Everyone has probably been curious about how many dragons the Targaryens once owned ever since the House of the Dragon trailer debuted. The might of House Targaryen may be a brand-new spectacle for Game of Thrones fans, of which we do not know how many there will be following Season 8.
Daenerys Targaryen only had three dragons, and they were essentially interchangeable in terms of personalities and even CGI. Contrarily, the Targaryen dragons of her ancestors behave just like the terrifying creatures depicted in George R. R. Martin’s epic story. Every dragon we saw in the teaser had individuality, but one Bloody Wyrm in particular, which we will discuss, made us wonder if HBO was going all-in on the source material.
Because in Fire & Blood, the Targaryens had authority over a large number of dragons during the height of their dominance in Westeros; it is just a shame that it was just before a civil war. We would guess that House of the Dragon intends to be as true an adaptation as it can be given that they went through the trouble to make the dragon bones dark rather than the museum displays of its predecessor.
And for us at Marvelous Videos, that can only mean one thing: it is time to discuss each dragon that will feature in House of the Dragon – Ranked. Let us also forewarn you that there will inevitably be some spoilers in this video before you watch it. Therefore, proceed cautiously.
How are we ranking this list?
We will explain our methodology before we begin ranking the formidable beasts of war that fly the flags of Westeros’ Royal House. Our rankings are determined on how excited we personally are to see these dragons. This means that this is not a ranking of the strength of these dragons. This list is arranged according to how eagerly we anticipate each specific dragon, in descending order. After that, let us get into the list.
We would love to see your personal rankings in the comments below. There were a total of 20 dragons in Westeros on the eve of the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war that served as the inspiration for House of the Dragon. Their size and fighting prowess varied widely; some were so small that they could hardly be ridden, while others were so strong that they could easily destroy entire castles. So it only makes sense that you will hear about dragons that most likely will not be on screen for a while, but that is good because our purpose is to get you ready for them. And with that in mind…
The name of the first dragon on this list denotes what happened to all dragons at the conclusion of the Targaryen Civil War. You may remember that Arya Stark’s life motto in Game of Thrones was Valar Morghulis, which is high Valyrian for “all men must die.” Morghul signifies death, which is exactly what the dragon by that name was finally doomed to experience. Approximately 6 years before the Dance, Morghul is born. He was born in Princess Jaehaera Targaryen’s womb, one of the twins of King Aegon the Second.
Morghul spent the majority of his early years chained up in King’s Landing’s renowned Dragonpit, which Game of Thrones fans will recall as the location of the negotiation between Dany and Cersei’s teams in Season 7. Although Morghul develops a bond with Jaehaera, he never matures enough for her to ride because Morghul is killed during the infamous Storming of the Dragon Pit, in which a horde of irrational King’s Landing commoners attempt to put an end to the primary reason for Targaryen dominance in the world by breaking into the Dragonpit.
Morghul is at the bottom of our list for a straightforward reason: He does not enter the picture until the war is over, which happens approximately 4 years after it starts, therefore we will not see him until the very end of House of the Dragon. And even then, aside from what we have already discussed, he does not play a particularly significant role. Morghul, alas, ranks last on our list. We are trying not to give too much away here because doing so will take away from the allure of the programme for you guys.
The next anticipated dragon on our list is Shrykos, the hatchling of Princess Jaehaera’s twin-brother Jaehaerys. This brings our list of twin-dragons Targaryen’s full circle. Shrykos, like Morghul, was also conceived from a dragon egg stored in the cradle of the royal heir. The royal heir— did we say that? That is accurate, since Prince Jaehaerys is Aegon the Second’s designated heir in the books and Shrykos is the objective, both the dragon and the dragon-rider are essential to the Dance of the Dragons.
Prince Jaehaerys’ story is one of retribution, but an unnamed, presumably superior force determines Shrykos’ fate. See, the people of King’s Landing started listening to a one-handed prophet known as The Shepherd while Aegon’s Hill was too preoccupied with its small-minded quarrelling.
This man, who was very similar to the High Sparrow from the TV show in terms of his archetypal role, roused the common folk into a fury over the mistreatment they had faced at the hands of their dragon-riding overlords, and led them in a mad charge that came to be known as the Storming of the Dragon Pit.
Inside, thanks to the lethal efforts of a man called Hobb the Hewer, the Shepherd introduced Shrykos to the Seven Gods of the Faith; with the last one being the Stranger. Shrykos was bound to Jaehaerys for life, but in the end, neither dragon nor rider would get a chance to fly together thanks to the Dance.
Chronologically-speaking, Shrykos will show up around the same time as Morghul, which means he’ll be a part of the endgame of House of the Dragon. Given that the show-runners have revealed that it will begin with the Great Council of 101 AC and proceed in a linear fashion, it could take years before we even see them, as the Dance doesn’t begin until three decades later.
But it does seem like the first season will cover way more ground- chronologically- than later seasons because the scenes shown in the trailer occur years apart from one another, indicating a time-skip. Still, Shrykos won’t show up in season 1, that’s a guarantee, which is why he ends up on the tail-end of this list.
The dragon bound to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s third-born son from her first husband Laenor Velaryon doesn’t have much of an impact on the story of the Dance; though this isn’t because of his rider by any means. Prince Joffrey Velaryon- named after the famed Ser Joffrey Lonmouth- had always been a fiery lad; and once the Dance kicked into full gear, his resolve to prove himself a true warrior became both stronger and darker. He could’ve been a game-changer for the Blacks had his mount been of combat-size, but sadly, Tyraxes was not.
Though he was big enough for Joff to ride and carry two people as far as the Vale of Arryn, his strength in combat is an unknown factor. Joff even insisted his mother to mount his dragon at one point, but Rhaenyra refused because of this precise reason. Tyraxes was one of the 5 dragons present in the Dragonpit at King’s Landing when it was stormed, and we’ve already stated, that will come towards the end of the story, when he will likely be 10 years old; which is still older than Dany’s dragons from Game of Thrones, so you can imagine the missed opportunities already, can’t you? Sadly, we don’t have anything more to say about him, so we’ll just move on to the next one.
At number 17 we have Stormcloud, the dragon that was bound to Rhaenyra Targaryen’s first child with her uncle Daemon Targaryen. Called Aegon after the conqueror himself, there was quite a controversy when Rhaenyra revealed her son’s name to the royal court, given that Queen Alicent Hightower’s first-born son by King Viserys was also named Aegon. It was perceived as yet another slight in an endless sea of insults that the Blacks and Green hurled against each other. Upon Prince Aegon’s birth, his mother placed a dragon’s egg in his cradle and Stormcloud hatched from it.
Stormcloud never quite grew into fighting size, though the fact that he could carry a rider upon his back would prove crucial at one point in the story of House of the Dragon. If you guys want a hint, look closer at the battle scenes of the trailer. That’s all we’re saying. But apart from this detail, we know nothing of Stormcloud’s nature or appearance; in fact, we know nothing apart from the names of every dragon we’ve spoken of so far in this list which is a damn shame because it seems like House of the Dragon is putting in the effort- and budget- to make their dragons look as book-accurate as they can.
Stormcloud never ends up taking part in the actual Dance itself, and you’ll find out why in a later season. He ranks this low on the list because apart from that one act we spoke of earlier, he has no other discernable achievement to speak of; though his act would prove to be crucial for the sake of the realm.
Finally, we can talk about a dragon that belongs to someone we’ve actually seen, though you’re going to have to check the behind-the-scenes stuff about House of the Dragon on HBO’s socials. But we must admit one thing; baby Jace is an absolute butterball! Vermox, the personal mount of Prince Jacaerys Velaryon, was the biggest and most promising dragon out of all the dragons that Rhaenyra’s children ended up bonding with, which is fitting, given that Jace is the eldest son and named heir of Princess Rhaenyra.
But the time the Dance began, Jace was a man-grown by Westerosi standards and though he was forbidden to go to war by his mother, he proved to be far more vital to her cause in a diplomatic capacity. Prince Jacaerys flew Vermax to the Vale, the Three Sisters, White Harbour and Winterfell, shoring up and calling upon the allegiances that the lords made of these regions to his mother in the scene that we saw in the first teaser.
Fun fact about this emissary trip; Prince Jacaerys became the first dragon-rider to visit Winterfell since his great-grandfather Jaehaerys the Just, and the court jester Mushroom alleged that Vermax laid a clutch of dragon eggs in the Crypts of Winterfell before both rider and mount departed to join up with the war effort.
This claim has become subject to much speculation in the community as to its validity, though we’d say that Mushroom’s claims are best taken with a pinch of salt. Jace also has the distinction to be the first dragon-rider who actually rode their dragon in a battle on our list, though the outcome of said battle would end up haunting the Blacks for the rest of the war. However, it was also thanks to Vermax that they were able to sus out lords of the realm who were loyal to their word, and Vermax’s impact on the story will last until its conclusion.
At number 15, we have our first “wild dragon” of the list; the coy beast known to the residents of Dragonstone as Grey Ghost. A “wild dragon” is a dragon that has been unbounded to a rider since birth and has developed a rebellious and independent nature as a consequence. In Game of Thrones, the only dragons we ever saw were Dany’s children, but back when Targaryen rule was undisputable, there were dragons aplenty. Many dragons would make their lair at the Dragonmont- the only known volcano in Westeros- and lay clutches of eggs which would occasionally hatch.
The Grey Ghost was born of one such clutch, we’re guessing. Grey Ghost holds the distinction of being the first dragon on our list whose appearance we are aware of, and it happens to match his nature. Since Grey Ghost never associated with mankind as a hatchling, he grew to become an extremely shy dragon that made his lair in the vents of the Dragonmont; which is rather ironic considering the fact that he is supposed to be a “wild dragon”.
Grey Ghost was known to disappear for years allegedly, and the only iron-clad evidence of his existence besides his sightings at the volcano, was by Driftmark fishermen who would claim to see him snatch up fishes from the Narrow Sea for food. Grey Ghost’s colouring was the pale, white-grey of morning mist, which camouflaged him well during his fishing trips, and would’ve made him the ideal concealed weapon of mass destruction had someone managed to subdue him.
Grey Ghost’s existence would be confirmed in the most-sickening way possible, thanks to the efforts of a dragon that seems to be intent on stealing the name of another wild dragon, but more on them later. Let’s move on to the next most-anticipated dragon we can’t wait to see in House of the Dragon.
From a wild dragon to one of the most-regal dragons to ever exist in Westeros, Tessarion was called the Blue Queen; and with good reason. There is no proper timeframe as to when Tessarion was born. It’s likely that she hatched during the reign of King Viserys, which means that we might get to see her birth on the show, but all that we know about her involvement in the Dance is that by the time it begins, she is “of fighting size” and has been bonded to Viserys’ youngest son by Alicent for nearly a decade.
Tessarion is a truly majestic creature, and we call her regal for a reason: her wings were a deep, cobalt blue while her claws, crest and belly scales were a burnished copper. Tessarion’s flames were cobalt blue as well, making her one of the most visually-distinct Targaryen dragons of all time. And by the time the Dance begins, Tessarion has also learnt how to fight.
Though she isn’t large in size, growing only a third of the size of Old King Jaehaerys’ mount- whom we will get to- Tessarion was nimble in the air and her speed gave Prince Daeron a slight combat advantage. Tessarion was responsible for earning Daeron his nickname “The Daring”, when the pair managed to turn the tide in favour of their side. His Lord Commandant knighted Daeron, but he deferred his victory to the Blue Queen.
Tessarion is going to be heavily involved in the fallout of the Dance of the Dragons, and if the show-runners actually decide to 100% adapt the source material, will also be the first she-dragon we see engaging in a mating dance with a male dragon; but given the fact this is House of the Dragon, the circumstances will obviously be less than ideal. All in all, Tessarion the Blue Queen is one dragon you should definitely keep your eye out for, thanks to her unique role in the story.
The second Velaryon son born to Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen rode the dragon who was technically the catalyst for this whole story. Like his elder brother Jacaerys and his younger brother Joffrey, Lucerys Velaryon also received a dragon’s egg in the crib, and the hatchling that sprang forth from it was named Arrax by the young prince. It appears that all three of Rhaenyra’s Velaryon sons gave their dragons Valyrian names.
Arrax will be one of the more visually-jarring dragons to bear witness to not because of anything bizarre, but because of how pure he’s going to look. George R. R. Martin described Arrax as having a “pearlescent white” colouring, with yellow flames, a gold chest and eyes like molten gold. Arrax will basically look like the Kingsguard armour, and we’re here totally here for that character design. A fun fact: one of the skulls that the Targaryen kings kept in their throne room after the dragons died out belongs to Arrax.
And if we’re going to be honest, our reason for placing him so high on this list is morbid curiosity. Lucerys Velaryon is one of the more-likeable children of Rhaenyra, and he and Arrax can be thought of as the match that lights the pyre of the Dance. Their presence in the story will mark a turn in the tone of the war for the worse, and show you just how many layers there are to this “Fire & Blood” thing.
At the number 12 spot we have Moondancer, a slender, pale-green she-dragon with horns, crests and wing bones that are pearl-white. Besides having a very cool design- that also reflects her allegiances- Moondancer ranks higher than the other dragons on our list partly because she has a very important dragon-rider and partly because she plays a very important role in the events of the Dance.
Moondancer is bound to Lady Baela Targaryen; the daughter of Lady Laena Velaryon and Prince Daemon Targaryen. As you might have surmised from the trailer, Daemon is one of the biggest players in the Dance of the Dragons; and according to every account from Baela’s childhood, she is just as wild and willing as her father. As a young girl, she’d crop her hair so as to ride better and take part in activities that were usually reserved for princes, making her somewhat of an Arya Stark-type figure for House of the Dragon.
And that analogy kind of extends to her relationship with Moondancer as well, because both rider and dragon were known for being extraordinarily lean and nimble. Though she couldn’t have been any bigger in body than a large warhorse, Moondancer’s sheer speed and grace outclassed most dragons, period; on land and in the air. And this information is important because Moondancer is involved in arguably one of the most-important dragon battles of the civil war, where her speed allows her and Baela to deal a massive blow to the side of the Greens.
We’re not going to speak about this any further because it will ruin a lot of the show, but suffice it to say that Moondancer will have one of the most-epic fights in House of the Dragon, and we cannot wait to see her and Baela in action. Having said all of this, Moondancer and most of the dragons that have appeared on this list are relatively young. Let’s go now to one of the oldest dragons that will make an appearance in House of the Dragon; and one of the most-fabled ones as well.
Born in the year 36 AC during the reign of King Aenys Targaryen, the second King of the Andals, Rhoynar and the First Men, Silverwing is one of those dragons whose history is richer than her kill list. As one of the oldest living dragons in the realm, Silverwing has seen more Targaryen action than most, and that is only compounded when you realise that she was the mount of Good Queen Alysanne Targaryen, the wife of King Jaehaerys.
Silverwing, as her name suggests, is a silver dragon, though it’s never properly described exactly which parts of her are silver. Common sense would dictate that it would be her wings and her body, but that’s something we’ll find out when the show picks her story up. As a dragon that was bound to one of the best queens that Westeros has ever known, Silverwing was just as beloved as her rider.
She was known to have a docile nature and was actually friendly to humans, even the ones that weren’t her rider. Silverwing was never as much of a combat dragon as she was a companion dragon, because she and Alysanne were always by King Jaehaerys’ side whenever he’d embark on a tour of his realm. In fact, Silverwing was most-likely the first Targaryen dragon to fly as far north as the Wall, as Queen Alysanne’s excursion to the north during King Jaehaerys’ reign is the stuff of legend. But one peculiar thing happened at the Wall that caught our eye when we were reading Fire & Blood.
Apparently, up until reaching the Wall, Silverwing had been her usual self. But once she reached the proverbial end of the world, she became very agitated and was constantly on the edge. Silverwing thrice refused to take Alysanne north of the wall, something that had never happened before, and it worried the good queen so much that she told her King about it. But other than that, Silverwing remained a peaceful dragon right up to the start of the Dance.
She begins the Targaryen civil war rider-less and as a denizen of the Dragonmont, but joins the war nonetheless. Major spoiler alert here, but Silverwing is one of the few dragons who manage to make it out of the Dance, but that is a story that deserves its own video.
In fact, every dragon we’re going to mention from this point onward- including Silverwing- can have an entire video dedicated to them, so rich is their history. Let us know if you want that in the comments below, but having introduced you to the most-docile dragon that you will see in House of the Dragon, it’s time to shift gears and start talking about our top 10 most-anticipated dragons.
At number 10 we have our second wild dragon of the list, Sheepstealer. This wild dragon is, again, one of the older dragons on this list, having been born when King Jaehaerys the First was “still young”. As a young hatchling, Sheepstealer made his lair in the Dragonmont, and because no one managed to claim him, he grew into a massive, wild dragon. Sheepstealer was named so because of his habit of stealing sheep from the cattle herds of Dragonstone and Driftmark.
The denizens of both islands would often end up losing their livestock to the voracious appetite of this fiery “stealer”, who is said to be at least 50 years old at the start of the Dance. Sheepstealer is one of the more visually-unappealing dragons, described as being an “ugly mud-brown”, though that didn’t hinder his battle capacity. Being one of the largest dragons in the Dragonmont, Sheepstealer was someone that the locals were very wary of.
Though he never hunted humans, choosing to go exclusively after sheep instead, he had no problem killing them if they provoked him. But this quirky meat-tooth for mutton isn’t why Sheepstealer is so high on our list; the real reason actually goes beyond the events of House of the Dragon, both literally and metaphorically. While Sheepstealer does take part in the Dance, the manner in which he is tamed is a simplistic stroke of genius, and what happens after he joins the battle is even more fascinating.
Spoiler warning once again, but Sheepstealer is one of the dragons that survive the Dance, though like most of the rest, he is never seen again. After a certain declaration made by the liege to whom Sheepstealer’s rider owes their loyalty, both of them decide to move themselves away from the war. The range deep into one of the most-prominent mountain ranges, where legend says they helped create the Burned Men; the hill tribe clan that Tyrion Lannister’s friend Timmett Son of Timmett was from.
There is a lot more that we want to say about Sheepstealer, but for now, let’s just sum it up by saying he is one of the most-intriguing fire-breathing creatures who will eventually show up in House of the Dragon; our main question is, will they follow his story after that? And while it doesn’t seem likely that HBO will do so, we just might. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Now we’re getting towards dragons that will actually show up from the very first episode. House of the Dragon is set to begin in 101 AC with the Great Council, and one of the claimants at that Council is Laenor Velaryon; the son of Rhaenys Targaryen and Corlys Velaryon as well as the rider of Seasmoke. With the pale, silver-grey colouring of heavy fog, Seasmoke was the pride and passion of Laenor.
Though his claim to kingship was rejected at the Great Council in favour of Viserys the First, he made sure that he carved out a name for himself through his love of flying and his love for his dragon. Seasmoke was a slender and comparatively small dragon, being about the same size as Tessarion, but what he lacked in size he made up for with his insane speed. Seasmoke was like a darting arrow made out of fog when he really got going, and that makes him a great threat.
The relationship he shares with Laenor is also rather personal, which you will realise as you watch the show; in fact, it should be pretty early on as Laenor Velaryon will be a central character in the first season of House of the Dragon. He will end up marrying Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the heir-presumptive to the Iron Throne, thus bringing his family into the Game of Thrones directly.
And judging by the most-recent trailer, it doesn’t look like we’ll have to wait too long to see Seasmoke in action either; though it might be during a battle that most casual fans wouldn’t expect. Seasmoke is also heavily involved in the endgame of the Dance of the Dragons, and sees his fair share of action during it; including dragon fights aplenty.
At number 8 we have Dreamfyre, one of oldest Targaryen dragons and a beast with a rather intriguing travel log. Dreamfyre was born during the reign of Aegon the First, making her even older than Silverwing, and she bonded with his granddaughter Rhaena when the latter was 9 years old. Now, the tale of Rhaena is one that is both inspirational and downright tragic.
As a child, she was forced to flee the capital when her Uncle usurped her father; and even after Maegor found her and made her one of his Black Brides, Rhaena resisted by escaping her chambers with Dreamfyre and the ancestral sword Blackfyre in what can only be described as a boss move. She would come back with her brother Jaehaerys only after the Iron Throne killed King Maegor, but Rhaena and Dreamfyre would not stay in the capital for a very long time. Let’s talk about Dreamfyre’s build for a second here: she was a slender, quick she-dragon who loved flying.
She colouring was a pale blue with silver crests & markings, making her a sight to behold in the moonlight. Dreamfyre, like Rhaena, was ever traversing through the realms and it is through her presence that we find out just how the lords of Westeros view dragons. Because princess Rhaena travelled the Westerlands and the Riverlands for a long time with her companion/lover Elissa Farman, and everywhere she went, she saw only 2 things in men’s eyes when they met Dreamfyre: sheer terror or a strong lust for power.
She returned to the capital after voicing her opinions to her brother, the King, and Princess Rhaena & Elissa Farman’s journey through Westeros came to an end at Dragonstone, where Dreamfyre made her lair in the dragon yards and a clutch of her eggs hatched. Because Dreamfyre is one of those rare Targaryen dragons that laid multiple clutches of eggs; she laid eggs at Fair Isle, the seat of Rhaena’s husband Androw Farman, and those were the eggs that hatched at Dragonstone.
She would also lay multiple clutches of eggs during her time at Dragonstone, three of which were stolen by Elissa Farman and sold to the Sealord of Braavos. A Pentoshi cheesemonger then bought these three eggs, and they ended up in the possession of the sister of the Last Dragon; that’s right, folks, Dreamfyre is most likely the mother of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons, making her one of the most-important dragons from a narrative perspective.
Dreamfyre also spent a year ranging across Westeros looking for the lost daughter of Rhaena Targaryen, though that is a story for an entirely different time. Dreamfyre, like her rider, loved to fly by just like Rhaena, she was ever searching for her destination and could never quite reach it. Dreamfyre returned to the Dragonpit at King’s Landing following Rhaena’s death in 73 AC and will have spent nearly 3 decades there at the start of House of the Dragon.
During the events of the show, Dreamfyre will bond with her second rider- Princess Helaena Targaryen- and the pair will end up developing a relationship much like the one she had with Rhaena. Dreamfyre is one of those dragons that we will get to see throughout most of the events of House of the Dragon, so make sure you guys don’t miss her. Heck, we might even get a couple of flashback scenes with Rhaena and Dreamfyre but that’s just the A.S.O.I.A.F. nerd in us talking. Probably.
Now we’re going to get into the dragons that we have actually glimpsed more than once in the trailers, and at the top of that list has to be Syrax; the mount of Crown Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and- theoretically at least- the most politically-important dragon in House of the Dragon. Syrax is a formidable dragon to be sure, large in size and fairly accustomed to flight thanks to Rhaenyra’s frequent trips to and from Dragonstone, but she isn’t experienced in combat, which makes sense when you consider the fact that the realm was at peace during Syrax’s formative years.
Her colouring is a rich yellow, which we can see in the trailer when Rhaenyra is flying towards the Red Keep on Syrax’s back. She was claimed by the Crown Princess 3 years after the Great Council of 101 AC, which means we might actually get to see the scene where Rhaenyra names her. Syrax is the name of a Valyrian goddess and in the trailer, you also hear a young Rhaenyra compare the Targaryens to gods when speaking with Ser Criston Cole, which really gives you an idea of both of their personalities.
As the mount of the royal heir, Syrax was one of the most-pampered dragons in the possession of the Targaryens; much like her rider was pampered by her father. She was extremely well-fed but somehow was yet to hunt, which is mad considering the fact that Targaryen dragons LOVE to hunt. Syrax is described as being a “court dragon” in Fire & Blood many times, and we’re dying to see what Martin meant by that in House of the Dragon.
And just like Rhaenyra, Syrax is also responsible for, well, giving birth to way too many “dragons”. In fact, Syrax gives birth to one of the dragons that ends up making it out of the Dance, though we can’t exactly say the same about its mother. The two things that we’re anticipating the most from Princess Rhaenyra’s mount is the confrontation she has with Ser Bryon Swann which is supposed to rather fittingly mirror the legendary showdown between Serwyn of the Mirror Shield and the dragon Urrax; and the role she plays in the Storming of the Dragonpit. So Syrax, like Rhaenyra, is going to be central to the events of the Dance, though she won’t exactly see as much action as you guys might be hoping for.
Vermithor is yet another dragon that we are pumped to see show up in House of the Dragon because of his sheer pedigree. Vermithor is one of the largest dragons in Westeros, period. He’s second in size only to one of the dragons that helped King Aegon Targaryen conquer all of Westeros at the start of House of the Dragon, but more on that dragon later. Vermithor was born during the reign of the Conqueror and was claimed by King Jaehaerys before his reign in 48 AC.
Once Jaehaerys came into his crown, he climbed Vermithor and flew to King’s Landing to undo the effects of his Cruel Uncle’s brutal reign. Vermithor was called the Bronze Fury, and rightfully so; he was a truly massive and magnificent beast, whose scales gleamed like burnished bronze whenever the light hit them at just the right angle. As the mount of the longest-reigning Targaryen King in history, Vermithor has a lot of experience in flight and combat, though that is not to say that Jaehaerys’ reign saw a lot of uprisings; just the threat of the fearsome Vermithor unleashing his bronze fury upon the realm was enough to keep people in line.
And even when it comes to combat, Vermithor proved to be exceedingly capable. His involvement in the Fourth Dornish War allowed Jaehaerys to quell the Dornish naval attack before their ships even landed on the shore; the entire invasion was crushed in less than a day, and thereafter Jaehaerys was celebrated as having been even greater than the Conqueror himself; because where Aegon united 7 kingdoms (6 if you want to be technical), Jaehaerys was the one who bound them together, and Vermithor was a large part of that conciliatory effort. During Jaehaerys’ lifetime, he would frequently fly Vermithor on his royal progresses which stretched all across the realm.
He’s one of 2 known dragons to have visited the Wall, as after Alysanne arrived at the Wall by herself, Jaehaerys gave chase on Vermithor. He also visited Winterfell with the Old King on one of his royal progresses alongside Silverwing and 6 other dragons, if old Nan’s stories are to be believed. After the death of King Jaehaerys, which we should see in House of the Dragon, Vermithor returns to the Dragonmont, where he and Silverwing are often found tussling with one another. The Bronze Fury rather appropriately becomes one of the key players in the Dance.
Given his sheer size advantage and relative battle experience, Vermithor is claimed and ridden by another rider who ends up using the Old King’s mount in one of the blackest events in the history of the Targaryen dragons. Given the fact that we saw Jaehaerys in the promotional pictures for House of the Dragon, we wouldn’t be surprised if Vermithor showed up in the very first episode. For all these reasons, Vermithor is one of our most-anticipated dragons from the entire series.
We’re kicking off our top 5 with the oldest and wildest of the wild dragons that we will see in House of the Dragon. The Cannibal is said to have been old when King Jaehaerys was still young, and he is by far the most-vicious unbound dragon in Westerosi history. He has been described as being black as coal with menacing green eyes, which makes him a rather perfect contrast to Balerion the Black Dread- the most-famous Targaryen dragon in history.
Where Balerion’s black body was shot through with the scarlet colouring of blood and flame, The Cannibal’s calling card was an emerald green reminiscent of wildfire which did not differentiate between friend or foe when it burned. And neither did this particular wild dragon because his name is a reference to his preferred prey.
The Cannibal would often feast upon younger dragons, hatchlings and even dragon eggs, making him one of the biggest threats to growing Targaryen dragons in the Dragonmont. Some dwellers of the islands surrounding Dragonstone believe that the Cannibal has been making his lair in the Dragonmont since before House Targaryen settled on the isle, which would make him older than Balerion when he died, but this is unlikely.
However, it would explain why the Cannibal does what he does given that the Targaryen dragons would technically be intruding upon his territory if that were the case. The green-eyed menace makes this list because there is a particular event that will happen later on in House of the Dragon where he makes his presence duly felt.
In fact, it’s also possible that the dragon fire we see being shot out of the Dragonmont in that one scene from the trailer belongs to the Cannibal, because his flames have never been described. But the most-intriguing fact about the Cannibal is that he was one of the handful of dragons that made it out of the Dance and was curiously never seen again.
The Cannibal simply vanished at the end of the civil war, even though he had never been claimed by or affiliated with the Targaryen family. This seems to be a trend in the series, as at the end of Game of Thrones, Drogon flew away with Daenerys’ corpse and will presumably never be seen again; though that might change now that Jon Snow is getting a sequel series. The Cannibal is one of those creatures of feral destruction that we expect when we hear the term “wild dragon”, and we can’t wait to see him make an appearance in House of the Dragon.
At number 4 we have a dragon who is as majestic as she is deadly. Called the Red Queen for her scarlet scales and pink membrane, Meleys was already the swiftest dragon in Westeros by the time the year 75 AC came around. Her speed was such that she could easily outpace every other dragon in the Dragonpit, and her copper markings, claws & crest made her look like a sword of fire descending from the skies.
Meleys was first claimed by Princess Alyssa Targaryen, who was the second daughter of King Jaehaerys. Fun fact about Alyssa; she took both her sons- Viserys and Daemon- for a ride on Meleys’ back when they were both just a fortnight old. Talk about badass! Meleys was not only a skilled flyer, but she was also a skilled fighter, having credible battle experience under her wings. After Alyssa passed away in childbirth, Meleys was claimed by Princess Rhaenys Targaryen- aka the Queen who never was- who is played by Eve Best in House of the Dragon.
Meleys and Rhaenys quickly developed a very strong bond with each other, and they accompanied Jaehaerys on one of his Royal Progresses to Highgarden and the Shield Islands beyond. When Rhaenys announced her intention to marry Lord Corlys Velaryon, she insisted that she arrive at the wedding on dragon-back, which just goes to show her fierce and independent nature.
Meleys is going to play a critical role in the Dance to come, as her and Rhaenys are one of Rhaenyra’s primary allies and weapons of war. Meleys is involved in one of the most strategically-important dragon battles of the entire series, and it will see her fight from underneath from the very off. The outcome of this battle isn’t something we want to spoil, so we’ll stop right here, but suffice it to say that Meleys and Rhaenys will be central to the events of House of the Dragon and we can’t wait to see them in action.
Since the show begins with the Great Council of 101 AC, we might see Meleys in the very first episode, given the fact that both Rhaenys and her son Laenor will emerge as claimants in the matter of succession that spawned the entire civil war in the first place. But from the Red Queen, we now move to the dragon men call the Blood Wyrm.
The Red Terror, the Blood Wyrm, the Fiercest Dragon of the Dragonpit- there are many names by which Caraxes is known in Westeros. Born sometime before or during King Jaehaerys’ reign, Caraxes was by far the most violent denizen of the Dragonpit, feared by all the Dragonkeepers and small folk alike. In the year 72 AC, he was claimed for the first time by Prince Aemon Targaryen, Rhaenys’ father, who said of Caraxes that he “does love to burn” and would often ride him alongside his siblings Baelon and Alyssa and their dragons.
Caraxes is a dragon who is known for his exceptional war prowess and experience. The Blood Wyrm has the most combat experience of all the dragons that are on Rhaenyra’s side at the start of the Dance- combined- and it really shows. Caraxes is blood red in colour, and is half the size of the largest Westerosi dragon at the beginning of the war, as you guys might have noticed from the trailers.
But the thing with Targaryen dragons is that they work best when they have a rider that matches their ferocity; and in that aspect, no one could’ve been more perfect for Caraxes than Matt Smith’s Daemon Targaryen, aka the Rogue Prince. Daemon was destined to fight from the skies and be a true dragon from his birth; after all, his mother Alyssa took him for a ride on Meleys within 14 days of his birth.
Daemon grew up to become the “wonder and terror of his age”; a fierce warrior and womanizer who was more like a Valyrian dragon-rider than any of his siblings or other family members. And Daemon and Caraxes together formed the most-lethal attack combination that one could possible hope for, which will be on full display from Season 1 itself.
You might have even caught a glimpse of Caraxes in action if you were eagle-eyed enough, and that isn’t even the end of it. Caraxes will be involved in some of the biggest dragon battles of House of the Dragon, and we can’t exactly break those down without spoiling the entire series, so we’ll swiftly move on to our top 2 most-anticipated dragons from House of the Dragon.
One of the most important and breath-taking dragons that we are going to see on House of the Dragon is Sunfyre the Golden, the personal mount of Aegon the Elder and one of the primary weapons of the greens. Sunfyre is widely considered to be the most-beautiful Targaryen dragon in history, and with good reason. To be completely honest, we can’t wait to see HBO burn through their CGI budget on producing this literal golden dragon because it will be expensive, but oh-so-worth it. He has gleaming, golden scales that shine like beaten gold when he takes flight in the sunlight.
His wing membranes, markings and belly are a soft pink that makes him look truly divine. Sunfyre is also massive, not quite as huge as Balerion in size- who was the largest Targaryen dragon- but still gigantic in comparison to many of the older dragons that we’ve mentioned on this list. And in case you were wondering, yes, his flames are golden as well, which makes Sunfyre a marvel of nature.
As the mount of the direct political enemy of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Sunfyre sees more than his fair share of action during the Dance. Aegon the Elder was known to be a dragon-riding warrior and though Sunfyre was young at the time of the Dance, he had a size advantage and was also experienced in the art of war. He is involved in multiple, brutal dragon fights and manages to emerge as the victor in most cases, even when he is pushed into a corner.
Sunfyre is also involved in some rather gruesome deaths, and his actions reveal the unspoken nature and truths of Aegon the Elder. Sunfyre the Golden sounds like the name of a wise, old dragon-deity who grants you wishes and sage counsel, but this is Geroge R. R. Martin’s world, and in case you guys haven’t caught on yet, he LOVES a bit of the ol’ danse macabre. Sunfyre the Golden is liable to switch names with another dragon on this list given his tastes, but we’ll let you guys figure that one out as the series progresses.
And at the top of our list is the oldest dragon in Westeros at the time the Dance takes place, one who literally helped Aegon conquer it and keep it united, and that is Vhagar. She, alongside Balerion and Meraxes, brought together the Seven Kingdoms- six at the time- with Fire & Blood. Vhagar has had a complicated relationship with the realm, given that she was ridden by both merciful and vengeful Targaryens long before the events of House of the Dragon.
Vhagar’s first rider was Queen Visenya Targaryen, who used her to unite the realm at first, but then to burn it down when they rejected her son Maegor the Cruel. Vhagar was able to take out the seats of 5 different houses in a single night, which is proof of the fact that she is one of the most-vicious dragons in Westerosi history. But after Visenya’s passing, Vhagar spent decades riderless, which made her go into a period of lull in terms of explosive activity.
She would come back into action during the reign of King Jaehaerys, when she was claimed by his son Baelon the Brave, who rode her into the Fourth Dornish War alongside his father and helped end the invasion in a single day without losing a single man, making it one of the most-successful military campaigns in the Seven Kingdoms. She would become rider-less once again following the death of Prince Baelon, and remain that way until the birth of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen’s children.
At the beginning of House of the Dragon, Vhagar will be bound to Rhaenys’ daughter Laena Velaryon, who is said to “love flying”. Laena is set to marry Prince Daemon Targaryen in a dual-wedding ceremony that will also see Rhaenyra marry Laenor Velaryon. But while Lady Laena will never become a part of the Dance, the same cannot be said about Vhagar. If you paid close attention to the extended comic con trailer that went up a few days ago, you’ll notice a little boy yell out something in High Valyrian seemingly into the abyss.
That little boy is Aemond One-Eye, who is going to be portrayed by Euwan Mitchel in the series. And together, him and Vhagar will become the fulcrum around which the battle strategy of both sides will be planned. Because by the time the Dance breaks out, Vhagar has become as big as Balerion was at the peak of his strength, which makes her larger than entire towns in Westeros and a very dangerous threat.
Vhagar is going to be THE central dragon of this story, and will also be involved in one of the biggest dragon battles of the series against an opponent that is worthy of being called her equal. We caught a brief glimpse of Vhagar at the end of the trailer; and we’re confident that that is indeed Vhagar because George R. R. Martin has described the massive she-dragon as being “bronze with greenish-blue markings and bright green eyes”.
There are a couple of dragons who can match her scale-description but none who have her emerald green eyes, which leads us to believe that that last dragon was indeed Vhagar. The mightiest Dragon During the Dance will cast her shadow over the divided House Targaryen across all seasons most likely, and our anticipation for her is through the roof to say the least.
And that’s our list! 20 dragons exist in Westeros at the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons, and by its end, that number has been drastically reduced. We’re going to witness something very special starting August 21st because where Game of Thrones sees Westeros recovering from one problem or the other at all points in time, House of the Dragon will see that strife concentrated to matters of family politics and introduce us to a simpler and more mystical time in the history of the Seven Kingdoms; when lords and ladies were as enchanting as the stories, where love and hate were interchangeable and often linked to one another, and where Fire & Blood shaped the rule of a handful of dragon-riders who dynasty would come to rule over Westeros for nearly 3 centuries.
House of the Dragon will show us the reason for Targaryen dominance in its full glory, and also show us its bloody downfall without sparing us the gore; and all we have to say to that is that time cannot possibly move fast enough to get there before August 21st.