Art by Oznerol-1516.
|Born||In 94 AC|
|Died||In 120 AC, Spicetown|
|Spouse||Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen|
John Macmillan (adult)|
Theo Nate (teen)
Matthew Carver (child)
|TV series||House of the Dragon: Season 1|
Ser Laenor Velaryon was the only son of Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. He was the heir to Driftmark and the first husband of his second cousin, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Rhaenyra gave birth to three sons during their marriage, Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey, although it was rumored that they had been fathered by Rhaenyra's lover instead of Laenor. He was a dragonrider whose dragon was Seasmoke.
Appearance and Character
Laenor was known to have a lack of interest in women, instead preferring to surround himself with handsome young men of his own age. Ser Criston Cole, an enemy to Laenor's wife Rhaenyra, proclaimed that boys had not been safe around Laenor.
Claim to the Iron Throne
Laenor was born in 94 AC to Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. He had one older sister, Laena. When Prince Aemon Targaryen, Rhaenys's father and the eldest son and heir of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, died shortly after Rhaenys learned she was pregnant in 92 AC, Rhaenys and her first unborn child were passed over in favor of Jaehaerys's second son, Baelon. When Rhaenys finally gave birth to a son during her second pregnancy, Baelon had already been firmly ensconced as the heir apparent. Regardless of this, both House Velaryon and House Baratheon, from whom Rhaenys' descended, insisted that the newly born Laenor had the better claim to the Iron Throne.
Following Baelon's death in 101 AC, King Jaehaerys' heir was unclear. Although Baelon had left behind two living sons, he had been a second son, while Laenor and his mother and sister could claim descent from Jaehaerys's firstborn son. It was reported to the court that Lord Corlys was gathering ships and men on Driftmark, to defend Laenor's "rights". To resolve the issue, King Jaehaerys I issued a Great Council to be held at Harrenhal in 101 AC, to appoint the new heir to the throne. At Harrenhal, Laenor's parents used their wealth and influence to persuade the lords present to vote for Laenor, During this Great Council, the claims of Laenor and of Baelon's eldest son Viserys emerged as the most popular ones. While primogeniture favored Laenor, Jaehaerys's great-grandson, the principle of proximity favored Viserys, Jaehaerys's grandson. Many at the council felt that the male line had to take precedence over the female line. Nor was Laenor's age favorable; while Laenor was only seven years old, Viserys was already twenty-four. Although Laenor had the support of Lord Boremund Baratheon, Lord Ellard Stark, Lord Manderly, Lord Dustin, Lord Blackwood, Lord Bar Emmon, Lord Celtigar, and others, the assembled lords overwhelmingly voted for Prince Viserys. While the actual numbers of the vote were never revealed, it was said that the vote had been more than twenty to one in Viserys's favor.
When King Viserys I Targaryen and his small council sought a husband for Viserys's heir, Rhaenyra Targaryen, they eventually agreed on Laenor, as such a marriage would unite House Targaryen and House Velaryon once again. The only objection raised was Laenor's lack of interest in women. Instead, it was reported he preferred the company of handsome squires his own age, had never known a woman intimately, and had not fathered any bastards. After Grand Maester Mellos dismissed this concern, the match was agreed upon. According to Archmaester Gyldayn, Princess Rhaenyra herself objected to the match as well, but agreed when King Viserys I threatened to appoint her half-brother Aegon as his heir over her if she would not wed Laenor.
Laenor and Rhaenyra were married in 114 AC. A fortnight before the wedding, Laenor was knighted. During the tourney held to celebrate the wedding, Laenor gave his favor to his male favorite, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth. Joffrey was mortally wounded by Ser Criston Cole during the joust. Joffrey died six days later, and according to Mushroom, Laenor spent all that time by Joffrey's bedside, and wept bitterly when Joffrey finally died. Afterwards, Laenor returned to Driftmark, causing many to wonder whether the marriage had been consummated, as Rhaenyra remained at court. At High Tide, Laenor quickly found a new favorite, Ser Qarl Correy.
Laenor and Rhaenyra spent much of their time apart from one another, although he did join her at court for important events, where his presence was expected. Regardless of this, Rhaenyra's pregnancy was soon announced, and in the waning days of 114 AC she gave birth to their first child. Laenor wished to name the child Joffrey, but was overruled by his father, who named the boy Jacaerys. Rhaenyra gave birth to a second son a year later, who was named Lucerys. According to Septon Eustace both Laenor and Rhaenyra's rumored lover, Ser Harwin Strong, were at Rhaenyra's bedside for the birth. As both of his sons by Rhaenyra looked nothing like either Laenor or Rhaenyra, their appearance gave cause to rumors regarding their parentage. When Lucerys was presented at court, Queen Alicent Hightower told Laenor to keep trying, as "soon or late, you may get one who looks like you". After Rhaenyra, unable to stand Alicent anymore, returned to Dragonstone, accompanied by Ser Harwin, Laenor was said to have visited her "frequently".
In 117 AC, Rhaenyra gave birth to her third son, whom Laenor named Joffrey, in honor of Ser Joffrey Lonmouth. As Joffrey too had a "common" look, and not the Valyrian appearance of Laenor and Rhaenyra, his birth once again started the rumors that all three children had been fathered by Ser Harwin Strong, and not Laenor.
Death and legacy
Laenor was slain by his friend, Ser Qarl Correy, while attending a fair at Spicetown in 120 AC. The merchants present reported that the two men had been quarreling before the blades had come out. Septon Eustace insists that Qarl had killed Laenor out of jealousy, believing that Laenor had become enamored of a new, younger, male favorite. According to Mushroom, Qarl had killed Laenor on behalf of Prince Daemon Targaryen, although there was no shred of proof for this.
Laenor's body was collected by his father, Lord Corlys, who offered a reward of ten thousand golden dragons for anyone who could lead him to Ser Qarl, or bring Ser Qarl to him. Laenor's funeral was held at High Tide.
During the civil war called the Dance of the Dragons (129 AC - 131 AC), Laenor's three sons by Rhaenyra all died. However, during the Sowing of the Seeds, Marilda of Hull brought forth her two sons, Addam and Alyn, claiming them to have been Laenor's bastards. While both boys had Laenor's look, and Laenor had indeed been known to have visited the shipyard in Hull, where Marilda worked, from time to time, many were skeptical of the claim, as they recalled Laenor's preference of men over women. Laenor's father, Lord Corlys, however, gladly accepted his two grandchildren, although Mushroom insists in his Testimony that the children had not been fathered by Laenor, but by Corlys himself. Regardless of the parentage, Corlys's request for both boys to be legitimized by Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen was granted. During the Sowing, Addam claimed Laenor's dragon Seasmoke.
Quotes about Laenor
One objection was raised: Laenor Velaryon was now nineteen years of age yet had never shown any interest in women. Instead he surrounded himself with handsome squires of his own age and was said to prefer their company. But Grand Maester Mellos dismissed this concern out of hand. "What of it?" he is supposed to have said. "I am not fond of fish, but when fish is served, I eat it." Thus was the match decided.
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
- HBO.com: House of the Dragon Cast & Characters
- WarnerMedia Pressroom: House of the Dragon | Character Descriptions
- House of the Dragon, Season 1, "The Heirs of the Dragon".
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.