House of the Dragon – Rhaenyra Targaryen’s dragon Syrax explained

House of the Dragon has explored the bond between the Targaryens and their drakes but few members of the family have as strong a bond as Syrax and Rhaenyra

House of the Dragon - Rhaenyra Targaryen's dragon Syrax explained

Who is Syrax? House of the Dragon has introduced plenty of influential people who shaped the history of Westeros. Still, everyone knows that the real stars are the fire-breathing dragons that allowed the Targaryens to conquer Westeros.

Few dragons are as important to the fantasy series as Syrax, the personal mount of Rhaenyra Targaryen. Rhaenyra leads the Blacks in the Dance of the Dragons, a civil war between the various members of the rotten Targaryen family tree. So while we wait for the best TV series of 2022 to return, we thought we’d break down everything you need to know about Syrax.

Who is Syrax?

Syrax was a medium-sized yellow dragon and the personal mount of the Black Queen herself, Rhaenyra Targaryen. Rhaenyra named Syrax after an ancient Valyrian god.

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Syrax early life

Little is known about Syrax’s early life, but he became Rhaenyra’s dragon when the princess was seven years old. We can presume then that Syrax spent much of his early life with the young princess in the Red Keep’s stables or the Dragonpit in King’s Landing.

We also know that Syrax and Rhaenyra loved to fly together and would often go on trips around King’s Landing together, sometimes in the company of her uncle Daemon Targaryen. In the TV series, Rhaenya often invited her friend, Alicent Hightower, to fly on Syrax, but the young girl was too afraid to ride on a dragon.

When Rhaenyra’s mother, Aemma Arryn, died, Syrax was the dragon chosen to light the funeral pyre. In House of the Dragons season 1, we only see Syrax a few times after the funeral. We see Syrax when Rhaenyra flies to Dragonstone to confront Daemon for stealing a dragon’s egg, and then later, when the princess miscarried, Syrax shares his rider’s pain.

House of the Dragon - Rhaenyra Targaryen's dragon Syrax explained

Syrax during the Dance of the Dragons

As one of the few adult dragons the Blacks have access to, Syrax was a powerful weapon in the early days of the Dance of the Dragons. Rhaenyra used Syrax to scare off Otto Hightower when he came to her with a peace offering from Aegon II Targaryen.

George RR Martin didn’t write a lot about Syrax during the Dance in the book Fire and Blood. That said, we know he took part in the black’s successful attack on King’s Landing, and he flew Rhaenyra into the Red Keep’s courtyard when she took the Iron Throne.

After the sacking of King’s Landing, Syrax remained in the Red Keep chained in the stables to ensure he didn’t fly off without his rider and he didn’t take part in any further battles that we know about.

House of the Dragon - Rhaenyra Targaryen's dragon Syrax explained

How does Syrax die?

Syrax died fighting the common folk of King’s Landing during the storming of the Dragonpit. While Syrax wasn’t housed at the Dragonpit during the uprising, Rhaenyra’s son Joffrey flew his mother’s dragon to the pit in the hopes of saving his own mount Tyraxes.

Unfortunately, dragons will not accept more than one rider, and Syrax threw Joffrey from his back during the flight. Now riderless, Syrax landed by the Dragonpit, where he was attacked, and although the yellow dragon put up a valiant fight, the sheer number of attackers meant he was eventually slain.

If you love the history of Westeros, then check out our guide to the House of the Dragon season 2 release date. We also have articles on all the major dragons, including Balerion the Black Dread, Vhagar, Meraxes, Seasmoke, Arrax, Vermithor, and Caraxes.