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Lesser men defied the dragonlords of the Valyrian Freehold at their peril. Art by Magali Villeneuve

Dragonlords were the dragon-riding most powerful nobles of the Valyrian Freehold.[1] Some members of House Targaryen, such as Aegon the Conqueror, have been referred to as "Dragonlords"[2][3] after the Doom of Valyria and the civilization's destruction.


Leadership of the Valyrian Freehold was contested by twoscore noble families who normally gathered in Valyria,[4][1] although it is unknown if all forty houses controlled dragons.

Strong in sorcery,[5] the dragonlords of old are said to have used binding spells[6] and horns[7] to control their dragons, and they used dragonflame to reshape stone into decorative shapes.[8] Some scholars have written that the dragonlords considered themselves more powerful than gods.[9]

The dragonlords had pale skin, silver-gold hair, and eyes of purple, lilac, and pale blue.[10] The dragonlords were strikingly (some say inhumanly)[11] beautiful.[12] In order to keep their bloodlines pure, the dragonlords customarily wed brother to sister.[4] Heraldic banners were not used by dragonlords.[4]

While Dragonstone is believed to have been the westermost outpost of Valyria,[1] some maesters believe that the base of the Hightower was created by dragonlords thousands of years ago.[8] The dragonlords are not believed to have traveled as far east as the Five Forts.[13] Some kept monkeys, apes, panther cubs, and parrots from the Summer Isles as pets.[14] Dragonlords founded Lys as a pleasure retreat.[10]

Almost all dragonlords died during the Doom of Valyria. Some in Lys and Tyrosh survived the catastrophe but were killed in its aftermath. The dragonlord Aurion led an army from Qohor to the ruins of Valyria, but he was never seen again.[1] Although not dragonriders, many Volantenes consider themselves the successors of the dragonlords.[15] Volantis waged war against rival Free Cities during the Century of Blood.[1]

The Targaryens were one of the great dragonlord families, but far from the most powerful.[4] They were the last dragonlord house to survive the Doom, as Aenar the Exile had led his family to Dragonstone twelve years prior.[1] Riding three dragons, the Targaryens eventually conquered most of Westeros during Aegon's Conquest.[4]

Galendro's The Fires of the Freehold describes the feuds of the dragonlords,[16] and Wroth of the Dragonlords is the first play by Phario Forel.[17]

Recent Events

A Dance with Dragons

Ysilla refers to the Dragonlords of Valyria as lords of fire.[18]

Known dragonlords


The dragonlords of the old Freehold were strong in sorcery, and lesser men defied them at their peril.[5]

Our histories speak of the dragonlords of dread Valyria and the devastation that they wrought upon the peoples of Old Ghis.[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: The Doom of Valyria.
  2. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 3, Daenerys I.
  3. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 4, Eddard I.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  5. 5.0 5.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 22, Arya II.
  6. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 71, Daenerys X.
  7. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 19, The Drowned Man.
  8. 8.0 8.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Norvos.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: The Quarrelsome Daughters: Myr, Lys, and Tyrosh.
  11. A Game of Thrones, Appendix.
  12. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 21, The Queenmaker.
  13. The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond: Yi Ti.
  14. The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Summer Isles.
  15. The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Volantis.
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Valyria's Children.
  17. The Winds of Winter, Mercy
  18. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 18, Tyrion V.
  19. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 70, The Queen's Hand.