This story contains spoilers for Episode 5 of “House of the Dragon,” “We Light the Way.”
It is plainly evident from “House of the Dragon” that Westeros is not the most developed society. Even Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the most powerful woman in the Realm, cannot avoid the obligation to marry and eventually have children due to its deeply ingrained patriarchal norms.
In the fifth episode of the HBO prequel series, Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) marries her cousin Laenor Velaryon after finally being engaged (Theo Nate). Additionally, “House of the Dragon” continues the “Game of Thrones” trend of failing its LGBTQ characters by introducing Laenor’s narrative.
Like Rhaenyra, Laenor doesn’t really want to get married, at least not to a woman. His family may talk in euphemisms since Westeros lacks the vocabulary to explain and define different sexual orientations, but Laenor is gay and Joffrey Lonmouth is his lover (Solly McLeod). Additionally, exactly like in “Game of Thrones,” publicly loving another man is not acceptable in “House of the Dragon.” Lord Corlys, the father of Laenor, even refers to it as a phase.
Compared to the other Joffrey that “Game of Thrones” viewers are familiar with, Lonmouth appears to be a lot more sensible and maybe even likable. Sadly, because he was brutally slain in this episode, viewers will never know.
Informing the knight that he has discovered his secret, Lonmouth approaches him after recognizing Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) as Princess Rhaenyra’s lover. Ser Criston responds by beating Lonmouth to death in what may be characterized as a panic-driven fury.
Queer males in the “Game of Thrones” universe, in particular, have a lengthy history of being shamefully eliminated from the series. And while it’s debatable whether or not most individuals in the series suffer some sort of horrifying brutality, LGBT characters frequently die with overtly homophobic undertones.
Renly is slain by a strange shadow creature that was created by a priestess after she had sex with Renly’s other elder brother during the battle to succeed King Robert as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. The tool required to kill Renly was generated by heterosexual sexual activity, right? How deft.
Although Loras lives far longer than Renly, his demise is arguably more horrifying. A religious cult has him in custody for the crimes of being gay and having relations with other men. After confessing, Loras is made to give up his love for Renly, his inheritance, and his sexual orientation. However, he dies shortly after in a firebombing that also destroys the whole congregation.
“Game of Thrones” presented Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne and his girlfriend, Ellaria Sand, following Renly’s passing (Indira Varma). Oberyn and Ellaria make it known that Dorne is more accommodating of people’s sexual orientations when they arrive in King’s Landing by taking both male and female lovers. However, this just serves to highlight how “strange” the Dornish is to the other Westerosi aristocrats.
The time Oberyn spends on the show is brief. Obery n’s eyes are gouged and his skull is smashed by the hands of his enormous foe as he seeks to get revenge on his sister. For a guy who openly liked other men, another horrific death occurred.
It is more than sad that the worlds of “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragon” habitually permit incest yet cannot allow LGBT males to exist, much less prosper. It is hazardous and troublesome. In addition, “House of the Dragon” is a fictitious program situated in a world with dragons and ice zombies, so those who try to portray homophobia as some sort of “historical realism” should remember that.
The “Game of Thrones” LGBT ladies did a little bit better. Nevertheless, few women were proven to be interested in them despite the fact that many of the women challenge conventional gender norms and go on to become warriors. The only other openly gay character on the show, except Ellaria, who is ultimately abducted by her adversary Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), is Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), who was effectively raised as a son by her father in the absence of her brothers.
Ellaria is teased and tortured while serving as Cersei’s prisoner, and she is made to watch her daughter suffer and deteriorate. Although it is assumed that she passed away when the city was destroyed by a dragon, her final outcome was not seen in the program. The only LGBT character who seems to have made it to the conclusion of the original series is Yara, who had her fair share of war-related brutality. (It is possible to draw the conclusion that the somewhat better portrayal of gay women results from the same source as the frequently occurring background scenes in “Game of Thrones” that show women engaging in sex with other women for the delight of males.)
Lonmouth’s death is especially disturbing because it evokes the homophobic “panic” that has long been used to try to defend violence against queer people. For those who hoped that Laenor’s introduction might signal that “House of the Dragon” had learned the same lessons about LGBTQ representation as it has Daenerys’ arc, this is because Lonmouth is a queer woman. Textually speaking, Cristen’s fear of this secret being discovered and his guilt over breaching his pledge as a member of the Kingsguard are what is driving him to panic and lash out. The storyline still results in a man beating a homosexual man to death when the gay man approaches him and learns of his secret.