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Daenerys Targaryen and Drogon in Daznak's Pit - by Marc Simonetti ©
Dragon skulls in the Czerwona Twierdza cellars

Dragons are magical creatures, which existed on the continents of Westeros and Essos, but are considered to have been extinct for almost one hundred and fifty years. The only remaining traces of the dragons are skeletal remains and dragon eggs which are thought to have turned to stone.

Dragons are depicted in the sigils of Houses Blackfyre, Targaryen, Toland, Vance of Atranta, Vance of Wayfarer's Rest, and Willum.

Appearance

See also: Images of Dragons

Dragons are scaled, reptilian creatures, with two legs and two wings.[1][2] They use their wings as forelegs like bats, though some Pieśń Lodu i Ognia artwork shows them with four legs and a detached pair of wings. They have sharp teeth and claws, leathery wings and long necks and tails, with spiny crests running down their backs. As hatchlings, they are around the size of a cat, but continue growing and can reach sizes large enough to swallow a mammoth whole. The polished skulls of the Ród Targaryenów dragons look like glittering onyx, and their teeth like curved daggers of black diamond. Their bones are black due to their high iron content. Dragonbone is a highly sought after crafting material.[3]

A dragon's scales are largely but not entirely impervious to flame; they protect the more vulnerable flesh and musculature beneath. As a dragon ages, its scales thicken and grow harder, affording even more protection, even as its flames burn hotter. Whereas the flames of a hatchling can set straw aflame, the flames of Balerion and Vhagar at their prime melted steel and stone.[4]

Characteristics

Great heat emanates from dragons' bodies, to the point that they steam during cold nights. They breathe extremely hot flame which they use to cook their meat before eating it.[5] A dragon's scales are mostly, though not entirely, impervious to fire,[6] protecting the more vulnerable flesh and muscles underneath. Younger dragons are damaged by fire more easily than older dragons, as the scales of a dragon grow thicker and harden when the dragon ages.[4] At the same time, as the dragon grows older, its flames become hotter and fiercer. Where a hatchling's flame can set straw aflame, dragons, like Balerion and Vhagar in the fullness of their power, could melt steel and stone.[4] It is said that dragons are fire made flesh.[7]

Dragons are capable of forming strong attachments to humans who raise them. They have a reasonably high level of animal intelligence, and can be trained to serve as battlemounts and receive vocal commands. Dragons are said to be capricious in nature.[8] Dragons bend easier to their rider's will after they have been fed and their stomach full.[4] Dragons have to be trained, to keep them from laying waste to everything around them.[9]

Dragons grow throughout their lives, but it is unknown how long they can live or how large they can grow. The largest and oldest Targaryen dragon, Balerion, lived about 200 years and could swallow an aurochs whole, or even one of the hairy mammoths, but dragons raised in captivity and enclosed spaces are thought to be smaller than their wild brethren.[10] As dragons grow so do their appetites.

Dragons are believed to be intrinsically tied to Magia and the seasons of the world. Since dragons became extinct from Westeros, the power of magic dwindled and winters grew colder.

Tales of ice dragons with cold breath are told in the Północ of Westeros. It is undetermined if such dragons are entirely fictional.[11]

Dragonriders

Plik:Aegon on Balerion.jpg
Aegon the Conqueror upon Balerion, the Black Dread by Jordi Gonzalez ©.

Dragons will not simply allow anyone to mount them. They seem to be very selective of who they allow become their rider. The rider having Valyrian heritage might be a factor. Once a dragon bonds with a rider, that dragon will not allow anyone else to mount it while its rider lives, though dragons will allow new riders once their previous rider is deceased. No rider though has ever ridden a different dragon while his/her current dragon was alive.[12]

There seems to be a special bond between a dragon and its rider. A dragon might to be able to sense when its current rider is in distress or has died. This is implied in the case of the dragon Dreamfyre, who, despite being locked and chained in the Dragonpit, sensed when her rider Helaena Targaryen committed suicide in Maegor's Holdfast.[4] At the moment of Helaena's death Dreamfyre rose suddenly with a roar that shook the Dragonpit and snapped two of the chains that bound her.[4]

Reproduction

Septon Barth, Grand Maester Munkun, and Maester Thomax hold markedly divergent views on the mating habits of dragons.[13] Dragons lay large, scaled eggs to reproduce.[14] Over the eons un-hatched eggs can become fossilized.

Dragons have no fixed gender differentiation - according to Barth and Maester Aemon, dragons are “but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame”,[14] presumably meaning that they are able to change from one sex to the other. This knowledge was later lost, with many maesters doubting that was true.

It is difficult to determine the sex of a dragon, because like common reptiles they have no external sex organs. There also appears to be no notable sexual dimorphism in dragons, such as that the females of some animal species tend to be bigger than males, and vice versa. Towards the end of her life, Vhagar (believed to be female) grew to be almost as large as Balerion (believed to be male).

Maester Yandel's commentary in The World of Ice and Fire indicates he believed a dragon to be female if it had laid eggs. He took the fact that Vermax was never observed laying eggs as proof that it must have been male.[15]

Female dragons, such as Syrax, are referred to as a she-dragon.[16] Meleys was also called "the Red Queen", and Tessarion "the Blue Queen", possibly indicating their sex. Syrax was noted to have laid multiple clutches of eggs.[4]

Vhagar, Meraxes, Syrax, Meleys, Tessarion, Dreamfyre, Silverwing, and the young dragons Moondancer and Shrykos are referred to as females in historical works. The last Targaryen dragon that died during the reign of King Aegon III has also been referred to as female, presumably because it left behind several eggs. Balerion, Vermithor, Sunfyre, Seasmoke, Sheepstealer, Grey Ghost, the Cannibal, and Stormcloud are all referred to as male. The assumed genders of Quicksilver and Morghul are not apparent. Caraxes has been referred to as both male and female.[4][17]

History

Ancient Dragons

Dragon fire engulfs a soldier. © FFG

Dragons are native to the continent of Essos, and it is said the first dragons came from the east, from the Krainy Cienia beyond Asshai and the islands of the Jade Sea.[18] Regardless of their origin, dragons populated most of the known world in ages past, as ancient dragon bones have been found as far north as Ib and as south as the jungles of Sothoryos.[19] The yellow emperor Chai Duq of Yi Ti is said to have kept a dragon at his court.[20]

Dragons were discovered some five thousand years ago by the Valyrians in the Fourteen Flames, a ring of volcanoes on the Valyrian peninsula. The Valyrians mastered the art of raising dragons and used them as weapons of war to carve out a massive empire. According to legend, a dragon may be tamed by sounding a dragon horn.[21]

After the Zagłada Valyrii, the only dragons known to have survived were five dragons on Smocza Skała. The dragons belonged to Ród Targaryenów, who had brought them from Valyria when they went into exile. Four of these dragons eventually died on Dragonstone, leaving only Balerion. However, the other dragons left eggs behind, and from these hatched Vhagar and Meraxes.[22]

The Targaryen Dragons

Ród Targaryenów used Balerion, Vhagar, and Meraxes in their Wars of Conquest against the Siedem Królestw. They were instrumental in the burning of Harrenhal and the Field of Fire, and the threat of dragons led to the submissions of Torrhen Stark and Sharra Arryn.[22] Dragons were also used in the First Dornish War, which caused the death of Meraxes at the Hellholt in 10AC.[23] The valuable golden coin of the Żelazny Tron became known as a dragon.[24]

Dragon fought dragon in the Battle Beneath the Gods Eye, resulting in the death of the dragon Quicksilver in 43AC.[25]

Over the course of one hundred and fifty years the Targaryens rode their dragons as a symbol of their power. King Jaehaerys I Targaryen took six dragons with him to the Północ to visit the Warden of the North. These included Jaehaerys on Vermithor, Queen Alysanne on Silverwing, and four other currently-unknown dragons.[26]

Balerion finally died of old age in 94AC, late in the reign of Jaehaerys I.[27][28] Jaehaerys's grandson and eventual successor Viserys I was Balerion's rider at the time of its death.[17][29] This left Vhagar as the largest living dragon, and by 129AC she was approaching Balerion's size.[4]

Many dragons were hatched after Aegon's Conquest. By 129AC, on the eve of civil war between Rhaenyra and Aegon II, there were twenty living dragons.[4] The largest and oldest dragons were Vhagar, Vermithor, Silverwing, Dreamfyre, Meleys, Caraxes, and Syrax. Younger dragons still large enough to be ridden to war were Seasmoke, Sunfyre, Tessarion, Vermax, Arrax, Tyraxes, and Moondancer. Stormcloud, Morghul, and Shrykos were hatchlings not yet big enough to ride.

There were also three wild dragons living on Smocza Skała which had never been successfully claimed by any rider: Grey Ghost, Sheepstealer, and the Cannibal. Sheepstealer hatched when Jaehaerys I was still young, and the Cannibal was even older (none knew for certain when it had hatched), and thus they were also quite large by the time of the Taniec Smoków, while Grey Ghost was a younger and smaller beast. Not every hatchling lived to maturity, however, as seen with Rhaena of Pentos, whose hatchling only lived a matter of hours.[4]

Extinction and Revival

By the end of the reign of King Viserys I Targaryen, twenty dragons were alive. The majority of these died during the civil war called the Taniec Smoków, which began in 129AC and would last until mid 131AC.[4][30] Archmaester Marwyn, however, holds that the order of maesters, with their secret goal to suppress Magia, was responsible for the extinction of dragons.[31]

By the end of the Dance in 131AC, only four dragons remained alive: Sheepstealer, the Cannibal, and Silverwing, who had been born years before the war, and the dragon Morning, which had hatched during the war.[30] There were still many dragon eggs left after the war, and at least one of those hatched. The last dragon was a stunted, sick and misshapen thing, and she died young, in 153AC, during the reign of King Aegon III Targaryen, the Dragonbane.[32][33] She had been a green female, small with withered wings. She laid a clutch of five eggs,[34] which never hatched.[35]

The Targaryens also had a collection of nineteen dragons skulls of various sizes and ages that they displayed on the walls of the throne room in the Czerwona Twierdza. Some of these were thousands of years old.[3]

After their extinction, the only remnants of dragons that remained were their skulls[3] and the eggs, some of which were petrified.[34][36][37] The eggs were highly valuable, for their beauty and exotic nature.[38] According to Ser Arlan of Pennytree, the summers became shorter after the last dragon died, and the winters longer and crueler.[35]

Many futile attempts were made to revive dragons. Aegon III Targaryen, known as the Dragonbane, had nine mages cross the narrow sea to use their magics in attempt to hatch remaining dragon eggs.[33] The pious King Baelor I Targaryen attempted to hatch his egg by praying over it.[36] Aegon IV Targaryen ordered pyromancers to build seven mechanical "dragons" that shot jets of Dziki ogień. Hundreds of men died in a failed attempt to use them to invade Dorne.[39] The tragedy of Summerhall resulted from the attempt of King Aegon V Targaryen to hatch dragon eggs.[40] The art of taming and commanding dragons enough to ride is considered lost, aside from a few exceedingly rare books.Potrzebny przypis

According to George R. R. Martin,

There are no more dragons known to exist... but this is a medieval period, and large parts of the world are still terra incognita, so there are always tales of dragon sightings in far off mysterious places. The maesters tend to discount those.[19]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen manages to hatch three dragons—Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion—in her husband Drogo's funeral pyre when she steps into the fire while they lay inside it. With Daenerys's exchange of life for life, the first three dragons in over a hundred years are born in the Dothraki sea.[41]

A Clash of Kings

The warlocks of Qarth fail to take the three dragons from Daenerys.[42]

In Królewska Przystań Wisdom Hallyne, a pyromancer of the Cech Alchemików, tells Tyrion Lannister that their spells are more effective than usual, and wonders if there are any dragons around, as Wisdom Pollitor had once told him that Magia had begun to go out of the world the day the last dragon died.[43]

Nawałnica Mieczy

Daenerys uses her dragons to conquer Astapor.[44]

During a Mała Rada meeting Varys reports that sailors back from the Jade Sea report that a three-headed dragon has hatched in Qarth, and is the wonder of that city. Tywin Lannister dismisses the report.[45]

A Feast for Crows

The Mała Rada of Cersei Lannister discounts rumors of dragons from Essos.[46]

Maester Aemon discusses dragons with Samwell Tarly.[14]

A Dance with Dragons

Daenerys encloses Rhaegal and Viserion within the dragon pit of Meereen's Wielka Piramida after the death of Hazzea, although Drogon remains free.[47] Drogon later causes chaos at Daznak's Pit,[48] and Daenerys flies on his back to the Dothraki sea.[49]

Rhaegal and Viserion are freed from the Great Pyramid during Quentyn Martell's ill-fated attempt to tame a dragon.[50][51]

Historical Dragons

Dragons in flight – by Tomasz Jedruszek]. © Fantasy Flight Games
A Ród Targaryenów dragon is unleashed on the battlefield – by Tomasz Jedruszek. © Fantasy Flight Games
Plik:Tomasz Jedruszek Rain of FireIII.png
Three dragons destroy a castle. by Tomasz Jedruszek. © Fantasy Flight Games

Of unknown or uncertain chronology:

  • Urrax (according to legend slain by Serwyn and probably mythological, as it would have existed centuries before the arrival of the Targaryens)
  • Terrax, the dragon of Jaenara Belaerys who at some point spent three years exploring Sothoryos.

Known Dragon Eggs

Dragon eggs in Gra o Tron
Główny artykuł: Dragon egg
  • Mysaria's egg - When Prince Daemon Targaryen learned his concubine was pregnant, he presented her with a dragon egg, but King Viserys I Targaryen commanded him to return the egg and send Mysaria away.[17] Whereabouts unknown.
  • {hatched} Prince Jacaerys Velaryon's egg - placed in his cradle at his birth by royal decree, hatched into the dragon Vermax.[17][30]
  • {hatched} Prince Lucerys Velaryon's egg - placed in his cradle at his birth by royal decree, hatched into the dragon Arrax.[17][30]
  • {hatched} Prince Joffrey Velaryon's egg - placed in his cradle at his birth by royal decree, hatched into the dragon Tyraxes.[17][30]
  • King Viserys II Targaryen's egg - he possessed an egg during the civil war of the Taniec Smoków, so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.[4]
  • Lady Rhaena Targaryen's eggs - her first egg hatched into a broken thing that died within hours. She possessed another egg at the start of the civil war, and took three eggs to the Dolina Arrynów with her during the war.[4] Only one egg is known to have hatched,[54] the whereabouts of the others are unknown.
  • Prince Maelor Targaryen's egg - he was given an egg at birth,[17] which had not yet hatched by the start of the civil war.[4] It is unknown what happened to the egg after Maelor was killed at Bitterbridge.[54]
  • Five eggs - from the last dragon's clutch,[34] so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.
  • Princess Elaena Targaryen's egg - silver and gold in unknown arrangement[58] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Prince Daeron Targaryen's egg - known to exist,[34] but so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.
  • Prince Aerion Targaryen's egg - gold and silver, with veins of fiery colors[34] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Prince Aemon Targaryen's egg - known to exist,[34] but so far undescribed – whereabouts unknown.
  • King Aegon V Targaryen's egg - white and green swirls[34] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Lord Ambrose Butterwell's egg - red, with golden flecks and black whorls[34] – whereabouts unknown.
  • Seven eggs - used by King Aegon V Targaryen in the ceremony that caused the Tragedy at Summerhall.[40] Some of these may have been the unhatched eggs mentioned above. Whereabouts unknown, but possibly destroyed by the fire.
  • King Euron Greyjoy's egg - Euron claimed he had a dragon egg, but threw it into the sea.[59]
  • {hatched} Drogon's egg - black as the midnight sea, alive with scarlet ripples and swirls.[60]
  • {hatched} Rhaegal's egg - deep green, with burnished bronze flecks.[60]
  • {hatched} Viserion's egg - colored pale cream, streaked with gold.[60]

Depending on how one reads a statement in Tajemniczy Rycerz, it might be possible that Princesses Rhae and Daella Targaryen had been gifted dragon eggs as well.[34]

Books and Scrolls about Dragons

Quotes

For the first time in hundreds of years, the night came alive with the music of dragons.[61]

- thoughts of Daenerys Targaryen


Dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.[7]

Quaithe to Daenerys Targaryen


The last dragon in Westeros was the last dragon. That is well known.[62]

- Armen to Alleras


The grief and glory of my house.[63]

Aemon Targaryen to Samwell Tarly


Once a man has seen a dragon in flight, let him stay at home and tend his garden in content, someone had written once, for this wide world has no greater wonder.[13]

– thoughts of Tyrion Lannister


...it was said that even Aegon the Conquerer never dared mount Vhagar or Meraxes, nor did his sisters mount Balerion the Black Dread. Dragons live longer than men, some for hundreds of years, so Balerion had other riders after Aegon died... but no rider ever flew two dragons.[12]

- Daenerys Targaryen to Quentyn Martell


Death comes out of a dragon's mouth, but death does not go in that way.[64]

– writings of Barth


We shall not pretend to any understanding of the bond between dragon and dragonrider; wiser heads have pondered that mystery for centuries. We do know however, that dragons are not horses, to be ridden by any man who throws a saddle on their back.[4]

- writings of Gyldayn


Who can know the heart of a dragon?[4]

- writings of Gyldayn

Behind the Scenes

The writer Phyllis Eisenstein convinced George R. R. Martin to add dragons to Gra o Tron. Martin dedicated Nawałnica Mieczy to Eisenstein.[65]

References and Notes

  1. So Spake Martin: Comic-Con (NEW YORK CITY, NY) (February 25, 2007)
  2. Not A Blog: Dany and the Dragons (July 9, 2013)
  3. 3,0 3,1 3,2 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 13, Tyrion II.
  4. 4,00 4,01 4,02 4,03 4,04 4,05 4,06 4,07 4,08 4,09 4,10 4,11 4,12 4,13 4,14 4,15 4,16 4,17 4,18 4,19 4,20 4,21 4,22 4,23 4,24 4,25 4,26 4,27 4,28 4,29 4,30 4,31 4,32 4,33 4,34 4,35 4,36 4,37 Księżniczka i Królowa.
  5. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 12, Daenerys I.
  6. "Interview with the Dragon" Copyright © 2003 Robert Shaw.
  7. 7,0 7,1 Starcie Królów, Rozdział 27, Daenerys II.
  8. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 5, Tyrion II.
  9. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 40, Daenerys III.
  10. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 8, Daenerys I.
  11. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 35, Jon VII.
  12. 12,0 12,1 Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 50, Daenerys VIII.
  13. 13,0 13,1 Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 14, Tyrion IV.
  14. 14,0 14,1 14,2 Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 35, Samwell IV.
  15. Świat Lodu i Ognia, The North: Winterfell.
  16. 16,0 16,1 Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 8, Tyrion III.
  17. 17,0 17,1 17,2 17,3 17,4 17,5 17,6 17,7 Książę Łotrzyk.
  18. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 23, Daenerys III.
  19. 19,0 19,1 So Spake Martin: Dragons in Westeros (December 11, 1999)
  20. Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Bones and Beyond: Yi Ti.
  21. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 19, Utopiony.
  22. 22,0 22,1 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
  23. Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
  24. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 16, Eddard III.
  25. 25,0 25,1 25,2 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  26. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 41, Jon V.
  27. 27,0 27,1 27,2 27,3 Książę Łotrzyk.
  28. 28,0 28,1 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  29. Not A Blog: The Rogues Are Coming... (Comment March 12, 2014)
  30. 30,0 30,1 30,2 30,3 30,4 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
  31. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 45, Samwell V.
  32. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 22, Arya II.
  33. 33,0 33,1 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon III.
  34. 34,0 34,1 34,2 34,3 34,4 34,5 34,6 34,7 34,8 Tajemniczy Rycerz.
  35. 35,0 35,1 35,2 Błędny Rycerz.
  36. 36,0 36,1 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
  37. Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
  38. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 46, Daenerys V.
  39. Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon IV.
  40. 40,0 40,1 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
  41. Gra o Tron, Wystąpił błąd w drugim parametrze.
  42. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 48, Daenerys IV.
  43. Starcie Królów, Rozdział 49, Tyrion XI.
  44. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 27, Daenerys III.
  45. Nawałnica Mieczy, Rozdział 19, Tyrion III.
  46. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 17, Cersei IV.
  47. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 11, Daenerys II.
  48. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 52, Daenerys IX.
  49. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 71, Daenerys X.
  50. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 68, Poskromiciel Smoków.
  51. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 70, Namiestnik Królowej.
  52. Świat Lodu i Ognia, Dorne: Dorne Against the Dragons.
  53. Morghul is said to have been a young dragon during 130 AC
  54. 54,0 54,1 54,2 Świat Lodu i Ognia, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  55. Shrykos is said to have been a young dragon during 130 AC
  56. Sunfyre is said to have been young during 120 AC
  57. It was Rhaenyra who named the dragon, and the dragon was still a young dragon upon Rhaenyra becoming her rider in 104AC
  58. Błąd rozszerzenia cite: Błąd w składni elementu <ref>. Brak tekstu w przypisie o nazwie Elaena
  59. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 29, Łupieżca.
  60. 60,0 60,1 60,2 Gra o Tron, Rozdział 11, Daenerys II.
  61. Gra o Tron, Rozdział 72, Daenerys X.
  62. Uczta dla Wron, Wystąpił błąd w drugim parametrze.
  63. Uczta dla Wron, Rozdział 26, Samwell III.
  64. Taniec ze Smokami, Rozdział 66, Tyrion XII.
  65. George R.R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview

External links

  • Dragon - Wikipedia article on the real-world mythological creature.




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