Dragon egg

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Drogon's black dragon egg in the flames of Khal Drogo's funeral pyre. Art by Julepe. ©FFG
Princess Elaena Targaryen, holding a dragon's egg that matches the color of her hair.[1] Art by Amok©

A dragon egg is an egg laid by a dragon, as a means of reproduction.

About

See also: Images of dragon eggs

Dragon eggs come in various colors. Judging from the color of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons, the coloring of the eggshell appears to indicate the coloring of the dragon within.[2]

Dragons have been known to lay eggs in a clutch of up to at least five,[3] and a dragon may lay several clutches during its lifetime.[4] Although the subject of dragon mating habits is debatable, some maesters believe that if a dragon never laid an egg in its lifetime, it must be male.[5] Whether an egg has to be fertilized by a male dragon in order to hatch is not known.

There were dragon hatcheries on the island of Dragonstone under the Dragonmont volcano, where many eggs and young hatchling dragons could be found.[4][6] The dragon called the Cannibal was known to attack the hatcheries and eat eggs and newborn hatchlings.[6]

When a new member of House Targaryen was born, it was traditional to place a dragon egg in their cradle. If the dragon hatched, it was considered a sign that the baby was a true Targaryen.[4] If the egg did not hatch, or if the dragon born was weak and died quickly, it was considered a bad omen.[4][6] This tradition continued even after the last dragon died and the eggs stopped hatching,[3] and these dragon eggs were cherished possessions of their owners.[1]

The last Targaryen dragon laid a clutch of five eggs.[3] What happened to them is not known. Whether there are any dragon eggs left in the smoking ruins that were Valyria is not known. On the island of Dragonstone, there is supposed to be a fabled hoard of dragon eggs.[7]

Fossilized dragon eggs are more precious than rubies.[8] Ser Jorah Mormont tells Daenerys Targaryen that one of her dragon's eggs could buy a ship to take her back to the Free Cities. The sale of all three would make her a wealthy woman for the rest of her life.[2]

Attempts to hatch dragon eggs

After the extinction of their dragons in 153 AC, the Targaryens made numerous attempts to hatch the dragon eggs left behind. King Aegon III Targaryen, the Dragonsbane, sent away for nine mages from Essos at his Hand Viserys's suggestion. However, the attempt to use their magic to kindle a clutch of eggs proved both a debacle and a failure.[9][10] King Baelor I Targaryen prayed over his eggs, other Targaryens sought to hatch theirs with sorcery,[11] and still others had maesters study them.[12] The Tragedy of Summerhall has been blamed on King Aegon V Targaryen's attempt to hatch dragons.[12][13] During his reign, King Aerys II Targaryen tried to hatch dragons from the eggs that had found in the depths of Dragonstone, some of which had turned to stone because of their great age, but his attempts yielded nothing.[14] Only Daenerys Targaryen has succeeded in hatching dragon eggs after the death of the last dragon.[2]

Daenerys's dragon eggs

Dany holding a dragon egg. Art by Katherine Dinger, ©FFG

Daenerys Targaryen receives three fossilized dragon eggs from Magister Illyrio Mopatis as a wedding gift. According to Illyrio, the eggs are from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, and they have turned to stone over eons of time.[15]

To Daenerys, the eggs are huge, and are the most beautiful things she has ever seen. They are patterned in such rich colors that at first she thinks they are crusted in jewels, and so large that it takes both of her hands to hold one. When Dany lifts one, she expects it to be made of some fine porcelain or delicate enamel or even blown glass, but it is much heavier than that, as if it were all of solid stone. The surface of the shell is covered with tiny scales, and as she turns the egg between her fingers, it shimmers like polished metal in the light of the setting sun.[15]

The eggs are beautiful colors. One egg is a deep green, with burnished bronze flecks that comes and goes depending on how Dany turns it. Another egg is pale cream streaked with gold. The last egg is black as the midnight sea, yet alive with scarlet ripples and swirls.[15]

Dany feels heat from her dragon eggs, where others feel only cold.[16] This is likely a sign of the magical intuition that later leads her to place them in the fire of a brazier,[17] then use the ceremony of Khal Drogo's funeral and the great heat of his pyre to birth living dragons.[2]

Dragons known to have laid eggs

Mushroom, a court fool during the reigns of Viserys I, Aegon II, Rhaenyra and Aegon III, claims in The Testimony of Mushroom that the dragon Vermax left a clutch of eggs somewhere in the crypts of Winterfell at the start of the Dance of the Dragons. However, there is no official record that Vermax ever laid a single egg, suggesting the dragon was male, and maesters feel that the wild claim of Mushroom is baseless, typical for his Testimony.[5]

Known dragon eggs

  • Mysaria's egg - When Prince Daemon Targaryen learned his concubine was pregnant, he presented her with a dragon egg, but King Viserys I Targaryen commanded him to return the egg and send Mysaria away.[4] Whereabouts unknown.
  • {hatched} Prince Jacaerys Velaryon's egg - placed in his cradle at his birth by royal decree, hatched into the dragon Vermax.[4][18]
  • {hatched} Prince Lucerys Velaryon's egg - placed in his cradle at his birth by royal decree, hatched into the dragon Arrax.[4][18]
  • {hatched} Prince Joffrey Velaryon's egg - placed in his cradle at his birth by royal decree, hatched into the dragon Tyraxes.[4][18]
  • King Viserys II Targaryen's egg - he possessed an egg during the civil war of the Dance of the Dragons, so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.[6]
  • Lady Rhaena Targaryen's eggs - her first egg hatched into a broken thing that died within hours. She possessed another egg at the start of the civil war, and took three eggs to the Vale with her during the war.[6] Only one egg is known to have hatched,[19] the whereabouts of the others are unknown.
  • Prince Maelor Targaryen's egg - he was given an egg at birth,[4] which had not yet hatched by the start of the civil war.[6] It is unknown what happened to the egg after Maelor was killed at Bitterbridge.[19]
  • Five eggs - from the last dragon's clutch,[3] so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.
  • Princess Elaena Targaryen's egg - silver and gold in unknown arrangement[1] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Prince Daeron Targaryen's egg - known to exist,[3] but so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.
  • Prince Aerion Targaryen's egg - gold and silver, with veins of fiery colors[3] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Prince Aemon Targaryen's egg - known to exist,[3] but so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.
  • King Aegon V Targaryen's egg - white and green swirls[3] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Lord Ambrose Butterwell's egg - red, with golden flecks and black whorls[3] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Seven eggs - used by King Aegon V Targaryen in the ceremony that caused the Tragedy at Summerhall.[12] Some of these may have been the unhatched eggs mentioned above. Whereabouts unknown, but possibly destroyed by the fire.
  • King Euron Greyjoy's egg - Euron claimed he had a dragon egg, but threw it into the sea.[20]
  • {hatched} Drogon's egg - black as the midnight sea, alive with scarlet ripples and swirls.[15]
  • {hatched} Rhaegal's egg - deep green, with burnished bronze flecks.[15]
  • {hatched} Viserion's egg - colored pale cream, streaked with gold.[15]

Depending on how one reads a statement in The Mystery Knight, it might be possible that Princesses Rhae and Daella Targaryen had been gifted dragon eggs as well.[3]

References in the books

The Rogue Prince

Prince Daemon Targaryen presented his concubine Mysaria with a dragon egg after she became pregnant, but King Viserys I Targaryen commanded him to return the egg and return to his wife, or else be attainted as a traitor. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen's three sons by Laenor Velaryon were each given a dragon egg while in the cradle, by royal decree; those who believed the boys' father truly was Ser Harwin Strong whispered that the eggs would never hatch, but they all did, and the boys became dragonriders. Prince Aemond Targaryen rejected the "stupid" eggs and "puny" hatchlings of Dragonstone, for the great dragon Vhagar. Dragon eggs were placed in the cradles of Prince Aegon the Younger, Prince Viserys, Prince Jaehaerys, Princess Jaehaera, and Prince Maelor Targaryen.[4]

The Princess and the Queen

At the start of the Dance of the Dragons civil war, the greens faction's two-year-old Prince Maelor Targaryen possessed a dragon egg, as did the blacks faction's Prince Viserys. The blacks's Rhaena Targaryen was given an egg from Syrax's recent clutch prior to the civil war, and brought three dragon's eggs with her to the Vale, where she prayed nightly for their hatching.[6]

When Prince Viserys was taken captive off of the Gay Abandon, he hid his dragon egg. It is not known what happened to the egg.[6]

The Sworn Sword

It is revealed that the thief Quickfinger was caught with stolen dragon eggs during the First Blackfyre Rebellion.[21]

The Mystery Knight

Prince Aegon "Egg" Targaryen tells Ser Duncan the Tall that he and his brothers were all gifted dragon eggs while in the cradle. He tells Dunk that there is a prophecy that the dragons will return, and that he and his brother Aemon would often pretend that their eggs would be the ones to hatch.[3]

A tourney at Whitewalls is held to celebrate the wedding of Lord Ambrose Butterwell to the daughter of Lord Frey. The victor's prize is to be a dragon egg, which had been granted to Lord Butterwell's grandfather by King Aegon IV Targaryen. In truth, the wedding and tourney is an attempt to secretly foment the Second Blackfyre Rebellion in the name of Daemon II Blackfyre, who had dreamed that a dragon would be born at Whitewalls. The tourney was rigged so that Daemon would win the dragon egg, but it goes missing before his last joust, and Ser Glendon Ball is framed for the theft. After the defeat of the attempted rebellion, Hand of the King Brynden Rivers informs Dunk the egg was in fact taken by an agent of his who crawled up the privy shaft of the castle to take the egg from its guarded chamber, and that the egg is now safe.[3]

A Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen placing her dragon eggs on Drogo's funeral pyre. Art by Felicia Cano, © Fantasy Flight Games

At Daenerys Targaryen's wedding to Khal Drogo, Magister Illyrio Mopatis gives her a gift of three fossilized dragon's eggs.[15] After Drogo's death and the death of their son, Daenerys places the eggs on her husband's funeral pyre: the black beside his heart, under his arm, the green beside his head, the cream-and-gold down between his legs. After the pyre is lit, Daenerys walks into the fire, and the eggs hatch into living dragons.[2]

A Storm of Swords

On Dragonstone, Melisandre tells King Stannis Baratheon that only king's blood can wake the stone dragon. Stannis grinds his teeth and replies,

The dragons are done. The Targaryens tried to bring them back half a dozen times. And made fools of themselves, or corpses.[22]

Later on, Queen Selyse tries to persuade Stannis that he needs dragons to take the kingdom. Stannis has heard enough talk of stone dragons, and reminds her,

Nine mages crossed the sea to hatch Aegon the Third's cache of eggs. Baelor the Blessed prayed over his for half a year. Aegon the Fourth built dragons of wood and iron. Aerion Brightflame drank wildfire to transform himself. The mages failed, King Baelor's prayers went unanswered, the wooden dragons burned, and Prince Aerion died screaming.[10]

A Feast for Crows

At the Wall, Samwell Tarly ponders that there were dragons at the Wall two hundred years earlier. Sam thinks about Queen Alysanne Targaryen who had visited Castle Black on her dragon, and Jaehaerys, her king, who had come after her on his own. Sam wonders to himself, "could Silverwing have left an egg behind? Or had Stannis found an egg on Dragonstone? Even if he has an egg, how can he hope to quicken it?" He recalls that Baelor I Targaryen had prayed over his eggs, the other Targaryens had sought to hatch theirs with sorcery, but all they got for it was farce and tragedy.[11]

Lord Hallyne, of the Alchemists' Guild, asks Queen Regent Cersei Lannister that his pyromancers be allowed to hatch any dragon's eggs that might turn up upon Dragonstone, now that the isle is safely back in royal hands. Cersei remarks that if any such eggs remain, Stannis Baratheon would have sold them to pay for his rebellion. She refrains from saying that the plan is mad. Ever since the last Targaryen dragon had died, all such attempts to hatch dragon eggs had ended in death, disaster, or disgrace.[23]

Euron Greyjoy claims to have held a dragon's egg in his hand. A Myrish wizard swore he could hatch it if Euron gave him a year and all the gold that he required. When Euron grew bored with the wizard's excuses, he slew him, even though it had not yet been a year. When Victarion Greyjoy asks Euron to show him the egg, he tells him that he threw it in the sea during one of his dark moods.[20]

A Dance with Dragons

According to Lord Mace Tyrell, his son Ser Loras Tyrell and his men searched every inch of Dragonstone, but did not find any gold, gems, or any sign of the fabled hoard of dragon eggs. Lord Regent Kevan Lannister privately doubts Mace's protestations.[7]

Quotes

Daenerys Targaryen, with her three dragon eggs. Art by Algesiras.
Dragon's eggs, from the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai. The eons have turned them to stone, yet still they burn bright with beauty.[15]

—Magister Illyrio Mopatis
Bring my eggs.[2]

Daenerys Targaryen's command to her handmaidens
If he'd known they were like to hatch, he'd would have sat on them himself.[24]

—Ser Jorah Mormont to Daenerys Targaryen, on Illyrio Mopatis's gift of dragon eggs to her
Someday the dragons will return. My brother Daeron's dreamed of it, and King Aerys read it in a prophecy. Maybe it will be my egg that hatches. That would be splendid.[3]

Egg, to Dunk

References and Notes

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