Warning: Spoilers for House of the Dragon episode 5.
Corlys Velaryon lets slip a surprising possibility for House of the Dragon when he claims that half of the realm's dragons belong to House Velaryon. Corlys, aka the Sea Snake, is the ambitious head of House Velaryon whose complicated relationship with the Targaryens during House of the Dragon is damaged when Viserys marries Alicent Hightower instead of his daughter, Laena Velaryon. There has been a surprising lack of dragons in House of the Dragon, given that HBO promises to show at least 17 dragons throughout its runtime. Corlys' comments could explain this, while also implying some interesting ramifications for The Dance of the Dragons.
House of the Dragon tells the history of the Targaryen civil war, better known as The Dance of the Dragons (and not to be confused with George R.R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons). The Dance, which Martin details in the Fire & Blood book, is set to be as explosive as it is deadly, given it is also named The Dying of the Dragons. House of the Dragon has shown much restraint so far, with political maneuvering more reminiscent of early Game of Thrones seasons driving the show's plot. There has been one scene of dragon-based destruction in House of the Dragon's third episode, "Second of His Name", when Seasmoke (ridden by Laenor Velaryon) assists Corlys and Daemon in defeating the Crabfeeder, and the wait for more could yet be longer.
Corlys' boasts about owning half of the dragons could suggest that many of House of the Dragon's dragons are still not born yet. The Targaryens have Syrax and Caraxes (ridden by Rhaenyra and Daemon respectively) and have Dreamfyre, yet unseen, in the Dragonpit, while the Velaryons have Seasmoke, Meleys (ridden by Rhaenys Targaryen) and possibly the dragon Vhagar (soon to be ridden by Laena). There could be more dragons alive at this time, such as wild dragon The Cannibal on Dragonstone, but the likelihood is that many of the dragons which participate in the Dance in House of the Dragon are likely to be very young in age given the current setup.
Why There Aren't Many Dragons (Yet) In House Of The Dragon
There are two main reasons for why there aren't many dragons in House of the Dragon yet, with the first being that they just haven't been born yet. House of the Dragon has already teased the births of future dragons, including the dragon egg stolen by Daemon on House of the Dragon's second episode. Sunfyre, who will be ridden by Prince Aegon II Targaryen, is also referenced as being a young dragon in 120 AC (After Conquest) during Fire & Blood. This is only a short time before 129 AC, the year the Dance begins, and later than the current events of House of the Dragon season 1, further hinting that many dragons in the Dance will be young and are as yet unborn.
The other reason could be that some dragons are just not relevant yet to an already crammed House of the Dragon timeline. Vhagar, for instance, will become relevant when she bonds with Laena Velaryon. Dreamfyre also exists by now but resides in the Dragonpit at King's Landing. Dreamfyre will become relevant when Princess Helaena is born and bonds with her. At this point the dragons are slowly being introduced alongside demonstrations of their riders' characteristics, such as when Rheanyra boldly flies Syrax to intervene between Otto Hightower and Daemon. House of the Dragon has a lot of dragons to introduce alongside a heavy amount of political legwork as it weaves together the various tensions surrounding who will succeed King Viserys Targaryen for the Iron Throne.
How Long Do Dragons Live For In Game Of Thrones?
There is no official lifespan given to a dragon in any of George R.R. Martin's books, and neither House of the Dragon nor Game of Thrones has not sought to answer this question directly. One issue is that apart from Drogon in Game of Thrones and Balerion the Black Dread, every dragon in the realm has died in battle and not from old age. Balerion is thought to be the oldest dragon, ridden by Aegon the Conqueror and dying during the reign of Viserys I, just before the events of House of the Dragon. Balerion dies at around 200 years old in 94 AC, meaning that dragons can live for more than a couple of centuries. Vhagar is also 181 years old at the time of her death, so there is plenty of evidence to suggest dragons can live through multiple human lifespans.
How Old & Big Were Daenerys' Dragons Compared To HOTD's?
The Game of Thrones timeline spans from 298 AC to 305 AC, which means that Daenerys' dragons were no more than 7 years old by the time of her death at the hands of Jon Snow. In House of the Dragon the ages of the dragons vary. Caraxes is claimed by Aemon Targaryen in 72 AC, making him around 50 during the events of House of the Dragon, while Syrax is thought to be considerably younger and less experienced. Even still, Syrax is probably 10 or older during the current events of House of the Dragon, so still older than Daenerys' dragons.
The size of Daenerys' dragons depends a little on which source is being taken as canon. In Game of Thrones season 7, Drogon is supposed to be the size of a Boeing 747 jet. However, in the books, Drogon never reached that size. The size of the dragons in House of the Dragon vary once again, with Vhagar being the largest, only second to Balerion the Black Dread. Vhagar's exact size is never confirmed, but in the books Tyrion Lannister says Vhagar was large enough that someone could ride a horse down her gullet, with no living dragon able to match her size. Drogon is certainly a monster by the end of Game of Thrones, but given he is only 7, Vhagar's size at 180 years old in House of the Dragon could be something terrifying to behold in comparison.
New episodes of House of the Dragon release Sundays on HBO Max.
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