‘Home of the Dragon’: Laena Velaryon’s Unusual Resolution Defined


Episode 6 of HBO’s Home of the Dragon was stunning for a variety of causes. The Recreation of Thrones prequel episode ended with a fiery bang for one character. It was sudden and never in a great way for some. Let’s talk about within the spoiler-filled part beneath.

Warning: Spoilers forward.

King Viserys was Laena’s first suitor.


What resolution does Laena make?

Two massive decisions come up on the finish of episode 6.

Just like Aemma Targaryen, Laena Velaryon suffers a tough childbirth, unable to push the toddler out. The maester suggests to Laena’s husband Daemon Targaryen that he might “lay open the womb, attempt to take away the toddler by means of the blade.” However there are not any ensures the child or the mom would survive.

In contrast to Aemma — who dies after King Viserys permits his surgeon to function on her — Laena realizes what is going on on early sufficient to take issues into her personal arms. Earlier than Daemon can have a say, Laena escapes the birthing room and limps exterior, imploring her dragon Vhagar to breathe fireplace onto her. “Dracarys!” she instructions — the Excessive Valyrian (language of the previous Valyrian Freehold) phrase for “Dragonfire.” Vhagar hesitates, visibly confused by his rider’s stunning request. However finally he appears to know her ache and helps to finish it, incinerating her in a robust blaze.

Why does Laena kill herself?

Sadly, earlier than going into labor, Laena was already in a nasty place.

We first meet Laena when she’s 12 years previous, having been carted as much as King’s Touchdown as a younger bride supplied to King Viserys. Greater than three years after Viserys rejects her, Laena reunites with the King’s youthful brother Daemon. Daemon, childless, had simply murdered his spouse. He instantly takes a shine to Laena in episode 5.

Ten years later, the pair are married with two daughters. However as Home of the Dragon by no means fails to remind us, sons are what everyone seems to be after. In a scene earlier than Laena’s dying, she and Daemon speak in regards to the struggles of their marriage. It is a marriage that is “slowly unraveling in the course of nowhere,” in line with the episode 6 making-of featurette. Daemon is stressed, eager for residence (they moved to Essos, throughout the Slim Sea) and unable to sleep. Additionally they talk about Rhaenyra, Daemon’s ex-lover, delivering one other son. Laena clearly laments she hasn’t produced one for Daemon.

“Maybe, I too, am not the spouse you’ll’ve wished for your self … It doesn’t ache me. I’ve made my peace.”

This scene seems to foreshadow what’s to return. Even the scene through which Laena speaks to her youngest daughter Rhaena appears to supply a contact of essential exposition, making it clear Laena is certain to Vhagar, “the most important [dragon] on the planet.”

Within the birthing room, Laena overhears the maester inform Daemon that she will not survive a cesarean part to take away the toddler. With out having the ability to see Daemon’s response or hear what resolution he makes, Laena instantly flees. This means she is aware of Daemon will undergo with the surgical procedure, sacrificing her for the smallest probability their baby will survive. She thinks Daemon will make the identical selection as his brother Viserys and is “unwilling to go the identical means Aemma did,” says co-showrunner Ryan Condal within the featurette.

“She’s a dragon rider. She needs to die a dragon rider’s dying.”

It seems Laena, caught in an sad marriage, thinks she’s going to die it doesn’t matter what. Reasonably than undergo with the surgical procedure and bleed to dying, she has the company to decide on her ending, one which no prince or king decides for her. Albeit this means she sacrifices any probability, even a small one, for her son to outlive.

Laena Valeryon and Daemon Targaryen dancing in a hall filled with people

Laena reunited with Daemon as an adolescent.


One other studying: Daemon needed to save lots of Laena

Laena’s birthing scene mirrors the identical scenario King Viserys confronted with Queen Aemma. Nevertheless, on this case, the maester would not current Daemon with a powerful probability his son will survive a C-section. After Daemon discovers his spouse would die from such a surgical procedure, he seems to offer a tiny shake of his head, indicating he would not want to undergo with it. In contrast to Viserys, Daemon would not need to danger his spouse’s life.

Having moved throughout the Slim Sea to Pentos, one of many Free Cities in Essos, Daemon has “tried to take away himself from Westerosi politics,” in line with Condal, “in a spot the place it could possibly’t have an effect on him and twist him the best way that it at all times did when he was residence.” From this attitude, it may very well be stated that Daemon additionally needed to distance himself from his brother’s resolution making. He chooses to not sacrifice his spouse — the mom of his two daughters — for an inheritor.

On listening to in regards to the birthing issues, Laena probably feels disgrace that, as soon as once more, she may not be capable of produce Daemon a male inheritor. She decides to finish her life, after failing to fulfil the aim she was introduced up from a younger age to honor.

Laena additionally seems to need the most effective for Daemon. They talk about Daemon losing all his time studying accounts of “the identical lifeless dragonlords.” Laena says, “However you might be greater than this Daemon. The person I married was greater than this.” Laena seems to have accepted the concept that she has dissatisfied Daemon. By taking herself out of the image, she permits Daemon to be free to discover a new spouse and have one other probability at producing the male inheritor he wishes.

A deleted scene with Daemon and his daughters

A press picture labeled to be from episode 6 seems to indicate Daemon talking together with his daughters on a Pentos rooftop. This scene may also give a tiny ounce of credence to the studying Daemon beloved his household, together with his spouse, and did not need to see her undergo. Nevertheless, this scene would not seem within the episode.

Within the guide

In George R. R. Martin’s Hearth & Blood, the guide Home of the Dragon is predicated on, Daemon is not pressured to decide on whether or not to place Laena by a life-threatening C-section. As a substitute, Laena suffers a troublesome delivery and delivers a boy who, like Aemma’s son Baelon, dies after a short while. Laena turns into severely sick from grief and fever. Daemon orders a famend maester to save lots of her, however he arrives too late. Laena makes an attempt to fly Vhagar one final time earlier than she dies however, fatigued and sick, she passes away earlier than she will attain the dragon.

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