April. That’s when the final series of Game Of Thrones will air, finally allowing us to learn the ending - will the White Walkers obliterate Westeros entirely? Who will sit on the Iron Throne? Will there even be an Iron Throne, or will it be destroyed in the war?
One thing we can safely assume at this point is that dragons will play a key part. Daenerys has two of them and the Night King has one, thanks to the end of the last season. Dragons are intimidating creatures, and will surely be part of the endgame - so time to round up what we know about dragons so we can start making predictions as to what’s going to happen.
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10. They Were Once Used To Conquer The Seven Kingdoms
Three hundred years go, Aegon the Conqueror took over Westeros and made the Iron Throne, which Targaryens would sit on for centuries to come before being usurped by Robert Baratheon. But what it took to take over the kingdom was dragons. Just like Daenerys (well, initially), Aegon had three, and they were what ultimately won him the Seven Kingdoms. An army alone wouldn’t have been enough to conquer. Although Aegon earned his title, it was really the dragons that did it for him, beginning the whole reign of House Targaryen and leading up to what we know of Westeros today.
9. And Are The Best Bet Of Doing So Again
When we first meet Daenerys in the series, it’s obvious there’s going to be something special about her, but we can’t quite put our finger on what. She’s the younger sister of Viserys and seems fairly meek and unassuming. At her wedding, however, she is gifted three dragon eggs and when they hatch and the tales of three dragons spread from Essos to Westeros, everyone is tense when they remember Aegon.
This is because dragons are the best bet of conquering the Seven Kingdoms again, and everyone knows it. Her three dragons may have been reduced to two, but Daenerys still has a solid chance at the Iron Throne thanks to her babies.
8. They Mostly Only Bond To Targaryens
Targaryens have Valyrian blood, which means dragons bond to them. Most tales of dragons in the history of Westeros bond to Targaryens, and most people to ride the dragons are, again, Targaryens. It’s often said that Targaryens are part dragon themselves, due to their somewhat mythical appearance and the fact that they have some dragon-like qualities. Daenerys, for example, lowers herself into a bath of boiling water without flinching and then eventually, even more dramatically, walks into fire and emerges unscathed. It’s easy to see why dragons find a bond with this family.
Dany’s dragons have never turned on her, and hopefully never will.
7. But Other Families With Valyrian Blood Are In With A Chance
It’s not just Targaryens who have been known to bond with dragons, even though they’re certainly in with the best chance. Other families with Valyrian blood have managed to do so.
When someone becomes a dragonrider after bonding with a dragon, the dragon will allow no one else to mount it for the length of its life, so it’s a pretty serious commitment to make—for the dragon, at least. Therefore, it’s assumed the bond must be pretty strong. The Velaryon family is another canon family that has been known to ride dragons, as well as some Targaryen bastards. But even though they have managed, it’s safe to say that true-born Targaryens are in with the best shot of being dragonriders.
6. They Are Difficult For Even Targaryens To Control
Although being a dragonrider can mean being able to give a dragon orders and use them in war, there’s no guarantee that you will always be able to control them.
The most prominent example we have is Daenerys. Her dragons clearly love her and think of her as their mother, but we see many problems with her struggling to control them. They murder sheep when she doesn’t want them to and eventually, they kill a person that she doesn’t order them to, leaving her absolutely devastated and having to imprison them. She later releases them and they seem to listen to her, but there’s no guarantee they’ll stay that way.
5. They Can Grow To Twenty Feet Within A Year And A Half
A pretty obvious fact, they’re huge. And fast growing.
It’s said in the books that it takes them about eighteen months to grow to twenty feet at their fastest. Although when they hatch they seem cute and small, they become monstrous very quickly and this is what makes them amazing war machines and conquerors; it doesn’t take them long to scorch an entire battlefield.
It should be noted that size doesn’t correlate to age all the time, though. Some dragons in history were said to be very small despite their old age, and some younger ones were huge. Much like other animals, it really just seems to depend.
4. They Were Said To Have Been Extinct For 150 Years
Dragons were thought to be extinct before Daenerys’ three. They had been gone for 150 years, though the accuracy of this is up for debate considering there may have been dragons elsewhere, and the more recent ones were barely bigger than dogs. Aside from Dany’s, Euron Greyjoy claims that he had a dragon egg and threw it into the sea in a fit of rage (though whether Euron is a reliable source is another story altogether).
Whether he can be believed or not, it's safe to say is that they were extinct from Westeros.
3. Their Genders And Reproduction Are Up For Debate
It seems that a lot of people disagree about how dragons actually… work.
One of the theories mentioned in the books is that a dragon who lays eggs is female, end of story. This seems like the obvious route to go down, and consistent with most other animals.
However, there are disagreements. Maester Aemon says that dragons are as “changeable as flame” and have no fixed gender, unlike humans and other animals. It’s never been confirmed which is true, although Daenerys refers to all her dragons as male. Whether this is just for convenience or whether they’re actually male, however… up for debate.
2. They Are Not Impossible For Humans To Kill
Although they might seem invincible, the last season of the show proved that they are not impossible to kill. Bronn took one down and almost killed it. He wounded it severely and, if he had landed another blow, he might have managed to kill the beast entirely. Of course, Jaime didn’t give him the chance to land another blow, so we never found out.
The Night King is not quite a human, but he did manage to take down a dragon with one hit, which suggests that the right weapon can do so. So Daenerys hasn’t won the war against Westeros quite yet.
1. They Can Become White Walkers
Another thing proven by the last season is that a dragon can become a White Walker, just as a human can. In a heart-breaking scene that made fans want to cry for Daenerys, the Night King killed one of the dragons and at the very end of season seven, we saw it pulled back up from the water it died in and rise to become a White Walker.
It seems that it works the same way as it does for humans, with the dragon instantly falling under the Night King’s command considering it melted the ice wall that has separated the monsters from Westeros for thousands of years.
Bring on season eight...