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

You Should Be Very Afraid of Vhagar in ‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2

The biggest and baddest dragon of them all is poised to play an important role in the encroaching Targaryen Civil War on this season of HBO’s House of the Dragon. And with an absolute sociopath in the saddle, she could easily reduce Westeros to ash.

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After sitting through eight whole seasons of Game of Thrones anxiously awaiting the arrival of dragons, only to see more, ahem, male anatomy than entirely necessary (thank you, South Park—IYKYK), the spinoff series House of the Dragon is finally delivering on its promise of, well, actually showing dragons. Who would’ve thought! So far, we’ve seen Syrax, Caraxes, Seasmoke, Vermax, and Arrax (RIP) take to the skies, among others, and from the sound of it, there are still plenty of dragons (and eggs) out there waiting to be claimed. But perhaps none are quite as terrifying as Vhagar, who’s just as unhinged as her current rider, Prince Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell).

Vhagar is the oldest—and mightiest—dragon

House of the Dragon is hardly a beat-for-beat adaptation of the source material, a.k.a., George RR Martin’s 2019 novel Fire & Blood. But one element that has carried over from the book is its depiction of Vhagar, the biggest and most formidable beast in all of Westeros, second only to the late Balerion. In the pages, Martin describes Vhagar as “the greatest of the Targaryen dragons since the passing of Balerion the Black Dread, had counted one hundred eighty-one years upon the earth,” with “a roar that shook the very foundations of Durran’s Defiance.” Kind of … terrifying? Vhagar has been passed from rider to rider over the years, but Queen Visenya was her first, meaning she’s outlived a number of Targaryen rulers.

Onscreen, audiences first meet Vhagar in House of the Dragon season 1, episode 6, titled “The Princess and the Queen.” In it, we see the bond between the powerful she-dragon and her then-rider, Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), who demands Vhagar burn her alive (Dracarys!) when a painful labor forces Laena to realize that she won’t be able to birth her and Daemon’s (Matt Smith) third child. Reluctantly, Vhagar obeys, giving Laena a true dragonrider’s death. This leaves Vhagar without a master … well, until the conniving Aemond sneaks out in the middle of the night to claim her as his own.

Unfortunately, it’s a match made in hell, and Aemond hashes it out with Laena’s daughters, Baela and Rhaena (played by Bethany Antonia and Phoebe Campbell, respectively) before flying off with Vhagar—but not without losing his eye first. Ha! Serves him right. Still, it’s bad news for Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) and the Blacks, as Vhagar—unmatched in size, battle experience, and sheer ability—is now fighting alongside King Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) and the Greens.

Vhagar absolutely dwarves her fellow dragons, meaning she’ll be nearly impossible to beat. Plus, the many holes in her wings are a visual reminder that she’s seen a lot of action in her nearly 200 years of life. So, while the Blacks have a small horde of their own fire-breathing dragons, none are as battle-tested as Vhagar, which makes her an invaluable asset in the impending war.

In House of the Dragon season 2, Vhagar appears to be a bit more battle-worn, likely as a result of having someone as vivacious as Aemond on her back. Still, this ol’ girl is showing no signs of slowing down, especially after she, y’know, ate Arrax and Lucerys (Elliot Grihault) for lunch at the end of season 1. Needless to say, having a huge dragon—and a cannibalistic one, at that—gives Alicent (Olivia Cooke) and the Greens a major advantage over the Blacks. While we do know what awaits Vhagar in Fire & Blood, only time will tell if she suffers a similar fate on the small screen.

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Amanda Landwehr
Amanda is a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer who lives and breathes Star Wars, Marvel, and all things pop culture. She has worked in digital media since 2021, covering the latest movie/TV releases, casting updates, fan theories, and so, so much more. When she's not rotting away behind her laptop screen, you can typically catch Amanda maxing out her AMC Stubs membership.