House of the Dragon's Big Twist Could Lead to Another Major Change in Game of Thrones History

WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for the latest episode of House of the Dragon! Continue reading at your own risk... Sunday night's episode of House of the Dragon, "Driftmark," ended with the biggest twist of the show to-date. Rhaenyra and Daemon seemed to be plotting to kill Laenor, which would allow them to finally marry one another, but it was revealed at the last minute that Laenor was in on the plot as well. His death was faked, and the show ended with a now-bald Laenor rowing out to see with Qarl Correy, ready for a new life.

This was a massive surprise to those that have read George R.R. Martin's Fire & Blood, as it represented a massive change to the story. In the book, Laenor dies the same year as his sister, Leana, who died in the sixth episode of House of the Dragon. By opting to keep him alive, House of the Dragon not only changes Laenor's story, but potentially sets up another massive change to Game of Thrones history down the road. 

During the war known as the Dance of the Dragons, Rhaenyra and her army need as many dragonriders as they can muster to defeat her half-brother, Aegon II. The enlist the help of two young men named Addam and Alyn, the sons of Merida of Hull.

Merida claimed Addam and Alyn were the bastard sons of Laenor Velaryon, though many who knew of Laenor's homosexuality thought that the children actually belonged to Corlys Velaryon. Addam, the eldest of the boys, was able to mount Seasmoke, the dragon that once belonged to Laenor, to aid in Rhaenyra's efforts. Alyn fought in the war as well. Rhaenyra legitimized the two bastards at Corlys' request, and he named them both the heirs of Driftmark. Alyn took over as Lord of the Tides after the deaths of Addam and Corlys.

That's how things happened in Fire & Blood, but House of the Dragon now has another very intriguing way to tell that story. Laenor could easily come back into the fold after the start of the war to ride Seasmoke once again. He and Rhaenyra always cared for one another and he would likely want to fight by her side in the war against Alicent and Aegon II. This also provides the opportunity for Corlys to deal with his complicated feelings towards his son's sexuality. Having thought he lost Laenor, Corlys may see things much differently upon his son's return.

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Laenor would obviously need to return under a fake name in this scenario, as any proof of his life would raise public issues in the marriage of Rhaenyra and Daemon. That only adds to the idea that he could take on the name Addam and pose as a Velaryon bastard. It's hard to say if the show would opt to merge Addam and Alyn into one character, putting Laenor in charge of Driftmark after his father's death, or if there will be another Alyn later in the series.

There's always a chance Laenor could simply live the rest of his life in peace, away from the Iron Throne and House Targaryen, but the decision to keep him alive is too significant not to be revisited. Laenor will be back at some point, and it'll be interesting to see exactly how House of the Dragon plans to reintroduce him.