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Daenerys Targaryen rides Drogon for the first time.

"Brave men didn't kill dragons, the brave men rode them."
Viserys Targaryen to Doreah[src]

A dragonrider was an individual who was able to bond with and mount a dragon. The Targaryens were the only surviving house of the Valyrian dragonlords, making them the last known dragonriders.

Although only the Valyrians are able to ride dragons[1], the Night King was able to ride Viserion by reanimating his corpse and enslaving him[2] as a type of ice dragon.[3]

With the deaths of the Night King and Daenerys Targaryen, there are no active dragonriders. Jon Snow, the only living Targaryen, was able to ride Rhaegal, but the latter's death has left him mountless.


Dragons cannot be truly "tamed", but they can be bonded with and trained. The Valyrians rode dragons for millennia. Aegon I Targaryen and his sister-wives, who descended from Old Valyria, used the last three dragons in the world to conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms.

Dragons are fairly intelligent animals, and like a horse or a dog, they can be trained by their rider to respond to basic voice commands. Tyrion Lannister claims that dragons are intelligent, much more so than most people and will quickly recognize friend from foe. If they are not trained they will quickly lay waste to anything around them. The key to training dragons is making sure they are well fed, a dragon with a full stomach is more obedient. Since they cannot be truly tamed, dragons can be very dangerous even to their riders. However, they can form very strong bonds with their riders and will show affection and trust towards them. They will even nuzzle their riders, hoping to be petted.

Daenerys Targaryen has trained her three dragons to respond to vocal commands in her mother tongue of High Valyrian. She often uses the command "Dracarys" (Valyrian for "dragonfire"), to which her dragons respond by instantly breathing fire and burning anything in their path.

Known dragonriders

Dragonrider Dragon
Aegon the Conqueror Balerion
Visenya Targaryen Vhagar
Rhaenys Targaryen Meraxes
Maegor the Cruel Balerion
Rhaena Targaryen Dreamfyre
Aegon Targaryen Quicksilver
Jaehaerys the Conciliator Vermithor
Alysanne Targaryen Silverwing
Viserys I Targaryen Balerion
Aegon the Usurper Sunfyre
Rhaenyra Targaryen Syrax
Aemond Targaryen Vhagar
Daemon Targaryen Caraxes
Ulf the White Silverwing
Hugh Hammer Vermithor
Nettles Sheepstealer
Addam Velaryon Seasmoke
Rhaenys Velaryon Meleys
Lucerys Velaryon Arrax
Jacaerys Velaryon Vermax
Aegon the Dragonbane Stormcloud
Daenerys Targaryen Drogon
The Night King Viserion (as a wight)
Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen Rhaegal


Season 1

Daenerys Targaryen is given three dragon eggs at her wedding to Khal Drogo.[4] Viserys Targaryen tells Doreah that brave men used to ride dragons before they all died.[5] Daenerys is later able to hatch her three dragon eggs.[6]

Season 5

Daenerys Targaryen is saved by Drogon in Daznak's Pit. Daenerys is able to mount Drogon to escape making her the first dragonrider in over a century.[7]

Season 6

Daenerys rallies her newly acquired Dothraki while mounted on Drogon. The Dothraki agree to follow her across the narrow seas to reclaim the Iron Throne.[8] Later in Meereen, Daenerys is able to liberate the common people once and for all by destroying the slave masters' fleet riding on Drogon and followed by Viserion and Rhaegal.[9]

Season 7

Daenerys agrees not to use the dragons on a direct attack on King's Landing to avoid bloodshed.[10] After losing the ironborn and Dornish fleets, Highgarden, and Casterly Rock, Daenerys decides to ride Drogon to ambush the Lannister and Tarly army. For the first time in over a century a dragon was used in warfare in Westeros and was able to end the battle quickly but Drogon is shot by a scorpion and is injured.[11]

Daenerys rides Drogon followed by Rhaegal and Viserion to save Jon Snow and Jorah Mormont during the Wight Hunt. Daenerys burns many wights and lands Drogon to flee with the survivors. The Night King kills Viserion in flight causing Daenerys to flee with Drogon and Rhaegal leaving Jon Snow behind.[12]

Daenerys rides Drogon followed by Rhaegal to the Dragonpit Summit as a show of power. This proves to be a mistake as Cersei Lannister notices Viserion's absence and was able to find out that the dragons are vulnerable. Daenerys later decides not to ride Drogon north and instead sail with Jon to reaffirm that they are allies to the common people of the North.[2]

Beyond the wall the Night King has reanimated Viserion as a wight. The Night King rides Viserion who now has no free will and is mind controlled by the Night King. The wall is destroyed and for the first time in thousands of years, the white walkers have invaded Westeros.[2]

Season 8

Daenerys Targaryen allows Jon Snow to mount Rhaegal.[13] During the Battle of Winterfell, Daenerys and Jon mount Drogon and Rhaegal and burn thousands of wights. Mounted on their dragons Daenerys and Jon fight the Night King and Viserion who is able to greatly injure Rhaegal causing him to fall unconscious. Daenerys is able to dismount the Night King off Viserion and attempts to burn him but to her surprise the Night King is undamaged. Daenerys is later dismounted off Drogon when hundreds of wights climb on him causing him to shriek in pain as he attempts to shake them off. The Night King is killed by Arya Stark killing one of three dragonriders alive.[14]

Following the Battle of Winterfell, Daenerys checks the wounds of Rhaegal who is now healing and rides Drogon alongside him. Later Daenerys on top of Drogon followed by Rhaegal follow her fleet to Dragonstone. Flying alongside Rhaegal, Daenerys is happy to see Rhaegal recovering from his wounds but to her surprise Rhaegal is shot with three scorpion bolts from Euron Greyjoy killing him. Daenerys in shock and rage attempts to burn the Greyjoy fleet before being forced to retreat as she mourns Rhaegal's loss. With the death of Rhaegal, Daenerys Targaryen is the last dragonrider.[15]

Daenerys mounted on Drogon ambushes Euron Greyjoy's fleet during the Battle of King's Landing and burns all scorpions. As the Unsullied, Dothraki, Vale and Northern armies wait outside the gates of King's Landing, Daenerys destroys it allowing them to enter the city. In grief over the loss of her two dragons along with Jorah and Missandei, Daenerys refuses the surrender of the city and burns the majority of it.[16]

Having won the war and the throne, Daenerys dismounts Drogon and rallies her army telling them that the war is not over. Daenerys is later assassinated by Jon Snow killing the last dragonrider. Drogon mourns and cries over her body before taking it away with him.[17]

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, additional known dragonriders are:

Dragonrider Dragon
Aegon the Uncrowned Quicksilver
Aenys Targaryen Quicksilver
Aurion Unknown
Baela Targaryen Moondancer
Aerea Targaryen Balerion
Daeron the Daring Tessarion
Helaena Targaryen Dreamfyre
Jaenara Belaerys Terrax
Joffrey Velaryon Tyraxes
Laena Velaryon Vhagar
Laenor Velaryon Seasmoke
Rhaena Targaryen Dreamfyre

Image Gallery

See also