Attention, spoilers: This story contains spoilers for the 7th episode of “House of the Dragon“. It also compares what happened in Episode 7 to the books, but contains no book spoilers other than what has already been shown in the series.
Last night, another wild episode came out in the “House of the Dragon“. As usual, there was no shortage of topics that fans reacted violently to. That’s what happens when you have several kinds of nonsense, including dragon riding, eye gouging, and a husband accidentally calling his wife by the wrong name. However, perhaps the most discussed moment was the very last scene with Leyanor Velarion, because it was really a turning point for the storyline of the series, and also because it represented a major change compared to how things were in “Flame and Blood”. .
Let’s come back here for a second and talk about what’s going on in the books. In “Fire and Blood”, Rainira decides that she wants to be with Damon after all the children have a big fight, which causes additional problems between her and Queen Alicent. Rainira wants to further consolidate her claims; so, she and Damon hatch a plan in which Leyenor’s lover, Carl, is paid to kill him, which he does. This opens the way for Rainira and Damon to get married, although they cannot prevent rumors that death could be something more.
The same fight takes place in the “Dragon House” between children. Aymond Targaryen is losing an eye. The Queen strikes Rainira. It’s an absolute mess. Laenor is not there, but he feels bad about it and voluntarily sends Karl to the battle in the Stepping Stones so that he can confirm his presence in their lives. However, separately, Rainira and Damon hatch a plot to get married, which they both admit means that Laynor must die. Carl is paid by Damon, who is told that he needs witnesses. Leyenor and Kvarl get into a fight, and as a result, Leyenor is thrown into one of the fireplaces in Driftmark. At least that’s what we were led to think, but later we see Leyenor and Qarl together on a boat, apparently heading for a new life in Essos, having apparently spoken to Rainira and Damon.
The bait and switch was a shock to both book readers and those who haven’t read books, and many commented on this wild range of emotions on Twitter. Here is an example:
This change is incredibly important for two reasons. Firstly, it is obvious that it is very important for Leyenor whether he is dead or not, as well as for the whole story as a whole. I assume he’ll be gone for a while, but as Game of Thrones has shown us, just because a character leaves the plot doesn’t mean he won’t be reintroduced. People like Gendry and the Dog left for long periods of time only to reappear in a relationship critical to the plot.
Secondly, it is incredibly important how we should perceive Rainira Targaryen. She is, I think quite clearly, the main character of The House of the Dragon, and although we haven’t always seen her make the best or safest choice, she usually gave the impression of a person with good intentions. Killing Leyenor so she could marry Damon would be a very strong push for her character in a more morally ambiguous direction.
At some point you will have to think that Rainier will have to cross some boundaries in the coming war. You have to think that the series will allow her to make some of these choices so that good and evil are a little less black and white or, in this case, black and green, but for now, Rainira survives as a chosen saint, as well as an incredible ally for Laenor and his life choices.
Tons of fans took to social media to celebrate this union and how much she has done to try to let Laynor be happy outside the chains of their marriage. Many tweets were dedicated to the image of the two and their life together.
“House of the Dragon” will return for another episode next Sunday night, at which point we will reportedly get our last consecutive time jump. At this point, the show should move into a more methodical and slow rhythm of “Game of Thrones”, as the entire background of the characters will be established. We obviously have no idea if we’ll see Lanor again this season or ever, but if he comes back, expect fans to react violently.