Note: Major spoilers ahead!
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House of the Dragon Episode 7, “Driftmark,” featured the funeral of Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), the capture of Vhagar, and a Targaryen royal wedding. What you might be most perplexed by is that final shot of the guy who looks suspiciously like Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan) getting on a boat with Ser Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan). Since we just saw Correy murdering Laenor at the behest of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy).
What the hell happened? Did Daemon and Rhaenyra murder Laenor? Everyone believes so, from a saddened Lord Corlys (Steve Toussaint) and Rhaenys (Eve Best) to the Valyrian priest marrying Daemon and Rhaenyra, but what does the last shot of House of the Dragon Episode 7 on HBO truly mean?
House Of The Dragon Episode 7 ending explained
Rhaenyra Targaryen takes a controversial choice following a heated argument with her cruel stepmother Queen Alicent that results in a stabbing. She goes to her uncle Daemon and insists that she marry him. Both to strengthen her claim to the kingdom and because she clearly has a crush on her father’s brother.
Daemon agrees. But points out one significant fault with his niece’s plan: she’s already married. Divorce doesn’t seem to exist in Westeros. Because the only route ahead is for Rhaenyra’s husband to pass away. As a result, they devise a plan to bribe Laenor’s current “secret” boyfriend, Ser Qarl Correy, to murder his own lover.
But did Ser Qarl murder Laenor in order to save Daemon and Rhaenyra? Is Laenor truly dead? Who exactly is Qarl Correy? Are Daemon and Rhaenyra really married? Here’s everything you need to know about the House of the Dragon Episode 7 ending.
Is Laenor Alive or dead? Did Daemon and Rhaenyra?
The closing shot of House of the Dragon Episode 7 confirms that Laenor Velaryon is NOT dead. Daemon and Rhaenyra did not actually plot Laenor’s death with Ser Qarl. But rather how to fake Laenor’s death. Guys, Laenor did a Gone Girl!
Rewind a few scenes, and you’ll witness Daemon seizing a random guard in the Hall of Nine on Driftmark immediately before Laenor’s death. Why? In the following scene, we witness Ser Qarl Correy threaten Laenor, and the two begin fighting with steel. A servant panics and flees in search of security. Then we cut to Corlys and Rhaenys entering the hall and seeing Driftmark troops dragging a half-burned body from the fire.
However, the burned body is not that of Laenor Velaryon. It is the random guard Daemon has killed and replaced in place of Laenor. The episode’s final shot reveals that Laenor has shaved his head and is departing on a boat with Ser Qarl. From Daemon’s original presentation to Ser Qarl, we can deduce that it carries them across the Narrow Sea to Pentos. Where they can coexist peacefully as business partners and lovers.
And, if you’re still confused, Rhaenyra and Daemon’s conversation never mentions killing Laenor. Rhaenyra clearly states that she will not be a tyrant who dominates via fear. Daemon warns her that if she is to be a successful queen, her subjects must fear her. Rhaenyra says, “I do love Laenor,” and Daemon replies, “Then grant him this kindness. Set him free.” The scene then shifts to Qarl and Laenor’s mummer’s farce of a sword fight.
Rhaenyra and Daemon not only get the right to marry by faking Laenor’s death, but they also spread rumors about their own ruthlessness as a marriage. And what does Laenor get out of the deal? Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) once attempted to sell Rhaenyra. Laenor will no longer be bound by his duty but will be free to pursue happiness as a sellsword alongside his lover. He does have to leave his dragon behind, but those are the breaks.
So, Who is Ser Qarl Correy? And what do the books say?
Ser Qarl Correy made his debut in last week’s episode. He is Laenor’s new “drinking partner,” er, lover. Laenor regularly declares his desire to fight a war in the Stepstones with Ser Qarl, which horrifies Rhaenyra because she is endangered on all sides. When last week’s episode concludes, Rhaenyra says Laenor can accompany Ser Qarl to Dragonstone because they’ll need all the swords they can get.
In George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, Ser Qarl Correy is also Laenor’s lover. In that book, though, he does murder Laenor. Ser Laenor is publically killed after they get into a brawl in Spicetown. Ser Qarl escapes on a boat that had been waiting for him.
According to stories at the time, Ser Qarl was either jealous of Ser Laenor’s juvenile lover, or Daemon paid for the assassination to pave the way for Rhaenyra. Ser Qarl and Ser Laenor, on the other hand, get a happy ending in House of the Dragon!
Are Daemon and Rhaenyra really married?
Rhaenyra and Daemon marry in the classic Valyrian style. They “bind their blood,” just like Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters. The wedding ceremony is unlike any other we’ve seen in Westeros. The bride and groom are dressed in identical ceremonial attire.
They each cut their bottom lips with dragonglass and anoint each other’s forehead with their blood. They cut their hands and clasp them together, then kiss in front of an altar with a fire burning. It’s worth noting that, other than a priest talking in High Valyrian, their only witnesses are a maester and four of their five children.
And the kids are amusingly “meh” about it. After all, they’ve both lost their parents, and their new mom and dad are kissing in a blood magic ceremony. Gross! Watch House of the Dragon episodes 1-7 on HBO to know more.