To get straight to the point: No, “House Of The Dragon” does not break canon by showing Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate) as a dragon rider. However, the irritation is understandable: Because so far we have only in “Game Of Thrones”. Targaryens seen as a dragon rider. And after it was revealed, for example, that Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is a Targaryen, he too could ride a dragon – so this ability is a clear sign of lineage.
Similarly, Laenor Velaryon is also a member of the Targaryen family, although he has a different surname. Because his mother Rhaenys (Eve Best) is a Targaryen and almost even sat on the Iron Throne – but when choosing between her and Viserys I (Paddy Considine), the male candidate was chosen, as was seen in the prologue to episode 1. Since then, Rhaenys, who is married to Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), has been called “the queen who never was”.
Laenor Velaryon’s dragon is called Seasmoke. And not only Laenor is a dragon rider: also his older sister Laena, who was to be married off to King Viserys as a child (Nova Foueillis-Mosé), later has a dragon, the legendary Vhagar, which Aegon’s sister and wife Visenya rode during the conquest of Westeros. Laena Velaryon as a young adult will be played by Savannah Steyn in upcoming episodes of House Of The Dragon.
The dragons of the Velaryons then expand on the series’ dragon arsenal we’ve seen in previous episodes – including Caraxes from Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and Syrax from Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock).
So you don’t have to be officially Targaryen to ride a dragon in the world of Game Of Thrones – Targaryen blood in your veins, even a little of it, is enough. Some dragon riders in the “GoT” cosmos are only distantly related to the Targaryens, mostly people from the Valyrian house Velaryon with a Targaryen ancestor or hybrids from the two houses.
Episode 4 of House Of The Dragon comes to Sky and WOW (formerly Sky Ticket) on Monday 12 September 2022 and is available from 3am.
» “House Of The Dragon” at WOW (Sky Ticket)*
If you want to know more about Episode 3 of House Of The Dragon, in which we see Laenor as a dragon rider for the first time, check out the video linked above. In it, video producer Sebastian Gerdshikow analyzes the entire episode and explains, among other things, what the white deer and Daemon’s freak out are all about.
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