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

Grandma Vhagar Seems Indestructible, But Is She Really?

Is there anything that can take that flying fortress down?

The fourth episode of the second season of House of the Dragon, “The Red Dragon and the Gold,” proved once more that the biggest hobby of the deadly duo Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar is committing war crimes.

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Spoilers ahead for House of the Dragon season 2 episode 4, as well as for future events described in Fire & Blood

First it was Lucerys and Arrax in the skies above Storm’s End, and now it’s Rhaenys and Meleys over Rook’s Rest—let’s just say that Grandma Vhagar is really making it hard for us all to be on her side, no matter how many times she plops cutely to the ground like the tired old lady she is.

All jokes aside, it makes a lot of sense for Vhagar to be such a menace. Her size would be enough—she’s older than every other dragon in Westeros and so much larger as well, since ASOIAF dragons never stop growing. Sure, that makes her slower and not as agile, but once it comes to clashing in the skies Vhagar’s mass puts her at a distinctive advantage.

Plus, she’s one of the few dragons currently alive who actually has any battle experience. And not just any battle. Vhagar, together with her first rider Queen Visenya, essentially conquered six of the Seven Kingdoms back at the beginning of the Targaryen dynasty. Once the Iron Throne was established, Visenya and Vhagar also fought in the First Dornish War, and then she flew again in the Fourth Dornish War with her second rider, Prince Baelon.

Vhagar about to unleash her firepower in the episode "The Red Dragon and the Gold" of House of the Dragon
This absolute menace is the most seasoned killing machine currently alive in Westeros, the last of the three great Conquerors’ dragons (HBO)

Let’s add to that a truly unhinged rider like Aemond Targaryen, who has no qualms about murdering and torching people left and right, and you have the perfect flying terror package. Then again, a dragon having battle experience really does count something—and that goes for everyone, not just Vhagar.

So who is it that eventually kills Vhagar in House of the Dragon

Prince Daemon’s Caraxes is one of the only other dragons who has seen war—namely the Fourth Dornish War, where he fought with his first rider Prince Aemon, and then the War for the Stepstones with Daemon, which we saw in the first season of House of the Dragon.

If there’s one dragon that can take Vhagar down, it’s Caraxes. And that’s exactly what happens during the infamous Battle Above the Gods Eye, where Vhagar and Caraxes clash together with their riders, a battle that was always meant to happen since Daemon and Aemond are such narrative mirrors of each other.

The dragon Caraxes and Daemon, House of the Dragon
The Blood Wyrm is the only one who can give Vhagar a run for her money—and the only one who will (HBO)

Their battle ends with Vhagar and Caraxes locked together and falling towards the ground—with Vhagar tearing off one of Caraxes’s wings and Caraxes opening up Vhagar’s throat. While Vhagar dies upon impact with the surface of the lake, Caraxes drags himself out of the water and dies a short time later in front of the walls of Harrenhal.

The same goes for their riders. While the dragons are falling Daemon famously jumps from Caraxes’s saddle and stabs his sword, Dark Sister, through Aemond’s eye. While there are rumors that Daemon managed to survive the fall, it’s widely believed that both men were killed on impact—even though we’ll have to see what direction Fire & Blood decides to take.

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Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.