A Handy Guide to the Dragons in House of the Dragon So Far

Spoilers ahead.

In any given shot over the course of Game of Thrones’ eight seasons, it’s relatively easy to decipher which of Queen Daenerys’ dragon babies—Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion—is which. But toss a dozen additional dragons into the combo, and recognizing one fire-breathing beast from one other becomes a bit of more strenuous. Besides, what should you don’t even recall essentially the most famous dragons of all? Keeping tabs on these majestic scaled creatures may be a challenge for audiences of HBO’s latest Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon—especially if they don’t seem to be devoted readers of George R. R. Martin’s books.

Already, multiple different dragons have popped up in the brand new prequel series’ first nine episodes, though you’d be forgiven should you’d only counted a couple of. And there might be as many as 17 onscreen by the point House of the Dragon wraps up its final season, as co-creator Ryan Condal teased throughout the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con.


So, to maintain this influx of dangerous flying pets straight, we’re tracking each of the brand new dragons as they seem in House of the Dragon—and sprinkling in some vital text-and-TV-based context. We’ll avoid any non-show spoilers, but no guarantees you won’t come away from this text with out a favorite winged serpent. (Mine’s currently Meleys, but check in next week for updates.) Below, all of the HotD dragons thus far.


The primary fearsome creature to look in House of the Dragon arrives within the memorable opening shot of episode 1: a yellow beast swooping through the sky with a Targaryen royal on its back.

That is Syrax. We learn in Martin’s Fire & Blood, from which House of the Dragon is customized, that Princess Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock, later Emma D’Arcy) became a dragonrider on the age of seven, bonding closely with the golden Syrax, so named “after a goddess of old Valyria.” Described as a “huge and formidable beast”—though not the largest of the Targaryen dragons—Syrax was supposedly fast enough to race Daemon Targaryen’s dragon, Caraxes, to Dragonstone and back. We see this dynamic play out in episode 2, when Rhaenyra uses Syrax to confront her uncle and his dragon on the bridge at Dragonstone, shortly after Daemon swipes an egg from King’s Landing.

We also know Syrax lays a clutch of eggs throughout the course of season 1, as Daemon is depicted scooping them up in episode 8.

syrax in house of the dragon



Also in episode 1, we meet Caraxes, mount of Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and a “lean red beast,” as described in Fire & Blood. “Fiercest of all of the young dragons within the Dragonpit,” Caraxes was once the mount of Prince Aemon Targaryen, son of Jaeherys and uncle to each Daemon and Viserys I (Paddy Considine), but he became Daemon’s mount by the 12 months 105 AC. Nicknamed the Blood Wyrm for each his color and his brutal tendencies—he’s “savage and cunning and battle-tested”—Caraxes has a noticeable appetite. (In a single scene from Fire & Blood, he devours half a dozen goats in a single sitting.)

He is also a little bit of a “bullying white boy,” or so The Ringer author and podcaster Joanna Robinson explained in a recent episode of the podcast Talk the Thrones. Robinson says she exchanged messages with House of the Dragon sound designer Paula Fairfield, who told her that Caraxes roars with such a wierd, strangled whine because “he’s the dragon that nobody loves, and he has a deviated septum…He’s a bullying white boy who thinks he can rap and overcompensates, so like real Kendall Roy energy.” Respect.

caraxes in house of the dragon


Balerion the Black Dread

Technically, we never actually meet the largest and oldest of the Targaryen dragons throughout the time of House of the Dragon. But we do see his skull, nestled within the crypt where Viserys informs his daughter and heir, Rhaenyra, of the key referred to as A Song of Ice & Fire. The dragon skull looms over them, dark and massive, fitting on condition that Balerion the Black Dread was described as “huge and ancient and sleepy” in Fire and Blood.

Once the mount of Aegon the Conqueror, Balerion was integral to Aegon’s Conquest of the Seven Kingdoms. Black and mighty, with a wingspan that might engulf entire cities in shadow beneath him, Balerion was considered one of the last dragons born in Valyria and a survivor of the Doom, an unspecified catastrophe—possibly a natural disaster—that destroyed the Valyrian Freehold. A few years later, he became the mount of Viserys I, but by this point he was old and weakened. After Balerion’s death of old age in 94 AC, Viserys never again rode one other dragon.

balerion the black dread in house of the dragon



The stunning “pale grey beast that had been the pride and fervour of Ser Laenor Velaryon,” or so he’s described in Fire & Blood, makes such a sudden appearance in episode 3 of House of the Dragon that it’s easy to confuse him with one other of his counterparts. He bursts into the War for the Stepstones with Ser Laenor on his back; though Laenor will not be a Targaryen in name, his mother is Rhaenys Targaryen, and so he has dragon-riding blood. We only get a couple of minutes of Seasmoke visuals during episode 3, and by the top of episode 7 Laenor has escaped across the Narrow Sea along with his lover, Ser Qarl, leaving Seasmoke’s fate as-yet undetermined.

seasmoke in house of the dragon



This next dragon is one we’ve yet to see up close. But her existence in House of the Dragon was confirmed during episode 2, when Daemon admits to stealing considered one of her eggs for his unborn (and, we later learn, completely fabricated) child. So if considered one of Dreamfyre’s eggs exists, that must mean Dreamfyre herself exists, likely within the Dragonpit with Syrax, Caraxes, and the others.

Once the mount of Princess Rhaena Targaryen—to not be confused with Rhaenys or Rhaenyra!—Dreamfyre is of silver and blue coloring, and lays several eggs over the course of her life. (Some even theorize that Daenerys’ dragons might be Dreamfyre’s long-lost offspring.) She is now the mount of Princess Helaena Targaryen, daughter of Viserys and Alicent Hightower, and herself an apparent dragon-dreamer.


Perhaps essentially the most visually impressive dragon on the show is Vhagar, the sister of Balerion the Black Dread and the one still-living dragon to have arrived in Westeros with Aegon the Conqueror. By the top of Fire & Blood, this dragon “had grown nigh as large because the Black Dread of old. Her fires burned hot enough to melt stone.”

Vhagar is first discussed briefly by Viserys and Laena Velaryon (Nova Fouellis-Mosé) in episode 2, throughout the two’s awkward walkabout within the gardens. Laena reveals that Vhagar remains to be alive, somewhere, though the dragon’s apparently too big for the Dragonpit, to which Viserys responds, “Some would say too large for our world.”

In episode 6, after a 10-year time jump, it’s revealed that Laena eventually claimed Vhagar as her mount, and the 2 are depicted flying alongside Daemon and Caraxes. But the enjoyment is short-lived, as Laena’s traumatic childbirth later leads to Vhagar assisting her in suicide.

In episode 7, we meet the big she-dragon again, snoozing on Driftmark shortly after Laena’s funeral. Viserys and Alicent Hightower’s insolent second son, Aemond, decides to try to claim the dragon as his own mount, and though he’s successful, stealing her away from Laena’s daughters prompts a violent squabble between families. They don’t call it the Dance of the Dragons for nothing! Later, in episode 9, an older Aemond references that he rides the biggest dragon on the planet—meaning he’s officially bonded with Vhagar. He’s seen riding her within the season 1 finale as well.

vhagar in house of the dragon



Princess Rhaenys’s dragon, Meleys, made only a temporary appearance within the early episodes of House of the Dragon, but she’s proven increasingly essential because the series progresses. In keeping with Fire & Blood, Rhaenys arrived to her wedding to Corlys Velaryon on Meleys’s back, which, in hindsight, is how I must have showed as much as mine.

The scarlet-scaled dragon—referred to as the “Red Queen”—was once the mount of Princess Alyssa Targaryen, mother of Viserys. In episode 9, “The Green Council,” Meleys makes a dramatic on-screen appearance throughout the coronation of the usurper King Aegon II, bursting through the floors of the Dragonpit and carrying Princess Rhaenys in battle armor upon her back. She’s mere moments away from toasting the Hightower clan to a crisp when Rhaenys pulls her away without uttering “Dracarys.” Together, they fly to Dragonstone to warn Rhaenyra of the plot to foil her claim to the throne.

In episode 10, Rhaenys pledges to patrol the Velaryon fleet’s blockade of The Gullet with Meleys. Perhaps that is where we’ll find them initially of season 2.

meleys in house of the dragon



Vermax first appears as an adolescent dragon in episode 6, when a young Jace Velaryon (Rhaenyra’s eldest son) attempts to show him to “Dracarys.” He seems about able to eat this master first, but ultimately acquiesces. By episode 10, it seems the beast and rider have fully bonded as Jace flies on Vermax to the Eyrie and Winterfell to substantiate the support of his mother’s allies.

vermax in house of the dragon



We’ve yet to officially meet Sunfyre, but King Aegon II, eldest son of Viserys and Alicent, mentions in episode 7 that the golden beast—“essentially the most beautiful dragon ever seen within the known world,” in keeping with Fire & Blood—is his mount.


Jace’s younger brother, Luke, has his own dragon: the “pearlescent white” Arrax, whom he rides to Storm’s End within the House of the Dragon season 1 finale. But by the top of the episode—spoiler alert!—Arrax is killed by Vhagar, and so is his rider Lucerys.

house of the dragon



This slender, green dragon—per Fire & Blood—is the mount of Lady Baela Targaryen, Laena Velaryon and Daemon Targaryen’s oldest daughter. This young beast has yet to make an appearance on House of the Dragon.


That is the mount of Joffrey Velaryon, Rhaenyra and Laenor’s third son. He’s yet to look in the tv series, but Daemon mentions him in passing while listing all of the dragons the blacks have at their disposal. In keeping with Fire & Blood, Tyraxes is barely smaller than Vermax and Arrax.


This older beast was once the mount of King Jaeherys I Targaryen, who preceded King Viserys on the Iron Throne. In Martin’s books, Vermithor is described as bronze in color with tan wings and is nearly 100 years old by the point the Dance of Dragons begins. The one dragons larger than him were Balerion and Vhagar, which implies he is gigantic in size.

Daemon name-drops Vermithor in episode 10 as one other potential dragon on Rhaenyra’s side of the war. He’s riderless and currently dwells on the Dragonmount in Dragonstone, and but Daemon goes on the lookout for him within the season 1 finale while singing a High Valyrian tune. Possibly this implies we’ll see more of Vermithor in season 2.

house of the dragon



Often paired with Vermithor, Silverwing is one other unclaimed dragon on the Dragonmount who has not yet appeared on House of the Dragon. She’s described as silver-hued—hence her name—and docile in Fire & Blood. Silverwing was previously the mount of Alysanne Targaryen, the sister of King Jaehaerys I, but within the TV series, she doesn’t currently have a rider.

Wild Dragons

In episode 10, Daemon also mentions that there are three wild dragons nesting in Dragonstone, which the blacks can use to their advantage. Time will tell if these beasts will eventually develop into claimed, trained, and flown in war.

This post will probably be updated.

Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers film, TV, books and fashion. 

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