While “House of the Dragon” hasn’t shied away from a lot of major deaths in its first season alone, one character actually has managed to get a less brutal ending than his book counterpart. We’re talking, of course, about Laenor Velaryon, Rhaenyra Targaryen’s first husband who meets a tragic end on the page but gets a happy(ish) send-off on screen. With a second season already in the works, we’re starting to wonder if Laenor could make another appearance down the line.
Is Laenor in the Dance of the Dragons in the Book?
The book “Fire & Blood” seems pretty clear on this: Laenor has no role to play in the civil war. According to the book’s historians, he dies several years before King Viserys I dies and the war begins. Reportedly, he quarrels with one of his “favorites” (aka lovers), Ser Qarl Correy, in a marketplace one day. The resulting fight leads to Ser Qarl killing Laenor in broad daylight and then vanishing, with rumors abounding that he had been paid off by Daemon Targaryen so that Daemon could marry Rhaenyra.
While Laenor is long dead by the time of the war in the books, his family do play a significant role. His (legal, though probably not biological) sons with Rhaenyra — Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey — all participate in the war. Lucerys’s death at the hands of Aemond Targaryen is one of the tipping points of the early conflict, while Joffrey is too young for most of the war and Jace helps lead his mother’s cause. Laenor’s parents, Rhaenys and Corlys Velaryon, also prove to be significant allies in the fight for the throne.
Will Laenor Be in “House of the Dragon” Season 2?
“House of the Dragon” offers a different perspective on Laenor’s ultimate fate. He, Qarl, and Daemon work together on a plot to stage Laenor’s murder during a sudden brawl with Qarl, witnessed by a servant at a critical moment. In reality, they’ve faked the whole thing, and Laenor and Qarl escape to sail east for a new life across the sea. The TV version implies that this is what “really” happened, and the historians who wrote the histories in “Fire & Blood” simply bought into the ruse, just like everyone else did.
Since Laenor is still very much alive in the TV version, it’s certainly possible that he could make a surprise return. He leaves on good terms with Rhaenyra and cares about her and “their” sons very much. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that he could return, with his identity concealed, to help support her and their family.
The door is definitely open for him to return, so it’s just a matter of whether the show’s writers decide that his reappearance would suit their storytelling.