that, we were able to see Rhaenyra and Daemon finally getting married in a ceremony that was done in the ways of Old Valyria. And it did seem like they plotted Laenor’s death so that they could finally have a chance to marry one another.
But it was later revealed during Qarl’s escape that there was someone else on the boat with him. This man took off his hood as it was revealed that he was actually Laenor but with a shaved head. As such, it became clear that the entire fight between and Qarl was all part of an elaborate scheme planned by both Rhaenyra and Daemon.
As such, Laenor survived the events of episode 7 and was on his way to live in the Free Cities as a free man together with his lover Qarl. Meanwhile, Rhaenyra and Daemon could now marry each other so that they could rise to the Iron Throne as a queen and king duo that no one would ever dare to challenge.
Why Did Laenor Fake His Own Death?
At the end of the episode, it was clear that Ser Laenor Velaryon was well aware of the fact that Rhaenyra and Daemon plotted to “kill” him, as he wouldn’t have faked his own death had he not been part of the entire plan. However, why did Laenor fake his own death?
This goes back to the very fact that Laenor always thought of himself as an adventurous knight. He also never seemed like the type of person that would actually want to rule Driftmark or become the king consort to Rhaenyra. Instead, all he wanted to do in life was to go on adventures as a knight and be with the person he loved.
While Laenor had decided to become the husband that Rhaenyra never had and the father that her children needed, that wasn’t what he wanted out of life. Rhaenyra realized this as much because she always knew that Laenor was a good man with a good heart. And such a man with good intentions didn’t deserve to die.
As such, the trio of Rhaenyra, Daemon, and Laenor must have agreed on an elaborate plot that allowed all of the parties involved to be happy, just like how Rhaenyra and Laenor had an agreement ten years ago. Laenor would now have a chance to get out of a marriage and a life that he never wanted, as he could now live life the way he wanted together with the man that he loved. On the other hand, Rhaenyra and Daemon could now marry without any legal impediments and could finally strengthen their family.
In such an arrangement, all parties involved were happy because they got what they wanted. Of course, Laenor could finally get the happiness that he rightfully deserved after playing his part in a life that he never wanted. It was a fitting end to one of the most lovable characters in the entire series.