House of the Dragon brutally killed off a gay character and some people are not happy about it

Oh, dear. It’s only episode five of House of the Dragon, HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel, and they’re brutally killing off the gays as quickly as they are introducing them as characters:

Not only does a secret love never win, but it seems a secret queer love will never have a happy ending.

In the fifth episode of House of the Dragon, Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) prepares for her marriage to Ser Laenor Velaryon (Theo Nate); prior to their wedding, Rhaenyra tells Laenor that she understands his sexual orientation and proposes that they perform their royal duties while having other lovers.

Rhaenyra hopes to resume her affair with Ser Criston Cole (Fabien Frankel), but the swordsman refuses to be her side piece. On the other hand, Laenor’s lover, Ser Joffrey Lonmouth (Solly McLeod), is more than happy to go along with the arrangement.

Unfortunately, Joffrey and Laenor’s relationship doesn’t stand the test of time because Ser Criston Cole soon beats Joffrey to death. In other words, right after we meet the LGBTQ couple, the “bury your gays” trope makes its grand entrance.

For those unaware, the “bury your gays” trope sees queer characters meeting their demise far more frequently than their heterosexual counterparts. All in all, queer characters often suffer and rarely have the chance to be happy.

Now, this trope is incredibly outdated in this day and age, which explains why many fans took to social media to share their frustrations regarding the tragic turn of events in House of the Dragon.

“House of the Dragon introducing two gay characters only to have one of them graphically beaten to death on screen twenty minutes later, absolutely fuck off with this shit,” one fan wrote on Twitter. Another questioned, “How many minutes was that between introducing a gay love interests to killing one of them, GOT? That’s a #buryyourgays record.”

On the one hand, I think it’s not fair to artists (and writers are artists every bit as much as painters or sculptors) to expect them to consider every possible sensibility when creating television and movie scripts. This particular case of #BuryYourGays would have been much worse if the gay character was beaten and killed because he was gay, and not because he’s possibly a schemer who threatened to expose Ser Criston’s indiscretions.

On the other hand, television and movie writers likely try all the time to not play into other stereotypes — racial, misogynistic, etc. — while still remaining true to their artistic vision. Of all the stereotypes that do show up in scripts, the tragic, brutal deaths of gay men is one of the ones that makes its way through the editing process far too often in a Hollywood still dominated by straight men.

Ser Laenor Velaryon and Ser Joffrey Lonmouth in “House of the Dragon.”

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