Sunday night's episode of House of the Dragon revealed a detail that wasn't included in George R.R. Martin's book, and fans have already come up with some interesting implications it could have later in the story. Fair warning: there are spoilers for House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood ahead!
Martin's latest book, Fire & Blood, is written like a history book rather than a conventional novel. This has given House of the Dragon plenty of chances to flesh out details that Westerosi historians wouldn't have been aware of, and Episode 7 might have had the biggest revelation of all. It revealed that Laenor Velaryon (John MacMillan) did not actually die, but faked his own death to escape his royal responsibilities and live anonymously across the Narrow Sea. This was a happier ending than the character got in the book and it shone a more favorable light on Princess Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy), but it left one conspicuous loose end: Laenor's dragon Seasmoke.
Seasmoke was Laenor’s pride and joy.. his dragon.. dragon rider bonds are for life….I presume Laenor will be back one way or the other #HOTD— Mj (@ThisGrayArea) October 3, 2022
In Fire & Blood, Seasmoke remained riderless for about a decade after Laenor's death. When civil war broke out in the Seven Kingdoms, Rhaenyra and her council scrambled to equip as many dragon-riders as possible, reaching out to the commoners for anyone who might be descended from Targaryen or Valaryon bastards. Some of these people were able to bond with the dragons who had no riders, including a young man named Addam of Hull.
Addam is brought forward by Lord Corlys "The Sea Snake" Velaryon – played by Steve Toussaint on House of the Dragon. The book cites two conflicting accounts of Addam's birth. His mother claims that he is the bastard son of Laenor himself, though of course, this is dubious since Laenor famously preferred to have sex with men. Another account claims that Addam was secretly the bastard son of Corlys himself, who kept his bastards a secret from the rest of his family.
Maybe Laenor is Addam— Mj (@ThisGrayArea) October 3, 2022
The latter explanation makes the most sense in the context of the books, but given the revelation of the TV show, some fans are now speculating that Addam could be Laenor in disguise. YouTuber GrayArea points out that, based on everything we know, Seasmoke would be unlikely to bond with another rider if Laenor was still alive. Laenor himself is extremely proud to be a dragon-rider, and it seems unlikely that he would stay away from Westeros knowing that Rhaenyra and House Velaryon were fighting a civil war.
If Addam is Laenor in disguise, it would represent another change to the timeline. In the book, Addam is described as about 15 years old when he joins Rhaenyra's forces. However, the show has already made many changes to the ages of the characters, so it does not feel outside the realm of possibility.
It will be quite a while before we meet Addam on screen and find out the truth of this theory for ourselves. In the meantime, it looks like the Laenor-in-disguise memes are here to stay. House of the Dragon airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. Fire & Blood is available now in print, digital and audiobook formats.