House of the Dragon episode five saw Rhaenyra wed Laenor. (HBO)
House of the Dragon episode five repeated a historic anti-LGBTQ+ trope on screen, much to the disappointment of fans. Warning – spoilers follow.
The latest episode introduced the show’s first canonically queer couple, Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate) and Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly Mcleod), only for them to then be torn apart by violent death.
Following in the footsteps of Game of Thronesand other shows such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The 100 and Killing Eve, House of the Dragon has succumbed to the “bury your gays” trope – which sees queer characters meet devastating ends.
Fans were excited to properly meet Laenor after he made an epic entrance on his dragon in episode three.
Episode five saw the prince enjoy a romantic dalliance with Joffrey, the pair kissing and glowing with love – but that all soon changed.
When a match was made between Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Laenor, the two agreed to politically align themselves but continue any relations they pleased outside the marriage.
shoutout to Laenor being a gay icon and Rhaenyra being an ally!! they said we’ll make babies but fuck whoever we want on the side, too right, love to see it!! #HoTD #HouseOfTheDragon pic.twitter.com/ZEoUHGUCIB
— niall (@ni_alln) September 19, 2022
i enjoyed the litte chat rhaenyra had with laenor like “okay i know you’re gay so here’s the plan: we pretend to be a couple, do our duty meanwhile in reality we fuck who we want”. the way i laughed, i love my queen
— ruby | hotd spoilers (@fortargaryen) September 19, 2022
I love how Rhaenyra and Laenor have their little understanding and gay analogies, it’s literally how cousins irl talk about being gay
— ItsYaBoyDavid (@GoAwayStinky) September 19, 2022
— Matty (@Juraiacies) September 19, 2022
Although it was all looking good for Laenor and Joffrey to have their happy (by Game of Thrones standards) ending, at the wedding everything fell apart.
Joffrey told his fellow knight, Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), that he knew about his affair with Rhaenyra, which did not go down well.
As the wedding erupted into chaos, Criston brutally pounded Joffrey to death. As things died down, viewers were left with the haunting image of Laenor crying over his lover’s body.
Long live the love that never lasted. You will be forever missed, Ser Joffrey. pic.twitter.com/cOBpAYWAM
— thirdy is #TEAMBLACK (@thirdylovesxmen) September 19, 2022
Fans slammed House of the Dragon for the tragic turn of events, especially since earlier on in the episode things were being handled so positively.
“Surely you didn’t think you’d get a less than horrific gay plot line in this show?” one viewer wrote,
While another added,Loving House Of The Dragon but did we really need to do the whole Bury Your Gays trope in the year of our lord 2022?,
Another summed it up,I was a fool to think for a second that the gays could win & be happy in a Game of Thrones world.”
Why do they always kill off the gay characters right away?!? #HouseOfTheDragonHBO
— TJ (she/they/he)🍓🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@traviskrup) September 19, 2022
If there’s one thing about gay relationships in the Game of Thrones Universe, there’s never a happy ending #HouseOfTheDragonHBO
— Gandalfthegay (@guppiechef) September 19, 2022
— Daemon Targaryen (@Daemontargrayen) September 19, 2022
– cade!! (@c4deio) September 19, 2022
— Elvin García, MPA (@ElvinGarciaNYC) September 19, 2022
As pointed out by fans, this is not the first time the Game of Thrones universe has thrown queer couples under the bus.
early fully Game of Thrones seasons, Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), youngest brother of King Robert, was seen in a relationship with knight Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones).
Much like poor Joffrey, Renly met a terrible end after being killed by a shadow monster.
Loras was later imprisoned and forced to confess his sexuality – and then, shortly after, blown to pieces.
— depression (@raccoonmum) September 19, 2022
— karla (@koredakota) September 19, 2022
With five episodes left in the first season of House of the Dragon following the marriage of Rhaenyra and Laenor, there is still hope that things could turn around the for Laenor – but only time will tell.