Dragon egg

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

Appearance and Characteristics

See also: Images of dragon eggs
Dany holding Rhaegal's green dragon egg. Art by Katherine Dinger, ©FFG

Dragon eggs are large eggs with tiny scales, which shimmer like polished metal in the sunlight.[1] Dragon eggs come in a variety of rich colors. The color of the eggshell appears to indicate the coloring of the dragon within: from the deep green egg, with burnished bronze flecks[1] hatches Rhaegal, a dragon with jade-green scales[2][3] and wings,[4] and bronze eyes;[3] from the pale cream egg streaked with gold and bronze[1][5] hatches the dragon Viserion, who has golden eyes[2][3] and cream-colored and golden-colored scales;[6][7] from the black egg with scarlet ripples and swirls[1] hatches the dragon Drogon, whose scales[8] and teeth[7][8] are black, and whose horns, spinal plates, and eyes are red.[8]

To Daenerys Targaryen, the three eggs she later hatches are warm to the touch,[9][5] although other people do not feel the heat.[5]

Dragons have been known to lay eggs in a clutch of up to at least five,[10] and a dragon may lay several clutches during its lifetime.[11] 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.[12] Whether an egg has to be fertilized by a male dragon in order to hatch is not known.

Hatching of the eggs

Drogon's black dragon egg in the flames of Khal Drogo's funeral pyre. Art by Julepe. ©FFG

There were dragon hatcheries on the island of Dragonstone under the Dragonmont volcano, where many eggs and young hatchling dragons could be found.[11][13]

Grand Maester Benifer believed that far away from Dragonstone, dragon eggs might not hatch.[14] Some dragon eggs, also on Dragonstone, do not hatch, but instead turn to stone.[14]

When King Aegon II Targaryen attempted to hatch a dragon egg, according to Mushroom he sat on one of the eggs for a day and a night.[15]

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 the suggestion of his Hand, Viserys. However, the attempt to use their magic to kindle a clutch of eggs proved both a debacle and a failure.[16][17] King Baelor I Targaryen prayed over his eggs, while other Targaryens sought to hatch theirs with sorcery,[18] and still others had maesters study them.[19] The Tragedy of Summerhall has been blamed on King Aegon V Targaryen's attempt to hatch dragons.[19][20] 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.[21] Only Daenerys Targaryen has succeeded in hatching dragon eggs after the death of the last dragon.[22]

Fossilized dragon eggs are more precious than rubies.[6] 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.[22]

Targaryen tradition

Princess Elaena Targaryen, holding a dragon's egg that matches the color of her hair.[23] Art by Amok©

Princess Rhaena Targaryen supposedly placed a dragon egg in the cradles of her younger siblings Jaehaerys and Alysanne shortly after their birth,[14][24] Her brother, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, placed an egg in the cradle of his newborn son, Aemon, in 55 AC.[25] During the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, it became truly customary to place a dragon's egg in the cradle of a newborn child.[26]

It was considered a sign that the child was a true Targaryen if the egg placed within his cradle hatched.[11] If the egg did not hatch, or if the dragon born was weak and died quickly, it was considered a bad omen.[11][13] The tradition of placing an egg in the cradle of a newborn royal continued even after the last dragon died and the eggs stopped hatching.[10] These dragon eggs were cherished possessions of their owners.[23]

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.[12]

Known dragon eggs

Eggs Owners Notes
{Vermithor's egg} King Jaehaerys I Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 34 AC, by his older sister, Princess Rhaena Targaryen. Hatched into the dragon Vermithor.[24]
{Silverwing's egg} Queen Alysanne Targaryen Placed in her cradle at her birth in 36 AC, by her older sister, Princess Rhaena Targaryen. Hatched into the dragon Silverwing.[24]
{Princess Rhaena Targaryen's three eggs} Princess Rhaena Targaryen A clutch of three eggs laid by Dreamfyre on Fair Isle around 50 AC, which hatched after being brought to Dragonstone.[14][27]
Elissa Farman's three eggs House Targaryen
Elissa Farman
The Sealord of Braavos
Three dragon eggs stolen from the Dragonstone hatcheries by Elissa Farman in 54 AC, and sold to the Sealord of Braavos.[14]
Prince Aemon Targaryen's egg Prince Aemon Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 55 AC, by his father, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen.[25] May have hatched into the dragon Caraxes.
Mysaria's egg Mysaria Around 105 AC, when Prince Daemon Targaryen learned his mistress was pregnant, he presented her with a dragon egg, but King Viserys I Targaryen commanded him to return the egg and send Mysaria away.[11]
{Vermax's egg} Prince Jacaerys Velaryon Placed in his cradle at his birth in 114 AC by royal decree. Hatched into the dragon Vermax.[26][28]
{Arrax's egg} Prince Lucerys Velaryon Placed in his cradle at his birth in 115 AC by royal decree. Hatched into the dragon Arrax.[26][28]
{Tyraxes's egg} Prince Joffrey Velaryon Placed in his cradle at his birth in 117 AC by royal decree. Hatched into the dragon Tyraxes.[26][28]
{Stormcloud's egg} King Aegon III Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 120 AC per Targaryen tradition. Hatched into the dragon Stormcloud.[26][29]
King Viserys II Targaryen's egg King Viserys II Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 122 AC per Targaryen tradition.[26] Though Viserys kept the egg throughout his eventful childhood and youth, it never quickened. In 135 AC, it was sent away from King's Landing to Dragonstone by order of King Aegon III Targaryen, after the monstrous wyrm hatched from Laena Velaryon's egg.[30]
{Shrykos's egg} Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 123 AC per Targaryen tradition. Hatched into the dragon Shrykos.[26][28]
{Morghul's egg} Princess Jaehaera Targaryen Placed in her cradle at her birth in 123 AC per Targaryen tradition. Hatched into the dragon Morghul.[26][28]
Prince Maelor Targaryen's egg Prince Maelor Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 127 AC per Targaryen tradition.[26] Maelor's egg was pale green with swirls of silver. After Maelor's death in 130 AC, Lady Caswell had the egg sent to Lord Ormund Hightower.[31]
Lady Rhaena Targaryen's eggs Lady Rhaena Targaryen Rhaena's 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[13] Morning hatched from one of the eggs in 130 AC.[15]
King Aegon II Targaryen's eggs King Aegon II Targaryen After the death of Sunfyre in 130 AC, King Aegon wanted a replacement dragon. Seven eggs were selected by the maester at Dragonstone and sent to King's Landing, including a large purple and gold one, but none hatched.[15]
King Aegon IV Targaryen's egg King Aegon IV Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 135 AC, by his father Prince Viserys Targaryen per Targaryen tradition.[30]
Laena Velaryon's egg Laena Velaryon Laena was presented a dragon egg upon her birth at Driftmark in 135 AC, but it hatched a blind and wingless wyrm, white as a maggot. After the monster tore a bloody chunk from the infant Laena's arm, her father Lord Alyn Velaryon hacked it to pieces.[30]
Prince Aemon Targaryen's egg Prince Aemon Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 136 AC per Targaryen tradition. His brother Aegon was soon found hitting him with it.[30]
Last dragon's five eggs House Targaryen From the last dragon's clutch.[10]
Princess Elaena Targaryen's egg Princess Elaena Targaryen Platinum white and bright golden.[23]
Prince Daeron Targaryen's egg Prince Daeron Targaryen[10] Placed in his cradle at his birth per Targaryen tradition.[10]
Prince Aerion Targaryen's egg Prince Aerion Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth per Targaryen tradition. It looked like it was made of gold and silver, with fire-colored veins.[10]
Prince Aemon Targaryen's egg Prince Aemon Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 198 AC per Targaryen tradition.[10]
King Aegon V Targaryen's egg King Aegon V Targaryen Placed in his cradle at his birth in 200 AC per Targaryen tradition, it had white and green swirls.[10]
Lord Ambrose Butterwell's egg Lord Ambrose Butterwell
House Targaryen
Given to him by King Aegon IV Targaryen, it was red, with golden flecks and black whorls. Taken back into the crown's possession by Brynden Rivers in 212 AC.[10]
King Aegon V Targaryen's seven eggs King Aegon V Targaryen Used in the ceremony that caused the Tragedy at Summerhall in 259 AC.[19]
King Euron Greyjoy's egg King Euron Greyjoy Euron claims to have had a dragon egg which he threw into the sea.[32]
{Drogon's egg} Princess Daenerys Targaryen Black as the midnight sea, alive with scarlet ripples and swirls.[1] Hatched into the dragon Drogon in 299 AC.
{Rhaegal's egg} Princess Daenerys Targaryen Deep green, with burnished bronze flecks.[1] Hatched into the dragon Rhaegal in 299 AC.
{Viserion's egg} Princess Daenerys Targaryen Colored pale cream, streaked with gold.[1] Hatched into the dragon Viserion in 299 AC.

History

First century after the Conquest

Princess Rhaena Targaryen placed a dragon egg in the cradles of her siblings Jaehaerys and Alysanne after they were born. According to the stories, from those eggs hatched Vermithor and Silverwing.[24] Jaehaerys later placed a dragon egg in the cradle of his son Aemon.[14]

By 43 AC, Dreamfyre , the dragon of Rhaena Targaryen, had already produced two clutches of eggs.[24] During Rhaena's time at Fair Isle (4950 AC), Dreamfyre laid another clutch of eggs. Dreamfyre's presence on the island was making some of the residents anxious, however, and the new clutch of eggs caused a begging brother to start preaching that Fair Isle "would soon be overrun by dragons" who would eat both sheep and men, and called for a dragonslayer to kill the dragons to stop it all. The man was arrested, but nonetheless his words inspired fear wherever they were spread.[27] When Rhaena departed Fair Isle, she took the eggs with her as she toured the westerlands. After some time at Casterly Rock, Lord Lyman Lannister expressed his interest in the three eggs and asked how they would hatch, and when that could be expected. Lady Jocasta Lannister suggested to Rhaena that gifting the Lannisters one or more of the three eggs would be a good way to demonstrate her gratitude. After Rhaena refused, Lord Lyman offered to buy the eggs.[27] Rhaena was eventually granted Dragonstone as her own seat.[27] There, the eggs hatched.[14]

In 54 AC, Lady Elissa Farman stole three dragon eggs from the Dragonstone hatcheries and fled with them to Pentos, from where she traveled to Braavos. At Braavos, Elissa sold the eggs to the Sealord, and used the gold to build herself a ship. The news about the theft was alarming to King Jaehaerys; if the eggs were to hatch, there would be a dragonlord in the world that was not of House Targaryen. Rewards were offered for rumors on the location of the dragon eggs, but every whisper proved worthless.[14] By 56 AC, Jaehaerys suspected that the dragon eggs had played a part in the financing of the ship. The banker denied all.[25] In 57 AC, the newly appointed Hand of the King, Septon Barth, traveled to Braavos and conferred with the Sealord about the eggs, warning that King Jaehaerys would bring destruction upon Braavos should the eggs hatch. The Sealord denied having purchased the eggs, and claimed that, unhatched, dragon eggs were nothing more than "pretty stones". Barth eventually returned to King's Landing without the eggs, but with the crown's entire loan from the Iron Bank forgiven.[25]

Reign of Viserys I

During the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, there were more dragons than ever before. Several of the she-dragons regularly produced clutches of eggs. Many, but not all, of the eggs hatched. During Viserys's reign, it became truly customary to place a dragon's egg in the cradle of a newborn child.[26]

When his concubine Mysaria became pregnant in 106 AC, Prince Daemon Targaryen presented her with a dragon egg. King Viserys I commanded him to return the egg and return to lawful his wife, Lady Rhea Royce, or else be attainted as a traitor. Mysaria was then sent back to Lys, without the egg.[26][11] 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 all three the boys became dragonriders. Prince Aemond Targaryen rejected the "stupid" eggs and "puny" hatchlings of Dragonstone, preferring 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.[11] All the eggs except for the ones of Viserys and Maelor hatched.

Dance of the Dragons

Prince Daemon's daughter, Lady Rhaena Targaryen, had an egg as well, but the dragon that was born from the egg died within hours. Shortly before the start of the Dance of the Dragons, Rhaena had been given an egg from Syrax's most recent clutch. Rhaena slept with the egg every night, and prayed over it.[29] When she left for the Vale in 129 AC, she brought three eggs with her, and prayed nightly for them to hatch.[13][33] One of these eggs hatched during the war, bringing forth the dragon Morning.[15]

According to Mushroom, the dragon Vermax left a clutch of dragon's eggs at Winterfell when his rider Jacaerys Velaryon came to visit Lord Cregan Stark. Grand Maester Gyldayn and Maester Yandel feel that Mushroom's tale can be discounted, and consider Vermax to have been a male dragon, as there is no record of the dragon ever laying another clutch of eggs.[34][35]

Prince Viserys Targaryen took his egg everywhere he went[29] and brought it with him on the Gay Abandon. When he was taken captive, he hid his dragon egg.[13][33]

When Prince Maelor Targaryen fled King's Landing under the care of Ser Rickard Thorne, the two were discovered and identified at Bitterbridge when a stableboy found Maelor's egg in Ser Rickard's saddle bags. After both Prince Maelor and Ser Rickard had been killed, Lady Caswell sent the dragon egg to Lord Ormund Hightower at Longtable, hoping to soothe his wroth.[31]

King Aegon II Targaryen commanded the maester of Dragonstone to send him dragon eggs at King's Landing, so he could hatch another egg. The maester sent him seven eggs, in honor of the gods.[15]

Laena Velaryon was presented a dragon egg upon her birth at Driftmark in 135 AC, but it hatched a blind and wingless wyrm, white as a maggot. Within moments of hatching, the monster tore a bloody chunk from the infant Laena's arm, and her father Lord Alyn Velaryon ripped it off her and hacked it to pieces. Troubled upon hearing this news, King Aegon III Targaryen commanded that no dragon eggs were to be allowed in the Red Keep, and forced his brother Prince Viserys to send his unhatched egg away to Dragonstone.[30]

Recent history

The last Targaryen dragon laid a clutch of five eggs.[10] After the death of the last dragon, multiple Targaryen kings attempted to hatch dragon eggs, including Aegon III,[36][17] Baelor I,[17] Aegon V,[37] and Aerys II.[38]

During the First Blackfyre Rebellion, the thief Quickfinger was caught with stolen dragon eggs.[39]

Prince Aegon Targaryen and his brothers were all gifted dragon eggs while in the cradle. He and his brother Aemon would often pretend that their eggs would be the ones to hatch.[10]

A tourney was held at Whitewalls in 212 AC to celebrate the wedding of Lord Ambrose Butterwell to the daughter of Lord Frey. The victor's prize was 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 was 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 went missing before his last joust, and Ser Glendon Ball was framed for the theft. After the defeat of the attempted rebellion, Hand of the King Brynden Rivers informed Ser Duncan the Tall 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 was now safe.[10]

On the island of Dragonstone, there is supposedly a fabled hoard of dragon eggs.[40]

Recent events

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.[1] 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.[22]

A Feast for Crows

At the Wall, Samwell Tarly ponders that Queen Alysanne Targaryen had visited Castle Black on her dragon, Silverwing, and that King Jaehaerys I, had come after her on his own dragon, Vermithor. Samwell wonders to himself as to whether Silverwing could have left an egg behind, or as to whether King Stannis Baratheon had found an egg on Dragonstone.[18]

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 during the search of the castle. Cersei remarks that if any such eggs had remained, Stannis Baratheon would have sold them to pay for his rebellion. She refrains from saying that the plan is mad, as every attempt made by the Targaryens to hatch a dragon after the death of the last dragon had ended in death, disaster, or disgrace.[41]

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. Euron claims that he killed the man when he grew bored with the wizard's excuses, and that had thrown the egg the sea during one of his dark moods.[32]

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 sign of the fabled hoard of dragon eggs. Lord Regent Kevan Lannister privately doubts Mace's protestations.[40]

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.[1]

—Magister Illyrio Mopatis

Bring my eggs.[22]

Daenerys Targaryen's command to her handmaidens

If he'd known they were like to hatch, he'd would have sat on them himself.[4]

—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.[10]

Egg, to Dunk

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 11, Daenerys II.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 68, The Dragontamer.
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 40, Daenerys III.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 68, Daenerys IX.
  6. 6.0 6.1 A Clash of Kings, Chapter 12, Daenerys I.
  7. 7.0 7.1 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 8, Daenerys I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 52, Daenerys IX.
  9. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys III.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 The Mystery Knight.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 The Rogue Prince.
  12. 12.0 12.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The North: Winterfell.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 The Princess and the Queen.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 A Storm of Swords, Chapter 54, Davos V.
  18. 18.0 18.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
  20. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 25, Davos III.
  21. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 72, Daenerys X.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 So Spake Martin: Three Maidens in the Tower. (June 27, 2006)
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Triumphs and Tragedies.
  26. 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
  32. 32.0 32.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Red Dragon and the Gold.
  34. The World of Ice & Fire, The North: Winterfell.
  35. Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - A Son for a Son.
  36. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys III.
  37. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
  38. The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  39. The Sworn Sword.
  40. 40.0 40.1 A Dance with Dragons, Epilogue.
  41. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.