House of the Dragon: Laenor and his dragon Seasmoke, explained

Laenor, the rider of Seasmoke, in House of the DragonHBO

Who is Seasmoke? House of the Dragon Episode 3 introduces a new dragon to the mix, with Laenor Velaryon riding it into battle.

Game of Thrones had three dragon riders: most notably, there was Daenerys Targaryen, the “mother of dragons”, who rode Drogon alongside her other two dragons, Rhaegal and Viserion.

Secondly, there was Jon Snow. While he was long considered the bastard child of Ned Stark, he was actually born Aegon Targaryen, making him the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. He rode Rhaegal in the eighth season. Thirdly, there was the Night King, who resurrected and enslaved Viserion.

House of the Dragon will feature substantially more dragons; 17, to be precise, with nine in Season 1. In Episode 3, fans are introduced to Seasmoke for the first time, the dragon ridden by Laenor.

Spoilers for House of the Dragon to follow…

House of the Dragon: Who is Laenor Velaryon?

Laenor Velaryon is the only son of Corlys and Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), and their second child after Lady Laena (Savannah Steyn).

In Episode 3, he’s played by Theo Nate, fighting alongside Corlys and Daemon (Matt Smith) against the Crabfeeder’s army in the Stepstones.

His biggest scene comes as all hope looks to be lost for Daemon. Surrounded by enemy combatants, he prepares to take them all on, before Laenor flies in on Seasmoke and floods the beach with dragonflame.

House of the Dragon: Who is Seasmoke, and how can Laenor ride a dragon?

While you’d be forgiven for thinking it was Caraxes, Laenor is actually riding his own dragon in House of the Dragon Episode 3: Seasmoke, with a paler, silver-grey appearance and smaller than other dragons like Daemon’s and Rhaenyra’s Syrax.

In George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, Seasmoke bonded with Laenor in 101 BC, but he had yet to ride him at that point. It’s unclear whether Episode 3 marks the first time he’d ridden the dragon.

According to the Wiki of Ice and Fire, “he was of fighting size during the Dance [of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war at the heart of the show] but still a young dragon and nimbler in the air than his older brothers.

“He was of comparable size to Tessarion, who was about three times smaller than Vermithor, and not as fearsome a beast as him in comparison.”

As for how Laenor can ride a dragon, it’s not just Targaryens who can be dragonriders. In order to ride a dragon, you need to be a Valyrian, as in the people or ancestors of whom who were native to the Valyrian Peninsula, on the continent of Essos.

Laenor Velaryon, of House Velaryon – the only house with bloodlines dating back as far as the Targaryens – is a pureblood Velaryon, making him more than eligible to be a dragonrider.

House of the Dragon Episode 4 will be available to watch on September 11 in the US and September 12 in the UK.

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