OberynBlackfyre

Fire and Blood II, Dragons Lore

4 posts in this topic

 Valyria life in architecture, religion, and war strategy.

 

The isand Dragonstone was the Western most outpost of Valyria, which also contains volcanic activity and has been marked as a place where wild dragons live and were hatched at different points in the history.

 

***(It has also been commonly believed that dragons are/have lived in Asshai due to certain quotes and thoughts from the book).

 

 

Targaryens and the Conquest

 

 

Before the Doom of Valyria, the world was firmly in the grip of the Freehold as the power of the dragons went unquestioned and undefeated throughout the known world. However, after the Doom took place, there was a power vacuum as the only remaining (known) dragons were now in the power of House Targaryen whose place was on Dragonstone.

 

 

These dragons were:

-Balerion, the Black Dread

-Vhagar

-Meraxes.

 

From what we know, all the dragons were fully grown by the time Aegon the Conqueror had implemented his plan to invade Westeros. It is also safe to assume that Dragonmont (volcanic mountain on Dragonstone) had at least a couple cache of dragon eggs or new born dragons as later in the story (tPatQ) there are some dragons that had been living for close to one hundred years, which would put their birth at around or during the conquest. So the three dragons used by Aegon, Rhaenys and Visenya were never the ONLY three left in the world.

 

 

As seen, the dragons were used to great effect in warfare. The riders were all of Valyrian descent, though no horns or other such spells seemed to be used in effect to rider or control the dragons. From quotes spanning from the conquest to The Dance of Dragons, we really only see at most a whip being used by dragon riders to control the dragon.

 

*It is important to note that when Daenerys Stormborn finally rides Drogon, she is only armed with a whip as well.

 

 

 

The use for dragons in warfare seems straight forward within their abilities: Stay above your enemy, and strike down from the air whilst raining fire on them, and then retreat back into the air before any projectiles can find their mark.

 

-We also see that dragons use their primary ability which is breathing fire, mostly when facing enemies on the ground, or ships. Whether the dragonrider has to train the dragon for this is unknown, however it seems that it would come naturally to a dragons instinctual offense as they are witnessed hunting in the same way.

 

-Though a dragon can be the somewhat equivalent to about 4,000-5,000 infantry, it also depends on size, training, and ferocity. The dragons who died in the raid of the dragon pit were faced with a half starved half crazed mob, however this was also smaller dragons, and the dragons were confined into a smaller area. From men, the dragons are weakest to heavy projectiles (trebuchet, catapults) or any foreign object being pierced through their eyes, which is what most dragon hunters aim for. (this of course also takes into account for the size and age of the dragon....hatchlings have and can be killed by crossbows, swords, etc.)

 

 

It is also important to note that in tPatQ, we have the "Kingmaker" Ser Cole saying that if you "kill the rider, the dragon will flee." This seems true, yet also depends on how many the battles the dragon has experienced and seemingly on the bond with the rider.

 

 

 

Dragon V Dragon

 

As stated earlier, the primary and most deadly weapon a dragon has against humans/animals is it's fiery breath, as we now know only gets increasingly more hot with age. At the hottest of breaths, it is known to melt metal and stone, as Aegon II has his armor melted into his skin whilst fighting the dragon known as "The Red Queen."

 

 

That being said, maesters and Valyrian texts have shown us that a dragons scales are all but impervious to fire/heat when they reach adulthood. This could be from their seeming volcanic origins, or that they have evolved to keep heat impervious as protection to themselves (since fire literally grows within them, and their blood is very hot as well)

 

So when two dragons come together in battle (this seems to happen naturally, so it is NOT something that only came about because of dragon riders. Look up "The Cannibal" which was a black dragon that lived on Dragonstone and killed other dragons to feast on) they would use their other weapons, which were just as deadly. Their whole skeletal frame and other accents are black due to the very high iron contact. This makes their horns, claws, and teeth very strong and very sharp. When dragons battle, we see them usually raking each other with their claws (which can easily break the skin and scales of other dragons) or making devastating wounds with their knife like teeth. On more than one account, dragons usually battle until the other is sufficiently ripped apart. Whether this is the beasts savagery, or just ensuring that their foe is dead, their battles are much more physical than they are magical.

 

 

Another advantage that dragons utilize is size. Whether this can be called an advantage is open to discussion, however when Vhagar was rode by Aemond Targaryen during the Dance of Dragons, many other riders would not engage him unless they had at least one or two more riders. At this point in time, Vhagar was said to be almost as big as Balerion was during the conquest. Also, from the battles we see between Vhagar and other dragons, her size played a huge part in the easy way she would dispatch the lesser dragons.

 

Therefore size would be called a clear advantage if it were not for the fact of how Vhagar met her end. During the duel between Daemon Targaryen (husband to Queen Rhaenyra) and Aemond Targaryen (brother and supporter to Aegon II) over the God's Eye by Harrenhall, Daemons dragon Caraxes was half the size of Vhagar, yet could ascend to the sky probably four or five times faster as Vhagar was made ponderous by her very size. The speed and skill of both the dragon and the rider showed how a younger dragon could overcome one that was bigger. Caraxes descended from the sky so quickly that she was able to get a firm bite upon Vhagars neck, and would not let go which proved to be a completely fatal wound for the larger dragon. Though both dragons and riders perished (Daemon may have lived, he had killed Aemond by plunging Dark Sister through his eye, yet they hit the water with such force that death was certain), it clearly shows that a dragons speed can also be a factor when fighting another dragon.

 

 

 

Blood of the Dragon

Though we are unclear, from the majority of textual evidence it DOES seem that you must have some kind of Valyrian ancestry to become a dragon rider. Though by the characteristics of Nettles and Hugh the Hammer in tPatQ, the literal "drop of dragon blood" might be enough to suffice as they both became dragon riders whilst showing not even a hint of their supposed Targaryen heritage.

 

This alone is not enough to become a dragon rider though, as when "dragonseeds" (bastards born from Targaryen or Valyrian stock) were recruited on Dragonmont whilst the Dance of Dragons was raging on, it ended in many deaths, and maiming. Many of those dead and burnt had been clear descendants from Targayren royal blood lines, therefore showing that dragons do not bend simply because you contain Valyrian ancestry.

 

How close the Valyrians became to dragon kin is not very certain. However there are at least two recorded observations in which Targaryen mothers have given bith to deformed babies that display certain dragon lik characteristics.

 

"He was inhuman, hideously deformed and covered in dragon-like scales. He had the stub of a tail small leather wings, reminiscent of a bat." -Son of Daenerys Targaryen

 

"Similar to Rhaego, Visenya had dragon-like birth defects: "twisted and malformed, with a hole in her chest where her heart should have been and a stubby, scaled tail." " - Daughter of Rhaenyra Targaryen.

 

 

Both children were stillborn and had been in labor under very strange circumstances, however there is no explanation as to why they have dragon like characteristics, so theory is that the dragons and Valyrians do share blood to a certain extent.

 

 

Also under this subject, the connection that dragons maintain with their riders is something that is not yet fully understood but can be theorized. There is obvious connections to dragons and riders as things like Dreamfyre becoming enraged at the death of it's rider Halaena Targaryen, or the dragon Sunfyre being able to find Aegon II although it was deformed and could barely fly. Though it is true that no rider can ride two dragons, dragons have and will take on another rider. No matter what though, their appears to be deep connections on both riders and their dragons. One such quote from a rider shows how much love he has: when Daeron Targaryen was being praised for his victory in the South, he humbly replied that it was not him but "belonged to his dragon Tessarion."

 

 

From other canon sources, it also appears that many Targaryen children were told to take their dragon egg with them wherever they went. We cannot be certain, however from the birth of Daenerys Stormborns dragons, it seems like hatchlings will take a very intimate and sentimental view of the first person they come in contact with. Dragons also show care for their owners such as when Aegon III's dragon Stormcloud got him safely back to Dragonstone though he had received many fatal wounds.

 

 

It is theorized that the connection between dragon and rider is much like the power of warging obtained by the First Men. Though there is no proof whatsoever that Targaryens/ Valyrians could see through the eyes of their dragon, or control them from afar, it does seem like dragons held a spiritual connection to those who rode them. And like Bloodravens/other wargs quotes, a dragon who has been ridden once seems to have "been broken in like a pair of boots" as they will be more approving of another rider.

 

 

 

Reaction to Dragonkin

The Valyrians were held in esteem and contempt mostly due to their dragons. They had conquered the world unopposed. yet also took hundred of thousands of slaves, setting themselves up as the "master race". This of course gave their beloved dragons a horrible reputation, and much of the world began to hate them. In Braavos the dragons are still severely hated.

 

Another faction of dragonkin enemies is the Citadel. From what we gather from Maester Marwyn, it was actually the maesters who were responsible for the death of the very last dragons. This is unclear as whether or not the whole Citadel is in on this, and whether the Maesters have a narrow hate for the dragons, or simply hate all magic in general. It can be assumed and theorized though that the Maesters who oppose magic will begin to try and harm Daenerys or her dragons.

 

 

After the Dance of Dragons, many people held a fear and hatred for the firewyrms because of the sheer destruction that had been brought upon the Kingdoms. However, from what we can see, the Lords and people of Westeros still accepted and revered the Targaryens as demi gods because of their dragons....though they were dwindling, and Aegon III the Dragonbane was said to hate the beasts. His reign brought about the last of the dragons, and even the ones who were alive before him were weak, and sickly. This however only accounts for the dragons with Kings Landing, it is unclear how the wild dragons of Dragonmont were killed.

 

As the dragons became extinct and were shrouded in legend, many people began to sympathize. The dragons were a weapon that could form empires, and make men kings, so those who lusted for power also mourned the passing of them. The world after Valyrias Doom was not afraid to make use of the remaining dragons, as Lys and the Storm King enlisted Aegon the Dragon and Balerion to fight on their side against Volantis, which he did.

 

This way of thinking is what lead people to give such a huge reverence when Daenerys Stormborn hatched her three dragons in the Dothraki Sea. There were those who still fear them (Braavos, some of Ghiscari descent) but more of them lusted to see them, and even lusted more to try and obtain one. The reaction from those of Westeros to Essos has been more of wonder and the want to see the dragons rather than to try and defeat them

 

It was not until the release of Viserion and Rhaegal in Mereen following the attack of Drogon that people threw any idea of obtaining a dragon out the window and wanted them put to death. This is of course people in which would count the Targaryens as their enemies.

 

Another faction loving the dragons, is the company surrounding Aegon VI Targaryen (Or Aegon I Blackfyre). They wish to have Daenerys accept Aegon as a husband, whilst also making him a rider of one of the dragons as well. Therefore they have no fear of the dragons, and can be counted as pro dragon--more for their power rather than love of dragons or boost in sorcery.

 

Tyrion Lannister also falls into the pro dragon section, for obvious reasons within the story,

 

 

Dragons and Sorcery

Like in most of the series, all magic is shrouded in mystery. By the quotes from the character Quaithe, she tells Dany that the dragons are the reason for the resurgence and boost of magical power within the world. Hallyn the Pyromancer in Kings Landing also notes that many of their spells have become more potent, and attributes that to dragons as well.

 

Melisandre states that her words and gestures have become more potent, however she attributes this to be so close to the Wall. Whether Melisandre even knows that the dragons exist remains unknown, but she also lusts for Stannis to "awaken the stone dragon" showing that she is a dragon supporter.

 

 

From the dragons that are pre Daenerys Stormborn, we cannot confirm that magical powers are directly linked to the survival of dragons. The White Walkers were seemingly around before dragons, the made MMD clearly worked magic before the dragons were in existence, there is the survival of The House of Undying that is also clearly magical, and warging capabilities.

 

Also, from the dragons around Aegon the Conquerors time, the reminaing Targaryens and others of Valyrian descent still did not hold the knowledge to craft Valyrian steel, craft dragon horns, or form architecture in the same way as the Freehold of Valyria did. Whilst there was still a good amount of dragons still in existence, I feel that it does prove the DRAGONS OF THAT AGE did not hold or fuel all the power that made the Valyrian Freehold so strong.

 

 

However, after the advent of DAENERYS" DRAGONS, it does seem like certain things in the magic world have been effected. From the "glass candles" of the Citadel, to the Warlocks regaining their powers, to the Red Preists of R'Hllor being able to raise people from the dead once again, has all happened since the birth of her dragons.

 

Whether or not Rhaegal, Viserion and Drogon are "special" dragons cannot be known for the moment, however GRRM has clearly stated their birth was "a one time, miracle event." Therefore, since the very BIRTH of these dragons was shrouded in magic and mystery, it cannot be completely denied that these dragons may have some sort of special or magical qualities that the dragons from the past did not have. It's also worth it to note that Daenerys Stormborn dragons seems to be growing at a much faster rate than the dragons described during tPatQ. (They have been alive for only about 2 years, and are big enough to war and ride, whilst a dragon that had lived during the Dance of Dragons was still described as a hatchling).

Daenerys Stormborn dragons are also the only recorded dragons having a somewhat "mother aspect" to a human, and it is noted that in the times of The Dance of Dragons, no ritual or spell had to be done in order for the dragons to hatch, in which Daenerys unknowingly enacted a type of ritual within the Song of Ice and Fire series.

 

 

 

-Also, there is no recorded notes from Aegon's landing up until after the Dance of Dragons that Targaryens or other Valyrian descendants either owned or needed any spells to control their dragons. There was also no witness of any horn that would "bind" the dragons to one person. A perfect example is the "try outs" that the Blacks (Queen Rhaenyra supporters) held during the Dance of Dragons for people to try and obtain a dragon to become a rider. Those who achieved this simply had the Blood of the Dragon and had either the patience, skill, or talent to be able to obtain a dragon....however there was still more dragons who WERE NOT ridden ever. This is not to refute the idea that there WERE at one time spells within Valyria that bent dragons to the wills of another, or certain horns to do so, but it is clear that they are not NEEDED to become a dragon rider.

 

 

Dragonbinder- From what we see of this, it seems to supposedly bind dragons to the owners will. We have no idea whether the magic of the dragons fuel this object, or if it will work.

 

Dragon health- There have not been any accounts of dragons dying due to sickness, unless they were born disfigured and sickly from the beginning of the egg. All recorded dragons have died either in battle or to old age. It also appears that dragons do not care for pestilence as Viserion is seen in Tyrions sample chapter in TWoW and is actively chewing down on the corpses containing the Pale Mare. Of course we have to see the "after effects" of this, however many animals clearly know when something they are eating is diseased, and also dragons have magical origins. ***The only time we see or even hear of dragons not appearing "healthy" is during the time of Aegon Dragonbane, in which we now later learned that the Maesters were actively trying to rid the world of dragons, in which it is suggested they found a way to poison the dragons, to make them weak and die. This is exemplified in the history that tells us that many of the dragons born in the dragon pit after The Dance of Dragons did not even reach a fraction of the size of the old ones, nor did they live very long.

 

 

It may also be important to note that the Blood of the Dragon could protect Valyrians and Targaryens from getting sicknesses as well. This is put to question however, since Daenerys has never become inflicted with the Pale Mare, and cannot remember ever being sick, however Daeron II and other Targaryens were wiped out during The Great Spring sickness.

 

 

 

The Possible "Old Enemy" of the Dragons

Looking to the future of dragons within the series, it has been theorized that the society of beings called "The White Walkers" could hold powers/creatures that are the ice equivalent in terms of power. We do know that the Valyrians spread their empire as far as they could, however they never even attempted to try and conquer Westeros. This had lead to many and more speculations as to what the Valyrians "feared." The reason many use this term is because there was clearly commerce between the Valyrian empire and Westeros, as there is Valyrian steel swords among the 7 kingdoms, Valyrian artifacts, tapestries, scrolls, etc. So for a face that wanted to have their empire stretch as far as possible, why NOT attack a rich and fertile land like Westeros? Theories and experts have said that it is because they knew of the Children of the Forest (there is a theory that weirwoods are poisonous to dragons), of wargs (who could take control of their dragons), and of course the menace of The White Walkers (a society not unlike their own, in which Ice was the main element...something that could harm or possibly destroy them).

 

This is all unproven, however if this IS the case then it would seem that a knowledge of the White Walkers and the Old Powers would mean a prior meeting/war of the two. Or perhaps it was part of the "dragon dreams" that were bestowed on some Valyrians that showed nothing but doom if they were to try and take Westeros. Whatever the reason, the Valyrian freehold never made any attempt to conquer Westeros, and that lasted up until their Doom.

 

Whether the Targaryens were ordered not to attack Westeros, or just did not feel the need until Aegon, the Conqueror thought it completely safe to invade the continent with not but ten thousand men, and three dragons. IN this, he was completely successful, yet as we know he did not have to do any warring within the North, or any place where the "Old Powers" would have had any great strength...

 

 

 

Thank you for reading, and please let me know if there is anything you want me to add, or think that I should expand/ restrain myself on!! I really want this to be the place to read about dragon lore!! I love the dragons, so i want it to be clear on what they are and how they live!! Fire and Blood!

 

 

Edit as of 6/15:

From The World of Ice and Fire:

 

-We now know that Dragons were located everywhere in Planetos, as the maesters have said that their bones can be found from Westeros to Yi Ti.

 

-The maesters do not at all discount there being "ice dragons", as they also state that many supernatural things that occur in The Shivering Sea that can be attributed to Ice Dragon encounters. 

-There were those who lived in Valyria that also explored the world on dragon back. One such explorer traveled deep into Southern Sothoryos, yet only found thicker and thicker jungle. 

-There are different kinds of dragonkin, in different areas of planetos. Many are the types of wyrms, nightscales, etc.

 

-There was an account by Murshoom that the dragon that was ridden to Winterfell during The Dance of Dragons, also laid a clutch deep within the crypts. This is of course discounted by the maesters, who want to refute anything to do with dragons.

Edit as of 9/17
NON CANON HAPPENINGS FROM THE TV SHOW

-It seems that Dragons CAN be turned into Wights/a Dragon with White Walker capabilities.  As per the creators of the show, the dragon still breathes flames, albeit a white walker magic infused flame.  Viserion was the dragon that became a Dragon Wight.  The Night's King of the TV series rides the dragon pretty adeptly compared to what we have seen Daenerys do with Drogon in the show.

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Since dragons are gender neutral, and the Valyrians declared themselves kin to dragons, wouldn't it make sense that they practiced gender-blind succession like the Rhoynar?

Edited by The_Black_Valyrian

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Good thread mate!

What do you think about Valyrians interactions with Sea Dragons? Obviously we have no evidence for such madness, but the Freehold is an island peninsula. One would think a few thousand years ago a naval family of the Freehold like the Velaryons might have sought out a sea dragon, if they ever existed.

Let's not forget Nagga was said to be the "first" sea-dragon.

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