House of the Dragon: Why Lady Laena's Death Is More Important Than You Think

 House of the Dragon Episode 6 through quite a lot at viewers – from a decade-long time jump to some shocking character deaths. Truth be told, one of the most "shocking" things about the gruesome demises that were suffered in "The Princess and the Queen" weren't how the characters died – it was that the deaths happened to characters we hardly got to know, but were already growing to love. 

One of those characters was Lady Laena Velaryon, daughter of Lord Corlys Velaryon and Princess Chaenys Targaryen. Laena was a bargaining chip between Corlys and King Viserys, but she ultimately wed Daemon Targaryen to help stake her own claim to power. In House of the Dragon Episode 4, it's clear that by the time she is an adult, Laena (Nanna Blondell) is every bit the dragon-riding badass of Old Valyria that would capture the heart of Daemon Targaryen. 

Laena Targaryen's time in House of the Dragon was so brief that she was played by three different actresses (in order: Nova Foueillis-Mose, Savannah Steyn, and Blondell) and we hardly got to know any of them. That said, the way that Laena went out (having her legendary dragon, Vhagar burn her alive rather than die in childbirth) has quickly made her an iconic character in the Game of Thrones fandom. And while the character of Laena may not have had a lot of time, the impact of her death is so big we'll be hearing about her for some time to come. 

Why Lady Laena's Death is So Pivotal to House of the Dragon

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(Photo: HBO)

If there's one thing we know about Game of Thrones, it's that one death can cause ripples that change the trajectories of many lives – and even the fate of Westeros. Well, Lady Laena is one of those deaths, indeed. 

With Laena gone, House Velaryon has a gaping wound that will no doubt also affect House Targaryen. The preview for House of the Dragon Episode 7 already hints that Laena being gone will bring Princess Rhaenyra and Daemon back together for her funeral – thereby setting the two once again on a course for romantic heat, that trailers and images have also eluded to. Daemon being on the hunt for a new companion (and seeing how Rhaenyra has toyed with lovers) means their reunion doesn't bode well for anyone. 

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There's also the clearly-teased issue of Laena's dragon Vhagar going missing after her death, and mounting tensions that see Queen Alicent literally pulling out the dagger on Rhaenyra. All of these developments seem to spring directly out of Laena's passing – and as the showrunners of House of the Dragon have teased, we're not too far from all-out war