‘House of the Dragon’ is as homophobic as ‘Game of Thrones’

This story comprises spoilers for Episode 5 of “House of the Dragon,” “We Light the Way.”

“House of the Dragon” has made it abundantly clear that Westeros is just not probably the most progressive place. Its deep patriarchal traditions imply that even the Realm’s strongest girl, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, can’t escape the obligation to marry and finally bear kids.

The fifth episode of the HBO prequel collection sees Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) lastly betrothed after which married to her cousin, Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate). And in introducing Laenor’s story, “House of the Dragon” follows “Game of Thrones’” custom of failing its LGBTQ characters.

Laenor, like Rhaenyra, is just not truly involved in marriage — at the very least to a lady. Maybe as a result of the language to explain and outline a number of sexual orientations doesn’t exist in Westeros, his household speaks solely in euphemism, however Laenor is homosexual and his lover is Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod). And, simply as in “Game of Thrones,” it’s not thought of applicable for a person to like one other man overtly in “House of the Dragon.” Laenor’s father, Lord Corlys, even calls it a section.

Lonmouth appears to be rather more affordable than the different Joffrey with whom “Game of Thrones” followers are acquainted — even perhaps likable. Sadly, audiences won’t ever know as a result of he was brutally killed on this episode.

After figuring out Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel) as Princess Rhaenyra’s lover, Lonmouth approaches the knight to inform him he’s discovered his secret. Ser Criston, in what could possibly be described as a panic-driven rage, beats Lonmouth to demise in response.

LGBTQ characters on the planet of “Game of Thrones” — significantly queer males — have a protracted historical past of being ignominiously dispatched on the present. And whereas it may be argued that the majority characters within the collection expertise some type of horrific violence, queer characters’ deaths are sometimes additionally marked by homophobic subtext that may’t be ignored.

Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate), second from left, and his lover Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), second from proper, each fought on the Stepstones in “House of the Dragon” Episode 3.

(Ollie Upton / HBO)

Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) is the primary queer character launched in “Game of Thrones.” The popular youngest brother of King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), Renly is especially outlined by his sexual orientation, which, like Laenor’s, is an open secret. His lover is the dashing and succesful knight Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones).

Through the struggle to succeed King Robert as Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Renly is killed by a mysterious shadow monster that was birthed by a priestess after she had intercourse with Renly’s different older brother. Heterosexual sexual activity created the weapon wanted to slay Renly? How refined.

Loras survives for fairly a bit longer than Renly, however his demise is much more horrific. He’s arrested by a non secular sect for the crime of being homosexual and having been intimate with different males. After confessing, Loras is pressured to surrender his sexual orientation, his love for Renly and even his inheritance, however is killed moments later in a fire-bombing that wipes out your entire congregation.

After Renly’s demise, “Game of Thrones” launched Prince Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) of Dorne and his lover, Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma). Upon making their technique to King’s Touchdown, Oberyn and Ellaria each take female and male lovers and clarify that Dorne is extra open and accepting of individuals’s sexualities. However to the opposite Westerosi nobles, this simply underscores how “foreign” the Dornish are.

Oberyn’s tenure on the present is short-lived. Whereas making an attempt to avenge his sister, Oberyn’s eyes are gouged and cranium crushed by the palms of his big opponent. One other grotesque demise for a person who unapologetically liked different males.

That the world of “Game of Thrones” and “House of the Dragon” routinely accepts incest however can’t let queer males survive, not to mention thrive, is greater than disappointing. It’s problematic and dangerous. And for individuals who will attempt to paint the homophobia as some kind of “historical accuracy,” “House of the Dragon” is a fictional present set in a world with dragons and ice zombies.

The queer girls of “Game of Thrones” fared barely higher. Nonetheless, for all the ladies who push again in opposition to conventional gender roles to turn out to be warriors themselves, few had been proven to be involved in girls. In addition to Ellaria, who’s finally captured by her enemy Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), the present’s solely different confirmed queer girl is Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan), who was basically raised as a son by her father within the absence of her brothers.

As Cersei’s prisoner, Ellaria is taunted and tortured and compelled to look at her daughter die and decay; though she presumably died when your entire metropolis was laid waste by a dragon, her final destiny was not proven on the present. Yara, who experiences her personal share of war-related violence, is the one queer character who seems to have survived to the top of the unique collection. (It’s affordable to conclude, after all, that the marginally higher therapy of queer girls stems from the identical supply as “Game of Thrones’” frequent background depictions of girls having intercourse with girls for the pleasure of males: the male gaze.)

For individuals who hoped that Laenor’s introduction would possibly sign that “House of the Dragon” had realized the identical classes about LGBTQ illustration because it has Daenerys’ arc, Lonmouth’s demise is especially troubling due to the best way it evokes the homophobic “panic” that has lengthy been used to attempt to defend violence in opposition to queer individuals. Cristen’s panic and rage are textually tied to his guilt and anxiousness over breaking his oath as a member of the Kingsguard and his fear that this secret can be revealed. However the sequence nonetheless quantities to a person, after being approached by a homosexual man who is aware of his secret, beating the homosexual man to demise.

From the primary episode, the prequel collection has been clear that the misogyny of the Realm is a mark in opposition to it. It’s previous time the franchise does the identical with homophobia.