Did House Of The Dragon Just Offer The Rarest Game Of Thrones Gift Of Them All?

This post contains major spoilers for the latest episode of "House of the Dragon" and the book "Fire & Blood."

If there is one thing we know about "House of the Dragon" and its predecessor, "Game of Thrones," it's that endings for characters are rarely happy. Weddings, which are supposed to be celebrations, largely end in death. People are murdered all over the place for political expediency. Remarkably few are spared the consequences of politics and power. 

While we can argue whether Sansa, Tyrion, and Bran are really as happy as Arya Stark out on the open sea, most of their fellow characters died miserably in "Game of Thrones." "House of the Dragon" wasn't shaping up to be any better ... until the end of episode seven. Unlike "Game of Thrones," I haven't read the book "House of the Dragon" is based on. So the shocking fate of one character left me bowled over, in the best possible way.

Yes, "House of the Dragon" offered the rarest Westerosi gem: a seemingly happy ending. 

Sailing into the sunset

At the end of episode five, Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate in episode five, John Macmillan in six and seven) marries the heir to the Iron Throne, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock in episode five, Emma D'Arcy in six and six). This is despite his preference for men and her preference for her own choice of bedmate as well. It's also despite Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) beating Laenor's partner Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod) to death. 

Rhaenyra says she and Laenor tried to produce heirs, but it didn't happen. They have separate lives, and she wants him to be with Ser Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan), who he obviously cares for. Of course, her children were born from trysts out of wedlock, which is clear to the rest of the court from their physical appearances. They're in quite the pickle, especially since Rhaenyra remains hot for her uncle Daemon (Matt Smith). 

Rhaenyra has been the only main character it's been possible to root for. Everyone else is awful, and the few who are slightly less horrible end up dead or making stupid decisions. Hey, when you play the game of thrones, you win, or you die. Even the heir makes some questionable choices. As Rhaenyra and Daemon stood together, plotting, and she spoke about her future Ser Laenor, I'm sure I wasn't alone in starting to wonder if I would have to hate her now as well. Everyone is now talking on social media about being Team Rhaenyra or Team Alicent (Olivia Cooke), but for me, it would have been very easy until the end of this episode to be Team-This-Show-Is-Too-Dark-and-I-Hate-Everyone-In-It, despite the high-quality acting. 

Saved in the nick of time

When Rhaenyra and Daemon plotted their marriage, it sounds like they were going to have Laenor killed. It just didn't make sense. Laenor has had to hide his lover and have his sexuality whispered (and sometimes spoken loudly) about in the corridors of power. Westeros isn't exactly friendly to those who are not straight. It was heartbreaking to hear Laenor wish he wasn't made the way he was. I was rooting for him — few characters on this show deserve happiness like him.

Rhaenyra talking this way, about murdering her sweet, gay husband so she could marry her uncle ... it seemed very on brand for the franchise, and I was close to just quitting the show. Daemon going to Qarl, Laenor's current partner, made it seem like he was going to pay him to kill Laenor, and it was starting to look like this series would make almost every LGBTQ+ person either dead or a murderer. The remote was in my hand as I watched Laenor's parents grieve over the burned body of their final child.

And then we watched Qarl and Laenor sail off together in a row boat. Did ... did we get a happy ending? Gods, I hope so. If this was not a case of Qarl and Laenor doing this on their own, it means that I can still like Rhaenyra. It also means that a character that has been the nicest person in the series isn't dead and might get to be with the man he loves. 

Oh, there is no question he'll be back. It's too juicy a storyline to just end there. I'm just happy that, whatever happens next, he'll get some time to live a happy life with Qarl, even for a little while.