|Alias||The Bronze Fury|
Jaehaerys I Targaryen|
|Born||In ca. 35 AC|
|Died||In 130 AC, at Tumbleton|
The Princess and the Queen (mentioned)|
The World of Ice and Fire (mentioned)
Vermithor had bronze scales, and "great tan wings", perhaps indicating that he had tan as a secondary color along his wing membranes, horns, and spinal plates. He was an old, powerful large male. When Jaehaerys I first began to ride Vermithor in his youth, it was already the biggest dragon behind Balerion and Vhagar.
He was almost a hundred years old at the time of the Dance of the Dragons. Due to his size he was not as nimble in the air as some of the smaller, younger dragons. His flame in the fullness of his power melted steel and stone. Unlike his wild brethren, Vermithor was accustomed to men and tolerant of their presence.
Jaehaerys I's sister-wife was Queen Alysanne Targaryen, rider of the she-dragon Silverwing. Jaehaerys and Alysanne once visited Winterfell in a great flight containing six dragons. Alysanne grew bored while there and decided to fly Silverwing north to see the Wall and the Night's Watch. Jaehaerys came after her on his own dragon.
Like their riders, Vermithor and Silverwing became a mated pair. Even years after Jaehaerys I and Alysanne died, Vermithor and Silverwing "oft coiled about one another" in the fields.
Vermithor had no new rider after Jaehaerys died, throughout the reign of his successor Viserys I.
During the Dance of the Dragons, when it was decided by Jacaerys Velaryon that the Blacks needed more dragonriders, many men came forward to answer the Prince’s call. This proved to be very dangerous, Lord Gormon Massey was burned to death while approaching Vermithor. The dragon bent his neck to a blacksmith’s bastard called Hugh Hammer and was ridden by him during the civil war. Silverwing was claimed by Ulf the White.
Vermithor took part in and survived the Battle in the Gullet. Along with Silverwing, Sheepstealer, Vermax and Seasmoke, Vermithor descended upon the ninety warships sailing under the banners of the Three Daughters.
Along with Caraxes, Silverwing and Sheepstealer, Vermithor made a lair in the Dragonpit before flying off to deal with the large army of House Hightower which had been making its way up the Roseroad, and was advancing on Tumbleton. During the First Battle of Tumbleton, however, Hugh and Ulf switched sides, burning Rhaenyra's army there and scourging the town with whips of flame from one end to the other. The Two Betrayers had initially sought reward from the greens, wanting rule of Casterly Rock and Highgarden, but the Hightower commander had died in the battle, so their host remained camped at Tumbleton debating their next move.
Word later reached them of the Storming of the Dragonpit in King's Landing, and the Dance over Harrenhal in which both Vhagar and Caraxes died. The only other remaining rideable dragons were Sunfyre (crippled and presumed dead), Sheepstealer (disappeared), Moondancer (barely big enough to ride), and Seasmoke and Tessarion (large enough for battle, but still relatively young and small compared to Vermithor and Silverwing). Recognizing this, Hugh Hammer decided to declare himself king, and the new leader of the green army at Tumbleton. Prince Daeron and his mount Tessarion were in the camp, and he was insulted at Hugh's usurpation. When asked for justification, Hugh bluntly said that he named himself king by the same right that Aegon the Conqueror did: he had a dragon, the biggest and most powerful one remaining. Tessarion could not hope to fight the combined might of Vermithor and Silverwing so Daeron did not challenge them further - though with the Bloody Caltrops he conspired to have them assassinated.
Unbeknownst to any in the green camp at Tumbleton, however, Addam Velaryon had ridden his dragon Seasmoke across the Riverlands to rally surviving black armies, eventually amassing an army 4,000 strong. Addam was determined to prove his loyalty to Rhaenyra by taking revenge on the Two Betrayers who had cast doubt on his honor because he was also a bastard. Thinking the blacks defeated, the green army was taken completely by surprise when he made a daring night-time attack: the Second Battle of Tumbleton. The three dragons of the greens were also riderless: Daeron was killed before he could mount Tessarion, and Ulf the Sot was (aptly) passed out drunk in an inn. Hugh himself rushed to mount Vermithor but was stopped by Jon Roxton, one of the Bloody Caltrops. Unsuspecting and also distracted by the attack of Addam's forces, Hugh was taken by surprise when Roxton used his Valyrian steel sword Orphan-maker to cut him open from groin to throat, spilling his entrails on the ground. Silverwing fled the battle altogether, but the riderless Vermithor and Tessarion began wildly attacking any who came into their sight, from both sides. Seasmoke and Tessarion engaged in a protracted and spectacular aerial duel but were evenly matched.
Vermithor, however, then turned into the black army and dealt grievous damage to Addam's forces. Addam must have realized that Seasmoke had no hope of defeating Vermithor, but apparently hoped to at least distract it long enough for his men to escape to safety. Vermithor was no more than twenty feet above the battle when Seasmoke slammed into him from above, driving him shrieking into the mud. Just as Vermithor was overpowering Seasmoke, Tessarion inexplicably returned to attack Vermithor. None can say why Tessarion did this: perhaps upset at seeing Vermithor about to kill the smaller dragon, perhaps out of some lingering anger that Vermithor's rider had been the enemy of Tessarion's rider, or perhaps out of blind rage - the mind of the dragon is unknown. All three fought to the death on the ground amidst mud and blood and smoke. Vermithor killed Seasmoke when he locked his teeth into his neck and ripped his head off. He attempted to take flight with his prize still in his jaws but his tattered wings could not lift his weight. After a moment he collapsed and died. Vermithor had also mortally wounded Tessarion, who died soon afterwards.
It is said that after dark Silverwing descended to land beside her slain cousins. Later, the singers would tell of how she tried to lift Vermithor’s wing three times with her nose, as if to try and make him fly again, but according to Archmaester Gyldayn this is most likely a fable.
Known dragonriders of Vermithor
References and Notes