This article includes content relating to the Dance of the Dragons, and therefore contains potential spoilers for House of the Dragon, as revealed in GRRM's writings. Anyone wishing to remain completely spoiler free for the new show should avoid any articles displaying this tag.
Meleys is a bright red dragon ridden by Rhaenys Velaryon.
In the books
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In the prequel novellas, Meleys was known as "the Red Queen", which seems to indicate that she was the mother of several of the other dragons (much as Rhaenys was grandmother to the youngest generation of dragon-riders). Her exact age and lineage has not yet been established.
Meleys does appear to have been one of the oldest and largest dragons after Vhagar herself, and was probably one of the second generation dragons hatched to the original three from the Conquest-generation (Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar). Vhagar was 181 years old during the Dance, and by that point as said to have grown as large as Balerion had been during the War of Conquest. Vhagar is also described as being five times the size of the young dragon Arrax, who was only a decade or so old and only just big enough to ride to war. It was widely believed that no dragon could defeat Vhagar in a one-on-one fight - even Daemon doubted if Caraxes could face her and live (and indeed, only later managed to defeat Vhagar in a mutual kill). In contrast, it is mentioned in passing that if Vhagar faced Meleys alone, Meleys was big enough that she might have at least held her own. This is why Aegon II made sure to double-team Meleys with both Vhagar and Sunfyre - and even against such unfavorable odds, Meleys still managed to cripple Sunfyre before being killed.
|Pre-Doom Valyrian dragons:|