The Game of Thrones dragons are undeniably essential to the show’s conclusion now the Game of Thrones is over. Many predicted this would happen as early as 1996 when George R. R. Martin’s now-iconic A Song of Ice and Fire books were released; however, few series forerunners accurately predicted Daenerys Targaryen’s flame-breathing heirs would unleash ice as well as fire.
You’ll also learn what some of the trio’s enigmatic, magical names mean, both of which have a Targaryen connection; what happened to the fire-breathing triple-ancestors threat’s long before the show’s plot began; and how you can own Viserion, Rhaegal, and/or Drogon without having to fight Dany. And, let’s face it, you’d have a slim risk of succeeding.
This is what you need to hear about the hottest, toothiest, pyromaniac brothers from Game of Thrones…
Original Three Dragons
These were the dragons that lived after House Targaryen’s invasion of Westeros.
Balerion is number one. Balerion, the Black Dread, is the world’s largest and most powerful dragon, named for an ancient Valyrian deity. His first rider was Aegon I, accompanied by Maegor, Aerea, and Viserys I Targaryen. He died as a result of old age.
Queen Rhaenys rode this dragon, which was also named after an ancient Valyrian god. During the First Dornish War, both the rider and the dragon were destroyed.
During the Dance of the Dragons, Vhagar, the youngest of the three original dragons, was killed. Queen Visenya was the first to ride her, accompanied by Baelon Targaryen, Laena Velaryon, and Aemond Targaryen.
The New Dragons
On her Dothraki lord, Khal Drogo, Queen Daenerys Targaryen hatched her dragon eggs on the funeral pyre of her Dothraki lord. The ‘Game of Thrones dragons are called Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.
Drogon is the biggest of Daenerys’ dragons, with red and black coloring. He is named after Khal Drogo. Drogon, the giant dragon that Daenerys rides into combat, has many flesh wounds, including one from Qyburn’s scorpion.
Drogon is Dany’s most dangerous dragon, terrorizing the nearby countryside on a regular basis. He also serves as Daenerys’ executioner, burning any who fail to bend the knee, such as Samwell Tarly’s father Randyll and younger brother Dickon.
Rhaegal, Daenerys’ dragon, is named after Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenerys’ oldest brother, and Aegon Targaryen’s father (who we know better as Jon Snow). His scales are bronze and gray. Rhaegal may not have a rider (yet), but he regularly travels with Daenerys, including to the Dragonpit, where Cersei correctly deduced that one of Dany’s dragons had died.
Viserys—he of the golden crown—was Daenerys’ deceased brother and was light brown in color when the Night King killed him in the Game of Thrones Season 7 episode “Beyond the Wall.” The Night King revived Viserion as a wight—an ice dragon—after the army of the dead dragged his corpse from a frozen lake. Viserion, riding on the back of the Night King, melted the Wall, allowing the White Walkers to invade Westeros for the first time.
While other older dragons in ‘Game of Thrones’ have been listed, Gorge R.R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series has more information about them.
Arrax: Prince Lucerys Velaryon of Driftmark’s personal mount. During the Dance of the Dragons, Vhagar killed both of them.
Cannibal: This wild dragon was never ridden and ate the carcasses and eggs of other dragons.
Caraxes: The Blood Wyrm The red dragon of Daemon and Aemon Targaryen who killed and was killed by Vhagar.
Dreamfyre: Rhaena and Helaena Targaryens ride, a she-dragon.
Grey Ghost: Another wild and untamed dragon killed by Sunfyre.
Meleys The Red Queen: Princess Rhaenys and Alyssa Targaryen’s personal mount that was killed during the Dance of the Dragons
Moondancer: Baela Targaryen’s she-dragon died at the age of thirteen.
Morghul: An enraged mob killed this dragon, who was tethered to Princess Jaehaera.
Morning: During the Dance of the Dragons, Lady Rhaena Targaryen’s dragon was born.
Quicksilver: King Aenys I and later his uncle, Prince Aegon Targaryen, rode this pale white dragon with pale white fireballs.
Seasmoke: Laenor Velaryon’s dragon, who later bonded with Addam Velaryon.
Sheepstealer: A wild dragon from Dragonstone who Nettles, a bastard girl, tamed.
Shrykos: The dragon of the young prince, Jaehaerys Targaryen
Silverwing: The she-dragon of Queen Alysanne Targaryen was later mounted by a bastard boy called Ulf.
Stormcloud: Aegon the Younger only rode this young dragon once until it disappeared.
Sunfyre the Golden: In the war against Moondancer, King Aegon II Targaryen’s glorious dragon died of wounds.
Syrax: Rhaenyra Targaryen’s she-dragon was named after an ancient Valyrian deity.
Tessarion The Blue Queen: Daeron Targaryen’s personal mount was a stunning blue she-dragon.
Terrax: The mythical dragon of Valyrian adventurer Jaenara Belaerys, who spent three years searching Sothoryos’ continent.
Tyraxes: The young dragon of Prince Joffrey Velaryon that was killed in battle.
Urrax: A Westeros legendary dragon said to have been defeated by Serwyn of the Mirror Shield.
Vermax: The dragon of Prince Jacaerys Velaryon met the same fate as his brother, Prince Joffrey Velaryon.
Vermithor: Hugh the Hammer later bonded with King Jaehaerys I Targaryen’s formidable dragon, The Bronze Fury.
When did the Game of Thrones dragons make their first appearance in the show?
Following the death of Daenerys’ husband Khal Drogo at the end of Season 1, the Game of Thrones dragons first appeared.
Dany was offered three eggs by Illyrio Mopatis earlier in the season to celebrate her marriage to Drogo. She kept these eggs in her possession at all times, finally throwing them on Drogo’s funeral pyre after he died.
Dany stepped into the blazing inferno, devoid of hope after losing her baby and having to put an end to Drogo’s fate, leaving Ser Jorah Mormont to believe she was dead. Instead, she awoke the next morning with three baby dragons clinging to her in the wastelands beyond Lhazar.
Short History of Game of Throne Dragons
Although Rhaegal, Viserion, and Drogon are thought to be the only living dragons in the Game of Thrones universe, they are part of a long line of notable dragons dating back to Balerion the Black Dread and covering the history of Westeros and the events leading up to Game of Thrones.
Aegon Targaryen and his sister-wives Rhaenys and Visenya conquered Westeros about 300 years before the War of the Five Kings from their fortress on Dragonstone (later ruled by the Baratheons and Daenerys), where they had lived after the volcanic ruin of their ancestral home in Valyria.
Except for Dorne, the Targaryens invaded all seven kingdoms while riding three dragons: Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar. Aegon used Balerion to burn the huge castle Harrenhal, which is now a half-melted ruin in Game of Thrones, in one of the most dramatic plays of the War of Conquest. Balerion’s fire also forged the Iron Throne.
Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar were thought to be the last living Valyrian dragons, though dragons can be found in Essos’ cultures. In Westeros, legends of ice dragons, sea dragons, and wyverns abound. Both subsequent dragons born in Westeros, on the other hand, are descendants of the three Targaryen dragons who conquered the continent.
Balerion and Vhagar lived for decades and fought in the Targaryen wars after Aegon’s failed attempt to conquer Dorne (Meraxes was killed after Aegon’s failed attempt to conquer Dorne). Balerion’s offspring, who mated with Vhagar and Meraxes, were mostly limited to the Dragonpit in King’s Landing.
None of Balerion’s offspring, who mated with Vhagar and Meraxes, ever grew to his age. While the Targaryen dynasty’s dragon legacy ended 150 years ago, 19 dragon skulls were displayed in the Red Keep’s throne room before Robert’s Rebellion overthrew the Mad King, Aeyrs II Targaryen.
The last descendant of Balerion the Black Dread, according to Tywin Lannister’s grandson Joffrey, had a head “the size of an apple.”