House of the Dragon: Can non-Targaryens be Dragonriders?

Colossal fire breathing beasts made the House of the Dragon the undisputed rulers of Westeros but can non-Targaryens be Dragonriders?

Can non-Targaryens be Dragonriders? Set 120 years before the fall of their mighty dynasty, House of the Dragon sees the Targaryen family at the height of their power. The family’s rule over the Seven Kingdoms is indisputable, and despite some internal politics, the Targaryen’s grip on the Iron Throne seems assured.

Why? Well, because they have dragons, of course. These titanic, flying, fire-breathing lizards are the secret to the Targaryen’s success. With their thick scales and mighty wings, the dragons essentially serve as the Targaryen’s personal air-force giving them a considerable advantage over the infantry and cavalry of any army that opposes them.

Still, the only thing that’s certain in this fantasy series – aside from death and taxes is change. Could another house challenge the dragon lords? Could a Stark or a Lannister hatch a dragon’s egg and eventually take to the skies on the back of a drake? Can non-Targaryens be Dragonriders? We’ve taken a look into it.

Can non-Targaryen be Dragonriders?

No, you do not have to be a Targaryen to be a dragon rider. That said, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see someone who isn’t a Targaryen flying around on one at this point in the series. Why? Well, to ride on a dragon, you must have the blood of an Old Valyrian Dragon Lord family in your veins.

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Unfortunately, all of the other Dragon Lord families are dead, wiped out during the Doom of Valyria – a cataclysmic event that destroyed the Valariyan Freehold. Don’t worry if you were confused; the TV series has never really taken the time to explain what Valyria is nor who the Dragonlords were.

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Why can Laenor Velaryon ride a dragon?

You might think that Laenor can ride a dragon because his family, the Velaryons, are from Old Valyria, like the Targaryens, but you’d be wrong.

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The Velaryons are not a Dragon Lord family, and as such, they do not have a natural bond with the dragons. Laenor can ride a dragon because his mother, Rhaenys, is a full-blooded Targaryen, and he has inherited her bond with the lizards.

The House of the Dragon airs Sunday at 9 pm in the US on HBO Max and at 2 am on Sky and NOW in the UK. If you can’t get enough Westeros action check out our guide to the best Game of Thrones characters.