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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When I wrote Numen the Slayer, I added an interesting feature to the ashes dragons leave in their wake. Dragon fire is well known for incinerating anything and everything it touches. However, from all that death and destruction comes the promise of new life. Like ashes created by forest fires and volcanoes, the ashes left by dragon fire is great fertilizer. In fact, due to the magical properties of these ashes, Dragon Ashes is the best and most coveted fertilizer in the Gradaian Empire. Wherever a dragon unleashes its fire, farmers and traders are not far behind, waiting to claim their share of the ashes. One kilogram of Dragon Ashes is enough to fertilize ten acres of land for a decade. Because Dragon Ashes is such a coveted fertilizer, farmers usually make pacts with dragons. In exchange for a percentage of their livestock, dragons would burn wood to provide the ashes.
At the start of Numen the Slayer, dragons were all but extinct and most of the Dragon Ashes were used up. After Numen the Slayer, Dragon Ashes become mass produced by newly revived dragons. As the years go by and Dragon Ashes becomes more common, the various lands of the Empire become increasingly more fertile, which promises more plentiful harvests than in previous years.
Allow me to address some of the many flaws in House Targaryen. Even though I will always be a fan of this infamous family, I cannot shake off their flaws. Among those flaws was the fact that they were very careless and irresponsible with their heirlooms compared to other noble houses.
To begin with, the Targaryens lost the Valyrian steel crown of Aegon the Conqueror when Daeron the Young Dragon attempted to conquer Dorne. Since then, Targaryen kings replaced it with inferior crowns that any normal king would wear. Because Valyrian steel is so rare and impossible to make from scratch, that crown was irreplaceable. When House Arryn ruled as Kings of the Vale, they had a collection of crowns they had worn for thousands of years until Visenya Targaryen took them away.
While we are on the subject of Valyrian steel, let’s turn our attention to the two Valyrian steel ancestral swords of House Targaryen: Blackfyre and Dark Sister. Most noble families were super lucky if they even had one Valyrian steel sword, but the Targaryens had TWO!!! Then they squandered both swords at the start and end of the five Blackfyre Rebellions. The noble families who had Valyrian steel swords such as the Starks, Mormonts, and Tarlys took great care of their ancestral blades and had them for five hundred years. With the Targaryen Dynasty, they lost both of their ancestral blades after having them for less than two hundred years.
Thanks to the Mad King’s insanity and tyranny, the Targaryen Dynasty lost the Iron Throne; the seat of absolute power that they held for almost three hundred years. If it wasn’t for the Targaryen family curse of madness and had the sense of giving up their practice of incest, the Targaryens could have ruled Westeros until the end of time.
However, even though the Iron Throne served as a symbol of the Targaryen’s power, the true source of their power came in the form of their greatest weapons: DRAGONS!!! For over a century, the Targaryen Dynasty were able to hold onto their power thanks to their dragons. With the exception of the Dornishmen and the zealots of the Faith Militant, no one was crazy enough to wage war against dragons. Then the Dance of the Dragons came along and the Targaryens lost their dragons along with the long term lynchpin to their hold to the Iron Throne. Instead of being responsible with their dragons, the Targaryens regarded them as weapons and they paid the price for this neglect.
I breaks my heart that the Targaryens did not take better care with all of their heirlooms. They truly had it in them to rule Westeros forever if they had taken the proper steps to prevent their downfall.
In medieval times, two things were commonplace: trial by combat and family dysfunction. Throughout medieval history, noble families often fought one another for power and status. Easily one of the most extreme examples was the War of the Roses, which resulted in a 30 year blood feud between York and Lancaster, who were both related to one another and both coveted the throne of England. Trial by combat was often a way for people to settle disputes in a more fair and civilized fashion.
In my fantasy world, the family that rules the Gradaian Empire are a family of dragon riders. So far, they have not developed an excuse to fight one another, but since blood feuds were common in medieval times, a feud between this powerful family seems inevitable. With this in mind, a civil war between dragon riders would definitely result in an amount of death and destruction that would take generations to recover from. So to avoid such a volatile powder keg, a more civilized approach should be developed in case these dragon riders have disputes to settle.
Imagine a trial by combat between dragon riders where one dragon rider battles against another. There would be no outside help. Like a normal trial by combat, the duel is over when a combatant is either killed or yields. The only catch is that you need to have your dragon able to fight and fly until the end of the duel. If you lose your dragon, you are disqualified and you automatically lose the match. Such a battle would light up the sky like a second sun and the sound of roaring and screaming would fill the air like a swarm of damned souls.
With such a system in place, a civil war involving dragons would be avoided and family disputes can be settled fairly and evenly.