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Last Updated on August 23, 2019 by Stefanie Hutson
Game of Thrones is one of the most watched and discussed shows on television. Viewers are drawn to the intricate plot and and stunning visuals. And then of course, there are the dragons…
*Spoiler Warning – If you haven't watched the show or read the books there are significant spoilers below*
Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama series based on the books of George R.R. Martin. It was created for television by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for HBO. The show's filming locations include Belfast and parts of the United Kingdom.
Game of Thrones has multiple plot lines, but most involve the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and the continent of Essos. The series chronicles the various Kingdom's struggles to win the Iron Throne and the power to rule over all kingdoms.
One of the main characters in the show is Daenerys Targaryen. The House Targaryen is known to have a special affinity with dragons. As the show begins, dragons are thought to have been extinct, with the last one dying over 100 years ago. Daenerys is given three petrified dragon eggs as a gift when she wed the Dothraki Drogo and immediately feels a strong connection to them. The eggs were thought to be petrified, and simply an ornament.
Drogo is wounded in battle, and succumbs to his injuries. Daenerys places the eggs on his funeral pyre, lights it, then walks into it, leaving her followers to believe she was burned alive. The next morning however, she emerges with three small dragons clinging to her. Daenerys becomes known as the mother of three dragons, calling them her children.
Initially the size of a large bird, they eventually grow into full size dragons which terrify anyone that oppose Daenery's quest for the iron throne. The dragons are capable of breathing fire and decimating armies and cities.
Daenerys names the dragons Rhaegal, Viserion, and Drogon after people who had some significance to her.
Viserion is named for her brother, Prince Viserys Targaryen. He is a cream colored dragon with gold markings, and reddish wings.
Viserys is Daenery's narcissistic, power hungry older brother. He sees himself as the rightful heir to the iron throne. Viserys sells his younger sister Daenery's to the Dothraki Khal Drogo, as a way to secure the allegiance of Drogo's army and reclaim the throne. As the story progresses, Viserys becomes frustrated and impatient with Drogo. He ends up threatening Daenerys and her unborn son unless Drogo gives him his army. Drogo, having enough of his behavior, kills Viserys by pouring molten gold over his head to “crown” him as he demanded.
Viserion is killed during a battle with the Night King – The leader of the White Walkers who are essentially something like ice zombies. The Night King ends up resurrecting Viserion, who is now an ice blue color and shoots blue flames from his mouth. It's Viserion, ridden by the Night King, who destroys part of the Wall and allows the White Walkers to come through.
It might seem odd for Danery's to name one of her dragons after her cruel brother, but she has a reason. In the books, she states “The cream and gold I call Viserion. Viserys was cruel and weak and frightened, yet he was my brother still. His dragon will do what he could not“.
Rhaegal is named after her eldest brother, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Rhaegar Targaryen also turns out to be Jon Snow's father.
Rhaegal is mostly emerald green with a few bronze scales on his neck and tail. Rhaegal is not as aggressive as his larger brother Drogon. However, he can and does show his ferocious side when defending his mother Danerys from her enemies. Like the other two dragons, Rhaegal is trained to respond to vocal commands in Danery's mother tongue of High Valyrian.
During the Battle of Winterfell, Jon and Daenerys fly on Rhaegal and Drogon respectively. It's during this battle that Rhaegal faces off against his now undead brother Viserion. Although Viserion is eventually defeated with the help of Drogon, Rhaegal sustains significant wounds. Later, while still recovering, he is struck and killed by a scorpion bolt – a large spear shot from a ship.
Drogon is black with red markings, and the largest of the three dragons. He is also the only one we ever see Daenery's riding. Drogon is often used to turn enemies to ask, when Daenerys gives the comment “dracarys” which means “dragonfire”. Drogon can be distinguished by his black and red colored scales.
An early part of the series sees Daenerys traveling and freeing slaves. One such group is the Unsullied. Daenerys makes a deal with a slave trader for eight thousand Unsullied soldiers. The slave trader believes Daenerys to be joking, until she says she can pay for them by giving him one of her dragons. The exchange is made when Daenerys hands over a chained Drogon in exchange for the eight thousand soldiers. The slave trader tries issuing commands to Drogon, and becomes angry when he won't obey. Daenerys responds that he does not obey because dragons are not slaves, followed by the command of “dracarys”. Drogon disposes of the slave traders, and Daenerys frees the Unsullied but asks if they will fight for her goal of the Iron Throne to which they agree.
The dragons in Game of Thrones provide some of the most dazzling scenes, as well as the full gamut of emotions.
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