Why did Laena die? ‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 6, explained

Dracarys never sounded so daunting. house of the dragon Episode 6 ends on a particularly dark note, even for the murky world of Westeros. But if you’ve never read the books, you might be confused as to why exactly certain decisions were made. Don’t worry, we’re here to explain.

Main house of the dragon spoilers ahead.

house of the dragon Episode 6 explained

Let’s start at the beginning. house of the dragon jumps 10 years into the future in Episode 6. In King’s Landing, both Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower are now grown women with children, but the bigger surprise comes further east, where we learn that Daemon Targaryen is married to Laena Velaryon and has children of her own.

Adult versions of Rhaenyra Targaryen and Alicent Hightower in house of the dragon.HBO

As we pick up the story, Laena is pregnant with another child, but it doesn’t end well. Laena goes into labor but does not deliver the baby. The “Doctor” tells Daemon that they are out of options. The only choice left is a medical cesarean, but before a decision can be made, Laena gets up and walks out of the room.

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She leaves the castle and reaches the beach where her dragon Vhagar is waiting. Laena stands before the dragon and says one word, “Dracarys.” Vhagar seems hesitant, but eventually the beast gives in, engulfing her master in deadly fire and burning her to a crisp.

Why did Laena kill herself? house of the dragon?

laena a easier times.HBO

It’s not written out in full, but the implication is clear: Laena dies in childbirth. The mention of a cesarean section only makes the point clear by referencing the disturbing scene house of the dragon Episode 1. Like a real Targaryen, she takes matters into her own hands and kills herself with fire.

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If you’re still confused, it might help to take a look at how Laeana’s death plays out in the books, where it’s a little different and a lot more explicit.

Laena’s death in the books

Author George RR Martin at the San Diego Comic-Con panel for house of the dragon.FilmMagic/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Instead of completely breaking canon, the house of the dragon Author’s Room – which contains “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Author George RR Martin – decided to honor the way Laena’s death plays out in the books, but with an on-screen twist.

Like the HBO adaptation, Laena dies young, tragically, and in part due to the birth in the books. Until then, she has a pair of twins with her husband Daemon.

not how house of dragon, However, Laena’s death in the books does not directly affect her dragon Vhagar. Instead, Laena has an extraordinarily difficult birth and gives birth to a “malformed” son who dies within an hour of birth. Soon after, grief and illness set in. The books claim that neither a Maester from Driftmark nor Dragonstone could save Laena. After three days it finally exists. Legend has it that Laena tried to reach Vhagar for one last ride, but she couldn’t make it to her beloved dragon.

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In the show we see that this legend has been tweaked for dramatic effect. Instead of trying to ride Vhagar for one more flight before she dies, Laena asks Vhagar to give her a “merciful” death, possibly knowing that neither she nor her unborn son can be saved. Her suicide was more like assisted dying. Vhagar is reluctant to follow her master’s orders, but perhaps she senses her master’s suffering, so she goes ahead and replies “Dracarys!”

house of the dragon airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Max.

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