‘House of the Dragon’ confirms identity of that dragon in finale
Here’s why this big guy is important.
By Nick Romano October 24, 2022 at 11: 39 AM EDT
Warning: Spoilers from the House of the Dragon season 1 finale are discussed in this article.
House of the Dragon‘s first season finale introduced a new dragon to the playing field, and HBO has now clarified which dragon that is in case viewers were wondering.
In the episode, the Blacks rally around Rhaenyra (Emma D’Arcy) as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms after learning that the Greens have installed Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) on the throne following the death of King Viserys. As war looms, the Blacks consider their allies, both human and dragon.
Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) enters the caverns of the Dragonmount on Dragonstone, singing a High Valyrian lullaby of sorts. There are a number of rider-less dragons dwelling on House Targaryen’s ancestral island in Westeros, and if they can tame them, the Blacks would have a bigger advantage against the Greens.
Daemon comes to face one of these dragons, a gargantuan beast that belches fire up towards the cave’s stone ceiling. This dragon is not named in the context of the episode, but HBO confirmed on Twitter that this is Vermithor.
HBO – House of the Dragon, Season 1 – Episode 10
The dragon Vermithor snarls at Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) in the ‘House of the Dragon’ season 1 finale.
| Credit: HBO
Vermithor, dubbed the Bronze Fury, is almost 100 years old, according to George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, on which House of the Dragon is based. The only bigger dragon in Westeros is Vhagar, the she-beast now rode by Aegon’s brother Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) for the Greens. But more importantly for the context of the episode, Vermithor is the dragon once mounted by the benevolent King Jaehaerys I Targaryen (Michael Carter).
Vermithor is a beast, sure, but he also has the potential to be a political play. In the finale, Otto Hightower (Rhys Ifans) tries to reason with Rhaenyra, saying that she’ll never be accepted as Queen because “every symbol of legitimacy” belongs to Aegon II. He has the crown and name of Aegon the Conqueror, the Blackfyre sword, and Viserys’ Valyrian steel dagger. Vermithor would be Rhaenyra’s own symbol of legitimacy beyond wearing Viserys’ crown, especially since the dragon hasn’t accepted a rider since the death of Jaehaerys.
The question is, who will ride Vermithor? According to Fire and Blood, that distinction will go to a man named Ser Hugh Hammer, the bastard of a blacksmith.
Book spoiler warning: The book tells us that Rhaenyra’s son, Prince Jacaerys (played on House of the Dragon by Harry Collett), comes to offer riches, titles, and lands to anyone capable of mounting a dragon in a move to add dragonriders to their ranks. This plays into the concept of dragonseeds, essentially the bastard children of Targaryens — though it’s more complicated. Dragonseeds are the result of prima nocta: At one point in Westeros history, it was common practice for the lord or king of a region to bed a new smallfolk bride on her wedding night, often resulting in bastard children. On Dragonstone, it was more celebrated because the smallfolk saw it as an honor to add Targaryen blood to their lines.
It seems like the presence of Vermithor is heralding the arrival of Ser Hugh in House of the Dragon season 2. Though, as showrunner Ryan Condal often refers to the series as setting the record straight on events in Fire and Blood, it’s still to be seen how this will all play out.
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House of the Dragon
A Game of Thrones prequel focusing on the dragon-riding Targaryens.
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