The black dragon Drogon roars on a battlefield while ridden by Daenerys Targaryen in "Game of Thrones"

The Most Powerful Dragons in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’

Dragons. The Song of Ice and Fire equivalent to nuclear weapons. These fire-breathing beasts are able to singlehandedly turn the tide of any battle, and their use in warfare is responsible for the unification of the Seven Kingdoms and the Targaryen dynasty. These are the most powerful dragons ever.

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Aegon II riding Sunfyre in House of the Dragon

Described as the most beautiful dragon ever to live, the golden-scaled Sunfyre was the personal mount of Aegon II. Sunfyre served a pivotal role in the Dance of the Dragons, the civil war between the forces of Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra Targaryen that tore Westeros apart. Sunfyre allowed Aegon II to win a number of decisive victories, including the Fall of Dragonstone, which dealt a fatal blow to Rhaenyra’s campaign. The victory was a pyrrhic one, as Sunfyre later died of the wounds he sustained in the battle against the dragon Moondancer, after eating Rhaenyra Targaryen alive, of course.


Young Rhaenyra Targaryen stands in front of her dragon Syrax

Syrax was the personal mount of Rhaenyra Targaryen, who rode the dragon in her successful campaign to capture King’s Landing during the Dance of the Dragons. In terms of size, Syrax was intimidating, though not nearly as large as Caraxes or the gargantuan Vhagar. Syrax made up for its relatively small size with speed and power. Sadly, the dragon was one of the many killed by the angry mob in the Storming of the Dragonpit towards the end of The Dance of the Dragons.


Daemon Targaryen prepares to mount his dragon Caraxes

Also known as The Blood Wyrm, the crimson scaled Caraxes was claimed by Prince Aemon Targaryen and later by Daemon Targaryen, unclehusband of Rhaenyra. Caraxes was a powerful, ornery bastard. Big. Mean. Tough as hell. Despite being half the size of the dragon Vhagar, Caraxes was able to tear the throat out of the she-dragon during the Battle Above the Gods Eye. Daemon, Vhagar’s rider Aemond, and both dragons all died in the fight.

The Cannibal

The Cannibal was one of the few wild dragons to live on Dragonstone, and one of the only dragons to survive the Dance of the Dragons and the dragon-killing disaster that was the rule of Aegon III. Why was it called the Cannibal? Because it ate other dragons. The corpse of another wild dragon named Grey Ghost was found at the base of the Dragonmount (the island’s largest volcano) torn apart, burned, and partially devoured. Only one beast is capable of killing and eating a dragon, and that’s another dragon.


A picture of Meleys, the dragon of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen, in the first season of House of the Dragon

Also known as the Red Queen, Meleys was a dragon ridden by Princess Alyssa Targaryen and later The Queen Who Never Was, Rhaenys Targaryen. Despite being smaller than Caraxes and Vhagar, two of her draconic contemporaries, she was easily the fastest dragon in all of Westeros during her lifetime. Despite her speed, she and her dragon rider could not outrun their fate during the Dance of the Dragons. They were set upon by Sunfyre and Vhagar simultaneously, and both killed in battle.


The black dragon Drogon roars on a battlefield while ridden by Daenerys Targaryen in "Game of Thrones"

While Drogon might still only be a juvenile in the Song of Ice and Fire series, he’s shaping up to be one of the most powerful dragons the Known World has ever seen. The black scaled Drogon is seen by many to be the reincarnation of Balerion the Black Dread, the largest and most powerful dragon in existence and mount of Aegon the Conqueror. Drogon has grown far larger and faster than either of his brothers, and is Daenerys Targaryen’s most powerful asset.


Vermithor from House of the Dragon

Also known as The Bronze Fury, Vermithor was the personal mount of one of the greatest Targaryen Kings to ever live: Jaehaerys I Targaryen. By the time of the Dance of the Dragons, Vermithor was over one hundred years old. The beast had a century of growing and combat experience behind it, making it one of the most deadly dragons ever to live. The dragon was claimed during the Dance of the Dragon by a blacksmith’s bastard named Hugh Hammer, after rejecting Lord Gormon Massey by burning him alive. Despite Vermithor’s seemingly rough temperament, it had a soft spot for the dragon Silverwing, and the pair were often seen coiled around each other. So cute!


Meraxes was the personal mount for Rhaenys Targaryen, younger sister and wife Aegon the Conqueror. Larger than Vhagar but smaller than Balerion, Meraxes was the second-largest dragon to ever live. Meraxes, along with her fellow dragons and their riders were responsible for uniting the Seven Kingdoms under one rule. Well, almost all of them. After the successful subjugation of The Stormlands, The North, and The Reach, Aegon commanded Rhaenys and Meraxes to conquer Dorne. Bad idea. The Dorish put up a brutal fight against the invasion, and an iron bolt fired from a scorpion at Hellholt went straight through Meraxes eye, causing both dragon and rider to fatally crash into the castle walls.


The face of Vhagar the dragon from "House of the Dragon"

Vhagar is one of the oldest dragons to ever live and was the mount of Visenya Targaryen, older sister and wife to Aegon the Conqueror. Despite being the smallest of the three kingdom-conquering dragons during Aegon’s Conquest, Vhagar outlived both Balerion and Meraxes and became the oldest and most powerful living dragon during The Dance of the Dragons. Vhagar was absolutely massive, nearly the size of Balerion at his largest, and she and her rider Prince Aemond were the single most powerful force in Westeros during The Dance. She was the veteran of hundreds of battles, and only met her death at the Battle Above the Gods Eye, where she, her rider, and her enemies Daemon Targaryen and his dragon Caraxes all perished.


A woman looks at the skull of a massive dragon in "Game of Thrones"

Balerion may have been a dragon, but he was the GOAT. The personal mount of Aegon the Conqueror, Balerion was the oldest, largest, and most known powerful creature to ever live. With a mouth large enough to swallow a team of oxen whole and wings that could block out the sun, Balerion earned his nickname: The Black Dread. To say that Balerion was a veteran of battles isn’t quite accurate, because it was never a battle when he showed up. It was a massacre. Balerion’s fire was so hot that it caused the stones of Castle Harrenhal to catch on fire. And you know that big pointy chair called the Iron Throne that everyone wants to sit on? Balerion built that with his fire, melting swords while blacksmiths worked them. Never was there a greater beast in history.

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.