The Only Happy Character Ending in HotD Already Happened, the Rest Won't Be As Lucky

The Only Happy Character Ending in HotD Already Happened, the Rest Won't Be As Lucky
Image credit: Legion-Media

George Martin is well known for his love of inflicting misery upon his characters.

While a lot of people have complained that the finale of Game of Thrones was too bleak, with most of the survivors ending up in various degrees of unhappiness, it likely was an improvement to what Martin has in mind and which we will see if he ever manages to complete his A Song of Ice and Fire saga.

Case in point, the only happy character ending which happened in House of the Dragon so far, and will likely remain the only happy character ending to ever happen, happened because the showrunners have decided to rewrite events of George Martin 's book, Fire and Blood, which covers the history of Targaryen rule in Westeros and on which (alongside with earlier versions of the Dance of the Dragons' story) the show is based.

Specifically, in the book Laenor Velaryon ends up very much dead by Ser Qarl Correy's sword. It is left unclear whether Qarl killed him out of jealousy, or whether Prince Daemon hired Qarl to kill Laenor, so that the way would be clear for Daemon himself to marry Princess Rhaenyra. The latter version is preferred by the more reliable of the book's unreliable narrators, but there is no definite proof. But either way, the fact of Laenor's death remains undisputed.

The Tragic Reality of Rhaenyra's Struggle for Validation You Might Have Missed

In House of the Dragon episode 7, however, Laenor survives. A random guy is killed to provide a body which is passed as Laenor's, after getting disfigured by fire. Laenor and Qarl Correy run away to Essos, to lead a happier life of anonymity. And isn't it remarkable that this attempt to give someone a happier ending (at the expense of the above-mentioned random extra) results in a whole bunch of plotholes?

Reddit's Verdict: House of the Dragon Outdoes Game of Thrones

For example, what happened to Seasmoke, Laenor's dragon? Weren't dragons and dragonriders supposed to remain bound to each other until one of them dies? Is Laenor going to stay away while his family fights and gets themselves killed in the Targaryen civil war? And so on.

In all probability, the change was made to exculpate Daemon and, indirectly, Rhaenyra, not because the writers cared about Laenor that much. But in any case, George Martin's narrative had to be bent seriously just to give something resembling a happy ending to one secondary character!