Vhagar

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Vhagar
Visenya riding Vhagar.jpg

Allegiance Visenya Targaryen
Laena Velaryon
Aemond Targaryen
Race Dragon
Born In 51BC, at Dragonstone 
Died In 130AC, at the Gods Eye
Book(s) The Princess and the Queen (Appears)
A Game of Thrones (Mentioned)
A Dance with Dragons (Mentioned)
For other uses, see Vhagar (disambiguation).

Vhagar was one of the dragons used by Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya, during the War of Conquest. She was named for one of the gods of Old Valyria.[1] Vhagar was ridden by Visenya during the Conquest.[2]

Contents

Description

See also: Images of Vhagar

One could ride a horse down Vhagar's gullet.[3] Vhagar's breath was so hot that it could melt the armour of a knight and cook him inside.[2] The colour of Vhagar's scales, horns, wing bones and spinal crest is unknown, as is the colour of her flame.

By the time of the Dance of the Dragons, Vhagar was the hardened survivor of a hundred battles, had grown almost as large as Balerion and was the oldest and largest of the dragons in Westeros. Her roar was so powerful that it could shake the very foundations of Storm's End. No living dragon could match her for size or ferocity.[4]

History

Vhagar was named after a god of the Valyrian Freehold. She was born on Dragonstone from a dragon's egg.

War of Conquest

During the Conquest, Aegon I Targaryen sent his fleet, commanded by Daemon Velaryon, to take Gulltown. Daemon and the fleet were accompanied by Visenya Targaryen, on Vhagar. In the ensuing battle the Arryn fleet was able to defeat the Targaryen fleet and Daemon Velaryon was killed. Visenya recovered what she could of the situation, using Vhagar to burn the surviving Arryn ships. The loss of the Arryn fleet caused the Sistermen on the Three Sisters to revolt against House Arryn. In addition, with their fleet destroyed, the Vale lacked the ability to attack the Targaryens by sea.

Visenya flew Vhagar to Stoney Sept to link up again with other Targaryen armies and dragons. They advanced south, where all three dragons took part in the decisive Field of Fire - the only battle in which all three of the Targaryen dragons during the Conquest took to the sky at the same time. Together, Vhagar, Meraxes and Balerion killed four thousand men, burning them alive. King Mern died, and with him House Gardener. The army was broken and House Targaryen was victorious.[3]

Afterwards, Visenya flew Vhagar back to the Vale. Just as Aegon had flown Balerion directly over the massive walls of Harrenhal, Visenya simply flew Vhagar directly over the impassable mountains to reach the Eyrie. Upon her arrival, Dowager Queen Sharra Arryn came outside to find her son, King Ronnel Arryn with Visenya. The young King begged his mother for a ride on Vhagar's back. Dowager Queen Sharra bent her knee and surrendered, and King Ronnel got his ride on Vhagar with Visenya. Sharra's surrender of the Vale made Kign Ronnel the last King of Mountain and Vale.[5]

It is currently unknown who Vhagar's rider was after Visenya's death. After Balerion died of old age in 94AC, Vhagar became the last of the three Targaryen dragons who had fought in the Conquest.

Reign of King Viserys I Targaryen

During the reign of Viserys I, Vhagar's rider was Lady Laena Velaryon who rode her as young as twelve. When Laena and her husband Prince Daemon wed, they flew across the Narrow Sea to Pentos, Volantis, Qohor, and Norvos. In each of the cities crowds came to see Vhagar and Prince Daemon's Caraxes. After returning to Driftmark, Vhagar, Caraxes, and Syrax often flew together with their riders, Laena, Daemon, and Princess Rhaenyra.[6]

Shortly after the death of Lady Laena in 120AC, Vhagar was claimed by ten-year old Prince Aemond Targaryen.[6]

Dance of the Dragons

By 129AC, Vhagar had grown nearly as big as Balerion had been during the War of Conquest. She was the largest living dragon by now.[7] Prince Aemond flew on Vhagar to Storm's End, so they could win the support of Lord Borros Baratheon. There Aemond met with Prince Lucerys Velaryon. Aemond was forbidden from attacking Lucerys while both were in Borros' castle, Aemond was allowed to follow Lucerys outside. Thus, when Lucerys had risen into the sky on his dragon Arrax, Aemond mounted Vhagar and followed the young Velaryon prince. The two dragons fought during a great storm over Shipbreaker Bay, and Vhagar quickly overcame Arrax, whose severed head would wash ashore days later, along with the corpse of Prince Lucerys.[4]

Aemond would continue to use Vhagar in battle during the civil war. During the Battle of Rook's Rest, Vhagar and Sunfyre ambushed the dragon Meleys and her rider Princess Rhaenys Targaryen. Meleys was an old and large dragon and may have stood a chance against Vhagar alone, but died from the combined assault. Vhagar was the only dragon who left the battle reasonably unharmed.[4] The battle against Meleys had left King Aegon II Targaryen severely injured, leaving him uncapable to rule. Prince Aemond was appointed Regent until such a time when Aegon himself could rule aqgain. Prince Aemond decided that the main threat in the war was Daemon Targaryen, who was massing armies at Harrenhal. Prince Aemond took Vhagar and most of the green forces from King's Landing north to attack Harrenhal, leaving King's Landing with very little defense. When Aemond and Vhagar arrived at Harrenhal, they found the castle undefended and empty, as Daemon had left some time before, to attack King's Landing, after having lured Aemond and Vhagar away from the capitol.[4]

Here, Prince Aemond and Hand of the King Criston Cole no longer agreed on how to proceed during the war. Aemond took Vhagar on a one-man war of revenge. They burned out most of the Riverlands, starting with every wooden structure in Harrenhal. Vhagar caused more destruction than an entire army, and severely harmed Queen Rhaenyra's supporters in the Riverlands - though Aemond's decision to abandon the army under Criston Cole proved to be yet another strategic blunder. Without Vhagar to protect them, Cole's army in the east was later surrounded and destroyed in the Battle at the stony ridge, leaving the east wide open to Rhaenyra's forces.[4]

Aemond and Vhagar continued the destruction of the Riverlands and they became the terror of the Trident. Prince Daemon Targaryen, on his dragon Caraxes, and dragonseed Nettles, on the dragon Sheepstealer, were send out to hunt Aemond down. They were allowed to use Rook's Rest as their base, as Lord Mooton feared an attack from Vhagar, and found himself most safe this way. Daemon and Nettles searched for Vhagar every day, together, but Vhagar, continuing to terrorize the Riverlands, remained unfound.

After the First Battle of Tumbleton, Prince Daemon Targaryen said his goodbyes to Lord Mooton and Nettles, and had word send out that he would await Aemond and Vhagar at Harrenhal, alone with Caraxes. After thirteen days, Vhagar appeared in the sky, carrying Prince Aemond and his lover Alys Rivers on her back. Harrenhal would be the location for the Dance over Harrenhal, the battle between Vhagar and Caraxes, which ended with Prince Aemond dead, as Prince Daemon had put Dark Sister through his eye. Both Caraxes and Vhagar died as well. Vhagar died in the water, and his body was recovered only years after the Dance, with Prince Aemonds armoured bones still chained to the saddle. Vhagar was one hundred and eighty-one years old when she died, on the twenty/second day of the fifth moon of 130AC.[4]

Legacy

Along with eighteen other Targaryen dragon skulls, Vhagar's skull used to hang on a wall in the Red Keep's throne room.[8][9] After Robert's Rebellion, King Robert Baratheon had Vhagar's skull removed and stored in a dank cellar along with the others.[3]

Known dragonriders of Vhagar

Quotes about Vhagar

The peril posed by Queen Visenya's mount could not be gainsaid.[4]
Gyldayn


That hoary old bitch.[4]
Jacaerys Velaryon


Prince Aemond's mighty dragon Vhagar sensed his coming first. Guardsman walking the battlements of the castle's mighty curtain walls clutched their spears in sudden terror when she woke, with a roar that shook the very foundations of Durran's Defiance.[4]


On the fourteenth day of the prince's vigil, a shadow swept over the castle, blacker than any passing cloud. All the birds of the godswood took to the air in fright, and a hot wind whipped the fallen leaves across the yard. Vhagar had come at last, and on her back rode the one-eyed prince Aemond Targaryen, clad in night-black armor chased with gold.[4]

References and Notes

  1. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 57, Daenerys.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 13, Tyrion.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 The Princess and the Queen.
  5. Reading from The World of Ice and Fire. Notes from George R.R. Martin's reading and Q&A at the Bubonicon 44 in Albuquerque by Trebla.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Rogue Prince.
  7. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion.
  8. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys.
  9. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 12, Eddard.
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