Not all marriages are conventional in Westeros.

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House of the Dragon saw Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy, Milly Alcock), the heir to the Iron Throne, marry Ser Laenor Velaryon (John Macmillan, Theo Nate) and reach an agreement.

The pair decided they would marry for duty but pursue their own desires, with Laenor being gay and Rhaenyra having her own sexual appetites.

Years later, the pair present a united front - but Rhaenyra had three sons with her lover Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr).

However, in the wake of the death of Ser Laenor's Lady Laena Velaryon, Rhaenyra reached a surprising decision about her marriage.

So, what exactly went down? Well, it was slightly different to the book Fire and Blood. Be warned: there are spoilers ahead.

What happened to Ser Laenor Velaryon in House of the Dragon?

Towards the end of House of the Dragon episode 7, Ser Laenor Velaryon apologises to his wife Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen for failing her as a husband, but she makes it clear that she does care for him and that he is a good man.

Rhaenyra later speaks with her lover and uncle Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and proposes that they join forces and marry, taking House Targaryen to an all-new powerful level.

Of course, the obstacle in the way is Rhaenyra's current husband, Ser Laenor.

We then see a hooded Daemon approach Ser Laenor's lover Ser Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan) in secret and offer him enough gold to start a new life across the Narrow Sea if he performs a murderous task for him.

Arty Froushan as Ser Qarl Correy in House of the Dragon
Arty Froushan as Ser Qarl Correy in House of the Dragon. Ollie Upton/HBO

Later, Daemon kills a guard in the castle of High Tide on Driftmark before, in the castle's hall, Ser Qarl confronts Ser Laenor and a duel takes place, the results of which are not seen.

We then see Ser Laenor's parents Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best) enter the hall and find the aftermath of what happened, seeing a charred body in their son's clothes in the fire. Both of them are devastated to have lost both of their children.

However, in a final twist that is intercut with scenes of Daemon and Rhaenyra marrying with a blood oath in the tradition of Old Valyria in the presence of their children and Maester Gerardys (Phil Daniels), we see Ser Qarl escape Driftmark by boat.

Yet, with Ser Qarl in the boat is Ser Laenor, alive and well but with his signature silver hair shaved off. The pair row away, presumably to a new life.

This is a happy twist on a dark story from the book Fire and Blood, where Ser Qarl is portrayed as having killed Ser Laenor.

John Macmillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon and Arty Fourshan as Ser Qarl Correy escape by boat in House of the Dragon
John Macmillan as Ser Laenor Velaryon and Arty Fourshan as Ser Qarl Correy escape by boat in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton/HBO

The book offers different potential motivations for Ser Qarl killing Ser Laenor, one being payment by Daemon, another being jealousy over Ser Laenor's favour turning towards new lovers.

In the show's version, the world believes Ser Laenor is dead but he gets a happy ending and we know that Rhaenyra was likely in on this plot to set them both free.

A romantic ending for Ser Laenor after he already brutally lost his previous lover, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod).

Of course, this does not come without risks. What if Laenor was ever discovered? What if Lord Corlys seeks revenge on innocent people?

Considering this his 'death' is the last we see of Ser Laenor in the book Fire and Blood, we imagine we won't see him again - and considering how rare happy endings are in this fantasy world, that is probably for the best!

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House of the Dragon airs on Sky Atlantic and is available on NOW – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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