House of the Dragon: Qarl Correy and Laenor, explained

Qarl Correy and Laenor Velaryon in House of the DragonHBO

House of the Dragon Episode 7 features a major development between Qarl Correy and Laenor Velaryon – let’s break down what happens, and what it means going forward.

When we first met Laenor, he was assisting Corlys and Daemon in the battle against the Crabfeeder in the Stepstones, eventually riding his dragon Seasmoke across the shore’s skies to save the day.

Over the course of the past episodes, he’s become a significant character, with Viserys forcing Rhaenyra into a political marriage with him, despite him being gay. Nevertheless, the pair made an agreement to perform their royal duties, regardless of their sexualities or true desires.

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After seeing him brutally lose one lover, Joffrey Lonmouth, he’s found another with Qarl Correy – but what happens with him and Laenor in Episode 7, and what does it mean for the rest of the show?

Spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 7 to follow…

House of the Dragon: Who is Qarl Correy?

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Ser Qarl Correy is played by Arty Froushan. Qarl is a household knight who serves House Velaryon, having fought in the War for the Stepstones earlier in the show.

However, he’s introduced primarily as a lover of Laenor Velaryon, with the pair stumbling into Rhaenyra’s chamber drunk in Episode 7, and Rhaenyra allowing Qarl to accompany them, knowing Laenor’s affection for him.

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House of the Dragon: What happens between Qarl and Laenor in Episode 7?

Episode 7 opens on Laena’s funeral, with Laenor walking out into the rushing tide in drunken grief. Corlys is immediately angered by him being apart from everyone and bitterly orders Qarl to “retrieve his patron”, which he does with haste.

Laenor is later the subject of a conversation between Rhaenyra and Daemon, with Rhaenyra explaining how he’s been “restless for years… I know better than anyone that our marriage is a farce, but I at least make the effort to maintain appearances.”

Laenor isn’t seen again until the aftermath of Rhaenyra and Alicent’s clash over Aemond’s injury. Having reflected on losing his sister and Rhaenyra’s injury, he pledges himself to his wife and promises to offer better support in the trying times ahead.

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Rhaenyra may tell him he’s an honorable man, but she has different plans. She proposes to Daemon, but they can’t get married if Laenor is still alive. So, Daemon reaches out to Qarl and asks him to give Laenor a “quick death” for a handsome amount of gold in return.

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We then see Qarl angrily confronting Laenor, successfully provoking him to draw his sword, and both men fight to the death. Soon after, Rhaenys and Corlys find Laenor’s charred body in the fireplace.

But wait, there’s a twist! The man in the fireplace wasn’t Laenor – it was a random person Daemon killed. The episode concludes with Qarl and Laenor rowing away on a tiny boat, never to be seen again.

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It’s unclear whether Rhaenyra was informed of this deception, or if Daemon secretly worked out an alternative so he could spare Laenor’s life. One thing is fairly certain: we’ll probably not see Laenor and Qarl for the rest of House of the Dragon.

House of the Dragon: What happens to Qarl and Laenor in the book?

George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood follows a similar trajectory. In the book, Qarl kills Laenor following a quarrel at a fair in Spicetown; nobody knows why the fight broke out, nor did anybody see Qarl again after Laenor’s death.

As per The Testimony of Mushroom, Daemon paid Qarl to murder Laenor so he could marry Rhaenyra. However, Qarl never escaped – Daemon offered him a getaway, only to have him killed and his body disposed of at sea.

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House of the Dragon Episode 8 will be available to watch on October 9 in the US and October 10 in the UK.