Silverwing

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Silverwing
Queen Alysanne by Trishkell.jpg
Silverwing, being ridden by Queen Alysanne. © Green Ronin Publishing

Allegiance Alysanne Targaryen
Ulf the White
Race Dragon
Book(s) The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)
A Storm of Swords (mentioned)
A Feast for Crows (mentioned)
Queen Alysanne and Silverwing at Queenscrown. © guad

Silverwing was the dragon of Queen Alysanne Targaryen when she visited the Wall two hundred years ago.[1][2] Silverwing also fought in the civil war called the Dance of the Dragons.

History

When Queen Alysanne Targaryen grew bored while visiting Winterfell with her husband, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, she mounted her dragon Silverwing and flew north to see the Wall, stopping at the village Queenscrown on the way.[3][1] Jaehaerys came after her on his own dragon, Vermithor.[2]

Like their riders, Silverwing and Vermithor became a mated pair. Even years after Jaehaerys I and Alysanne died, Vermithor and Silverwing "oft coiled about one another" in the fields.[4]

At the start of the Dance of the Dragons, Silverwing was one of the semi-wild dragons of Dragonmont on Dragonstone that the blacks tried to master with new dragonriders. Ulf the White eventually succeeded in claiming her and was ridden by him during the civil war.[4]

Silverwing took part in and survived the Battle in the Gullet. Along with Vermithor, Sheepstealer, Vermax and Seasmoke, Vermithor descended upon the ninety warships sailing under the banners of the Three Daughters.[4]

Along with Caraxes, Silverwing and Sheepstealer, Vermithor made a lair in the Dragonpit before flying off to deal with the large army of House Hightower which had been making its way up the Roseroad, and was advancing on Tumbleton. During the First Battle of Tumbleton, however, Hugh and Ulf switched sides, burning Rhaenyra's army there and scourging the town with whips of flame from one end to the other. The Two Betrayers had initially sought reward from the greens, wanting rule of Casterly Rock and Highgarden, but the Hightower commander had died in the battle, so their host remained camped at Tumbleton debating their next move.

Word later reached them of the Storming of the Dragonpit in King's Landing, and the Dance over Harrenhal in which both Vhagar and Caraxes died. The only other remaining rideable dragons were Sunfyre (crippled and presumed dead), Sheepstealer (disappeared), Moondancer (barely big enough to ride), and Seasmoke and Tessarion (large enough for battle, but still relatively young and small compared to Vermithor and Silverwing). Recognizing this, Hugh Hammer decided to declare himself king, and the new leader of the green army at Tumbleton. Prince Daeron and his mount Tessarion were in the camp, was insulted at Hugh's usurpation. When asked for justification, Hugh bluntly said that he named himself king by the same right that Aegon the Conqueror did: he had a dragon, the biggest and most powerful one remaining. Tessarion could not hope to fight the combined might of Vermithor and Silverwing so Daeron did not challenge them further - though with the Bloody Caltrops he conspired to have them assassinated.

Unbeknownst to any in the green camp at Tumbleton, however, Addam Velaryon had ridden his dragon Seasmoke across the Riverlands to rally surviving black armies, eventually amassing an army 4,000 strong. Addam was determined to prove his loyalty to Rhaenyra by taking revenge on the Two Betrayers who had cast doubt on his honor because he was also a bastard. Thinking the blacks defeated, the green army was taken completely by surprise when he made a daring night-time attack: the Second Battle of Tumbleton. Daeron and Hugh were killed before they could mount their dragons - while Ulf the Sot was (aptly) passed out drunk in an inn, and slept through the entire battle. The riderless Vermithor and Tessarion engaged Seasmoke in a brutal fight in the mud of the battle. Vermithor killed Seasmoke when he locked his teeth into his neck and ripped his head off. He attempted to take flight with his prize still in his jaws but his tattered wings could not lift his weight. After a moment he collapsed and died. Vermithor also mortally wounded Tessarion, who died shortly afterwards.

The riderless Silverwing, however, had avoided the battle entirely, flying high up in the skies far from the ground and bowshot. It is said that after dark Silverwing descended to land beside her slain cousins. Later, the singers would tell of how she tried to lift Vermithor’s wing three times with her nose, as if to try and make him fly again, but according to Archmaester Gyldayn this is most likely a fable.[4]

The blacks, lacking siege equipment, retreated during the night after the battle. The surviving Caltrops, however, continued their plotting against Ulf the White. Rousing Ulf after the battle, he said that because he had the only remaining large dragon, the plan would carry on much the same, but now he would be crowned king when they took the capital, instead of Hugh. Lord Unwin Peake and Ser Hobert Hightower then tricked Ulf into drinking poisoned wine, though Ser Hobert also died because he drained his cup so as not to raise Ulf's suspicion. Peake succeeded Hobert as commander, and offered a thousand golden dragons to any knight of noble birth able to ride Silverwing, but none succeeded. With his dwindling army badly bloodied and facing mass desertion, Peake decided to retreat his remaining forces back to the Reach.[4]

Silverwing was one of only four surviving dragons at the end of the Dance, though of the other three Sheepstealer and the Cannibal had disappeared, and Morning had only hatched a few months before the war ended. Nonetheless, Silverwing remained wild with grief after the death of Vermithor, after which she fled west and made her lair on an island in Red Lake (in the northwest of the Reach), hunting and killing as she would.[5]

The last dragon is said to have died in 153 AC, only 22 years after the Dance ended, during the reign of Aegon III Dragonbane. Silverwing must therefore have died at some point in the intervening years, through as-yet unexplained circumstances.

References in the Books

A Storm of Swords

Bran Stark mentions Silverwing to Meera and Jojen Reed when they arrive at Queenscrown.[3] Jon Snow tells Ygritte of Queen Alysanne's visit to the Wall many years ago.[1]

A Feast for Crows

While riding in the chain winch at the Wall, Samwell Tarly wonders if Silverwing may have left an egg at the Wall.[2]

Known dragonriders of Silverwing

See also

References and Notes

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