Circumstances have been trying fairly grim for Laenor Velaryon about 99% via episode 7 of Home of the Dragon. However in a shock twist, the husband of Rhaenyra Targaryen took a extra lucky path. The precise steps thus far weren’t completely clear, though in hindsight they have been foreshadowed in a number of selection conversations beforehand.
Let’s focus on the precise particulars of what occurred within the spoiler-packed part beneath.
Warning: Spoilers forward.
Was the plan all alongside for Laenor to flee?
Initially, a number of indicators pointed to Daemon actually desirous to have Laenor killed.
Of their dialog at Driftmark’s port, Daemon and Rhaenyra agree that, to be able to be wed to one another, Laenor needs to be out of the image. “We couldn’t marry except Laenor have been lifeless,” says Daemon, to which Rhaenyra responds, “I do know.” It appeared as if Rhaenyra was prepared to betray Laenor, regardless of Laenor saying he would totally decide to her, what together with his lover Ser Qarl returning to the preventing within the Stepstones.
Earlier than Rhaenyra says anything, we minimize away to Daemon apparently planning with Ser Qarl, a “knight of outstanding talent,” to homicide Laenor. Whereas Ser Qarl says Ser Laenor has been “form” to him, it is not 100% clear that Qarl is loyal to Laenor. Daemon seems to be flirty with Qarl, stepping proper into his private house. Qarl would possibly simply betray Laenor in alternate for sufficient gold to start out a brand new life throughout the Slim Sea.
When Daemon kills a servant of the same look to Laenor, it is not instantly clear for what functions. That is all whereas we hear his clarification on the port to Rhaenyra that, to be really highly effective, she should rule by cultivating concern in her topics.
Reduce to Ser Qarl preventing Laenor as a result of he at all times “appeared down” on him. Solely later can we uncover that is all misdirection. The lifeless servant is dressed as much as seem like Laenor, his face charred within the hearth in order that he is mistaken for Corlys Velaryon and Rhaenys Targaryen’s son. In the meantime, Qarl and Laenor escape throughout the Slim Sea, the place they will dwell (hopefully) in peace.
Did Daemon and Rhaenyra intend to save lots of Laenor?
Ultimately, it is revealed that Daemon and Rhaenyra had genuinely organized for Laenor to outlive (that is confirmed by co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik in HBO’s episode 7 behind-the-scenes featurette).
“Hearth is a jail. The ocean affords an escape,” Rhaenyra says in the identical port dialog. “The Velaryons are of the ocean.”
These statements appear to foreshadow her want to free Laenor from his duties to his household — duties which do not permit him to dwell his true life as a homosexual man. Rhaenyra says she believes Laenor to be an “honorable man with coronary heart … a uncommon factor.” She helps his true id and seems to need one of the best for him.
By faking his loss of life, she frees him to be with Ser Qarl, away from the shackles of King’s Touchdown. In the meantime, she corporations up her declare to the Iron Throne by marrying her uncle Daemon — retaining ties sturdy inside the Targaryen household.