Top 5 Facts About The Targaryen’s Dragons

The Targaryen's dragons - what do you know about them?

by Todor Ivanov

Fire and Blood! That’s the credo of House Targaryen – the conquerors who ruled the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros for over three centuries. But what makes these nobles of Valyria so special are the Targaryen dragons. These flying beasts rained fiery terror from the skies to their rather primitive enemies – the Andals and the First Men.  

Who are House Targaryen’s dragons? What is their story? How did they tame them? Just servants or something more? After all, they were owned by royalty – Daenerys Targaryen had dragons with a name and those of the rest of the Targaryens. 

House Targaryen Lineage

House Targaryen’s lineage is one of the most detailed and complex in Game of Thrones. The Targaryens are descended from the Valyrian Freehold. This powerful empire ruled over much of the eastern continent of Essos before its downfall in the Doom of Valyria. 

The founder of House Targaryen is Aegon the Conqueror, who led the Targaryen invasion of Westeros and established the dynasty that would rule over the Seven Kingdoms for centuries. Aegon was married to his two sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya, in practice known as polygamy.

Over the centuries, House Targaryen would intermarry with other noble families in Westeros, including the Martells, Baratheons, and Arryns. They continued to practice polygamy, although this became increasingly rare. 


The Targaryen lineage is notable for its many incestuous marriages, as the Targaryens believed their Valyrian blood was necessary to maintain their unique features and dragon-riding abilities.

House Targaryen’s lineage includes many significant figures, including Aegon the Conqueror, Maegor the Cruel, Daenerys Targaryen, and Jon Snow. However, the dynasty was ultimately ended by Robert’s Rebellion, which saw the overthrow of King Aerys II Targaryen and the exile of his surviving family members.

House Targaryen and the dragon – a bond tested in fire and blood

The dragons are an essential part of House Targaryen’s history and power. Their connection to these creatures allowed them to conquer and rule the Seven Kingdoms for centuries.

According to Targaryen lore, the family first discovered dragon eggs during their time in Old Valyria. The Valyrians were known to breed and ride dragons, just as the Targaryens. Before the Doom of Valyria, which destroyed the Valyrian Freehold, the Targaryens fled to Dragonstone, a fortress in the Narrow Sea.

Don’t Miss to Read: Top 12 Fantasy Books Like Game of Thrones: Best Epic Fantasy Series!

House Targaryen’s First Dragons

On Dragonstone, the Targaryens eggs were hatched using a secret magic ritual only they knew. These three dragons, named Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar, would grow to become massive creatures capable of breathing fire and destruction.

The Targaryens began using their dragons in battle, and their power became the stuff of legend. The bond between a Targaryen and their dragon was said to be unbreakable, and the magical properties of dragonfire strengthened this bond. Only those of Targaryen blood could tame and ride dragons, and the dragons seemed to prefer members of this family.

The Targaryens used their dragons to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. The mere threat of dragonfire was often enough to make their enemies surrender. However, as the dragons grew larger and more unruly, they became more difficult to control, and their power began to wane. The last dragons died out during the reign of King Aegon III Targaryen, and the power of House Targaryen began to diminish along with them.

House Targaryen and their dragon’s names

The three dragons that Aegon I Targaryen used to conquer the Seven Kingdoms were named Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar. These dragons were instrumental in Aegon’s successful invasion. Their size, strength, and ability to breathe fire made them nearly unbeatable in battle.

Balerion the Black Dread

Balerion the Black Dread

Balerion, also known as Balerion the Black Dread, was the most enormous and most feared dragon of House Targaryen. He was one of the three dragons Aegon I Targaryen used to conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms under his rule.

Balerion played a key role in many major battles of Aegon’s conquest. He was ridden by Aegon himself and was instrumental in the fall of Harrenhal. This large and strong castle was thought to be impregnable. Balerion’s fire melted Harrenhal’s towers and walls, killing Harren and his sons and earning Balerion the nickname “the Black Dread.”

After Aegon’s conquest, Balerion continued to symbolize Targaryen power and was used by subsequent kings to intimidate their enemies. During the reign of Aegon III, however, Balerion grew old and infirm and eventually died in his sleep. His skull remained in the throne room of the Red Keep for many years, serving as a reminder of the power and majesty of House Targaryen’s dragons.



Meraxes belonged to Aegon the Conqueror’s sister-wife, Rhaenys Targaryen. She rode Meraxes during the War of Conquest, which saw the Targaryens conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms under their rule.

Meraxes was a large and powerful dragon with bronze-colored scales and huge wings. During the War of Conquest, Meraxes was involved in several battles, including the burning of the castle of Duskendale and the sacking of the castle of Harrenhal. 

Rhaenys’ dragon met her demise during the conquest of Dorn, where an iron scorpion bolt killed her through the eye. The queen’s faith remained unknown, but the common theory is that she died along with her dragon. 



Vhagar belonged to Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wife Visenya Targaryen. It was named after Visenya’s stillborn daughter.

Vhagar was one of the most enormous dragons ever known, with massive wings and a long neck. It was said that Vhagar could swallow a horse whole and crush a bear with a single claw. It was also rumored that Vhagar was immune to all weapons except Valyrian steel.

During the Dance of the Dragons, Vhagar was ridden by Prince Aemond Targaryen, the younger brother of King Aegon II Targaryen. Aemond was a fierce warrior known for his skill with a sword, and he proved to be a formidable foe in battle.

Vhagar and Aemond played a crucial role in several battles during the war, including the Battle Above the Gods Eye, where they faced off against Prince Daemon Targaryen and his dragon Caraxes. In the battle, Vhagar and Caraxes fought fiercely in the air, tearing each other apart with their claws and teeth. In the end, both dragons died, along with their riders.

Which House Targaryen Dragon we saw in the shows

Together, the three dragons were responsible for many of Aegon’s conquest’s key battles and victories. Their mere sight was enough to strike fear into the hearts of Aegon’s enemies, and their power and ferocity made them nearly invincible on the battlefield. Even after Aegon had secured his position as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, the dragons remained a key part of Targaryen power and were seen as symbols of their strength and authority.

However, through George R.R. Martin’s work, several other prominent dragons are far more famous to both readers and fans of the shows. 

Frankly, fans are far more familiar with Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon names than those from the Conquest, besides Balerion the Black Dread. Other famous ones are Daemon and Rhaenyra’s dragons from the Dance of the Dragons (featured in the new House of the Dragon TV show) and a handful of others. 

 Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons name

Daenerys Targaryen is the last known surviving member of House Targaryen in the TV series. She is notable for possessing three dragons, which she hatches from fossilized eggs that she received as a wedding gift. 

The three dragons are named Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion, after Daenerys’s late husband Khal Drogo and her deceased brothers Rhaegar and Viserys.



Drogon is the largest and most aggressive of the three dragons. He is black with red scales and is named after Khal Drogo. He has a close bond with Daenerys and is often seen perched on her shoulder or flying overhead.


Rhaegal is named after Daenerys’s brother Rhaegar. He is green and bronze in color and is slightly smaller than Drogon. He is also quite loyal to Daenerys.


Viserion is named after Daenerys’s brother Viserys. He is white and gold, the smallest of the three dragons. He is killed by the Night King and reanimated as an undead dragon, which is a significant plot point in the show’s final season.

Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons eggs 


Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon names are popular, just as Emilia Clark’s character is one of the biggest fan favorites. As mentioned above, they are wedding gifts. Daenerys Targaryen dragons eggs were a gift by Illyrio Mopatis. 

Her dragons play a crucial role in her quest to reclaim the Iron Throne and become the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. They are used in the battle against various enemies, including the slave masters of Astapor, the army of the dead led by the Night King, and the Lannister forces led by Cersei.

Daenerys’s bond with her dragons is unique, and it is hinted throughout the show that she has a special ability to communicate with them. In the books, this ability is referred to as “dragon-riding”. It is a skill possessed only by members of House Targaryen.

Ultimately, the fate of Daenerys’s dragons is left somewhat ambiguous at the end of the show. However, it is heavily implied that Drogon, the last surviving dragon, takes Daenerys’s body away to an unknown location.

House of the Dragon

The Dance of Dragons featured several dragons, each with its unique rider and personality. Both the dragons and the riders are significant and colorful personalities. All of them are worth noting. 

Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen’s dragon and other notable beasts from House of the Dragon

Rhaenyra Targaryen rode the dragon Syrax. Syrax was a large, silver dragon with a fiery temper. She was killed in battle by Sunfyre, the dragon ridden by Aegon II.

Aegon II Targaryen rode the dragon Sunfyre. Sunfyre was a large, golden dragon highly prized for its beauty and strength. He was severely injured in battle and became blind, but he continued to fight until his death.

Prince Daemon Targaryen rode the dragon Caraxes. Caraxes was a black dragon with red eyes and a reputation for being one of the fiercest dragons in Westeros. He was killed in battle by Vhagar.


Prince Jacaerys Velaryon rode the dragon Vermax. Vermax was a black dragon who was known for his speed and agility. He was killed in battle by Sunfyre.

Prince Joffrey Velaryon rode the dragon Tyraxes. Tyraxes was a brown dragon who was smaller and weaker than most of the other dragons. 

These dragons played key roles in the battles and political intrigue of the Dance of Dragons, and their stories are an essential part of the lore of the Targaryen dynasty.

Who is Rhaenyra Targaryen dragon

During the Dance of Dragons, Rhaenyra Targaryen also had several dragons at her command, as she was in charge of the faction of the Blacks. 

Syrax – Syrax was a she-dragon ridden by Rhaenyra. She was smaller than some of the other dragons and had a reputation for being difficult to control. Despite this, Syrax played a significant role in the war, participating in several battles and earning a fearsome reputation.

Daemon Targaryen’s dragon names

Prince Daemon Targaryen was a member of House Targaryen and the younger brother of King Viserys I. He was known for his martial prowess, cunning, and ambition.

During the Dance of Dragons, Daemon supported his niece Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne and became one of her most loyal and effective commanders. He was known for his skill in battle, and he rode the fearsome black dragon, Caraxes, into battle.


Despite his successes on the battlefield, Daemon’s ambitions ultimately caused him to clash with his brother. He believed he should have been crowned king as heir of his brother. He even married Rhaenyra secretly to consolidate his claim to the throne. 

Daemon rode Caraxes into battle. He was known as the Blood Wyrm, a large and fearsome dragon with red scales and yellow eyes. He was originally the dragon of Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. Still, Daemon stole him from her during the Dance of the Dragons. Daemon was known to have a special bond with Caraxes, and they fought together in many battles.

Significant Targaryen dragons whose name is popular amongst the fanbase

Several Targaryen dragons’ names are well-known to the public due to their appearance in TV shows or their prominent role in the books.

Meleys – Meleys, also known as the Red Queen, was a large and powerful dragon ridden by Rhaenys Targaryen. Meleys had distinctive red scales, hence her name, and was known for her fiery temper. She played a key role in many battles, including the Battle of Rook’s Rest, where she faced off against Aemond Targaryen and his dragon Vhagar.

Vermithor: Vermithor, also known as the Bronze Fury, was one of the most enormous dragons in history. He had bronze-colored scales and was ridden by King Jaehaerys I Targaryen before coming into the possession of Daemon Targaryen. Vermithor was already an old dragon by the time Daemon acquired him. However, he was still fearsome in battle and proved a valuable asset during the Dance of the Dragons.

Syrax: Syrax was a pale white dragon with silver markings and blue eyes. She was originally the dragon of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Still, she was later captured by Aegon II’s forces and given to Daemon as a gift. Daemon rode Syrax in battle, but the dragon Sunfyre killed her during the Dance of the Dragons.

Tyraxes: Tyraxes was a small dragon with black scales and red eyes. He was one of the many dragons bred by House Targaryen during the reign of King Jaehaerys I. During House of the Dragon, he was owned by Joffrey Velaryon and was killed by an angry mob at the Dragonpit. 

Famous dragonriders 

Along with the famous dragons, there are equally famous dragon riders. They are featured in both books and TV series. 

Queen Rhaenys Targaryen 

Queen Rhaenys Targaryen 

Sister-wife to Aegon the Conqueror and one of the first famous dragonriders of the Targaryen dynasty. She rode the dragon Meraxes during the Conquest. She participated in many battles with her brother and his other sister-wife, Visenya. After Aegon’s death, Rhaenys supported her nephew Aenys in his claim to the Iron Throne against his half-brother Maegor the Cruel. She died during the reign of Maegor in a failed attempt to take the Iron Throne from him.


A dragonseed with an uncertain upbringing who rode the dragon Sheepstealer. She bonded with the wild dragon by feeding it sheep. She eventually rode it into battle for Rhaenyra Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragons.

Hugh Hammer

Also known as Hugh the Hammer, Hard Hugh, and Lord Hammer, he was a dragonseed who rose through the ranks to become a dragonrider during the Dance of the Dragons. When the Dance of the Dragons started, Hugh was a blacksmith’s bastard on Dragonstone. Hugh was permitted to ride Vermithor, the late King Jaehaerys I Targaryen’s dragon, when Prince Jacaerys Velaryon called for dragonriders in 129 AC. Hugh bravely fought for the blacks at the Battle of the Gullet. Hugh began to refer to himself as Hugh Hammer.

Ulf White 

He was a dragonseed who became a dragonrider during the Dance of the Dragons. He was also known as Ulf the White and Ulf the Sot. Ulf the White, a Dragonstone dragonseed, was a man-at-arms when the Dance of the Dragons started. Ulf was able to mount Silverwing when Prince Jacaerys Velaryon summoned dragonriders in 129 AC. Ulf and his fellow dragonseeds—Hugh Hammer, Nettles, and Addam Velaryon—fought bravely beside Jacaerys in the Battle of the Gullet, but Jace was killed. “Ulf White,” the dragonrider began to name himself.

Ser Addam Velaryon

He was born Addam of Hull and was a legitimized bastard of dragonseed heritage from Driftmark, like his brother Alyn. Addam became a knight and the heir to Driftmark and House Velaryon during the Dance of the Dragons. He was a dragonrider, and his dragon’s name was Seasmoke. 

According to Archmaester Gyldayn, historians are still debating Addam’s origins to this day. 

His mother, Marilda, claimed Ser Laenor Velaryon fathered him and his brother Alyn, which many considered unusual given Laenor’s renowned sexual affinity for males. Mushroom, the court idiot, said they were fathered by Laenor’s father, Lord Corlys Velaryon, but kept hidden and away from court to avoid disturbing Corlys’s fiery-tempered wife, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen.

Aerea Targaryen 

Aerea Targaryen 

Princess Aerea Targaryen was Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaena Targaryen’s eldest daughter.

She vanished from Dragonstone at the end of 54 AC, claiming and fleeing on the dragon Balerion, who had taken up residence on the island following the death of his last rider, King Maegor I Targaryen.

Aerea and Balerion had been away for over a year before returning to King’s Landing on the thirteenth day of the fourth moon in 56 AC, with a seriously ill Aerea clinging to the dragon’s back. She was virtually unrecognizable; she was stuck thin, and her clothing was still in shreds.

Benifer treated Aerea in his apartments with Septon Barth, who had been summoned to perform the death rites. The two men were present during her final hours since the maester barred all others, including the king and queen, from entering. Benifer fed Aerea poppy milk and plunged her into an ice bath to decrease her temperature, but nothing worked. 

She arrived at the Red Keep early in the morning. Septon Barth revealed Aerea’s death at the hour of the bat, shortly after sunset. She was cremated the following day at sunrise.

Aerea was said to have died of a fever, which was only partially accurate. Ser Lucamore stated the princess’ fever was so intense that he could feel it through his armor. The knight claimed that the princess had blood in her eyes and “something inside her, something moving,” until the king prohibited him from speaking of her. Benifer did not leave an account of Aerea’s death. Still, according to a report in Barth’s private records, Aerea’s fever was unlike anything he had ever seen.


House Targaryen stood proud atop their weapons of mass destruction. House Targaryen and the dragon – both as a flying fortress and a sigil emerged as a victor from many famous battles. Although it ended abruptly, house Targaryen’s lineage is one of glory and madness in equal parts, making them remarkable movie/book characters and all-round fan favorites. 

Frequently asked questions

How many seasons is House of the Dragon

Season 1 ended in 2022 with huge critical and audience acclaim. The show was renewed for a second season planned for 2024. Many fans believe three or four seasons would perfectly suit the story of the Dance of Dragons.

Why wasn’t Aemon the Dragonkinght mentioned

Aemon was the son of king Viserys II and brother of Aegon IV. He served with distinction both as a member and commander of the Kingsguard. Many consider him one of the finest knights in the history of Westeros. His dragon egg never hatched, and he remained one of the Targaryens that never owed his own dragon. 

Who is the last surviving Targaryen dragon in the show?

Drogon is the only one of Daenerys’ dragons to make it to the end. In the end, he’s seen flying east, towards Essos, carrying the body of his dead mistress. This has led to much speculation amongst the fanbase that would probably be resolved during the upcoming Jon Snow spinoff. (read here about the Stark family)

What are Khaleesi’s dragons names?

Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons are named Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.

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