The fog of war is always confusing for both audiences and fictional soldiers alike. But the sudden emergence of Laenor Velaryon as a dragonrider is particularly unmooring, given the fact that we haven’t properly met Laenor nor his dragon Seasmoke before this climactic moment. With that in mind, let’s take a minute to get to better know both as the boy and his dragon are sure to be players in the wars to come.
Who is Laenor Velaryon?
Laenor Velaryon has been a part of House of the Dragon since the very beginning, though he’s largely operated in the background before the events of episode 3 “Second of His Name.” Laenor belongs to House Velaryon and is the son of Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Touissant) and Lady Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best). He is the younger brother of Laena (Nova Foueillis-Mosé), who was last seen being offered up to King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) as a child bride.
Aside from that one extremely notable exception, Laenor and Laena have been a bit too young to factor into House of the Dragon‘s story until now. It’s only during the events of episode 3 that a teenaged Laenor is revealed to be a capable warrior and major boon for his house. Actor Theo Nate is set to continue to portray Laenor for the time being before the role is eventually ceded to older actor John Mcmillan, similar to how both Rhaenyra and Alicent will be aged up at some point in House of the Dragon‘s run.
Laenor getting the “aged up” treatment reveals how important he will eventually be to the story of the Dance of the Dragons. Even before that, however, Laenor has always been a major chesspiece in this game of thrones. The very first scene of the series takes place during the Great Council of Harrenhal in which Westeros’s major lords decide between Viserys and Laenor’s mom Rhaenys as heir to King Jaeherys I. In “real” Westerosi history, as depicted in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, it was actually a seven-year-old Laenor’s claim that was considered for the throne rather than Rhaenys’s. It bears to reason that even in the show’s version, were Rhaenys to hypothetically ascended the throne, Laenor would have become the Prince of Dragonstone and the king-in-waiting.
Suffice it to say, Laenor Velaryon is a big deal: blessed with a royal mother, an uber-rich father, and apparent dragonriding abilities. Now about that dragon…
Who is Seasmoke?
House of the Dragon plays things a little sneakily with its viewers (particularly those who have not read Fire & Blood) and does not reveal the existence of Laenor’s dragon until the closing moments of episode 3. In reality though, Laenor has been raising his dragon, named Seasmoke, this whole time.