Who’s riding that dragon at the end of House of the Dragon Episode 3?
House of the Dragon Episode 3 ends with a mystery. We have the answer.
It wouldn’t be a Game of Thrones spinoff without an epic battle, and in Episode 3, House of the Dragon delivers just that. Set several years after the events of Episode 2, the HBO show’s most recent entry brings closure to the War for the Stepstones in the most badass way possible.
But the conquest led by Daemon Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon doesn’t exactly go off without a hitch either. It takes a lot of deception and a little luck to defeat Craghas Crabfeeder and his army. And that includes a surprise Dragonrider who you may not recognize. Thankfully, we’re pretty sure we know who saves the day.
But first, a warning and a disclaimer: Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon Episode 3. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. As for the disclaimer, I personally have not watched beyond this episode and am making an educated guess. It’s possible I’m wrong, but I’m 99 percent sure I’m right. With that said, let’s dive in.
House of the Dragon Episode 3 ending explained
In case you were staring at your phone or had to use the bathroom, here’s a quick recap of what just happened. In short, after two years of fighting, the War for the Stepstones is not going well. The Crabfeeder is holed up in a cave, meaning Daemon can’t use his dragon to end the fight. Meanwhile, King Viserys has refused to intervene, but finally, he decides to throw the weight of the kingdom behind his brother’s fight.
When Daemon finds out, he doesn’t take it well. After doing the medieval version of shooting the messenger, he hatches a last-ditch plan. He pretends to surrender, drawing out the enemy so he can launch one final attack. This actually goes pretty well — at first — but after Daemon takes an arrow to the chest and another in his leg it looks like he may be in trouble. Thankfully, that’s when a mystery Dragonrider shows up to burn the exposed enemy to a crisp, freeing Daemon to take down Craghas and end the conflict for good.
But who is the Dragonrider who saved the day? House of the Dragon purposefully hides their face behind a helmet and a billow of smoke, keeping their identity a secret, but we may have figured it out.
Who’s riding that dragon in Episode 3?
Two words: Laenor Velaryon.
That’s right, I’m almost certain the Dragonrider who saved Daemon Targaryen’s life is Corlys’ son — the same one who Lyonel Strong said Rhaenyra should marry earlier in the same episode. (Strong goes on to note that this will only happen if Laenor survives the War of the Stepstones, which cleverly establishes that he’s present at the battle.)
The entire thing also feels like a misdirect because the audience knows the Velaryons aren’t Dragonriders. But Laenor isn’t just a Velaryon; he’s also a Targaryen on his mother’s side. In the books that inspired House of the Dragon, Laenor Velaryon rides a dragon named Seasmoke. So there’s definitely a precedent for this character to fly in on a firebreathing reptile and save the day.
Speaking of the books, in George R.R. Martin’s novels, Laenor does in fact marry Rhaenyra but is known to prefer the company of men to women. As a result, it’s suggested that none of their children are actually his. After Laenor dies in an accident, Rhaenyra ultimately marries her uncle Daemon (yep, get ready for that to happen in House of the Dragon, folks).
Of course, that’s many years in the story’s future, though at the rate House of the Dragon is racing through Westerosi history we could see the marriage of Rhaenyra and Laenor happen very soon. At the very least, maybe they can go Dragonriding together in House of the Dragon Episode 4.