04/10/2022 This article originally stated that Laenor died in House of the Dragon episode 7, that was incorrect. Laenor survived and escaped with Qarl.
Why did Rhaenyra and Daemon want Laenor dead? The fantasy series House of the Dragon has been a bloody affair so far. There’s been at least one death in every episode, and House of the Dragon episode 7 was no different. It was poor Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan) who met his end this time, seemingly dying at the hands of his lover Ser Qarl Correl.
But Quarl didn’t kill his paramour and patron. Instead theyused the body of a manservant to fake his death. Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) needed the heir to Driftmark gone But why did the devious pair conspire to have Laenor killed? After all, we’d just seen the prince promise to recommit himself to Rhaenyra, and his murder risks upsetting the powerful House Velaryon.
So let’s look into why Rhaenyra and Daemon conspired to kill Laenor, what they stand to gain from his death, and what effect it will have on the Seven Kingdoms. Warning spoilers ahead.
Why did Rhaenyra and Daemon want Laenor dead?
Rhaenyra and Daemon wanted Laenor dead so they could get married. On paper, this is just a bit gross, but in the eyes of a medieval politician, it’s an astute move.
For Rhaenyra, it strengthens her claim to the throne. Daemon is Viserys’ former heir, he’s of Targaryen blood, and he’s a great soldier with a dragon on his side. For Daemon, it gives him an opportunity to get what he’s always been after, his brother’s throne.
While you might think this union would upset the Velaryons, it actually binds them to Rhaenyra and her faction, the Blacks. You see, Daemon’s children are Velaryons, and they are now Rhaenyra ‘s stepdaughters.
We know that the Corlys and Rhaenys are aware that the princes, Jacaerys Velaryon, Lucerys, and Joffrey, are bastards, so there was always the chance that Velaryons may abandon her one day. Now though, they’re bound to her truly, through blood.