Why Did Laena Velaryon Kill Herself?
Episode 6 of House of the Dragon brought more drama to the table while also allowing us to see the relationship between Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon, who got married during the ten-year time skip from episode 5. The episode allowed us to see the dynamics between the characters, as Daemon felt like he didn’t belong anywhere, and Laena was trying to tell him how great of a man he always was. Nevertheless, near the end, Laena ended up killing herself after struggling with childbirth. So, why did Laena Velaryon commit suicide?
Laena Velaryon killed herself because she wanted to die a dragonrider’s death. At that point, she struggled with her labors, and the only way for her child to come out was through the knife. In that regard, she was going to die one way or another, and she chose to die on her own terms.
The way that Laena died seems to be in contrast to the way Queen Aemma died, as she had a choice in relation to how she would die as opposed to how the former queen had no say in the way she went out. While Laena left her daughters and her husband all alone in the world, she was able to die on her own terms as opposed to allowing another person to dictate it.
What Happened To Laena Velaryon In House Of The Dragon?
We saw in episode 5 of House of the Dragon that Daemon Targaryen and Laena Velaryon were flirting with one another during the banquet for Rhaenyra’s betrothal with Laenor. Of course, Daemon was already single at that point and was free to choose who he wanted to marry. That was the reason why, during the ten-year time skip between episodes 5 and 6, Daemon and Laena got together and even had two daughters.
Laena, of course, was pregnant during her introduction in episode 6, as it was clear that she and Daemon were expecting another child soon. They were in Pentos as a Pentosi prince tried to forge an alliance with them in the hopes that they would use their dragons for war against the uprising in the Stepstones, especially because the Triarchy had begun moving once more after forging an alliance with House Martell of Dorne.
The prince offered the Daemon and Laena an entire castle for themselves in exchange for their help in the war against the Triarchy. Laena didn’t want to accept the offer, but Daemon was quick to tell the prince that he was reconsidering it. And that led to an exchange wherein the two Valyrians talked about their present life and the offer that was given to them.
Daemon wanted to live his life there because he wanted to stay away from the political maneuverings in the Seven Kingdoms, where he felt that he no longer belonged because he was never going to inherit the Iron Throne or have a say in matters related to the crown. On the other hand, Laena wanted them to return to Driftmark because they were Valyrians that needed to live in glory as dragonriders. Laena even told him that she didn’t want to die in peace as a lord that did nothing but eat and sleep. Instead, she wanted to die the glorious death of a dragonrider.
Laena went on to remind Daemon that she married him because he was a great man with great ambition. And that made the Targaryen prince think about the present state of his life amidst all of the different things that were happening to him.
Fast-forward through the other scenes, we saw that Laena was giving birth to her third child with Daemon but struggled to do so. She was doing everything in her power to push the child out of her womb, and so did the maesters that were present there. Nevertheless, the only choice that they had was to cut the child out of her womb using a knife. But even then, the maester told Daemon that Laena was going to die and that there was no certainty that the child would survive.
Daemon clearly couldn’t choose between his wife and his child, as Laena made a choice herself. She walked her way over to Vhagar and ordered the massive dragon to kill her. Of course, Vhagar was confused but eventually complied with the order as Laena died in the flames of her own dragon.
Why Did Laena Kill Herself?
From what we saw in episode 6, it was clear that Laena wanted to die at that moment and that it was her choice to die in the flames of Vhagar. So, in that regard, why did Laena even want to commit suicide?
At that point in her life, Laena’s fate was already sealed. The fact that she couldn’t give birth the natural way meant that she and her child were going to die eventually. And if Daemon were to choose to cut the child out of her womb, she would die due to blood loss, as there was no assurance that the child would live.
It was clear that she and her child were both going to die. But Laena, being the proud dragonrider that she was, chose to go out on her own terms. She once told Daemon that she wanted to die a dragonrider’s death and that she was at peace with her life and herself at that point. Laena understood that she wasn’t Daemon’s first choice, and neither was she even Viserys’s choice as well.
In that regard, she was already contented with the fact that she was able to live a life that allowed her to marry and have a family but was not willing to live a life wherein she was going to be just a fat lord that would die due to old age. Instead, she wanted to die while she was still at her peak, and that was when she decided to go out on her own terms instead of allowing others to dictate how she would die.
Laena died by ordering her own dragon to burn her alive—a fitting death for a dragonrider. She may have left her two daughters without a mother, but they all knew that she was going to die anyway.
Her death was in direct contrast to how Queen Aemma died in episode 1. We saw at the beginning that Aemma struggled to give birth as well, and that made King Viserys choose to save his yet-to-be-born son by allowing his wife to die. In the end, however, both Aemma and the baby boy died, as Viserys ended up with nothing after making a choice for his wife.
Meanwhile, Laena was not about to go down the same way as Aemma did when she was the one who decided her own fate. She died on her own terms and didn’t let Daemon and any other person dictate how she would go out. As such, she died a proud Valyrian dragonrider—the same death she wanted to have.