House of the Dragon: Vhagar and its dragonriders, explained

Vhagar in House of the DragonHBO

House of the Dragon Episode 6 features one of the show’s most highly-anticipated beasts: Vhagar, one of the largest dragons in Westeros history – but who are its dragonriders, and how big is it?

House of the Dragon, HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series, is planned to run for at least three or four seasons. Fans can look forward to seeing a total of 17 dragons across the whole show, with 9 in Season 1 alone.

So far, we’ve seen four dragons: Rhaenyra’s Syrax, Daemon’s Caraxes, Laenor Velaryon’s Seasmoke, and Rhaenys Targaryen’s Meleys.

In Episode 6, one of the most fearsome dragons in the Seven Kingdoms makes her debut: Vhagar.

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Spoilers for House of the Dragon to follow…

House of the Dragon: How big is Vhagar?

Vhagar is the biggest living dragon in House of the Dragon, and the second-largest dragon in Westeros history after Balerion the Black Dread.

Vhagar’s short scene in Episode 6 speaks for itself; she is substantially bigger than Daemon’s Caraxes, said to be twice the size, and far, far larger than any of Daenerys’ dragons in Game of Thrones.

While we don’t have exact measurements, there are some comparisons to be made from characters’ sentiments. While Balerion’s wingspan was so large that his shadow could engulf entire towns as he flew overhead, Tyrion Lannister once said once could ride a horse down Vhagar’s gullet. Before her death, Vhagar grew almost as large as Balerion.

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According to George R.R. Martin, while not detailed in Fire and Blood, Vhagar is “bronze with greenish blue highlights and bright green eyes.”

She hatched from a dragon egg on Dragonstone during the Century of Blood. Her name comes from one of the several gods worshipped in Old Valyria, the former capital of the Valyrian Freehold.

House of the Dragon: Who rides Vhagar?

Vhagar has been around since Aegon Targaryen’s conquest across Westeros, so she had quite a few dragonriders throughout her life.

She was first ridden by Queen Visenya Targaryen, fighting alongside Aegon on Balerion and Rhaenys on Meraxes.

After Visenya’s death in 44 AC (after conquest), Vhagar remained unridden for 25 years. In 73 AC, Baelon Targaryen claimed Vhagar, and they fought in the Fourth Dornish War in 83 AC. Baelon died in 101 AC, leaving Vhagar riderless again.

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Vhagar’s next known rider is one we’ve seen in the show: Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell), the wife of Daemon (Matt Smith). In House of the Dragon, Laena commanded Vhagar to burn her to death with dragonflame after failing to give birth to her son, while she died following three days of sickness as a result of their baby’s traumatic birth in the book.

If the show follows the book, Vhagar’s next rider will be Aemond Targaryen (played by Leo Ashton as a child and Ewan Mitchell as an adult), the second son of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine) and Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke).

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We won’t go into any further details, but you can expect some epic battles in House of the Dragon’s future.

House of the Dragon Episode 7 will be available to watch on October 2 in the US and October 3 in the UK.