Warning: This article contains spoilers for House of the DragonHouse of the Dragon missed one major opportunity with Laena and Vhagar that would have added even more depth and emotion to one shocking scene in episode 6. House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6 included a ten-year time jump that brought many changes to Laena Velaryon’s story. Laena is now married to Daemon Targaryen and Laena and Daemon have been living in Pentos for the last ten years. Laena also has two daughters with Daemon and is pregnant with a third child.
Another major change with Laena Velaryon after the ten-year jump is that she now has a dragon that she rides. And this is not just any dragon, it is Vhagar, the largest and oldest living dragon in all of Westeros. However, her time with Vhagar is brief in this episode. Laena suffers complications during childbirth. Unable to get the baby out, Laena makes a choice to die a dragon rider’s death and commands Laena Velaryon’s dragon, Vhagar, to kill her with its fire in an incredibly emotional scene.
However, House of the Dragon missed a big opportunity to make Laena’s death even more emotional by showing how Laena became Vhagar’s rider. Laena’s death scene carries a lot of emotion, especially with her dragon, Vhagar. Vhagar is confused by Laena’s « dracarys » command and then visibly sad and hesitant to carry out the command when it realizes what Laena is asking it to do. A bond is clearly established in this scene, but the show never shows how that bond formed. Laena is already Vhagar’s rider after the time jump, and little is known about how they met or bonded. Fleshing that meeting out during Vhagar’s House of the Dragon debut could have added even more depth to Laena asking Vhagar to take her life.
What is known about their meeting from the show is that Laena is fifteen years old when she meets and claims Vhagar as her dragon. This meeting is also known to be after Vhagar has been missing from Westeros for years. The book, Fire & Blood, also mentions very little about how Laena comes to ride Vhagar, which means that House of the Dragon had the creative freedom to depict a powerful and meaningful connection between the two. This also would have provided closure for the two characters before House of the Dragon’s Vhagar finds another rider.
Showing how Laena becomes Vhagar’s rider would have created a strong parallel between their first and last scenes together. A strong-willed fifteen-year-old girl standing in front of the largest and oldest living dragon would be a powerful sight and create an emotional connection when the strong-willed adult Laena stands before Vhagar and demands that Vhagar give her the honorable death that she desires. A full circle moment depicting the beginning and end of this special bond would have made Laena’s death in House of the Dragon even more emotional and powerful, which is what she deserved.
Next: HOTD’s Blackwood Vs. Bracken Feud Is More Important Than You Think