House of the Dragon has spent more time politicking than dragon-riding in much of its first season. But by the final episode, the dragons — and their use in the coming Dance of the Dragons — take center stage.
With a House Targaryen civil war on its way in season 2, it’s more important than ever how many dragons are on each side and who their riders are. As we see in episode 10, even with the proper rider, dragon warfare can lead to calamitous consequences.
But also as Daemon (Matt Smith) notes in the season finale: Not all the dragons in Westeros are accounted for; there are “neutral” dragons, which are dragons that (for one reason or another) have no rider. So now, with war on the horizon in season 2, it’s worth taking a second to account for each of the dragons that House of the Dragon has set up so far, whose side they’re on, and who their rider is.
[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers through episode 10 of House of the Dragon.]
Riders: Laena (deceased), Aemond Targaryen
The oldest and biggest of the Targaryen dragons in Westeros, and the only living remnant of Aegon’s conquest, Vhagar was once ridden by Visenya Targaryen when she, her brother, and her sister united the seven kingdoms. Vhagar then passed to Baelon Targaryen, before being claimed by her most recent (previous to episode 7) rider, Laena Velaryon. After Laena’s death, the dragon remained riderless for only a short time before being claimed by Aemond Targaryen, whose dragon egg baby gift did not hatch. Despite Vhagar’s age, she remains one of the most fearsome and dangerous dragons in Westeros, and is now ridden by one of the Greens’ most ardent supporters.
Rider: Aegon Targaryen
A bright-gold dragon with pink-membraned wings, Sunfyre is the dragon of Aegon Targaryen and a swift flier, though far from the biggest of the Targaryens’ remaining dragons.
Rider: Helaena Targaryen
Dreamfyre is a pale-blue dragon, older but more slender than most of the others. She is at some point claimed by Helaena Targaryen, though it’s not really clear if this has happened yet as of episode 7.
Rider: Rhaenyra Targaryen
Rhaenyra is likely the first rider of Syrax, a dragon she named after a Valyrian goddess when the princess claimed the dragon at 9 years old. Syrax was nearly as large and threatening as Caraxes, though Rhaenyra has not ridden her into a true battle.
Rider: Daemon Targaryen
Caraxes is one of the largest and most dangerous of all the remaining Targaryen dragons, thanks in part to the fact that it’s seen war most recently. Caraxes has red scales and was ridden by Daemon Targaryen during the Prince’s many battles around the world, most notably in the Stepstones.
Rider: Rhaenys Targaryen
Meleys is known as the Red Queen thanks to her red scales and pink wing membrane. Meleys is now an old dragon, but in her younger days she was perhaps the swiftest and most nimble of all the Westerosi dragons. Despite her age, however, she remains fearsome in battle.
Rider: Jacaerys Velaryon
Vermax hatched from the egg that was given to Jacaerys when he was an infant in a stunt partially designed to show his status as a true-born Targaryen. Because of this, the dragon remains fairly small by the time House of the Dragon picks up with Jace.
Rider: Lucerys Velaryon
Death: Eaten by Vhagar somewhere in the skies above Storm’s End.
Just like his brother’s dragon, Luke’s was hatched from an egg he was given at birth. This means that the dragon is quite small at this point, but will grow larger in time.
The neutral dragons are dragons that remain riderless. In some cases these are dragons have never accepted riders, while others are dragons whose riders have died, but haven’t yet bonded with another rider.
Seasmoke’s only previous rider was Laenor Velaryon, who gave up the dragon when he slipped away from his life in Westeros and escaped to Essos. Since Laenor’s death, Seasmoke has resided in the Dragonmont on Dragonstone.
Vermithor is one of the oldest living dragons in Westeros and resides in the Dragonmont on Dragonstone. Despite his old age and massive size, we don’t know much about the riders that Vermithor has previously had, with the one exception of King Jaehaerys Targaryen, who rode the dragon until his death. Vermithor is one of the largest dragons to ever reside in Westeros with only Vhagar and Balerion besting him in size.
Silverwing was once bonded with Queen Alysanne Targaryen, the wife of King Jaehaerys. Seemingly mirroring the couple’s love, Silverwing and Vermithor often coiled together in the same lair inside the Dragonmont on Dragonstone.