Tag Archives: DRAGON

HOUSE BLACKFYRE: THE FALLEN DRAGON

As I delve into the history of House Targaryen, I turn my attention to the tragedy of their cadet branch, House Blackfyre. Like many great houses, the Targaryens had their own cadet branches of relatives. House Baratheon was rumored to be a cadet branch of House Targaryen, but this was never confirmed. The only confirmed cadet branch of the red dragon was the black dragon of House Blackfyre, which died out decades before the main story of Game of Thrones.

The story of House Blackfyre began during the reign of Aegon the Unworthy, who was both famous and infamous for his insatiable sexual appetite. Due to his numerous mistresses and affairs, Aegon had a large brood of bastard children. The greatest of these bastards was Daemon Waters, who was his father’s favorite child. Aegon the Unworthy favored Daemon so greatly that he knighted the boy when he was twelve and gifted him Blackfyre, the ancestral Valyrian steel sword of House Targaryen. When Aegon was on his deathbed, his final command was to legitimize all of his bastards, including Daemon.

With the passing of Aegon the Unworthy, Daemon’s legitimate half-brother Daeron the Good became king. Befitting his title as “The Good”, Daeron tried to be on good terms with Daemon and his other half-siblings. Daeron even gave Daemon an edict on his wedding that permitted him to build his own castle in the Crownlands. Sadly, simply having his own lands and castle was not enough for Daemon.

Since Daemon was legitimized, he had a claim to the Iron Throne. Also, several lords preferred Daemon over Daeron. This was because these lords were unsatisfied by the peace that Daeron promoted and wanted a warrior as their king, which they saw in Daemon. In addition, these lords saw Aegon gifting Blackfyre to Daemon as a sign that Aegon preferred Daemon as his heir despite being illegitimate. With his newly legitimized status, Daemon changed his surname from Waters to Blackfyre after the sword his father gave him.

After rallying his armies, Daemon declared war on his half-brother with the intention to claiming the Iron Throne for himself. Ultimately, Daemon and his two eldest sons were killed on the Redgrass Field while the rest of his children fled into exile. Despite Daemon’s death, his descendants would continue to plague the Targaryens with four more rebellions of fire and blood. The male bloodline of House Blackfyre was severed when Barristan Selmy slew Maelys the Monstrous on the Stepstones during the final Blackfyre Rebellion. What happened to the female bloodline of House Blackfyre is unknown.

I call the fate of House Blackfyre a tragedy because if they had known their place, they would still be alive and enjoying a castle not far from King’s Landing. They could have had the positive relationship with their Targaryen relatives that Daeron the Good wanted. Great houses such as the Starks, Lannisters, Tyrells, and so on had working relationships with their cadet branches that lasted for centuries. Sadly, a dragon’s ambition burns too hot and the Iron Throne is too great a prize to resist.

HOUSE TARGARYEN: THE DOOMED GENERATION

Out of all the generations of House Targaryen, the one I find most intriguing would be the generation that lived before and during the Dance of the Dragons. Before the Dance of the Dragons, this generation represented House Targaryen at the height of its power over the Seven Kingdoms. Not only were there plenty of heirs that would secure the dynasty, but there were over twenty dragons, which were the most dragons seen since the glory days of Valyria. Sadly, despite the power they represented, this generation had one fatal weakness: they despised one another with a passion. This hatred started when King Viserys I remarried to Alicent Hightower, who produced several legitimate male heirs. These heirs undermined Princess Rhaenyra’s claim to the Iron Throne since she was named the designated heir apparent by her father, which was a decision he stood by until the day he died. Unfortunately, Alicent and her children failed to honor their patriarch’s dying wish and usurped the throne for themselves. This led to the bloodiest and most devastating Westerosi civil war in history: the Dance of the Dragons. Throughout the war, this generation of Targaryens gradually killed each other and their dragons until there were only two Targaryens and two dragons left. Shortly after the war, the last dragons eventually died out completely. This marked the start of the long term decline of House Targaryen. This generation had so much potential and they squandered it because they despised and coveted one another. I often think about what could have happened if this generation of Targaryens were not so dysfunctional. If they didn’t kill each other, would they still have their dragons and the Iron Throne? So many questions that will never be answered. All I can do is imagine and brainstorm this scenario.

A COLOSSAL DRAGON

Like all reptiles, the longer a dragon lives the larger they become. As their size increases, so does their power. Easily the largest dragon I have seen would be Shruikan from the Inheritance Cycle. Shruikan was so large that he was almost a living mountain. In the picture above, you can see that Shruikan (the black dragon) dwarfs all other dragons in the story. The small speck that is positioned between the red and blue dragons is an average sized person. Most fans speculate that Shruikan was 300 meters (984 feet) long with a wingspan twice that long. When you put that scale into perspective, Shruikan made Balerion the Black Dread (the largest of the Targaryen dragons) from Game of Thrones look like a small lizard by comparison. Even though we never got to see Shruikan truly unleashed on a battlefield, I believe such a dragon would wield enough firepower to rival a megaton nuclear warhead. Unleashing a dragon of Shruikan’s caliber on a battlefield would be a new definition of the word “overkill.” In my third fantasy book, I am thinking of including a dragon that is as large and powerful as Shruikan.

THIRD FANTASY BOOK: CHAPTER 3

I have reached the third chapter of my third fantasy book. It will be told from the point of view of the dragons of House Magnus. This will be an intriguing chapter to read because I have always wanted to write something from a dragon’s point of view. As creatures of fire, magic, and power, dragons are likely very vain and proud beasts. I also get to depict what a dragon’s natural habitat would look like and how their social order is organized. I will be drawing inspiration from interactions wolves have with one another as they arrange the pecking order.

A BEAUTIFUL DRAGON

As a dragon fanatic, I have enjoyed and sympathized with the dragons in Game of Thrones. Dragons were the linchpin to House Targaryen’s long term hold to the Iron Throne. Instead of being preserved as the last of their kind, the Targaryen dragons were used as living weapons of mass destruction. One of the saddest of these cases was the dragon known as Sunfyre, the dragon bonded to King Aegon II. Before the Dance of the Dragons, Sunfyre was the most beautiful of all the Targaryen dragons with golden scales that made him look like a living gilded statue. After the Dance of the Dragons, Sunfyre became a ruined and scarred creature that would never fly again. Such a beautiful animal became a ravaged shadow of its former self because of the ambitions of its masters. I frequently wonder what it would have been like if Sunfyre had the chance to live out his existence in peace and die of old age like Balerion the Black Dread did. If Sunfyre reached maturity, I think it would be hard to tell if he was a dragon or an angel.

DRAGON PRINCE THEORIES CONFIRMED

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I watched the third season of The Dragon Prince and it was well worth the year and a half long wait! I was particularly pleased to know that the theories I came up with about Aaravos in my previous posts have either been confirmed or implied this season.

First, it seems Aaravos really did teach humanity dark magic. In the first episode, we were shown a conversation between the former Dragon King Sol Regem and the first human dark wizard. In that conversation, the dark wizard said he received his staff from one of the “Great Ones.” Considering Aaravos’s extensive knowledge and power in magic, it would be safe to say that Aaravos was this “Great One” the dark wizard referred to.

Second, it has been confirmed that the previous Dragon King really did seal Aaravos in his magic mirror and the very mention of the Dragon King’s name angered Aaravos. These two facts of Aaravos giving humanity dark magic and being sealed by the Dragon King is similar to the tale of the titan Prometheus. When Prometheus steals fire from the gods and gives it to humanity, Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock and having an eagle rip out his liver repeatedly day after day. The previous Dragon King had power over thunder and lightning just like Zeus and his home was an unmatchably tall mountain like Mount Olympus.

Third, it seems I was right that Aaravos needed the Dragon Prince to escape his prison. Through Viren, Aaravos was able to absorb some of the Dragon Prince’s power. By the end of the season, it was revealed that Aaravos’s larval form had wrapped itself in a cocoon. Aaravos probably needed some of the Dragon Prince’s power to serve as the catalyst for him to remake his physical body. By next season, Aaravos may emerge from his chrysalis and be free to continue his reign of terror. According to legend, Hercules, the son of Zeus, was the one who freed Prometheus from his prison. The Dragon King was a representation of Zeus and the Dragon Prince is his son, so this is a clear reference Prometheus’s escape.

Overall, I am glad that my predictions in The Dragon Prince came true so far and I look forward to seeing what will happen next now that humans, elves, and dragons finally put aside their differences and joined forces.

DRAGONS WITH MULTIPLE HEADS

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There have been cases of dragons with multiple heads in fantasy. I am thinking of depicting a dragon with three heads. A dragon with three heads would mean three times the size, strength, and firepower compared to a normal dragon. There have been cases in real life when snakes with two heads. Even more strange are experiments done with salamanders. In those experiments, a salamander would have its head cut off and a new one would take its place. Then the severed head would be placed to the salamander’s side and naturally graft itself over time, resulting in the salamander having two heads. The three-headed dragon in my fantasy book will be the result of a genetic deformity that only happens once every one thousand years. Such a dragon would be larger and more powerful than a normal dragon and would live three times longer, but a side effect of the mutation renders the dragon sterile. However, each of these heads will have their own personality and individuality, which makes this dragon harder to control than a one headed one. My main character has the chance to claim the ultimate dragon, but the process will be extremely difficult and potentially life-threatening. This will add more depth to the main character’s quest for absolute power over the empire.

FILM REVIEW: DRAGONSLAYER

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I recently rewatched one of my favorite fantasy films, Dragonslayer! I like this film because it portrayed a unique fantasy world that reacted to the presence of a dragon in various ways. A sorcerer regards the dragon as one of the last remnants of magic, a boy sees it as a chance to prove himself a man, a kingdom regards it with fear, and a king regards it as a monster to appease at all costs. This film depicted one of the best dragons in cinematic history. The story and world building were wonderful. You just don’t get films like this anymore.