House of the Dragon: Vermithor explained

Vermithor in House of the Dragon Episode 10HBO

House of the Dragon Episode 10 appears to introduce one of the biggest dragons in all of Westeros: Vermithor – but what’s his story, and who’s ridden him before? Let’s dig in.

House of the Dragon is a prequel to Game of Thrones, chronicling the tumultuous rule of King Viserys I and the Dance of the Dragons, the bloody, explosive civil war that nearly cripples the Targaryen dynasty.

If the Targaryens are known for one thing more than their sleek blonde hair, it’s their dragons, and House of the Dragon will show at least 17 dragons throughout its run, with nine in the first season alone.

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In Episode 10, the Season 1 finale, we seemed to meet another formidable dragon: Vermithor – so, let’s dig into his history.

Spoilers for House of the Dragon Episode 10 to follow…

House of the Dragon: Who is Vermithor?

Vermithor is the second-largest living dragon in all of Westeros, coming after Vhagar and third to Balerion the Black Dread in the overall history of the show. You can find a list of all the dragons we’ve seen here.

Vermithor in House of the Dragon Episode 10HBO

Known as the Bronze Fury, Vermithor has “great tan wings” according to George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, and by the time of the Dance of the Dragons, he’s already almost 100 years old.

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In Episode 10, we watched Daemon head into the Dragonstone dragon lair while singing a High Valyrian lullaby. From the darkness, a massive beast creeps out, spouting plumes of fire into the void. Even in the face of something so immense, Daemon keeps singing, and the dragon begins to calm.

While unconfirmed, it’s widely believed this is Vermithor.

House of the Dragon: Who rides Vermithor?

Vermithor was first ridden by King Jaehaerys I, Viserys’ grandfather. In the book, he was later ridden by Hugh Hammer, a blacksmith’s bastard son.

As per Fire and Blood, Vermithor accepted Jaehaerys as his rider by 48 AC. He flew on the dragon to King’s Landing to claim the Iron Throne in the wake of Maegor the Cruel’s death.

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He became riderless following Jaehaerys’ death in 103 AC, and didn’t find another rider during the reign of Viserys I. He remained in a lair on Dragonstone.

Following the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons, some tried to claim Vermithor – including Lord Gormon Massey, who was scorched to death as a result. He eventually bonded with Hugh Hammer, a somewhat random blacksmith’s bastard, who then flew with the other dragons in battle.

It remains to be seen whether Daemon has managed to bond with Vermithor in the show – considering Aemond has Vhagar, and the two Targaryens have a major rivalry in the book, it would make sense… until you consider he’s already bonded with Caraxes, so it’s all a bit messy.

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All of House of the Dragon is available to stream on HBO Max. You can find out more about Season 2 here.