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A Public Service Announcement: The Targaryens' (Lack of) Immunity to Fire

targaryens dragons fireproof blood of the dragon summerhall daeron II aegon v targs arent immune to fire

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#1 Apple Martini

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:51 PM

I have noticed a troubling trend lately: the tendency for some readers to erroneously believe that Targaryens are naturally immune to fire. I blame the show for a lot of this — which showed Dany holding piping hot dragon eggs without getting burned, but poor Doreah was burned when she grabbed them. Nonetheless, the record must be set straight.

Dany's funeral pyre excursion was a one-time thing, fueled by blood magic and who knows what else, not because she herself was ever really immune to fire as a constant thing.

Several Targaryens have come up against fire or extreme heat and lost. Most recently, Viserys took a pot of molten gold to the head and died. "Big deal," you say, "it only means that he wasn't a real dragon!"

Which is why I also point out Aegon V, the dragon who hatched at Whitewalls, who died in a fire at Summerhall, along with his oldest son, Duncan the Small, aka The Prince of Dragonflies, aka Jenny of Oldstones' squeeze. Aegon V's own brother, Aerion Brightflame, thought it'd be a good idea to drink wildfire. (Spoiler: It did not work out.)

And of course we have all the poor side-branch Targs who died during the Dance of the Dragons, at least some of whom surely died thanks to dragon fire. Rhaenyra Targaryen was fed to a dragon; over-under on whether it roasted her first?

As for Dany, just Drogon's breath was enough to blister her skin in ADWD. If he'd wanted to incinerate her, he could have. You'll also notice that she treats the situation with the appropriate level of terror and does not once during it think, "It's cool, I'm immune to fire!"

Along these same lines, I don't think that Targaryens are immune to sickness, either. Someone should have told Dany that her great-great-great-grandfather Daeron II and a bunch of distant cousins died in the Great Spring Sickness. We also have alcoholic Targs (Aegon V's brother Daeron), Targs who died in war (Daeron I, Maekar I), Targs who were allegedly stabbed to death by the Iron Throne (Maegor I), Targs who just took a bad hit to the head (Baelor Breakspear), and those who were supposedly poisoned (Baelor I).

The lessons to take away from this:

1. Targaryens are not immune to fire and probably not immune to any other calamity.
2. Saying you're "blood of the dragon" and super-duper special does not make it so.
3. Inbreed enough to preserve exotic features and you can get the Westerosi to believe anything.

And if that isn't enough, read this and this.

Remember, only you can prevent people from believing that a Targ will survive a forest fire.

Edited by Apple Martini, 17 February 2012 - 02:14 AM.


#2 Fearsome Fred

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:22 PM

Thanks for the quotes. I especially liked this one:

GRRM: How do I gauge it? Well, very badly, judging by the fact that it has grown from three books to six. I have changed twice. Once from three to four, then four to six. But IT ENDS THERE! SIX! SIX! SIX!



As for Summerhall: We don't really know what happened at Summerhall. I would be scared to use it as an example in any arguments.

In aDwD, Dany seems to regard to the event in Pit, with Drogon, as a fire-resistent event analogous to the birth of her dragons.

#3 13th Warrior

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:25 PM

Thank You my Lady

#4 Apple Martini

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:32 PM

Are you really trying to say that just because Martin had to add some books to the series, he's going to change his mind about Targaryen fire immunity, when we already have numerous examples of Targs who died because of fire? /shocked.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':shocked:' /> How would he explain that? "Please ignore these previous examples"?

As for Summerhall: We don't really know what happened at Summerhall. I would be scared to use it as an example in any arguments.


Aegon V and Duncan the Small died in a fire. The how and why of it are a mystery, yes, but the basics — namely, something happened there that killed the two of them and it involved fire — are pretty sturdy, I'd say. And if it turns out that that wasn't the case, I'll stand corrected. Until then, you might be scared to use it as an example. Luckily I'm not.

In aDwD, Dany seems to regard to the event in Pit, with Drogon, as a fire-resistent event analogous to the birth of her dragons.


Dany was also blistered just by Drogon's breath. Imagine what would have happened if he'd actually tried to burn her. There's a difference between what she actually believes and what's actually the case. She also thinks Targs are immune from disease, despite that clearly not being true.

Edited by Apple Martini, 14 February 2012 - 09:33 PM.


#5 Anvilbreaker

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:37 PM

Dany knows nothing about being a targ, except what her idiot brother told him. she was only spared in the pyre because of evil shadow magic

#6 Fearsome Fred

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:11 AM

Are you really trying to say that just because Martin had to add some books to the series, he's going to change his mind about Targaryen fire immunity


Huh? Not at all.

Dany was also blistered just by Drogon's breath. Imagine what would have happened if he'd actually tried to burn her.


I'm not sure why you assume Drogon did not "try to burn her." But I have taken no position on the subject. All I am saying is that she refers to Draznak's Pit as a second fire resistant event.

Refering to the first event (the birth of her dragons), she says to herself: "The fire burned away my hair, but elsewise it did not touch me". Then the text immediately adds, "It had been the same in Draznak's Pit."

This is only an observation. It is not necessarily meant to disagree with anything you say. I merely tried to add something to the discussion.

#7 vogorroswhore

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:26 AM

Dany was also blistered just by Drogon's breath. Imagine what would have happened if he'd actually tried to burn her. There's a difference between what she actually believes and what's actually the case. She also thinks Targs are immune from disease, despite that clearly not being true.


I'm with you on all the fire resistance--or lack thereof--among the Targaryens. I also find it hard to believe that the Targs are immune to disease. As a virologist with significant experience in studying the immune systems of inbred laboratory mice, I can also say that generations of brother-sister pairings typically breeds offspring that are more susceptible to disease. However, I can't think of an example of a Targaryen that had any infectious disease (obviously, they are not immune to mental illness). Did any Targ ever reportedly get greyscale or some kind of pox or fever or something?

#8 Sevumar

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:38 AM

However, I can't think of an example of a Targaryen that had any infectious disease (obviously, they are not immune to mental illness). Did any Targ ever reportedly get greyscale or some kind of pox or fever or something?


The Great Spring Sickness killed at least 3 that I can think of, Valarr, Matarys, and Daeron II.

#9 Catastrophe

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:58 AM

Are you really trying to say that just because Martin had to add some books to the series, he's going to change his mind about Targaryen fire immunity, when we already have numerous examples of Targs who died because of fire? /shocked.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':shocked:' /> How would he explain that? "Please ignore these previous examples"?


I think Fearsome Fred was just laughing at how Martin was SO sure that the series would only be six books. /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' /> I don't think that comment was meant to have any relation to the Targ fire argument.

Also, I think it's possible that Daenerys has some degree of fire resistance. Not saying it's a sure thing, but there's evidence for it in both the books and the show. Keep in mind that Daenerys having such an ability doesn't mean that all Targs do, it could be something completely unique to her. Also keep in mind that fire resistance isn't the same thing as complete immunity to fire, I'm sure if she was subjected to enough heat she'd burn like anyone else. (If you're familiar with role-playing games and the like, stuff like that comes up pretty often. I remember one guy in an old gaming group who gave his character a quality called Pain Resistance or something like that, thinking it made him completely immune to non-lethal damage when in actuality it just let him reduce that type of damage by 10%.)

#10 vogorroswhore

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:59 AM

The Great Spring Sickness killed at least 3 that I can think of, Valarr, Matarys, and Daeron II.


Good call. And Dany does have diarrhea during her nature hike back from Drogon's "Dragonstone"...maybe early symptoms of the Pale Mare? Wishful thinking...

#11 Apple Martini

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:14 AM

I think Fearsome Fred was just laughing at how Martin was SO sure that the series would only be six books. /tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':P' /> I don't think that comment was meant to have any relation to the Targ fire argument.

Also, I think it's possible that Daenerys has some degree of fire resistance. Not saying it's a sure thing, but there's evidence for it in both the books and the show. Keep in mind that Daenerys having such an ability doesn't mean that all Targs do, it could be something completely unique to her. Also keep in mind that fire resistance isn't the same thing as complete immunity to fire, I'm sure if she was subjected to enough heat she'd burn like anyone else. (If you're familiar with role-playing games and the like, stuff like that comes up pretty often. I remember one guy in an old gaming group who gave his character a quality called Pain Resistance or something like that, thinking it made him completely immune to non-lethal damage when in actuality it just let him reduce that type of damage by 10%.)


She might have a higher tolerance for heat, yes, I'll give you that. But that doesn't mean she'd be able to take a full dragon-fire blast to the face or chug a gallon of wildfire.



Did any Targ ever reportedly get greyscale or some kind of pox or fever or something?


Like Sevumar said, the Great Spring Sickness killed at least three. And one of them, Daeron II, was a Targaryen on both sides, mother and father.

Edited by Apple Martini, 15 February 2012 - 01:16 AM.


#12 Ashkan Stark

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:20 AM

It is said in the books that all of the Targs are not fire immune and I don't belive that people think so. But the case for Dany is different. it is not the magic and stuff that saved Dany from fire, it was her body. A soft teenage girl like Dany couldn't hold a hot dragon egg for few seconds and be ok with it. I don't know why you say that Drogon didn't tried to kill her Fearsome Fred is right. maybe it wasn't direct fire but surley it was fire not just a hot breath.
I think Dany has a power and it is that she is fire immune and this power is only for her not any other Targ.

#13 The Drunkard

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:37 AM

GRRM said Dany probably wouldn't be able to walk into a fire and survive again.

"Probably! He said probably! That means nothing is confirmed! Bahahahahah! /drool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':drool:' /> "

The fact that he is even considering that Dany couldn't do it again means she isn't immune to fire in his eyes.

#14 All Men Must Rhyme

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:46 AM

I have a dream. That one day, Daenarys, Melisandre, and King Stannis, will be in the same place, and one of the latter will stake that bitch to the ground, and set her ass on fire. Who wins out, Mel's desire for King's blood, or Daenarys' fabled fire resistance. It should happen.

#15 Lord of Cheese

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:58 AM

I think for many people the problem is that they are unaware of GRRM stating that Danny's resistance is a one of thing. If you didn't know about this forum at the time of reading/watching the series, one could be forgiven for thinking she had fire resistance before ADwD, but. Then toned it down when the event with Drogon happened and burnt her hair off, leaving her just slightly blistered.

It is pointless to recall past Targs failures with fire. The fact that Danny actually brought dragons back would indicate that she is special in a way that previous Targs were not. So one would be more inclined to believe that she actually had a bit of 'dragon' in her.

But I do admit I have had an education from reading these boards. Looking back on the books, if you read it carefully, you can see that text doesnt imply she is fireproof. Not fully anyway.

#16 Ursa

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:25 AM

All of this talk about the incident with Drogon made me curious, so I went back to ADWD to check and this is what I found:

“Drogon,” she screamed. “Drogon.”
His head turned. Smoke rose between his teeth. His blood was smoking too,
where it dripped upon the ground. He beat his wings again, sending up a choking storm
of scarlet sand. Dany stumbled into the hot red cloud, coughing. He snapped.
“No” was all that she had time to say. No, not me, don’t you know me? The black
teeth closed inches from her face. He meant to tear my head off. The sand was in her
eyes. She stumbled over the pitmaster’s corpse and fell on her backside.
Drogon roared. The sound filled the pit. A furnace wind engulfed her.
The dragon’s long scaled neck stretched toward her. When his mouth opened, she could see
bits of broken bone and charred flesh between his black teeth. His eyes were molten. I am
looking into hell, but I dare not look away. She had never been so certain of anything. If I
run from him, he will burn me and devour me. In Westeros the septons spoke of seven
hells and seven heavens, but the Seven Kingdoms and their gods were far away. If she
died here, Dany wondered, would the horse god of the Dothraki part the grass and claim
her for his starry khalasar, so she might ride the nightlands beside her sun-and-stars? Or
would the angry gods of Ghis send their harpies to seize her soul and drag her down to
torment? Drogon roared full in her face, his breath hot enough to blister skin.
Off to her right Dany heard Barristan Selmy shouting,
“Me! Try me. Over here. Me!”
In the smoldering red pits of Drogon’s eyes, Dany saw her own reflection. How
small she looked, how weak and frail and scared. I cannot let him see my fear. She
scrabbled in the sand, pushing against the pitmaster’s corpse, and her fingers brushed
against the handle of his whip. Touching it made her feel braver. The leather was warm,
alive. Drogon roared again, the sound so loud that she almost dropped the whip. His teeth
snapped at her.
Dany hit him. “No,” she screamed, swinging the lash with all the strength that she
had in her. The dragon jerked his head back. “No,” she screamed again. “NO!” The barbs
raked along his snout. Drogon rose, his wings covering her in shadow. Dany swung the
lash at his scaled belly, back and forth until her arm began to ache. His long serpentine
neck bent like an archer’s bow. With a hisssssss, he spat black fire down at her. Dany
darted underneath the flames, swinging the whip and shouting, “No, no, no. Get
DOWN!” His answering roar was full of fear and fury, full of pain. His wings beat once,
twice …… and folded. The dragon gave one last hiss and stretched out flat upon his belly.

From this section, it looks like Dany never got that close to the actual flames, so you can't really argue that she's immune to fire.

Plus, later on we get this:

It took Dany half the morning to climb down. By the time she reached the bottom
she was winded. Her muscles ached, and she felt as if she had the beginnings of a fever.
The rocks had scraped her hands raw. They are better than they were, though, she
decided as she picked at a broken blister. Her skin was pink and tender, and a pale milky
fluid was leaking from her cracked palms, but her burns were healing.


So she did get burned by something, and the only extremely hot thing around was Drogon.

Of course, a bit later we also get this as Dany compares the dragon hatching with the attack by Drogon:

The fire burned away my hair, but elsewise it did not touch me. It had been the
same in Daznak’s Pit.

So either Dany is forgetting about the burns she had earlier in the same chapter, or she has a different view concerning "not being touched."

MHO of all this? Dany, like some Targs is slightly fire resistant, not fire proof.

#17 RobertOfTheHouseBaratheon

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:01 AM

So either Dany is forgetting about the burns she had earlier in the same chapter, or she has a different view concerning "not being touched."

MHO of all this? Dany, like some Targs is slightly fire resistant, not fire proof.


Or she is begginning to believe she is a dragon, impervious to heat. She could be altering what happened in her mind to suit her beliefs in being blood of the dragon and special. Combined with her obsession with people who are going to commit treasons against her, her alowance of torture and views of her rights I say she's getting close to being a completely mental tyrant with Dragons.

#18 Winter's Lady

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:11 AM

I feel with you, Apple Martini!

All this talk about Dany/ the Targs being immune to fire annoys me to no end. We have several examples of how she or her ancestors were affected or killed by fire, all stated before in this thread so I will not repeat them.
I do think she has a higher tolerance for heat, yes, but that's about it.
What gets on my nerves the most is this 'Jon can't be Rhaegar's son because his hand burned in AGOT omgz!' talk.

Can we just ask Martin to put Dany in a room with Mel? Mel would wet her panties in the prospect of burning her, and then we'll see how immune Dany is to fire. Besides, with that big a sacrifice Mel could probably melt the Great Other on the spot. BAM! Problem solved. /biggrin.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':D' />

#19 Ser Loudmouth

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:20 AM

Which brings us to the question:
Is there any truth to the belief that Targaryens have "dragon blood"? Do they (or some of them) posess some kind of special, or "magical" characteristics? Is there any practical reason for their insistence to preserve the purity of the bloodline? Is there some kind of "dragon rider" gene that they (or some of them) posess?

Edited by Ser Loudmouth, 15 February 2012 - 05:21 AM.


#20 Ashkan Stark

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:38 AM

maybe she is not completely immune from fire but she certainley is not like normal people. she burned a bit but she will be good way more fast. she is not like normal people but she is not completely immune.



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