A Complete Guide to Every Dragon Ever Seen in Westeros, Essos, and Everywhere in Between
I'm here for the flying lizards and the flying lizards only!
The main reason to be head over heels obsessed with all things A Song of Ice and Fire, at least for me, is the dragons. I love most things about George R.R. Martin’s worldbuilding of Westeros and Essos, of course, but when dragons are involved I love that a bit more—which is why I am a certified Targaryen stan and have let HBO’s House of the Dragon consume me completely.
And so here I am, bringing you a comprehensive guide to all the dragons that have been named in the ASOIAF universe—especially helpful considering that we’re going to see a lot more of them in the upcoming seasons of House of the Dragon when the Dance really gets going. Before we begin, though, remember to proceed at your own risk as possible spoilers are ahead for both HotD and Fire & Blood.
The first named dragon we encounter actually appears in the pages of The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones, though it’s mentioned only in passing. While describing Sothoryos, the southern continent that extends beyond the Summer Sea, George R.R. Martin mentions that a lady from one of the noble houses of the dragonlords of Valyria, Jaenara Belaerys, flew her dragon Terrax further south than anyone had ever gone before.
Since this episode happens while the Valyrian Freehold is still standing strong, this makes Terrax the oldest dragon we know of in the ASOIAF universe.
Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar
The true history of dragons in Westeros as we know it starts with Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar—the dragons of the conquerors of the Seven Kingdoms: Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya Targaryen.
Balerion, known as the Black Dread, was famously the largest dragon the world had ever seen. At the time of his death, he was also the last living creature to have been born in Valyria before the Doom. Aegon the Conqueror was the first rider of Balerion, who was then claimed by Aegon’s second son—the future King Maegor the Cruel. He was also briefly ridden by Princess Aerea Targaryen, whom Balerion carried to Valyria (and to her death). Balerion’s last rider before his death was King Viserys I Targaryen, back when he was still a Prince.
Meraxes was born on Dragonstone sometime after the Doom. She was the much-beloved mount of Queen Rhaenys Targaryen, the youngest of the three conquerors and famously the one who loved flying the most. Meraxes died with Rhaenys 10 years after the Conquest, when she was shot out of the sky by the men of House Uller during the First Dornish War.
Vhagar has become one of the most famous dragons in Targaryen history, especially after House of the Dragon. Like Meraxes, she was born after the Doom once House Targaryen had already settled on Dragonstone. Vhagar flew with Queen Visenya Targaryen, the oldest sister of both Aegon and Rhaenys, until Visenya’s death—after which she remained unclaimed for almost 30 years until Prince Baelon (son of King Jaehaerys I and father of King Viserys I and Prince Daemon Targaryen) became her rider. As we have seen in HotD, after Prince Baelon, Vhagar—by then the oldest and largest living dragon—was claimed by Lady Laena Velaryon and ridden by her until her death in childbirth. Vhagar’s last rider was the internet’s favorite war criminal, Prince Aemond Targaryen, who claimed her as a child (losing an eye in the process) and with whom Vhagar fought her last war—the Dance of the Dragons.
Quicksilver and Dreamfyre
Quicksilver was the she-dragon of Aegon the Conqueror’s eldest son and heir, King Aenys I. The two bonded young and remained together until Aenys’s death. The dragon was later claimed by Aenys’s firstborn son, Aegon the Uncrowned (named as such when his uncle Maegor usurped the Iron Throne after Aenys’s death). The two battled each other atop their dragons in the famous Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, where Maegor and Balerion easily dispatched both Aegon and Quicksilver.
The blue and silver she-dragon Dreamfyre was first ridden by Princess Rhaena Targaryen, King Aenys I’s firstborn daughter. After Rhaena’s natural death, Dreamfyre remained in the Dragonpit until she was claimed by Queen Helaena Targaryen—she was one of the three dragons we saw flying away from Driftmark at the end of House of the Dragon‘s seventh episode. Dreamfyre is widely believed to be the dragon to have brought forth the three eggs that would hatch some two centuries later into Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion—Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons.
Vermithor and Silverwing
Vermithor and Silverwing were the respective mounts of King Jaehaerys I and Queen Alysanne and were placed in each child’s cradle as eggs.
Vermithor, also known as the Bronze Fury, was the dragon Daemon was singing to in the season finale of House of the Dragon. He was fiercely loyal to Jaehaerys until the latter’s death and remained unclaimed on Dragonstone until the Dance of the Dragons.
Silverwing flew with Alysanne all over Westeros—including a famous visit to Castle Black, though the dragon refused to fly over the Wall no matter how much Alysanne urged her on. Following Alysanne’s death, Silverwing remained on Dragonstone unclaimed until the Dance of the Dragons. After the war, Silverwing turned wild and made her lair somewhere in the Reach, where she presumably died of old age.
Caraxes and Meleys
We know Caraxes, a.k.a. the Blood Wyrm, very well thanks to House of the Dragon, where he’s the fierce and dangerous mount of the equally fierce and dangerous Daemon Targaryen. Daemon will be Caraxes’s last rider, but the dragon was first claimed by Prince Aemon Targaryen—King Jaehaerys I’s eldest son and the father of Princess Rhaenys, the Queen That Never Was. The two fought in the Fourth Dornish War together (making Caraxes one of the few battle-tested dragons by the time the Dance rolled around) until Aemon was killed.
Meleys, also known as the Red Queen, was around the same age as Caraxes. Her first rider was Princess Alyssa Targaryen, daughter of King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne, sister-wife to Baelon, and mother of Viserys and Daemon. After Alyssa’s death in childbirth, her niece Rhaenys claimed Meleys and the two fought together in their last war, the Dance of the Dragons.
Syrax, Seasmoke, and Sunfyre
Three more dragons we know very well from House of the Dragon are Syrax, Seasmoke, and Sunfyre—the mounts of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Ser Laenor Velaryon, and Prince Aegon Targaryen, respectively.
The she-dragon Syrax, named after a Valyrian goddess, was bonded with Rhaenyra at birth and ridden solely by her. Syrax laid several clutches of eggs, and although never officially confirmed, it’s heavily implied that the dragons of Rhaenyra’s children were all hatched from Syrax’s eggs.
Seasmoke was first ridden by Ser Laenor Velaryon, who loved him dearly. After Laenor’s death, Seasmoke remained without a rider until the Dance of the Dragons, when he descended into battle once more on the side of the Blacks.
Sunfyre, known as Sunfyre the Golden and described as the most magnificent dragon to have ever lived, was the mount of Prince—and later King—Aegon. Sunfyre was actually a fundamental part of Aegon’s coronation in Fire & Blood, and the two fought together all throughout the Dance of the Dragons.
Vermax, Arrax, Tyraxes, Stormcloud, Moondancer, and Morning
The dragons of the youngest generation of Houses Targaryen and Velaryon were all young at the start of the Dance; though lively, they were inexperienced.
Bonded with Jacaerys Velaryon, Vermax flew north with the prince at the start of the Dance to gather allies and fought in the war on the side of the Blacks. As for Arrax, we all know by now that he was ridden by Prince Lucerys Velaryon—their death above Storm’s End at the hands of Prince Aemond and Vhagar was the final spark that truly ignited the Dance.
Tyraxes was bound to the youngest of the “Strong boys,” Joffrey Velaryon. Though big enough to be ridden, Tyraxes was not large enough to be used in combat by the time the civil war thickened. Similarly, Stormcloud was a very young dragon during the Dance and barely strong enough to carry his rider, Prince Aegon the Younger (the first son of Rhaenyra and Daemon) on his back.
Then there are Daemon’s daughters with Laena Velaryon: Baela was bonded with Moondancer, who was barely large enough to ride during the Dance. Her twin sister Rhaena hatched a dragon egg much later than usual for a Targaryen—her dragon, Morning, was born right in the middle of the civil war and was one of only four dragons to survive it.
Tessarion, Morghul, and Shrykos
On the other side of the Dance are the young dragons in possession of the Greens. Tessarion, also known as the Blue Queen, was bound to the youngest of Alicent Hightower’s sons, Prince Daeron Targaryen, who rode her into battle during the civil war.
Morghul and Shrykos, however, were too young to be fighting—much less ridden. They were bound respectively to Princess Jaehaera and Prince Jaehaerys, the twin children of King Aegon II and Queen Helaena.
The Cannibal, Grey Ghost, and Sheepstealer
These three were wild dragons living in Dragonstone at the time of the Dance. The Cannibal—known by this moniker due to his habit of eating other young dragons—and Grey Ghost were never ridden, but Sheepstealer and his rider will have a major role to play as the Dance progresses.
The last (by then) dragon
While we don’t technically know its name, we know that the last dragon belonging to House Targaryen died in 153 AC, marking the passage of dragons from a daily reality of the Seven Kingdoms into creatures of legend—or so everyone thought.
Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion
Almost 150 years after the death of the last dragon, Daenerys Targaryen hatched three dragon eggs on the Dothraki Sea, bringing dragons (and magic) back into the world. Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion were named after three of the most influential men in Daenerys’s life: her late husband, Khal Drogo, and her late older brothers, Rhaegar and Viserys Targaryen. We followed their story all throughout the main A Song of Ice and Fire books and the eight seasons of Game of Thrones, watching as the dragons grew bigger and fiercer and more instrumental in Daenerys’s quest for regaining the Iron Throne.
(via AWOIAF, featured image: HBO)
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