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House of the Dragon: Vhagar, Aemond’s dragon explained

In House of the Dragon episode 7 we saw Prince Aemond claim his dragon, but who is the mighty she-dragon Vhagar and what role has she played in shaping Westeros

House of the Dragon: Vhagar, Aemond's new dragon explained

Who is Vhagar, the dragon Prince Aemond claimed in House of the Dragon episode 7On paper, all the Targaryen dragons look the same, but as the fantasy series goes on, you’ll learn that some are far more important than others.

And few are more important than the mighty she-dragon Vhagar. Otto Hightower believes that the dragon will be a worthy ally in the coming Targaryen civil war, and judging by her incredible history, he’s not wrong.

Vhagar is one of the most powerful dragons ever to live, so we thought we’d show our respect to this living engine of war by delving into her history, previous dragonriders, and her ultimate fate in the Dance of Dragons. Here’s everything you need to know about Vhagar.

Who is Vhagar?

Vhagar is a she-dragon belonging to House Targaryen who took part in Aegon’s Conquest. In her prime, Vhagar is said to be almost as large and powerful as Balerion the Black Dread; she would die during the Dance of the Dragons at the age of 180 years old.

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Vhagar’s history explained

In the TV series, Vhagar is introduced to us as Laenor Velaryon’s she-dragon, but the mighty drake has a storied history. Vhagar was born on Dragonstone after the destruction of the Valyrian Freehold.

Once the dragon reached adulthood, it was claimed by Visenya Targaryen – the sister-wife of Aegon the Conqueror – who used the mighty drake along with Balerion the Black Dread and the she-dragon Meraxes to help her husband claim the Seven Kingdoms.

House of the Dragon: Vhagar, Aemond's new dragon explained

Vhagar fought in several battles during Aegon’s Conquest, most notably in the Field of Fire which ended any real opposition to the Targaryen’s rule and the scouring of Dorne, which became known as the Dragon’s Wroth.

Vhagar and Visenya outlived Aegon and into the reign of his sons, Aenys and Maegor. Vhagar was instrumental in keeping Maegor on the Iron Throne, as he’d usurped his nephew to become king. Only the dragons’ power prevented any genuine uprising from unseating him.

House of the Dragon: Vhagar, Aemond's new dragon explained

After Visenya died, no Targaryen was bold enough to claim Vhagar, and she went riderless for nearly three decades. Prince Baelon the Brave eventually took Vhagar as his dragon, and the pair made for a deadly duo destroying the Dornish fleet during the Fourth Dornish War.

After Baelon’s death, Vhagar was claimed by Laena, who loved to fly on the great she-dragon’s back. By this time, Vhagar was the oldest, biggest, and arguably the most powerful of the Targaryen dragons.

This meant that after Laena’s death, Vhagar was seen as quite the prize, and several Targaryen’s wanted to claim the beast, including Rhaena. It was prince Aemond, however, who tamed the dragon when he was just ten years old.

House of the Dragon: Vhagar, Aemond's new dragon explained

Vhagar in the Dance of the Dragons

When the Targaryen civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons, began, Aemond sided with his mother, Alicent Hightower, and brother King Aegon II. Early in the war, Vhagar and Aemond fought Prince Lucerys and his dragon Arrax.

The young prince and his smaller dragon were no match for Aemond and the mighty Vhagar, and both were killed. As we’ll see in House of the Dragon season 2, Aemond and Vhagar fought in several other battles during the war, killing the dragon Meleys and her rider Princess Rhaenys.

Unfortunately, while Aemond and Vhagar were unhurt in the battle, Aegon II was seriously injured. This meant Aemond had to step in as prince regent and rule in his brother’s stead, and the unprepared prince made a colossal mistake.

House of the Dragon: Vhagar, Aemond's new dragon explained

Vhagar’s death

He rode Vhagar to Harrenhal, hoping to break the army of Daemon Targaryen but found the castle abandoned upon arriving in the Riverlands. Daemon had moved his forces and taken King’s Landing. Apoplectic with rage, Aemond began a one-man war on the Riverlands, using Vhagar to burn everything he could.

Vhagar and Aemond became known as the Terror of the Trident, but their reign would be short. Daemon would eventually challenge his nephew to a duel in the skies, where the rogue prince kills Aemond at the cost of his own life. Both Vhagar and Caraxes – Daemon’s dragon – would die in the confrontation, severely weakening the Targaryen dynasty.

Vhagar’s dragon riders

Here’s a list of all Vhagar’s known dragonriders:

  • Visenya Targaryen
  • Baelon Targaryen
  • Laena Velaryon
  • Aemond Targaryen

If you’re enjoying learning the history of Westeros, then check out our list of the best Game of Thrones characters, or we have individual breakdowns for the House of the Dragon charactersSer Criston Cole, King Viserys Targaryen, Otto Hightower, and the scheming Larys Strong.

Finally, if you want to know more about what’s next for the Seven Kingdoms, then check out our guide to Game of Thrones season 9 and the possible return of Daenerys Targaryen and the rest of the surviving Game of Thrones cast.

Our sister site Wargamer also has a guide to the best Game of Thrones board games if you want to play this deadly political game for yourself.