Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Episode 5 of House of the Dragon.
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.
'House of the Dragon' viewers slam the show for using the "bury your gays" trope.
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Now, this trope is incredibly outdated in this day and age, which explains why many fans took to social media to share their frustrations regarding the tragic turn of events in House of the Dragon.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 f--k off with this s--t," 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."
A third fan tweeted a quote from a recent Los Angeles Times article which states, "That Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon routinely accepts incest but cannot let queer men survive, let alone thrive, is more than disappointing. It is problematic and harmful."
"House of the Dragon writers have the great honor of inventing the new 'bury your gays' trope called 'beat your gays to death with your bare hands,'" a fourth fan penned on Twitter.
A fifth viewer boldly stated, "F--k House of the Dragon. They could have just been chill on gay people. But instead the most brutal death goes to not even a main character, but a side gay character who just wanted to protect his man."
Another viewer claimed, "if there’s one thing about gay relationships in the Game of Thrones Universe, there’s never a happy ending." Ugh — we wish this weren't true, but based on the franchise's track record, it's accurate.
Redditors also chimed in on the use of the unjust trope, with one writing, "Why is there no chance for a happy gay character story arc? Why do we constantly see gay characters killed off? It is a fictional world, [so] why do we need to see every gay character die or suffer unimaginable trauma?"
In response to the Redditor, some fans noted that the show is "tragic for every character," while others stated that killing off the queer characters would've been a realistic outcome during the period since Westeros is "notoriously homophobic" and "doesn’t lend itself to fulfilling LGBTQ narratives."
New episodes of House of the Dragon air Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO and HBO Max.