10 things to know about the dragon dance

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Book Readers and Hardcore Thrones fans know all about the infamous Dance of the Dragons, the civil war of succession that nearly destroyed the Targaryens, leaving them more vulnerable than ever.

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Like most of George RR Martin’s traditions, the dance is full of subtleties, alliances, betrayals, and death. It is one of the most critical events in Westerosi history, a war that changed the entire future of the continent. The upcoming release of Dragon house provides the perfect opportunity for non-readers to take a closer look at the war that shook a dynasty within it.

ten Viserys I Targaryen could have prevented the conflict


King Viserys on his deathbed with greens and blacks on either side
Extract from the featurette “History & Lore” of Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season

Westeros remembers King Viserys I as one of the most peaceful and heroic of the Targaryen kings. However, his desire to keep the peace above all else threw the entire kingdom into an unnecessary war that it could have prevented. He named his only daughter, Rahenyra, as his heiress and kept her even after having many male sons during his second marriage.

Viserys should have known that in a place as despicable as Westeros, the legitimacy of a male heir would always come before that of a girl. Dragon house can provide more information on why he stuck with his decision; maybe they’ll also dig deeper into Rahenyra’s character and show why she was indeed the best option to be queen.

9 Aegon II didn’t want to be king


Aegon II Targaryen and Criston Cole in Fire and Blood
Extract from “Fire and Blood”

Alicent Hightower could be Dragon house main antagonist. His decision to go against Viseys’ wishes and place his son, Aegon II, on the Iron Throne sparked conflict. However, Aegon himself was reluctant to become king. He wanted to respect his father’s wishes and maintain Rhaenyra’s place as the next Queen of Westeros.

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Alicent convinced him by telling him that Rhaenyra would probably kill him to remove any doubt about his claim. The series will surely explore Alicen’t’s psyche, but it should also take some time to delve deeper into Aegon’s character. It’s not always that fans see a reluctant king in the world of Westeros.


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8 The dance had several crucial battles


Aemond and Vhagar sue Lucerys and Arrax
Extract from the featurette “History & Lore” of Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season

The Dance of the Dragons is famous among Thrones fans for portraying the fall of House Targaryen and providing many glimpses of their time as the undisputed leaders of Westeros. However, it also features the mighty dragons that made Thrones such an ambitious and unique show in the first place.

For example, there is the battle between Arrax and Vhagar, one of the most powerful dragons in the Game of thrones franchise, ridden by Visenya Targaryen herself during Aegon’s conquest. The iconic battle between Aemond and Daemon Targaryen and their dragons, Vhagar and Caraxes, is also a turning point in the conflict. These meetings will be one of the Dragon house0s main hooks, and the show best intensifies by portraying them because the dragon fights during the now infamous episode “Long Night” has disappointed millions of fans.


seven Blood & Cheese


Blood and Cheese threatening the young Targaryen princes
Extract from the featurette “History & Lore” of Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season

Westeros is not exactly a nice place; indeed, there are many places in the Game of thrones universe that fans wouldn’t visit. Conversely, many despicable characters have given the series the reputation of being one of the cruelest on television.

Dragon house will feature two of the franchise’s most obscure and disgusting characters, Blood and Cheese. These two men killed King Aegon’s young son in front of his mother, by order of Rhaenyra, in revenge for the death of his own son at the hands of Aegon’s brother. The act turned the conflict into a full-fledged war and is sure to be one of the most pivotal moments in the series.


6 The Stark have remained loyal to Rhaenyra


The Direwolf Stark Sigil from Game Of Thrones

It’s a subject of mockery within the fandom that the Starks are honorable to the point of stupidity. Thanks to their naivety and madness, Ned and Robb fight for the title of Worst Stark, and Jon’s many questionable choices have resulted in multiple tragedies, including his death. Yet the Stark are Thronesclosest thing to traditional heroes, making it difficult for fans to feel their actions.

As expected, the Starks kept their vows and supported Rhaenyra during the dance. It is currently unclear to what extent they will play a role House of Dragons; they may not appear until the following seasons, but their help was crucial in helping Rhaenyra secure the North and the Riverlands, so they will surely appear.


5 Queen Aegon lost her head in the war


Extract from the featurette “History & Lore” of Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season

Fans of Game of thrones are no strangers to mad kings and queens, especially when it comes to the Targaryens. King Aegon Targaryen lost his mind during the Dragon Dance after a fight with Rhaenys Targaryen, one of Rhaenyra’s biggest supporters, left him severely burned and addicted to poppy milk.

Aegon’s storyline has the potential to become one of Dragon houseis the most compelling while proving the perfect opportunity for an overhaul of the whole story of “Mad Targaryen King”. Hopefully they will do a better job than with Daenerys, one of the characters ruined by Season 8 of Game of thrones.


4 Flight of dragon seeds


A representation of four people online
Extract from the featurette “History & Lore” of Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season

Book readers know that the Targaryens, like many other houses in Westeros, loved to sleep, spawning several bastard children in the process. During a pivotal moment in the Dance, Rhaenyra, who was in desperate need of allies, offered wealth and titles to any bastard able to tame the six dragons living in Dragonstone; those that were successful became known as dragon seeds.

Game of thrones is famous for its ever-growing number of characters, so fans should expect some of these Dragonseeds to become key players in House of Dragons. Their stories are intriguing and chaotic, which makes them perfectly suited to the world of Westeros.




3 Rhaenyra became the Queen of Westeros


Most of the people of Westeros don’t know it or outright ignore it, but Rhaenyra Targaryen has become the queen of the Andals and the first men. After her husband managed to trick their enemies into abandoning the city, the two took to the skies with their dragons and conquered King’s Landing within hours.

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Rhaenyra’s reign was short, tragic and frowned upon by the common people. The Blood and Cheese affair and her mighty conquest of the city effectively turned her into a villainous villain. His journey will be one of Dragon houseis the most complex, and fans can’t wait to see how actress Emma D’Arcy approaches the role. On paper, at least, it has everything to make her an Emmy winner.


2 The Targaryen dragons died at human hands


Extract from “Fire and Blood”

According to the show and the books, dragons are among the most powerful creatures in Westeros and Essos. They can burn down entire cities in a matter of minutes, guaranteeing victory for their riders. However, the Dance of the Dragons has proven that they are not invincible.

Towards the end of the war, the citizens of King’s Landing stormed the Dragon Pit and attacked the Targaryen dragons. Proving that there is force in numbers, the Raging Mob managed to kill the Giant Lizards, even though they sacrificed their lives as well. This event effectively marks the beginning of the end for House Targaryen, which makes it extremely important to the show; How HBO will do it justice is one of the many questions fans are already asking Dragon house.


1 The dance had no real winners


Aegon III and his wife Jaehaera Targaryen holding hands
Extract from the featurette “History & Lore” of Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season

The dancing ultimately turned out to be futile. Rhaenyra will eventually relinquish the throne and flee to Dragonstone, only to be eaten alive by Sunfyre, the dying dragon of Aegon II. However, Aegon’s victory won’t last long. A moribund and practically demented himself, he turned out to be an inappropriate king, and his men poisoned him six months after Rhaenyra’s death.

Rhaenyra’s surviving son, Aegon III, married Aegon II’s only daughter, bringing the dance to its official end. Like George RR Martin, neither party won; the war was a waste of time and life, a display of cruelty where everyone lost, especially the Targaryens, who would never be as powerful as they were before the dance began.

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