House of the Dragon’s messy queer melodrama endures show’s ten year time jump – to delight of fans

Princess Rhaenyra with her son Joffrey in House of the Dragon. (HBO)

The latest episode of House of the Dragon has seen Laenor and Rhaenyra’s relationship grow more complicated than ever with him naming her son after his dead lover. 

Episode six saw huge change with a 10 year time jump and major characters changing actors – including Emma D’Arcy taking up Rhaenyra, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower and Laenor being played by John Macmillian. 

At the end of the previous episode we saw Princess Rhaenyra marry her gay cousin Laenor. But at the wedding, Laenor’s lover Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod) tragically died. 

The episode saw a huge backlash from fans who accused the show of falling into the tired “bury your gays” trope. 

In this episode we see the impact Joffrey’s death still has on Laenor, who names Rhaenyra’s third child Joffrey, without consulting Rhaenyra.

While some fans were touched by the gesture, others felt the name has been too tainted by the Game of Thrones character Joffrey who was universally hated for his terrible personality. 

And while Laenor and Rhaenyra have now been married for a decade, it becomes clear the three children are not his; Rhaenyra has been having an affair with Ser Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr). 

Rhaenyra’s ex-best friend Alicent makes comments about how the children share no resemblance with Laenor, telling him: ““Do keep trying, Ser Laenor. Sooner or later you may get one who looks like you.”

However, some fans have pointed out that the set up is quite progressive.

Later, everyone’s favourite resident gay, Laenor, suggests to Rhaenyra he should sail off to the Narrow Sea to fight pirates, but Rhaenyra forbids him to leave.

However, Rhaenyra continues to be an ally by inviting Laenor’s new man, Sir Qarl Correy (Arty Froushan), to their home in Dragonstone, much to the viewers’ delight.

House of the Dragon airs on Sunday at 9pm on Sky.