At the beginning of Game of Thrones, dragons were just a distant memory. There were many of the creatures in the Valyrian Freehold, but the majority perished in the Doom of Valyria.
The majority of the survivors perished over the following years, rendering the species extinct until Daenerys brought them back at the conclusion of Season 1.
Even though it took some time for magic to return to the realm, dragons have played a significant role in shaping Westeros’ history for more than a century.
Any dragon could affect the course of a fight, but some were noticeably stronger than their contemporaries. House of the Dragon won’t be able to deny this truth for much longer.
The first season of House of the Dragon has finally ended, with a dragon battle that is both spectacular and devastating.
Although the Targaryens consider themselves to be more godlike than men, they cannot control a weapon of mass destruction.
House of the Dragon hasn’t shied away from its destructive might, as evidenced by Caraxes trampling on a Targaryen soldier, Meleys collapsing in the Dragonpit, and both Vhagar & Arrax going rogue in the season finale.
Dragonrider: Daenerys I of Tarthorn
Drogon, Daenerys’ personal ride, is a huge black dragon that some have compared to Balerion the Black Dread. He grew far more quickly than Rhaegal and Viserion did.
Drogon, who was just ten years old at the time, burned many wights during the Battle of Winterfell in Season 8, Episode 3, “The Long Night,” and he easily torched King’s Landing in Season 8, Episode 5, “The Bells.”
Even if the same strength-testing exploits have not yet appeared in the books, Dany has only recently begun riding him as of A Dance with Dragons.
The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring give Daenerys’ dragons plenty of time to develop further. By the end of season eight, Drogon is both the biggest and one of the strongest dragons in the whole A Song of Ice and Fire series.
In contrast to Rhaegal and Viserion, Drogon really lived to see the conclusion of Game of Thrones, making him the final dragon still alive.
14. Balerion, The Black Dread
Aegon the Conqueror, King Maegor I, Aerea Targaryen, and King Viserys I Targaryen are among the dragonriders.
Aegon the Conqueror rode Balerion the Black Dread, his personal dragon, in his conquest of Westeros, and he is arguably the most well-known dragon in A Song of Ice and Fire aside from Drogon.
Unquestionably the strongest dragon between Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, Balerion was the biggest and most powerful dragon in history. However, Balerion’s victories over other dragons are comparatively underestimated.
He could hardly fly for long when King Viserys I connected with him in the House of the Dragons narrative, and only killed Quicksilver when King Maegor I Targaryen mounted him in combat.
Nevertheless, Balerion’s influence was sufficient to force all of Westeros’ kingdoms (with the exception of Dorne) to submit to Aegon. If Balerion were still alive and in his prime during the House of the Dragon’s, no other dragon could stand a chance against him.
13. Grey Ghost
Grey Ghost, who was untamed and without a rider during the Dance of the Dragons, was noticeably timid and afraid, avoiding both dragons and people on Dragonstone.
Despite his nature, a few dragonseeds attempted to mate with Grey Ghost, but none were able to locate him.
In the end, Grey Ghost would perish in a conflict with Sunfyre while battling for control of Dragonmont. Even after spending its entire life in concealment, Grey Ghost reacted angrily when it was entrapped.
Sunfyre managed to live and kill Grey Ghost, although the dragon was seriously hurt in the conflict.
Aegon the Uncrowned and King Aenys I of Tarth are two dragonriders.
Quicksilver was one of the first dragons to be born after Westeros was conquered by Aegon Targaryen and his sisters. His fiery breath was a pale white color.
Quicksilver, who was formerly Aenys’ mount, was given to his son Aegon.
When Aegon and his uncle Maegor engaged in combat above the demolished castle of Harrenhal, Maegor eventually usurped Aegon’s throne.
Quicksilver had no chance against Balerion the Black Dread, Maegor’s enormous mount. Quicksilver was killed along with his rider when Balerion tore off his wings and set him ablaze in the air.
11. The Red Queen Meleys
Alyssa Targaryen and Rhaenys Targaryen are dragonriders.
The Dance of the Dragons, the primary conflict in House of the Dragon, resulted in the most dragon deaths since the Doom of Valyria.
Meleys was one of the first truly old and powerful dragons to be killed during the conflict, though she was by no means the first to pass away.
Her passing signifies a crucial turning point in the conflict and Targaryen history.
Meleys was ridden by at least two generations of Targaryens before she died. But Meleys didn’t surrender without a struggle. She causes Sunfyre to suffer the first of multiple severe wounds at the Battle of Rook’s Rest that will ultimately claim his life.
Even if Meleys is no longer with us, the harm she causes to Aegon II and Sunfyre will last for the rest of their lives.
In House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode 9, “The Green Council,” Meleys disrupted Aegon II’s coronation and killed several smallfolk in the process.
Rhaenys had the opportunity to put an immediate end to the conflict, but she spared Alicent because she felt it wasn’t her place to start a bloodbath.
The sudden appearance of Rhaenys and Meleys sets up both their later conflict at Rook’s Rest and the eventual animosity the smallfolk develop toward dragons.
10. The Golden Sunfyre
Dragonrider: Targaryen King Aegon II
Sunfyre, who has so far only been briefly mentioned in House of the Dragon, was King Aegon II Targaryen’s mount during the Dance of the Dragons and is regarded as the most stunning dragon to have ever lived.
Sunfyre, however, was more than just a gorgeous face; at the end of the day, he was one of the war’s most fearsome dragons and frequently held his own in battle.
Throughout the Dance of the Dragons, Sunfyre engaged in several engagements, slaying enemy after enemy and eliminating more dragons than any other participant.
The proud monster was, however, damaged and destroyed as a result of the cost of these wars. Even though he wasn’t a nice guy, Aegon II reportedly cried when Sunfyre eventually perished from its numerous wounds.
Laenor and Addam Velaryon are dragonriders.
Seasmoke was Laenor Velaryon’s mount in the lead-up to the Dance of the Dragons and was first seen during the War for the Stepstones in House of the Dragon.
After Corlys Velaryon passed away, Seasmoke formed a link with Addam of Hull (also known as Addam Velaryon), a reputed bastard son. It’s interesting how Addam’s destiny is complicated by Laenor’s altered outcome in House of the Dragon.
Legend has it that a dragon can only bond with one dragonrider at once.
Building of the Dragon “Driftmark,” the seventh episode of Season 1, shows that Rhaenyra and Daemon merely fabricated Laenor’s demise. In reality, he is with Qarl, supposedly far from Westeroes, and is healthy.
While Laenor is still alive, Seasmoke won’t be able to bond with Addam because dragons can somewhat sense their riders’ lifeforce. In the end, HotD has three options for what to do next: murder Laenor anyhow, ignore the fact that dragons can only be linked to one rider at a time, or completely replace Addam with Laenor.
Daemon has confirmed that Seasmoke is riderless as of the season 1 finale. We’ll have to wait and see if they accept a new rider.
The dragonriders’ Lucerys Velaryon
Arrax, one of the tiniest dragons so far discovered, was Lucerys Velaryon’s personal dragon; when Luke was a newborn, his egg was placed in his cradle. Before the disaster at Storm’s End, the boy and the dragon had been connected for the majority of their lives.
Rhaenyra sent Luke to Storm’s End, where he and Arrax would perish, as seen in House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode 10, “The Black Queen.” Rhaenyra also sent Arrax to Storm’s End.
How little power the Targaryens actually have over their dragons is made clear during the Battle above Storm’s End.
The directives from their riders are no longer received by Arrax or Vhagar. Arrax uses a fireblast to attack Vhagar directly, and Vhagar consumes both Arrax and Luke alive. Aemond never planned to kill his nephew, but he should have avoided enraging Luke so much. But managing the largest dragon in HotD is no simple task.
Nettles, the dragonrider
During the Dance, three prominent untamed dragons appeared.
Named for his propensity to slaughter Dragonstone’s livestock, Speestealer was eventually domesticated by a young girl named Nettles after she gained his trust by providing him with food.
Sheepstealer was at least eighty, making him bigger than many of the House of the Dragon’s war dragons.
However, before either of them could be put to the test, Nettles and Sheepstealer escaped, making it impossible to determine the dragon’s true power.
6. The Bronze Fury, Vermithor
Hugh Hammer and King Jaehaerys I of Tarthorn are two dragonriders.
Following the Conquest, the dragons owned by Aegon and his sister laid numerous eggs, giving rise to a second generation of strong dragons.
Vermithor, who served as Jaeherys I Targaryen’s mount and was also known as Dragonseed Hugh the Hammer during the Dance of the Dragons, was one of the most famous hatchlings from this litter.
He was one of the largest and strongest dragons of its generation, only being surpassed by Vhagar and Balerion. Vermithor had a successful Dance of the Dragons campaign up until Seasmoke was able to inflict fatal wounds on it during their two-on-one encounter in the Second Battle of Tumbleton.
Daemon sung to Vermithor in High Valyrian in House of the Dragon, Season 1, Episode 10, “The Black Queen.”
Jon Snow, the dragonrider (Show Only)
At the conclusion of season one/the first book, Daenerys births three dragons, one of which is Rhaegal. Although Dorgon is unquestionably the strongest and most dominant member of the trio in both mediums, Viserion and Rhaegal’s relative strengths are less obvious.
Barristan Selmy does state that Rhaegal is the most hazardous of the two in A Dance with Dragons, but the program does not emphasize this distinction.
Rhaegal is hardly a pushover, even though Viserion is unquestionably the strongest of the two after the resurrection.
The two dragons are able to hold their own against Viserion and The Night King in the Battle of Winterfell, despite the fact that Jon Snow is riding them, who is perhaps the series’ least skilled dragonrider. In Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4, “The Last of the Starks,” it also takes Euron several Scorpion spears to kill Rhaegal.
4. The Cannibal
The Cannibal was the oldest and largest wild dragon on Dragonstone. It was infamous for devouring other dragons, preferring hatchlings and dragon eggs.
Dragons were an important resource during the Dance of the Dragons, but no rider could tame Cannibal due to its vicious and untamed temperament.
Cannibal was undoubtedly a danger because it was capable of consuming its own kind, but it was never tested against other dragons. In a way, this turns out to be a godsend because Cannibal is one of the few dragons to make it through the Dance of the Dragons.
But it’s unclear what happened to it after the war.
3. The Blood Wyrm, Caraxes
Aemon and Daemon Targaryen are dragonriders.
During The Dance of the Dragons, the rebellious Prince Daemon Targaryen rode The Blood Wyrm Caraxes.
By the time of House of the Dragon, the two have already engaged in warfare after fighting in battles in Dorne and the Stepstones. To demonstrate how lethal Daemon & Caraxes are while working together, the first three episodes even adapt the War for the Stepstones.
Fire & Blood claims that despite Daemon and Caraxes’ immense strength, they don’t actually accomplish anything during The Dance of the Dragons. Daemon’s adventures are rather minor, with the exception of their meeting with Aemond above the Gods Eye.
Given how much attention House of the Dragon continues giving Daemon, it’s likely that as the Dance progresses, the show will give him and Caraxes more to do.
Dragonrider: Rhaenys Targaryen
Meraxes, one of the three dragons the Targaryens rode to victory in Westeros, was ridden by Queen Rhaenys, the sister and consort of Aegon the Conqueror.
Rhaenys was rumored to have loved flying the most of her siblings and was frequently spotted perched on her silver-scaled dragon.
Unquestionably deadly, Meraxes assisted in bringing most of Westeros under control.
She had a significant role in the Field of Fire, as the three siblings utilized their dragons to annihilate the armies of the Reach and Westerlands.
Meraxes was unfortunately shot down during the First Dornish War, making her one of the few dragons to be slain by humans.
Aemond Targaryen, Laena Velaryon, Baelon the Brave, and Queen Visenya Targaryen are among the dragonriders.
Vhagar, the most famous Targaryen dragon, was ridden by Aegon the Conqueror’s sister, Queen Visenya.
In addition to aiding in the conquest of Westeros, Vhagar participated in numerous wars that followed, most notably the Dance of the Dragons, in which Prince Aemond Targaryen rode her.
In order to successfully battle the Greens at this time, the Blacks effectively had to strategize around Vhagar because she constituted such a fierce threat.
By the time the Dance began, the Black Dread had also long since passed away, making Vhagar the biggest and most powerful dragon alive at the moment.
Over the course of the conflict, Vhagar killed a respectable number of dragons and dragonriders.
Vhagar’s full power was finally displayed by House of the Dragon in Season 1, Episode 10, “The Black Queen.” Luke escapes Storm’s End on Arrax, and Aemond loses control of Vhagar while pursuing him.
She doesn’t just take dragonfire to the face without quivering; all it takes is one bite from her to end both Arrax and Luke’s lives. Vhagar’s shadow hanging over Arrax makes it clear how dangerous she really is.