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The Dragons and their Riders - Interpretations


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Does anyone have any old links for threads discussing the symbolism of dragons, the meaning of who rode which ones etc.?

If not, would love to hear people's ideas because I am sure that, just as with the direwolves, the choices GRRM makes related to dragons have a high degree of symbolism.

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Some thoughts on Balerion:

I think he represents the line that left Valyria. He was one of 5 dragons then (who we can suspect were ridden by Aenar, a sister-wife, another sibling, Daenys, and Gaemon). Balerion was IMO probably either Aenar's or Gaemon's.

Balerion was later ridden by Aegon I, then Maegor. My guess is he was also ridden by Maegon before Aegon, with Maegon's only child, a girl,  being Valaena Velaryon and her brother Daemon's Targaryen mother (ie. grandmother of the conquerors).

Princess Aerea claimed Balerion in 54 AC but could not control him (she was the only known female rider so....because of gender? or lineage?). Did he take her to Valyria because he sensed the Targaryens were losing their roots, much like Drogon taking Dany to the Dothraki sea?

Jaehaerys's heir Aemon died in 92 AC. Prince Viserys, whose father became heir upon Aemon's death, claimed Balerion in 93 AC (a bond based in Viserys's love of Old Valyrian history?) . Then Balerion died in 94 AC. This timing is interesting to me.
 

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Balerion was born in Valyria and came to Westeros when Aenar moved the Targaryens to the island.  Aenar was the head of the family but I don't recall if it was ever said he rode Balerion.  Not that it would matter.  The most important in the family was the young daughter.  Daenys the Dreamer. 

I think the names of the dragons are more important.  Drogon is the reincarnation of Khal Drogo.  He is bonded to Dany in more ways than the standard Targaryen and dragon bond.  The dragons are blessings to Dany from the gods for the loss of her husband, brother, and son. 

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4 hours ago, Here's Looking At You, Kid said:

Balerion was born in Valyria and came to Westeros when Aenar moved the Targaryens to the island.  Aenar was the head of the family but I don't recall if it was ever said he rode Balerion.  Not that it would matter.  The most important in the family was the young daughter.  Daenys the Dreamer. 

I think the names of the dragons are more important.  Drogon is the reincarnation of Khal Drogo.  He is bonded to Dany in more ways than the standard Targaryen and dragon bond.  The dragons are blessings to Dany from the gods for the loss of her husband, brother, and son. 

I have a strong hunch that Daenys was not Balerion's rider. I don't think Balerion ever really wanted to leave Valyria and considered it his home. Balerion looked to the Valyrian past. Daenys was the break with that past.

Now as for the list I gave above of potential riders (Aenar, wive(s), sibling(s), children), I am certainly open to arguments on who suits Balerion the Black Dread the most. But my bet is that Daenys rode a female dragon who was the mother of the next generation of dragons.

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Some thoughts on Vhagar:

She hatched in 52 BC and was named for a god of Old Valyria. It stands out to me that we are given such a specific date half-way through the Century of Blood for her hatching. We do not have any historical events to connect to this date so it is hard to interpret. All we can do is place her relative to the Targaryen family tree: She would have hatched somewhere around the time of Daemion Targaryen's birth (or one of his siblings), and possibly shortly after the death of Maegon.

Vhagar's death during the Dance potentially marked the end of Velaryon prominence in the Targaryen succession because, while it is true that Daenaera Velaryon became queen, her sons did not have children and her daughters never ruled. I am open to suggestions as to what else Vhagar's death might represent.

Vhagar was ridden by Visenya (eldest but female), Prince Baelon (a second son, fierce), then Laena (eldest but female), then Aemond (a second son, fierce). There is no direct line of descent connecting these characters unless we look further back, and speculate on missing members from the joined family trees: I would guess that Valaena's unnamed Targaryen mother is the key and that she was a passed over female, probably the daughter of Maegon. Prince Baelon, Vhagar's second known rider, did not descend from Visenya but did descend from both Valaena and her brother Daemon, as did Laena. Aemond IMO probably fits this pattern as well, but the path is speculative and a topic for another thread.

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Posted (edited)

The historic dragons are foreshadowing characters (and Direwolves) and stand ins to foreshadow events. Sunfyre Jaime, Maelys Melisandre, Daemon's I can't remember the name of (I just always remember its description as a bloodworm) for Ghost, the one that hung around Trident the for Arya's Nymeria. There's a lot more weaker connections I've detailed in at least one prior topic but I can't remember it all off my head.

Aemond on Vhaegar at the battle of the God's Eye foreshadow an ice dragon in what will be the determining battle of the final series. Saphire eye, turning to water on death for plunging into the water body below, death by a sword to the eye which is how the ice dragon will be felled.

Moondancer and particularly its fight against the larger dragon that I can't remember where Moondancer is described as fighting in a dancing style is describing Arya's fighting style against a larger opponent in a particular upcoming fight (probably Jaime).

It's mostly conveyed through close similarities in the language which becomes apparent when they're side by side. Like the brilliance of Jaime (Jon and Cat's descriptions at least) and the paragraph dedicated to swooning over Sunfyre's golden beauty.

There's more straight symbolism in the current dragons because they are second lifes of characters we've seen in main series and will continue those character themes. Symbolism runs from their personality traits, physical attributes and naming. Drogo is Drogon is the alpha free roamer of the Dothraki plains who refuses captivity and basks in news of Robert's death, Dany's partner. Will be fucked with by pirate extraordinaire Euron as the Dothraki consider the sea water poison.

Viserion is Viserys, the cruel younger brother who forever plays the victim and longs to be loved. Also longs for the throne and decries having been denied his birthright. Note the colouring is specific reference to Viserys death, and the cream egg with gold swirls is literally to mirror Viserys pale head and face being seared into by molten gold. Viserys is really the proto Tyrion (as Daario is the proto Euron), the cruel selfish brother, Tyrion will ride Viserys, betray Dany and eventually win the throne. There's a poignant vision Dany has of Viserys screaming at her that he will be crowned, consider that Viserys second lifed Viserion and that is his goal/future that will become Tyrions.

Rhaegal, MMD, to be ridden by Aegon/Faegon. The betrayer, fake, who will begin as a friend, Dany may even give him Rhaegal. Note problems for Dany come in green, those uncomfortable green slippers that were given to her as a gift for example. Aegon will die screaming in Dany's fire after they've both devastated and ripped the realm in two, as MMD divided the Khalasar by killing Drogo, leaving Dany with a small power base from which she will have to work from (again). Dany will probably kill Rhaegal too in killing Aegon, though maybe the dragon will outlive its rider.

Edited by chrisdaw
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Can't find it at present, maybe I put my round up it in a reply to someone else's topic rather than making my own. This decade old topic was what kicked off the realisation of how the historic dragons were being used by GRRM, hence why I can't remember a lot.

 

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Posted (edited)

It is all a bit speculative. It makes assumptions about what will happen then says the dragons predict it. Which is logic I find a bit problematic because it can't be proven or disproven until the books are finished.

I do tend to agree these creatures are foreshadowing for future mind you, it is just that without an actual future to connect it to, we are all grasping and should not feel too certain in our predictions.

I personally am not all that convinced by the ice dragon theories for one: Yes, there was an ice dragon in the show, but that felt to me like a simplification of events that are actually happening much further South in the books (related to Euron and Aegon).

Also, if people want to connect Jaime to Sunfyre, as in the post above, they had better well give me very clear and worked out logic for why Sunfyre has anything at all to do with a Lannister born more than 150 years after Sunfyre died. Because I don't see it. The colour gold is SOOOOO far from being enough and every single Targaryen ever was handsome (in their youth) so Jaime is hardly the only good looking man to ever live in Westeros.

Edited by Hippocras
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Yes it is speculative and I am not of a mind to try and convince any one person on specific foreshadowing. I have always been hopeful though that there will be people who will see design rather than coincidences, because this stuff is really not random, and if more people get it more insights will be provided.

The Ice Dragon is a constellation with a blue star for its eye, ice dragons are described as having pale crystal eyes. Aemond is the chief baddy of the Dance and puts a blue sapphire in his lost eye. Daemon uses the sun to defeat Aemond, and thrusts his Valyrian steel sword through the sapphire eye. The dragons fall into a body of water with a massive splash, an ice dragon is said to turn to water when it dies. This is basically the culmination of the Dance.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, chrisdaw said:

The Ice Dragon is a constellation with a blue star for its eye, ice dragons are described as having pale crystal eyes. Aemond is the chief baddy of the Dance and puts a blue sapphire in his lost eye. Daemon uses the sun to defeat Aemond, and thrusts his Valyrian steel sword through the sapphire eye. The dragons fall into a body of water with a massive splash, an ice dragon is said to turn to water when it dies. This is basically the culmination of the Dance.

Yes, I do not deny that this stuff is interesting and seems to relate to the Dance. It is just less convincing when applied to predicting the main series.

Either the Others already HAVE ice dragons, in which case.... why aren't they using them already? Or they do not and they need to make one. A dragon is the embodiment of fire, so the whole notion that the Others can take a dead fire beast and simply turn it into something that is the opposite of itself is.... I don't know. It falls flat.

I prefer ice monsters to be ice monsters, not fiery in origin. Something is off. According to the legends, ice dragons are MADE of ice. How can something made of fire then be made of ice?

I guess I just really am not seeing any way that an actual ice dragon would make this series better, rather than worse, and GRRM usually has good instincts. The events surrounding Aemond and Dameon at the God's Eye were a good story; but ramping it up to something more literal would be worse, not better.

 

Now... as a prediction for Euron fighting Aegon, both of them on some kind of bastardized version of a dragon - well that would be better would it not?

Edited by Hippocras
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