How The House Of The Dragon Time Jump Does A Disservice To Laena Velaryon

Over the course of the first six episodes of “House of the Dragon,” Laena Velaryon has been played by three different actors: Nova Mosé-Foueillis, Savanna Steyn, and Nanna Blondell. A lot of us are having some trouble connecting with Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke due to our connections to Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, who already played the roles of Rhaenyra and Alicent. But not only has Laena gone through more actors, but she’s also had substantially less screen time. The character hasn’t even appeared in every episode thus far.

In theory, you can sustain a cast member change if the audience has connected with them already. However, every other time “House of the Dragon” used Laena until this point has been, frankly, inessential. Our first encounter with her comes when she is 12-years old and her father, Lord Corlys (Steve Tousaaint), proposes she marry King Viserys (Paddy Considine). The scene is meant to elicit uncomfortable laughs. Laena is a prop, used by both her father and the writers of the show.

The next time we see her, she is a few years older and does some flirting with Daemon at Rhaenyra’s wedding feast. Through these episodes, the only thing we learn about her is that she likes dragons. She is playing a role in these scenes, not letting us into her true inner life. In that walk with Viserys, she is even parroting the words of her father. By the time Nanna Blondell shows up in episode six, she has to essentially build an entire character from scratch because basically nothing has been established about her.

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