House of the Dragon theory claims small line teased main character’s off-screen death

A recent episode of House of the Dragon featured a small line that might have just confirmed the death of a main character.

This potential development arrives after readers of Fire & Blood, the Game of Thrones spin-off’s source material, were left blindsided by a change made in the show’s first season.

George RR Martin’s book, which charts the history of the Targaryens, is full of brutal twists – and while the show mostly follows suit, one character’s life was spared despite his tragic fate on the page.

*Potential spoilers follow – you have been warned*

The moment in question surrounded Laenor (John Macmillan), who was killed off so that his wife Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) can marry her uncle Daemon (Matt Smith) – a decision she believed would strengthen her claim to the throne.

In season one, Rhaenyra conspired with Daemon about convincing Laenor’s secret lover Ser Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan) to kill her husband Laenor in a duel.

Daemon hinted to Qarl that he should then cross the narrow sea to live a life of luxury, away from the Targaryen political intrigue and. However. Qarl draws Laenor into a duel, and the scene cuts away; viewers are later shown Laenor’s charred corpse.

However, it’s revealed in the episode’s closing moments that the corpse is actually a decoy, and that Rhaenyra and Daemon helped Laenor fake his death to leave safely with Qarl.

Laenor faked his own death in ‘House of the Dragon’s first season – a big changes from the source material (HBO)
Laenor faked his own death in ‘House of the Dragon’s first season – a big changes from the source material (HBO)

This was a big change from the books in which Daemon successfully pays Qarl off to kill Laenor. The change altered the dynamic surrounding Rhaenyra in a big way – and, in turn, now makes her the most sympathetic character in Westeros.

But fans are now convinced that Laenor might, in fact, be dead after all, and that writers are holding back this revelation for a future episode.

This theory was inspired by a line early into the second season’s third episode, in which Rhaenyra and Mysaria (Sonoya Mizuno) hear Laenor’s dragon Seasmoke, flying around making aggrieved noises.

When Mysaria asks: “Are they always like this?”, Rhaenyra responds: “Seasmoke – my late Lord husband’s dragon. He’s grown restless of late. We can’t know why.”

Mysaria cryptically replies: “Maybe he’s lonely,” to which the camera lingers on a rattled Rhaenyra’s face.

Emma D’arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)
Emma D’arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen in ‘House of the Dragon’ (HBO)

“To me this confirmed Laenor actually died in Essos and for Seasmoke to act like that, it was hella painful,” one viewer wrote, with another adding: “The fact that she says Seasmoke has grown restless /recently/ meaning he hasn’t been like this since Laenor left, it is a new thing, a new development…. Indicates to me he has passed

Another fan theorised: “So the implication that Seasmoke is lonely bc Laenor might be dead,” with one more stating on X/Twitter: “I think Seasmoke feels Laenor’s gone and he’s both mourning and missing the connection to a rider.”

House of the Dragon’s latest episode featured a heartbreaking death that fans have branded “unneccessary” – and also left viewers with one burning question after its fiery ending.

The series continues on HBO in the US on Sundays and on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK on Mondays.