House of the Dragon is the newest HBO show set in the world of Game of Thrones and is set to outshine its sequel series in the number of dragons included in the show. Given that House of the Dragon is based on George R. R. Martin's novel Fire & Blood, the fantastical beasts are expected to be included to a great extent. As Fire & Blood centers around the Targaryen family line, House of the Dragon will be borrowing from many aspects of the book and showcasing the Targaryens at their most powerful, as will also be the case with the family's fire-breathing companions.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
While still a prequel to HBO's initial show, House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones will have their fair share of differences, including the number of dragons shown on screen. Throughout the majority of Game of Thrones, it was only Daenerys Targaryen's three dragons, Viserion, Rhaegal, and Drogon, that featured prominently. With House of the Dragon, however, it has been confirmed that the show will feature up to 17 different dragons.
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Given the intense focus the series will have on the Targaryen family at the height of their power, this makes sense. While many of the dragons of Westeros were killed during a volcanic eruption in Valyria, the dragons owned by House Targaryen survived. These dragons were used to help the Targaryens conquer Westeros and form the Seven Kingdoms, with House of the Dragon's timeline showing the Targaryen's reign over Westeros after this. Naturally, the dragons used by the family to conquer to Seven Kingdoms will be featured heavily in the show, and here is a breakdown of each of the creatures that will be seen in House of the Dragon.
Caraxes (Daemon Targaryen's Dragon)
One of the main characters of House of the Dragon will be Daemon Targaryen, played by Matt Smith. Naturally then, Daemon's dragon companion will be one of the main bestial characters of the show. Daemon's dragon is named Caraxes and is one of the larger, and older, dragons of the Targaryen family. Caraxes' scales are red-colored, leading him to be dubbed the Blood Wyrm. Initially, Caraxes was ridden by Aemon Targaryen, before Aemon was killed by a crossbow bolt leaving Caraxes riderless. Aemon's nephew Daemon then claimed the beast for his own.
Syrax (Rhaenyra Targaryen's Dragon)
Rhaenyra Targaryen, played by Ella D'Arcy, is one of the other main characters in House of the Dragon and is the niece of Daemon. As with Daemon and Caraxes, Rhaenyra's dragon Syrax will be a large part of the show. While not as huge in scale or formidable in battle as Caraxes, Syrax is still larger than most dragons. Syrax's scales are yellow, and her name was given to her by Rhaenyra after a Valyrian goddess, meaning Syrax likely had no previous rider before Rhaenyra.
Meleys (Rhaenys Targaryen's Dragon)
Eva Best will portray Princess Rhaenys Velaryon in House of the Dragon, the cousin to King Viserys. Rhaenys, like both Rhaenyra and Daemon, has a dragon named Meleys. Meleys, not unlike Caraxes, is a bright red dragon which earned her the name The Red Queen. Meleys is one of the oldest, largest dragons after Vhagar, who will be mentioned later.
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Vermithor (Hugh The Hammer's Dragon)
One cast member of House of the Dragon will be Michael Carter playing King Jaehaerys, King Viserys' grandfather. While Jaehaerys is very old, his former dragon mount Vermithor will still be a big part of the show. Vermithor is a bronze dragon, nicknamed the Bronze Fury, and was at one point the third-largest dragon in Westeros behind only Balerion and Vhagar. In Fire & Blood, Vermithor is shown to eventually be ridden by a brute named Hugh the Hammer in the Dance of Dragons, the Targaryen civil war that House of the Dragon will build to.
Sunfyre (Aegon Targaryen's Dragon)
Another character in House of the Dragon has a namesake in Game of Thrones, Aegon Targaryen. The story of House of the Dragon will center on the Iron Throne as did Game of Thrones, meaning Aegon Targaryen (an eventual King of Westeros) and his dragon Sunfyre will play a part in the show. Sunfyre, despite being one of the younger dragons on the show, is still massive in scale. Sunfyre is known as Sunfyre the Golden due to his gleaming golden scales. One thing that is interesting about Sunfyre is his golden flames that seem to match the color of his scaling.
Tessarion (Daeron Targaryen's Dragon)
Daeron Targaryen is the younger brother of Aegon and rides a female dragon named Tessarion. Tessarion, similarly to Meleys, is known as the Blue Queen due to the dark cobalt blue color of her wings and will appear in the HBOMax TV show. Like Sunfyre, Tessarion's flames match the color of her scales, burning a bright blue. Tessarion also differs from the other dragons in that her belly scales and claws are bright bronze colored, contrasting with the dark blue of the bulk of Tessarion's body.
Vhagar (Aemond Targaryen's Dragon)
Aemond Targaryen, brother of Daeron and Aegon, is a dragon rider alongside his siblings. Aemond rides Vhagar, who was one of the three dragons used by the Targaryens to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Vhagar, during the time of the conquest, was ridden by Queen Visenya Targaryen before being passed down through generations to become Aemond's mount. At the time of House of the Dragon, Vhagar is one of the largest dragons in Westeros, beaten only by Balerion in size. Vhagar is a bronze dragon with green/blue highlights and bright green eyes.
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Other Dragons In House Of The Dragon
These are the main dragons that have Dragonriders in House of the Dragon, however, there will be many others in the show that may or may not play as big a part. Here is a round-up of some of the other dragons that could feature in House of the Dragon.
Dreamfyre (Halaena Targaryen's Dragon): Dreamfyre is a pale blue and silver dragon, ridden by Halaena the sister of Aemond, Daeron, and Aegon. Dreamfyre was initially ridden by Rhaena Targaryen, the granddaughter of Aegon the Conqueror.
Moondancer (Baela Targaryen's Dragon): Baela rides Moondancer, one of the younger dragons in House of the Dragon, being only the size of a warhorse when Baela, the daughter of Matt Smith's Daemon Targaryen, first mounted her. Moondancer is a slender, green dragon described as being very quick both on land and in the sky.
Silverwing (Ulf White's Dragon): Ulf White is a Targaryen bastard who rides Silverwing during the Dance of Dragons. Silverwing was initially ridden by Alysanne Targaryen, grandmother of King Viserys, and was a silver dragon who was docile and very friendly to strangers.
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Vermax, Arrax, and Tyraxes: These three dragons are ridden by Rhaenyra's sons Jacaerys, Lucerys, and Joffrey respectively. While Vermax is likely to be in House of the Dragon due to Harry Collett's casting as Jacaerys, Lucerys and Joffrey have not yet been cast meaning their dragons may not appear until future seasons.
Seasmoke: Seasmoke is a wild silver-grey dragon that lives on Dragonstone, the Targaryen stronghold from Game of Thrones. Eventually, during the Dance of Dragons, Seasmoke is claimed by Addam of Hull, a bastard who later became legitimized as Addam Valeryon during the Dance.
Sheepstealer: Like Seasmoke, Sheepstealer is a wild dragon from Dragonstone who earned his name due to his taste for mutton. Sheepstealer is a mud brown color and has only had one rider in Nettles, who tamed Sheepstealer by presenting the dragon with fresh mutton every day until he became accustomed to her.
Is House Of The Dragon Cutting Some Dragons From The Book?
It has been confirmed by the showrunners of House of the Dragon that 17 dragons will appear in the show, though surely to varying capacities. During the time of the Dance of Dragons in the books by George R. R. Martin, there are around 20 dragons in total. Given how House of the Dragon will lead up to the Dance of Dragons, the Targaryen Civil War, it would make sense for all dragons to appear. However, as only 17 dragons will appear in House of the Dragon, it appears some dragons may be removed that were present in the book.
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One of these could be Cannibal, another wild dragon from Dragonstone who earns his name from eating dead dragons. This dragon could be removed from the show as he is one of the few dragons not to receive a rider at any point in the books. Another dragon that doesn't receive a rider, and is also wild like Cannibal and Sheepstealer, is Grey Ghost. Grey Ghost was named for his elusive nature and was eventually killed by Sunfyre, Aegon's dragon. As these two dragons don't have much of an impact on the story of House of the Dragon, it is likely they won't feature in the show.
Is Balerion The Black Dread In House Of The Dragon?
If House of the Dragon changes the book it is based on, or includes flashbacks, it could certainly feature the largest ever dragon in existence, Balerion the Black Dread. Balerion was the dragon ridden by Aegon the Conqueror and was instrumental in the conquest of Westeros and the foundation of the Seven Kingdoms. Balerion had three riders after Aegon, those being Maegor Targaryen, Aerea Targaryen, and Viserys, who will be played by Paddy Considine in House of the Dragon.
Through the latter, Balerion could be shown. As Balerion died during the reign of Jaehaerys, the king before Viserys, and the show begins during Viserys' reign, Balerion will not be alive at the beginning of House of the Dragon. However, if the show changes the books to make Balerion survive into Viserys' reign in House of the Dragon, the dragon could be shown. A more likely option though, is that Balerion could be seen in flashbacks to Viserys' youth during his time as the Black Dread's rider. Given the many mentions of Balerion in Game of Thrones and the widely known information that he is the biggest dragon ever seen in Westeros, it would be a missed opportunity for House of the Dragon not to showcase the Black Dread in all his might.