Nov 7, 2022

House of the Dragon: Overview of Balerion, Caraxes, Syrax and Seasmoke in Book and Film

In season 1 of the House of the Dragon series, four dragons have appeared or are mentioned first being  Viserys' Balerion (deceased), Daemon's Caraxes, Rhaenyra's Syrax, and Laenor Velaryon's Seasmoke.

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"Black Dread" Balerion

Balerion, known as the Black Dread, was ridden by Aegon the Conquerer as he made his conquest of the Seven Kingdoms on the Continent of Westeros.

After Aegon's death, during the reign of the old king Jaehaerys I, Viserys Targaryen (the king's grandson) became the rider of the beast until he died of old age. He is considered the last living dragon to migrate from Valyria after the apocalypse, the other dragons appearing in the series were born later on the continent of Westeros.

Balerion is said to be the largest dragon in the Game of Thrones universe, each time it flies through its shadow that can cover an entire town.

Balerion's scales and wings were black, sometimes with red stripes or swirls. At its peak, Balerion breathed fire hot enough to melt steel and stone, and melt sand into glass. His teeth were as long as swords, and his jaws were large enough to swallow a bull, or even a mammoth.

By 93 AC, Balerion finally stopped growing, meaning he entered his old ages. He gradually became slow, heavy, and difficult to take off. When King Viserys Targaryen took over the dragon, he struggled to fly. In the end, he died of old age after nearly 200 years of dominating the continent's sky.

Balerion is the only dragon to which Viserys is attached; Even after he ascended the throne (as the series' current timeline), he has not ridden any other dragons.

Along with eighteen other dragon skulls, Balerion's skull hangs on the wall in the Red Keep Palace - the seat of the Iron Throne. Later, in the course of Game of Thrones, after taking the throne from House Targaryen, King Robert I Baratheon removed the dragon skulls, including Balerion's, from the throne room and stored them in a cellar.

Caraxes  The Blood Wyrm

Dragon Caraxes was originally ridden by Prince Aemon Targaryen. He was the third son of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen and Queen Alysanne Targaryen. His daughter is Princess Rhaenys - who once competed with Viserys for the throne. Aemon is the uncle of Viserys and Daemon.

When Aemon died, Caraxes was claimed by Daemon Targaryen, and is considered the most combative and cunning dragon in Westeros at the present time.

Caraxes has a lean shape, but fierce, combative with blood-red scales.

In the book A Song of  Ice and Fire, Caraxes is later killed in battle with the female old dragon Vhagar who is twice its size. However, before it died, it also managed to rip Vhagar's throat.

Seasmoke The Silver Dragon

Seasmoke is a pale, silver-gray male dragon born on the Continent of Westeros. It is still a young dragon, small in size but very agile, and has the ability to hide in the clouds for surprise attacks.

Laenor, although surnamed Velaryon, is the son of Princess Rhaenys of House Targaryen, so he was also given a dragon.

In the Book, after Laenor's death in 120 AC, Seasmoke establishes his lair in Dragonmont on Dragonstone Island and refuses to be ridden for a decade. Laenor's sons hired many men to tame Seasmoke, but they were all killed.

Syrax The Yellow Dragon

Syrax, ridden by Rhaenyra Targaryen, is named after a goddess of Old Valyria. She is a young female dragon with yellow scales and seems to be the most pampered of her kind.

From the age of 7, Rhaenyra became accustomed to riding the Syrax and she became the sole owner in the dragon's short life. It is speculated that the dragon eggs intended for later Rhaenyra's sons were all laid by Syrax.

Syrax is large and ferocious, but not as fearsome and combat-experienced as Caraxes as it spends most of its life locked up in the Dragonpit, cared for and well-fed rather than hunting on its own like many other dragons.

Syrax was later killed while flying to the King's Landing Riot, during which angry mobs flooded into the Dragonpit where the dragons were chained helplessly and defenselessly. 


Paddy Considine ... King Viserys I Targaryen
Matt Smith ... Prince Daemon Targaryen
Emma D'Arcy ... Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen
Milly Alcock ... young Rhaenyra Targaryen
Olivia Cooke ... Lady Alicent Hightower
Emily Carey ... young Alicent Hightower
Rhys Ifans ... Ser Otto Hightower
Steve Toussaint ... Lord Corlys Velaryon
Eve Best ... Princess Rhaenys Targaryen
Sonoya Mizuno ... Mysaria
Graham McTavish ... Ser Harrold Westerling
Fabien Frankel ... Ser Criston Cole