The Cruelest Thing Rhaenyra Ever Did on House of the Dragon
Perhaps Rhaenyra and Daemon thought they were being benevolent, but if you look deeper into their plan for Laenor, there is an ugly side.
Warning: the following article contains spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 7
Episode 7 of House of the Dragon, Driftmark, has become a thing of dreams for everyone who rooted for Rhaenyra and Daemon to finally make their union official. However, for that to happen, House Velaryon had to lose two kids simultaneously: Daemon's wife Laena, and Rhaenyra's husband Velaryon.
However, only one of them had to die for real — mainly due to Rhaenyra and Daemon coming up with a sneaky plan to remove Laenor from the equation without actually killing him off. In order to pull that off, they arranged a scene with one of Laenor's lovers breaching into his place and threatening him with a sword. However, when the only witness ran away and returned with guards and Laenor's parents, they only saw a burnt body of Laenor — or someone they believed to be him, since the actual Laenor turns out to have sailed away to live "a happy gay life", as fans put it.
Sounds incredibly smart, doesn't it? Not only Rhaenyra and Daemon get what they want, but they also don't hurt anyone in the process... or do they?
If you think about it, their plan was actually quite cruel. Despite Laenor surviving in the end, they still had to kill a homeless man in order to make sure there was a body that looked like the House Velaryon's heir. Oh, and speaking of legacy... what about his parents?
When Lord Corlys and Princess Rhaenys saw the body, they were absolutely devastated. Right after they lose their daughter — notably, to fire as well — they will have to deal with the similarly gruesome death of their son. All of this comes shortly after Corlys was speaking of his legacy — an issue that clearly means the world to him. However, the feelings of the Velaryon parents do not seem to matter — neither for Rhaenyra and Daemon nor to Laenor, who seemed pretty okay with the idea of quietly sneaking away from the stage.
So yes, the plan was clearly smart but not as benevolent as one might initially think. Although it was certainly generous of Rhaenyra to not only refuse to hate her husband for being the way he is but also let him go, and fans did not leave that unnoticed, praising her as a true ally and a gracious future queen.
"When Rhaenyra and Daemon chose to fake Laenor's death in order to marry and have the kingdom fear what they are capable of but at the same time giving him a chance to be happy with his lover, not actually hurting anyone beyond the feelings of his parents. Greens hate to see it." – @CNymerosMartell
Who cares about parents, right? Still, some fans hope that at least their son does.
"Rhaenyra's sons & Daemon's daughters already act like a true family and have each others back. I love how they fights Aemond together. And I hope Laenor lives a happy gay life and at least leaves a letter for his mother and spares her of a complete heartbreak." – @Sleepless_Aka
However, it also offers yet another detail about the conflict, with both sides being mean enough to be called "evil". Now it's not just Alicent and her allies plotting something in the shadows; it looks like team Black is also getting in the game.
With three episodes until the end of the season, House of the Dragon is just getting started with the drama. Next episode premieres on HBO Max on October 9, with Dance of the Dragons being just around the corner.