Why Can Laenor Velaryon Ride a Dragon?

laenor dragon 3

While much of the early portion of episode 3 of House of the Dragon focused on the politicking regarding Rhaenyra’s status as the heir and the many different houses that were looking to marry her, the final act involved the final battle between the combined forces of Daemon Targaryen and the Velaryons against the Crabfeeder. While Daemon was the star of the battle, the one that turned the tide was Laenor Velaryon, who was mounted on a dragon. So, why can Laenor Velaryon ride a dragon?

Laenor Velaryon can ride a dragon because of the fact that he is also the son of Rhaenys Targaryen. As such, his Targaryen bloodline allows dragons to recognize him as a dragonrider even though the Velaryons are of Valyrian descent but were never dragonlords. Laenor mounts a dragon named Seasmoke.

The fact a faction of the Targaryens and the Velaryons were united on Corlys’s side of the family is the reason why House Velaryon is arguably the most powerful family in the Seven Kingdoms. It is also the reason why their children are able to mount dragons, as they have Targaryen blood running through their veins. So, with that said, let’s look at why Laenor can ride a dragon in greater detail.

Can Anyone Ride A Dragon?

Throughout the entire storyline of Game of Thrones, we were made to understand that the dragons would only obey the Targaryens, as they were the only ones who were able to successfully mount and ride them. Of course, the fact that Jon Snow was able to successfully ride Rhaegal in Game of Thrones was proof of the fact that he was indeed a Targaryen.

But some people might be wondering about the fact that a person not named Targaryen was able to mount a dragon during the events of House of the Dragon. This happened during one of the most exciting parts of the series, as we got to see a real battle in House of the Dragon for the first time since the series began. And it is all related to the fact that episode 2 ended with Corlys Velaryon and Daemon Targaryen agreeing to work together to wage war against the Triarchy in the Stepstones.

With that said, we saw how Daemon Targaryen used himself as bait to lure the Triarchy forces out of the caves that protected them from the dragons. He was indeed successful in this plan, as the Velaryon forces were quick to react to the fact that the Triarchy forces had exited the caves to gang up on Daemon. But while Daemon was indeed the star of the final act of episode 3 of House of the Dragon, the one that changed the tide of battle was Laenor Velaryon.

laenor seasmoke

As Corlys and the Velaryon forces were fighting the Triarchy army well enough, Laenor came in on his dragon as he burned the Crabfeeder’s men to the ground. This allowed the Velaryons to gain the advantage in the battle, as Daemon rushed inside the caves to slay the Crabfeeder himself.

The one thing that got people wondering here is the fact that Laenor Velaryon was able to mount a dragon. So, does that mean that anyone in the world of Game of Thrones can ride a dragon as well?

Apparently, if anyone can ride a dragon, then all of the other houses throughout Westeros would have tried to steal a dragon from the Targaryens so that they could ride the dragons themselves and hopefully breed them. We would have seen the Lannisters waging war against the Starks and the Baratheons on dragons during the events of Game of Thrones. However, the Lannisters and all of the other houses in Westeros are not capable of riding or breeding dragons.


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That’s because only the dragonlords of Old Valyria are capable of riding dragons. There is no exact reason given when it comes to why only the dragonlords of Valyria were capable of mounting and taming dragons. But it might be related to some ancient spell that they used thousands of years ago to make sure that dragons would recognize them and their descendants as dragonlords.

Whatever the case may be, the fact is that all of the other houses of Westeros cannot ride dragons. However, if they had Targaryen blood in them, that would be enough for them to be able to ride dragons. That is why Jon Snow, although not a full-blooded Targaryen, was able to mount Rhaegal during the events of Game of Thrones.

Why Can Laenor Velaryon Ride A Dragon?

As mentioned, only Targaryens are capable of riding dragons because they are dragonlords. Meanwhile, the Velaryons may be from Old Valyria and are quite possibly older than the Targaryens as a house. However, they were never dragonlords because they focused their efforts on being masters of the seas. If that is the case, why can Laenor Velaryon ride a dragon?

Well, it can be easy to forget that Corlys Velaryon is actually married to Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, who was one of the two finalists for the Iron Thorne during the reign of King Jaehaerys. Rhaenys herself was the daughter of Jaehaerys’s first heir, even though the prince may have perished before he ascended to the Iron Throne. As such, Rhaenys is as much a Targaryen as any of the other Targaryens in the series.


Given the fact that Rhaenys is a true-blooded Targaryen, then it is easy to see why Laenor Velaryon is capable of riding a dragon as his mother has pure Targaryen blood running through her veins. As such, Laenor and Laena both inherited their Targaryen blood from their mother, as that was what allowed them to become dragonriders as well.

So, while Laenor may be a Velaryon in terms of his name, half of his blood is Targaryen. That is the reason why he is recognized by his dragon as a dragonrider. This gives him the best of both worlds, as Velaryons are also great fighters and sailors.


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The fact that only the Targaryens are capable of riding and taming dragons is what makes them so valuable. This also explains why a lot of different houses were trying to win Princess Rhaenyra’s hand in marriage, as being able to ride dragons would allow them to have an advantage over all of the other houses in Westeros, regardless of whether or not Rhaenyra was going to become queen. 

Who Is Laenor’s Dragon?

In the series, we’ve seen three dragons so far. Of course, Syrax was the first dragon that we saw, and this was followed by Caraxes, who we saw near the end of episode 1. Meanwhile, we saw both Syrax and Caraxes in the same scene during episode 2. Then, in episode 3, Laenor’s dragon was the third one we’ve seen. So, who is Laenor’s dragon?

The dragon that is bonded with Laenor Velaryon is called Seasmoke, a dragon that is comparatively young compared to almost all of the other dragons in Westeros. Born sometime during 100 AC, Seasmoke bonded with Laenor quite early as he was the dragon’s first dragonrider. Seasmoke, as we saw in the series, is a pale-grey dragon that is quite nimble in the air because of the fact that it isn’t the biggest dragon.

In the book, Laenor Velaryon perished before the Dance of the Dragons, leaving Seasmoke without a rider. However, Addam of Hull, a dragonseed, went on to claim Seasmoke as his dragon. Seasmoke ended up dying in a fight against the older and stronger Vermithor, which tore its head off in their battle.

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