House of the Dragon: Caraxes explained

House of the Dragon is full of dragons including Vhagar, Arrax, Sunfyre, Seasmoke, and more but few are fiercer than Daemon Targaryen's Caraxes

House of the Dragon: Caraxes explained

Who is Caraxes? The fantasy series House of the Dragon is set when the Targaryen family is at its most powerful. With more than a dozen dragons under their command, none of the great houses in Westeros can possibly hope to overthrow the royal family.

Yet the Targaryen’s days as the undisputed rulers of the Seven Kingdoms will soon be over, thanks to a coming civil war. This war, known as the Dance of the Dragons, will see most of the Targaryen’s dragons killed in battle and their rookeries destroyed by the unhappy common folk.

So who are the major players in the Dance? While we love the human House of the Dragon characters, we all know the dragons are the TV series‘ big draw, so we thought it’d be fun to break down the history of one of the show’s most important dragons, Caraxes.

Who is Caraxes?

Caraxes, also known as the Blood Wyrm, was a giant red dragon ridden by Daemon Targaryen during the Dance of the Dragon.

Caraxes was a fierce and aggressive dragon who, in the books, was about half the size of Vhagar. In the TV series, Caraxes is nowhere near the size of Vhagar and has a far more unique serpentine appearance.

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Caraxes early life

We don’t know much about the origins of Caraxes. The Blood Wyrm was presumably born during the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, but honestly, George RR Martin has never confirmed that. The first we hear of Caraxes is when the young dragon is claimed by Jaehaerys’s eldest son and heir, Aemon.

Described as the fiercest of the new generation of dragons, Caraxes and Aemon become a deadly duo in the Targaryen wars against the Dornish, where the prince made a name for himself. However, it was during an event known as the Myrish Bloodbath Aemon, and Caraxes’s partnership would come to an abrupt end.

House of the Dragon: Caraxes explained

This Myrish civil war saw a group of Myrish pirates conquer half of the island of Tarth. The Targaryens responded by sending the Velaryon fleet and Aemon on Caraxes. Bold Aemon flew ahead of the fleet and landed on the island.

Unfortunately, Myrish scouts discovered Aemon, and while he was separated from Caraxes, he was killed by a crossbow bolt. Following the death of Aemon, Caraxes returned to the Dragonpit, where he went unclaimed for over a decade. Eventually, however, the Rogue Prince Daemon Targaryen took Caraxes for his own.

House of the Dragon: Caraxes explained

Caraxes during Dance of the Dragon

After being claimed by Daemon, Caraxes fights in the war for the Stepstones and goes with his master when he marries Laena Velaryon and moves to Essos. Following Daemon’s third marriage to Rhaenyra Targaryen, the Red Wyrm would move to Dragonstone.

However, when King Viserys Targaryen died, Caraxes was called to war. You see, Otto and Alicent Hightower crowned Aegon II Targaryen king ahead of the true heir Rhaenyra, leading to the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

Caraxes fought for the Blacks, Rhaenyra’s supporters, and would be used in several battles during the war. Most notably, he helped Daemon conquer Harrenhall in The Riverlands, which the Blacks used as a base during the start of the war.

House of the Dragon: Caraxes explained

How does Caraxes die?

Caraxes dies during Daemon and Aemond’s battle above The God’s Eye. The two Targaryen princes battle atop their dragons, but Daemon gets the upper hand on his nephew when he jumps from Caraxes’s back and stabs Aemond through his eye.

Unfortunately, at that same time, Vhagar and Caraxes collide and fall from the sky into the lake below. Vhagar and Aemond are soon found dead, while Daemon’s body is never found. Caraxes survives the fall but is badly wounded and dies on the lake’s banks soon after.

If you want to know more about the history of Westeros, then check out our guide to the House of the Dragons season 2 release date, or we have articles on several of the series’ major dragons, including, Arrax, Meleys, Meraxes, Seasmoke, Syrax, and Balerion the Black Dread.