Dragonkeepers

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The Dragonkeepers were an order of guards who protected the dragons of House Targaryen at the Dragonpit in King's Landing[1] and on Dragonstone.[2]

Organization

The Dragonkeepers numbered seventy-seven men tasked with guarding dragons day and night wherever they might lair.[1]

The guards wielded swords[3] and wore suits of gleaming black armor. Their helms were crested by a row of dragon scales that continued down their backs, diminishing downwards.[1]

History

Following Princess Aerea Targaryen's taking of Balerion and her death after she returned with the dragon to Westeros, King Jaehaerys I Targaryen founded the Dragonkeepers in 56 AC to prevent another such theft.[2]

In 60 AC, as Princess Daenerys Targaryen was stricken by the Shivers, King Jaehaerys ordered a raven sent to the Dragonkeepers on Dragonstone, ordering them to bring a hatchling to King's Landing at once. After Daenerys died several hours later, Jaehaerys flew to Dragonstone upon Vermithor to inform them that it was no longer necessary.[2]

The Dragonkeepers at the Dragonpit of King's Landing knew the dragons there better than anyone else. The guards gave the dragon Caraxes his nickname of the Blood Wyrm.[2]

According to the accounts of the Dragonkeepers, when Princess Alyssa Targaryen came to claim a dragon in the Dragonpit in 75 AC, they had to convince her not to claim Balerion, telling the princess the dragon was "old and slow" and suggesting she would rather have a swifter mount. In the end they succeeded, as Alyssa claimed the dragon Meleys.[2]

In 84 AC, the Dragonkeepers caught Princess Saera Targaryen trying to enter the Dragonpit. They returned her to the Red Keep.[2]

Once, when Princess Viserra Targaryen brought six boys into the Dragonpit, promising her maidenhead to whoever would put his head in a dragon's mouth, the Dragonkeepers arrived in time to put an end to it.[2]

During the Dance of the Dragons, less than fifty Dragonkeepers stood guard when the Storming of the Dragonpit began. The greatly-outnumbered Dragonkeepers fought the Shepherd-led mob but were slaughtered when the rabble broke through. The dragons Tyraxes, Shrykos, Morghul, and Dreamfyre died fighting the mob, and the dome of the Dragonpit collapsed.[3]

Morning, the dragon of Lady Rhaena Targaryen, made her lair in the Dragonpit after the civil war,[4] but it is as yet unknown if the surviving Dragonkeepers continued their duties.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Lord Eddard Stark sees empty suits of armor in a deserted corridor of the Red Keep. The armor is of black steel with dragon scales on the helms' crests,[5] so they might have been armor of the Dragonkeepers or other House Targaryen guards.

A Storm of Swords

While fleeing the Red Keep with Dontos Hollard, Sansa Stark passes through a gallery and sees the empty suits of armor with scales cresting down the back.[6]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fire & Blood, Jaehaerys and Alysanne - Their Trumphs and Tragedies.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Fire & Blood, The Long Reign - Jaehaerys and Alysanne: Policy, Progeny, and Pain.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
  4. Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
  5. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 20, Eddard IV.
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 61, Sansa V.