Syrax in House of the Dragon
|Died||In 130 AC, the Dragonpit, King's Landing|
|TV series||House of the Dragon: Season 1|
Appearance and Character
Syrax had yellow scales. She was huge and formidable, but not as fearsome or experienced in battle as Caraxes. She was kept in chains and exceedingly well fed. At the time of the civil war called the Dance of the Dragons, Syrax had not hunted for years.
Rhaenyra first took Syrax as a mount in 104 AC, when the princess was seven years old. Syrax was described as a "young" dragon at the time, and Rhaenyra herself named her "Syrax" (after a Valyrian goddess) - strongly implying that Syrax had no previous rider.
Syrax laid "several" clutches of eggs during the reign of Viserys I. Her latest clutch was produced just prior to the civil war. One of the eggs from that latest clutch was given to Rhaena Targaryen, Rhaenyra's step-daughter. It is somewhat implied that the dragons of Rhaenyra's sons all hatched from eggs laid by Syrax, though the only definitive information about any dragon parentage is that Rhaena's dragon Morning eventually hatched from one of Syrax's eggs.
Following Rhaenyra's difficult stillbirth at the beginning of the war, she was unable to fly on dragonback for a time. However, Rhaenyra recovered enough strength to fly on Syrax, along with her other dragonriders, when they assaulted and captured King's Landing, facing little opposition.
In King's Landing, Syrax was kept within the walls of the Red Keep, in a stable in the outer ward that had been emptied of horses and given over for her use. Heavy chains bound her to the ground. The chains were long enough to allow her to move from the stable to yard, but kept her from flying off riderless. The three other dragons belonging to the blacks were kept in the Dragonpit, along with the greens's Dreamfyre.
Syrax was slain in the aftermath of the Storming of the Dragonpit. Prince Joffrey had attempted to mount her to ride to the Dragonpit and save the other dragons from the mob, and perhaps mount his own dragon Tyraxes there. Dragons are not horses, however, and they will only accept one rider during that rider's lifetime. In mid-flight, Syrax shrugged off Joffrey, who fell to his death. Attracted by the bloodshed at the Dragonpit, Syrax flew there. Archmaester Gyldayn noted that Syrax could have simply stayed high in the air and made runs at the mob with her flames, but instead she descended upon the ground, killing dozens with tooth and claw. There are numerous and contradicting accounts about specifically how Syrax died, and Gyldayn does not give them in detail. What is certain, is that Syrax eventually died fighting the rioters.
Byron Swann's attempt to kill a dragon
Some months before the Storming of the Dragonpit, about the same time of the Butcher's Ball, Ser Byron Swann and his squire set out to slay Syrax. He tried to kill the dragon by sneaking up upon it, while hiding behind his silvered shield so the dragon would see only its reflection, as Serwyn of the Mirror Shield legendarily did to the dragon Urrax. However, Grand Maester Munkun stated in his book The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling that it was Prince Aemond Targaryen's Vhagar who Ser Byron tried to kill, in an effort to end the prince's raids across the riverlands. Nevertheless, this is unlikely, since House Swann supported the prince's brother, King Aegon II Targaryen, and the greens. Munkun largely drew his information from Grand Maester Orwyle, who was imprisoned at the time. Another chronicler, Septon Eustace, claimed that the knight tried to slay Sunfyre, the dragon of King Aegon II, though this is certainly a mistake, as Sunfyre's whereabouts were unknown at the time. But the court fool Mushroom, who was with Queen Rhaenyra, asserts in his Testimony that Byron had attempted to kill Syrax. And finally, Ser Byron's squire wrote to either his or Ser Byron's daughter[N 1] about the knight's death, and said that Byron had faced Syrax.
All accounts agree that the dragon stirred upon the knight's approach and unleashed its fire, burning through the mirror shield and roasting Ser Byron Swann.
A Dance with Dragons
Known dragonriders of Syrax
- Rhaenyra Targaryen - first and only rider
- The sentence in which a daughter is mentioned is ambiguously written, either referring to Ser Byron's daughter or the squire's daughter.
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Triumphant.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - Rhaenyra Overthrown.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 8, Tyrion III.