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House of the Dragon, HBO's massively successful Game of Thrones prequel series, confirmed a gay character on last night's episode, "We Light The Way."
The franchise isn't exactly bursting at the seams when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation, so fans were excited to meet Laenor Velaryon, Rhaenyra's betrothed. Velaryon was rumored to be gay in the book House of the Dragon is based on but the series didn't confirm his sexuality until now.
According to PRIDE, Velaryon and Rhaenyra's was meant to be "a political marriage that merges her power with that of House Velaryon, strengthening her claim to the iron throne, while also giving them both the freedom to love who they want." Rhaenyra mentioned to Velaryon that the two could "dine" separately, signaling that he was free to continue his relationship with Ser Joffrey Lonmouth, and she with Ser Criston Cole. We got a few lovely moments between the two men and even a kiss, but any joy felt was quickly ripped away on that fateful wedding day.
\u201cthey both married gay men and told them "you do you i support you" really the biggest allies in all Westeros #HouseOfTheDragon\u201d— rhaenyra targaryen's lawyer (@rhaenyra targaryen's lawyer) 1663553284
Following Velaryon and Rhaenyra's wedding, Ser Joffrey told Ser Criston that he was aware of the knight's... arrangement. In response, Criston brutally beats Joffrey to death and we get a gut-wrenching scene of Velaryon sobbing with his lover's body in his arms.
You won this round, Bury Your Gays trope!
As expected, fans pointed out the dark fate for LGBTQ+ characters not just in this franchise, but in our culture. Here are some of our favorite reactions to the episode below:
\u201cshoutout to Laenor being a gay icon and Rhaenyra being an ally!! they said we\u2019ll make babies but fuck whoever we want on the side, too right, love to see it!! #HoTD #HouseOfTheDragon\u201d— niall (@niall) 1663550701
\u201cRhaenyra and Laenor after their agreement. #hotd #HouseoftheDragon\u201d— Matty (@Matty) 1663551405
\u201cViserys after every episode \n\n#HouseOfTheDragon\u201d— Free Folk Memes (@Free Folk Memes) 1663554556
\u201cThe guests who didn\u2019t get out yet when they saw Leanor crawl and cry to Joffrey\u2019s body\n #HouseOfTheDragon\u201d— ja \ud83d\udda4\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08 (@ja \ud83d\udda4\ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\ud83c\udf08) 1663559954
\u201cIt's seems gays can never be happy in this show \n#HouseOfTheDragonHBO \n#HouseOfTheDragon\u201d— Bishal Adhikari (@Bishal Adhikari) 1663560147
\u201cI THINK I\u2019VE SEEN THIS FILM BEFORE, AND I DIDNT LIKE THE ENDING #HouseOfTheDragon\u201d— depression (@depression) 1663553420
\u201cHere's to #TeamBlack. Here's to King Consort and Heir to #Driftmark, #LaenorVelaryon.\n\nLong live the love that never lasted. You will be forever missed, Ser Joffrey.\u201d— thirdy is a namor apologist \u2297 (@thirdy is a namor apologist \u2297) 1663563780
\u201cIf you are getting married, \ud83d\udc4fDO \ud83d\udc4fNOT \ud83d\udc4f hire this man as your wedding planner!\n#HouseOfTheDragon\u201d— Kevin3000 (@Kevin3000) 1663554961