would not be a game of Thrones spin-off without an epic battle, and in Episode 3, house of the dragon deliver just that. Set several years after the events of Episode 2, the newest entry in the HBO show brings the War for the Stepping Stones to a close in the rudest way possible.
But the conquest led by Daemon Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon does not go smoothly either. It takes a lot of trickery and a bit of luck to defeat Craghas Crabfeeder and his army. And that includes a surprise Dragonrider you might not recognize. Fortunately, we’re pretty sure we know who saves the day.
But first, a warning and disclaimer: Spoilers ahead for house of the dragon Episode 3. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. As for the disclaimer, I personally haven’t seen past this episode and I’m taking a guess. I may be wrong, but I’m 99 percent sure I’m right. With that said, let’s dive in.
house of the dragon Explanation of the end of episode 3
In case you were looking 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 Stepping Stones is not going well. The Crab Man is hiding in a cave, which means Daemon can’t use his dragon to finish the fight. Meanwhile, King Viserys has refused to intervene, but ultimately decides to put the full 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 desperate plan. He pretends to surrender, drawing the enemy in so he can launch a final attack. This actually goes pretty well at first, but after Daemon takes an arrow to the chest and another to the leg, he looks like he may be in trouble. Fortunately, that’s when a mysterious Dragonrider appears to burn the exposed enemy to stone, freeing Daemon to defeat Craghas and end the conflict for good.
But who is the Dragonrider who saved the day? House of the Dragon purposely hides his face behind a helmet and a cloud of smoke, keeping his identity a secret, but we may have found out.
Who rides that dragon in episode 3?
Two words: Laenor Velaryon.
That’s right, I’m pretty sure the Dragonrider who saved Daemon Targaryen’s life is Corlys’ son, the same one Lyonel Strong said Rhaenyra should marry earlier in the same episode. (Strong goes on to point out that this will only happen if Laenor survives the War of the Stepping Stones, which cleverly establishes that he is present at the battle.)
The whole thing also feels like misdirection because the audience knows that the Velaryons aren’t Dragonriders. But Laenor is not just a Velaryon; he is 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 flying around on a fire-breathing reptile and saving the day.
Speaking of the books, in George RR Martin’s novels, Laenor does, in fact, marry Rhaenyra, but she is known to prefer the company of men to women. As a result, it is suggested that none of his children are actually his. After Laenor dies in an accident, Rhaenyra finally marries her uncle Daemon (yes, prepare for that to happen in house of the dragonfriends).
Of course, that’s many years into the future of the story, albeit at the pace house of the dragon is running through the history of Westerosi, we could see the marriage of Rhaenyra and Laenor very soon. At the very least, maybe they can go dragon riding together in house of the dragon Episode 4.