It’s also worth noting that during “Game of Thrones’” heyday some asked if the show had a “gay problem,” as Vulture put it in a 2016 piece citing the number of LGBTQ characters who, up until that point, had met a violent end.

The arc of Laenor’s character doesn’t conclude with the latest episode. How that story unfolds could potentially offset or soften this latest turn of events in the eyes of those who would criticize it.

For now, though, based on the high-profile nature of the franchise that magnifies almost everything about the series, “House of the Dragon” could face some near-term heat.

HBO declined a request to address the episode.