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  • Home of the Dragon made adjustments to the story from the unique guide, together with reducing out Laena’s friendship with Rhaenyra, which might have added extra drama and depth to the present.
  • Laena and Rhaenyra share a number of relationships, together with blood and marriage ties, however their shut friendship is uncared for within the collection, depriving Laena of a extra substantial function.
  • The friendship between Laena and Rhaenyra might have been used to amplify the rivalry between Rhaenyra and Alicent, in addition to to clarify Rhaenys’ betrayal and Rhaenyra’s marriage to Daemon. It might have additionally make clear Rhaenyra’s sexuality. Total, Home of the Dragon missed a chance to showcase this vital friendship.


Home of the Dragon retells one of many many tales in George R.R. Martin‘s Fireplace & Blood, however as with all adaptation, the 2 variations do not look precisely the identical. HBO made a number of adjustments to the story adjusting and reducing out components as they noticed match. The result’s a collection that skips by the years main as much as the Targaryen civil conflict and drops many plot factors from Martin’s authentic story. Whereas a number of the adjustments profit the story, others do it a disservice. For one factor, whereas the present has many alternative characters, few have the time they deserve. The leads, Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy), Alicent (Olivia Cooke), Daemon (Matt Smith), and Viserys (Paddy Considine), are explored in depth, however the secondary characters are sometimes forgotten. For instance, Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell) typically seems however does little or no. Lots of the skipped plot factors contain Laena, from her willful methods as a toddler to her claiming the dragon Vhagar.

Definitely, the present wanted to make cuts, however one factor that should not have been ignored is Laena’s friendship with Rhaenyra. Within the guide, these two girls had been shut within the years following their marriages, typically spending time collectively together with Daemon and betrothing their youngsters from a younger age. Whereas the collection focuses on feminine friendship, it cuts this one out fully when Laena and Rhaenyra’s closeness might tie in with the theme and add extra drama between Alicent and Rhaenyra. This relationship would additionally give Laena a extra substantial half and supply extra of a cause for Laena’s household to really feel betrayed by Rhaenyra and Daemon’s hasty marriage. But the collection removes the storyline, hardly letting Laena and Rhaenyra converse to one another.


‘Home of the Dragon’ Reduce Laena and Rhaenyra’s Shut Relationship

Laena (Savannah Steyn) and Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) in 'House of the Dragon'
Picture by way of HBO

Though Laena is not a big a part of the present, she and Rhaenyra are related in some ways. First, her mom, Rhaenys (Eve Greatest), is a Targaryen and the cousin of each Rhaenyra’s mother and father. Rhaenyra additionally marries Laena’s brother, Laenor (John MacMillan), making at the least three other ways these girls are associated, which is not unusual for Targaryens. Daemon married each girls at totally different instances, connecting them much more intently. With their youngsters betrothed and Rhaenyra seemingly a loving stepmother to Laena’s daughters, it’s inconceivable to disclaim that these two are innately tied collectively, although they share valuable little display screen time.

However Fireplace & Blood reveals their relationship to be greater than blood or marriage. They had been shut, and within the years after their marriages, they typically frolicked collectively, together with Daemon. Although the present has Laena’s daughters and Rhaenyra’s sons betrothed, that is agreed on after Laena’s loss of life with Rhaenys making the deal, whereas Fireplace & Blood consists of it lengthy earlier than with Laena’s approval, although because the mom, she did not get to make the selection herself. Although, even in Fireplace & Blood, Laena and Daemon frolicked in Essos after their marriage ceremony, they did not dwell there almost so lengthy, transferring to Driftmark when their daughters had been born, which is just a brief dragon trip away from Dragonstone. There, Rhaenyra typically visited, fostering this friendship. The present adjustments Laena’s loss of life, making it quick as she takes management of the scenario. But, within the guide, it lasted for days, and Rhaenyra was current, even bringing her Maester from Dragonstone in a determined hope of saving her pal. Because the present consists of so many time jumps, it was inconceivable to painting this friendship, to the detriment of Laena’s character.

Laena’s Friendship With Rhaenyra Would Match ‘Home of the Dragon’s Story

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What’s so fascinating about reducing this friendship is that it might have benefited the present. Home of the Dragon added deal with feminine relationships by making Alicent and Rhaenyra associates earlier than they fall out and change into rivals. Laena’s relationship with Rhaenyra might have been positioned completely as a alternative for the princess’s friendship with Alicent, sparking much more jealousy between the 2. The rocky dynamic of Alicent and Rhaenyra drives the collection as they flip their households into enemies, which ends up in an all-out conflict for Westeros. If Rhaenyra developed a brand new friendship together with her cousin and sister-in-law whereas Alicent was alone, it might create extra resentment and proceed the sluggish construct that ultimately boils over. Laena’s funeral is already the scene of their most dramatic confrontation after the kids of all three girls get right into a combat. Laena might have been a major a part of this case. As a substitute, she’s shoved to the facet.

If the collection needed to spotlight highly effective girls, Laena would have match proper in. She was an adventurer, bored with marriage in her youth, and rides the oldest residing dragon. As a substitute, Home of the Dragon reveals her father, Corlys (Steve Toussaint), utilizing her as a wedding pawn, first with Viserys after which with Daemon. Most of her scenes revolve round her sad relationship with Daemon, taking away the energy she has within the guide. If Laena’s story stayed nearer to Fireplace & Blood, or even when she bought extra time within the present, she can be a extra well-rounded and fascinating character.

RELATED: The Most Terrifying Dragon of ‘Home of the Dragon’ Is not Vhagar

How Might ‘Home of the Dragon’ Have Used This Relationship?

Nanna Blondell as Laena Velaryon in House of the Dragon
Picture by way of HBO

Laena and Rhaenyra’s friendship might have accomplished greater than amplify the divide between Alicent and Rhaenyra. It might have helped to clarify Rhaenys’ betrayal by Daemon and Rhaenyra’s marriage. They marry so near Laena’s passing and Laenor’s (faked) loss of life that it is already affordable that Rhaenys can be suspicious of the union. However Rhaenyra marrying her finest pal’s husband would take it a step additional. In Westerosi tradition, it is unlikely that both would stay single lengthy after the loss of life of a partner. Even then, it is clear that conflict is coming for Rhaenyra, and she or he wants help, and Daemon does not but have a son. Rhaenys should not be stunned that they needed to marry once more, but Laenor’s sudden loss of life offers her doubts. If there have been a way of Rhaenyra betraying her expensive pal, this might make Rhaenys’ response bigger.

Much less tragically, the connection might have been used to make clear Rhaenyra’s sexuality. Many suspect a romantic aspect to Alicent and Rhaenyra’s relationship within the collection, and this is not the one time Rhaenyra is suspected to be bisexual. Although unconfirmed, a number of the guide’s narrators trace that Laena and Rhaenyra might have been greater than associates. The present might have explored a brand new facet of Rhaenyra with this relationship whereas making Laena a extra vital half. No matter path it will have gone, Laena ought to have gotten extra time in Home of the Dragon, and her already-established friendship with the present’s lead would have been the proper manner to do that. If Laena had extra time, the viewers can be much more affected by her tragic loss of life. However, since Laena is a number of years lifeless by the top of the season, Home of the Dragon misses the chance to point out this friendship.

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