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The Most Devastating Dragon Fights In The Game Of Thrones Universe

The dragons of the "Game of Thrones" are devastating weapons of mass destruction second only to the Night King and his wintry White Walkers beyond the Wall. When the original "Game of Thrones" series kicks off, dragons are creatures of legend that are believed to be long extinct from Westeros and Essos. Season 1 concludes with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) reviving the scaled beasts synonymous with her ancestors, resurrecting dragons for the first time since their extinction over a century ago.

While "Game of Thrones" features only Daenerys' trio — Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion — "House of the Dragon" boasts a roster of over 20 dragons. Front and center are Syrax, the mount of Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy), Daemon Targaryen's (Matt Smith) dragon Caraxes, and the mighty Vhagar, ridden by Laena Velaryon (Nanna Blondell) as well as Aemond Targaryen (Ewan Mitchell) in Season 1. The HBO prequel series chronicles House Targaryen at its most powerful nearly 200 years before the main series when the last dragonlords of Old Valyria rule from the Iron Throne of Westeros.

Family fights family throughout "House of the Dragon," which depicts the civil war called the Dance of the Dragons that triggered the Targaryens' steady decline. Most of the dragons are wiped out during the Dance of the Dragons as they are deployed against each other in some of the bloodiest battles to ever take place in the Seven Kingdoms. Here are the most devastating dragon clashes that occur in the "Game of Thrones" timeline.

Vhagar vs. Arrax

Season 1 of "House of the Dragon" includes one of the most devastating — and one-sided — dragon battles in the "Game of Thrones" universe. In the final episode of Season 1, Lucerys Velaryon (Elliot Grihault) flies his dragon, Arrax, to Storm's End after learning that Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) has usurped the Iron Throne of Westeros. The young prince attempts to win Lord Borros Baratheon's (Roger Evans) allegiance to his mother, Rhaenyra. Unfortunately, however, he's not the only prince seeking an alliance with Storm's End.

Aemond Targaryen beats Lucerys to the punch and is waiting at Storm's End when Lucerys arrives. After Lord Borros dismisses Rhaenyra's summons, aligning with Aegon and the Greens, Lucerys flees on Arrax, only for Aemond to catch up with his nephew atop his dragon, the colossal Vhagar, which he claims in Episode 7, "Driftmark." The dragon comes at the cost of Aemond's eye after a fight breaks out among the Targaryen children. Lucerys was the one who took Aemond's eye — something the Targaryen prince never forgives.

Arrax is no match for Vhagar. A fraction of the she-dragon's size, Lucerys' white dragon attempts to escape its pursuer but struggles to fly in the stormy weather. Both princes lose control of their mounts in the pursuit, and when a frightened Arrax blasts Vhagar with dragonfire Vhagar ignores Aemond's commands and takes out the smaller dragon and its rider.

Drogon and Rhaegal vs. Viserion

Drogon and Rhaegal's clash with their undead brother, Viserion, in Season 8 of "Game of Thrones" makes for one of the series' most tense dragon battles. Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion hatch together in Khal Drogo's (Jason Momoa) funeral pyre in Season 1, after Daenerys Targaryen gives the dormant dragon eggs — and herself — to the flames. When morning dawns, Daenerys emerges unhurt from the ashes holding her three baby dragons.

The birth of Daenerys' trio is a miraculous affair. Before that, dragons were extinct from Westeros for over a hundred years, thanks to the events of "House of the Dragon." The mother of dragons travels across Essos with her growing dragons, freeing slaves and sacking cities before heading home to Dragonstone in Season 7. During Season 7, Daenerys loses one of her scaly children when the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) kills Viserion with an ice spear after the Khaleesi and her dragons travel beyond the Wall to rescue Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

Viserion does not stay dead. The Night King resurrects the dragon and uses the zombified Viserion to destroy the Wall, allowing the army of the dead to finally enter Westeros. The Night King rides Viserion during the Season 8 episode "The Long Night," where they face off against Daenerys atop Drogon and Jon Snow riding Rhaegal in the sky above Winterfell. Viserion overwhelms Rhaegal, wounding the green dragon before Drogon manages to knock the Night King off Viserion.

Caraxes vs. Vhagar

Caraxes and Vhagar share a tumultuous history. In "The Princess and the Queen," the dragons are traveling companions and honored guests in Pentos. Daemon Targaryen rides Caraxes the Blood Wyrm (named for the dragon's serpent-like body and crimson scales) while Daemon's wife, Laena Velaryon, rides Vhagar. The dragonriders show off in the skies for the people of Pentos before tragedy strikes the Targaryen family.

Laena dies later in the episode, opting for a fiery death from a reluctant Vhagar rather than dying in childbirth as Aemma Arryn (Sian Brooke) did during "The Heirs of the Dragon." Vhagar doesn't stay riderless for long. Aemond (Leo Ashton) claims the mighty she-dragon after Laena's funeral in "Driftmark." After that, Vhagar and Caraxes part ways. The former companions become bitter rivals as Aemond and Vhagar spearhead Aegon's faction while Daemon and Caraxes fight for Rhaenyra.

Daemon and Aemond eventually meet for a fateful battle above the God's Eye near Harrenhal towards the end of the Dance. Despite being significantly smaller than Vhagar, Caraxes gives the larger dragon a run for its money. Eventually, the battle ends when the Blood Wyrm manages to lock its jaws around Vhagar's neck. As both princes and their dragons plummet to the ground, Daemon leaps from his saddle and stabs Aemond in the eye with his Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister.

Sunfyre and Vhagar vs. Meleys

Fans are introduced to Meleys, the mount of Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), in "We Light the Way." Flying side by side with Seasmoke, who is ridden by Rhaenys' son Laenor Velaryon (John MacMillan), Meleys arrives at King's Landing from Driftmark, the ancestral seat of House Velaryon, for Laenor's wedding to Princess Rhaenyra. Viewers get a closer look at Meleys the Red Queen (named for her red scales and crown of horns) in "The Green Council" when Rhaenys uses her dragon to send a powerful message to the Greens.

In "Fire and Blood," Meleys meets Sunfyre, ridden by Aegon, at the battle of Rook's Rest after Rhaenys is lured into a trap by Criston Cole. Meleys is older, larger, and faster than Sunfyre. On her own, the Red Queen could likely have defeated Aegon's golden mount. Unfortunately for Meleys and Rhaenys, Sunfyre doesn't fight alone.

Aemond and Vhagar are also present for the Battle of Rook's Rest. Meleys is no match for Vhagar. The behemothic dragon makes short work of the red dragon and its rider, but not before Meleys badly wounds both Aegon and Sunfyre, half-tearing Sunfyre's wing from its body before burning Aegon and breaking his ribs and hip.

Vermithor vs. Seasmoke and Tessarion

Season 1's finale, "The Black Queen," debuts another legendary dragon on "House of the Dragon" — Vermithor, aka the Bronze Fury. Vermithor was the mount of King Jaehaerys (Michael Carter), who fans see briefly as an elderly king at the Great Council in Episode 1. Along with his sister-wife, Queen Alysanne, and her dragon Silverwing, Jaehaerys is remembered as one of the greatest Targaryens, bringing Westeros together following Maegor the Cruel's reign of terror.

Daemon seeks out Vermithor in the depths of the Dragonmont during Episode 10. Needing riders for their dragons, the Blacks search for Targaryen bastards (dubbed dragonseeds) on Dragonstone to claim Vermithor and Silverwing. Many are unsuccessful, but eventually Vermithor bonds with Hugh Hammer while Silverwing is claimed by Ulf the White.

Hugh is faithful to the Blacks — for a while. The dragonseed turns on Rhaenyra and sides with Aegon during the Battle of Tumbleton, leading to a showdown with Seasmoke — Laenor's dragon, now ridden by Corlys Velaryon's (Steve Toussaint) bastard son Addam of Hull — and a riderless Tessarion, the dragon of King Viserys and Queen Alicent's youngest son, Daeron the Daring. Tessarion helps Seasmoke overcome Vermithor, though neither dragon survives the altercation. Vermithor rips Seasmoke's head off, while Tessarion is so badly wounded Daeron's soldiers are forced to euthanize it with a crossbow to the eye.

Sunfyre vs. Moondancer

After battling Meleys at Rook's Rest, both Aegon and Sunfyre are forced to sit out the war temporarily while they recuperate from their injuries. This allows Rhaenyra to take King's Landing — though her conquest soon ends in tragedy. Meanwhile, the Greens plot to destabilize Rhaenyra's rule. While the queen is preoccupied in King's Landing, Aegon finally reunites with Sunfyre and flies to the Dragonstone castle, where he is confronted by Daemon's daughter, Baela Targaryen (Phoebe Campbell).

Seeing the Greens invade her home, Baela escapes out of her bedroom window and runs to her dragon Moondancer. Moondancer and Baela meet Sunfyre and Aegon in the air above Dragonstone. Despite being barely large enough to ride, Moondancer is fearless in its fiery clash with Sunfyre, taking advantage of the already wounded dragon and outpacing Sunfyre with its superior speed.

Sunfyre eventually blinds Moondancer with fire, but the plucky dragon and its rider refuse to give up. Moondancer badly wounds Sunfyre, slamming into the other dragon and sending both of them hurtling to the ground. Aegon leaps from the saddle, shattering both his legs, but Baela remains with her dragon, surviving the fall (although she is badly burned) and being taken captive by Aegon's army. Sunfyre overwhelms Moondancer on the ground, killing and devouring the other dragon, but the damage is irreversible. Sunfyre perishes from its wounds. Aegon is so distraught by his dragon's death that he orders Baela to be executed — though he later changes his mind.

Sunfyre vs. Grey Ghost

Poor Sunfyre is put through the wringer for the duration of the Dance of the Dragons. First, Meleys inflicts serious damage on Aegon's dragon at Rook's Rest. Moondancer finishes the job at Dragonstone, leading to Sunfyre dying from its many wounds. In between those battles, however, Sunfyre fights another dragon — Grey Ghost — while attempting to make a lair for itself on Dragonstone.

Sunfyre and Aegon are separated when the golden dragon fights Grey Ghost. A wild dragon like the Cannibal and Sheepstealer, Grey Ghost never bonds with a rider during its life. The dragon is AWOL most of the time, appearing only briefly to sailors voyaging across the Narrow Sea.

It is sailors aboard the ship Nessaria that witness Grey Ghost's fight against Sunfyre. Both riderless dragons fight for territory, and despite its injuries, Sunfyre wins. The partially devoured corpse of Grey Ghost is discovered days later, and Aegon eventually reunites with his dragon after discovering Sunfyre's secret lair in the Dragonmont.

Syrax vs. King's Landing

The storming of the Dragonpit at King's Landing is less of a one-on-one dragon battle and more of a dragon versus human free-for-all. Rhaenyra reigns from the Iron Throne for half a year before everything starts to collapse. The people of King's Landing starve, sliding into poverty thanks to their queen hiking taxes to fund the war.

Eventually, the city's inhabitants revolt. After learning that the beloved Queen Helaena Targaryen (Phia Saban) has committed suicide by jumping from the Red Keep, the mob erupts and takes over King's Landing. Led by a religious fanatic known as the Shepherd, the people break into the Dragonpit on top of the Hill of Rhaenys, intending to slaughter the dragons — House Targaryens' ultimate source of power.

The dragons don't go down without a fight. Hundreds of people die, but so do the dragons Shrykos, Morghul, Tyraxes, and Dreamfyre (Helaena's dragon). Meanwhile, Rhaenyra's son, Joffrey Velaryon, tries to fly his mother's dragon, Syrax, to the Dragonpit to rescue his dragon, Tyraxes, from the mob. Syrax rejects her would-be rider, however, throwing him to his death before descending on the people storming the Dragonpit in a fit of rage. Syrax remains on the ground, slaughtering the mob instead of flying to safety, and is eventually swarmed and killed.

The Cannibal vs. all of the dragons

Dragonstone is home to a host of Targaryen dragons throughout the Dance, including three wild dragons: Grey Ghost, Sheepstealer, and the Cannibal. The wild dragons are named such for never having bonded with a rider, remaining riderless for most of their lives. Grey Ghost is killed by Sunfyre. Sheepstealer is eventually claimed by the dragonseed Nettles, who entices the dragon with its favorite food — sheep.

Of the three wild dragons, the Cannibal is the largest and most aggressive. The dragon derives its name from its tendency to eat smaller dragons, including hatchlings and dragon eggs. During the event known as the Sowing of the Dragonseeds, where those thought to have Targaryen blood attempted to claim the riderless dragons at Dragonstone, none dared to approach the Cannibal, fearing the dragon's reputation.

Said to be a "coal-black" dragon with "menacing green eyes," the Cannibal's exact age is unknown during the Dance of the Dragons, though the dragon is said to be the oldest wild dragon. This means he is older than Sheepstealer, who is known to have hatched sometime during King Jaehaerys' reign. He is also one of only four dragons to survive the Dance of the Dragons.

Vermax vs. the Triarchy

Viewers are introduced to Jacaerys Velaryon's (Harry Collett) dragon Vermax in Episode 6 of "House of the Dragon." Vermax is a young dragon too small to be ridden, but large enough to roast a goat on command. The green dragon reappears briefly in "The Black Queen," where it can be seen flying from Dragonstone with Jacaerys alongside Rhaenys Targaryen on Meleys and Lucerys Velaryon on Arrax.

As Rhaenyra's heir, Jacaerys spearheads his mother's faction throughout the war against her half-brother. The prince flies Vermax to Winterfell, where he makes an alliance with House Stark and becomes friends with its patriarch Lord Cregan. "Fire and Blood" speculates that Vermax laid a clutch of eggs in the crypts while Jacaerys was at Winterfell, though this hasn't been confirmed.

Sadly, Vermax perishes during the Battle of the Gullet after the Velaryon ships carrying Rhaenyra and Daemon's young sons, Aegon and Viserys, to safety are ambushed by the Triarchy, new allies of the Greens. The Triarchy first appears in "Second of His Name," when Daemon and Corlys face a contingency of Triarchy soldiers led by the Crabfeeder (Daniel Scott-Smith) at the Stepstones. During the Battle of the Gullet, Aegon flies to safety on his dragon Stormcloud (though his dragon dies after being hit with scorpions) while Viserys is captured. Jacaerys arrives to wipe out the Triarchy's fleet, but Vermax flies too low and is hit, crashing into the sea. Jacaerys survives momentarily before he is killed by Myrish crossbowmen.

Tessarion vs. Rhaenyra's army

In addition to Vhagar, Sunfyre, and Dreamfyre, Tessarion is a blue dragon claimed by the Greens and deployed as a weapon of mass destruction throughout the war. Tessarion is ridden by Daeron Targaryen, the youngest son of Viserys and Alicent who spends all of Season 1 off-screen at Oldtown. Younger than Vhagar, Sunfyre, and Dreamfyre, Tessarion is the smallest dragon belonging to the Greens, said to be one-third of Vermithor's size during their Battle at Tumbleton in 130 AC.

Despite its small size, Tessarion — nicknamed the Blue Queen for its brilliant blue scales — is an asset for the Greens during the Dance. The dragon turns the tides for Lord Ormund Hightower's army when they are ambushed by Rhaenyra's supporters at the Battle of the Honeywine near Oldtown. The victory deals a heavy blow to the Blacks. Daeron is knighted by Lord Ormund and earns the nickname Daeron the Daring for his triumph.

Daeron and Tessarion guard the Hightower army's progression along the Roseroad, scouting ahead and scaring off Rhaenyra's supporters with dragonfire. Daeron is eventually killed during an ambush from Addam Velaryon and his dragon, Seasmoke. Despite his rider's death, Tessarion continues to battle Seasmoke in the air before they are forced to team up against Vermithor.

Vermithor and Silverwing vs. Tumbleton

Former dragons of King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne, Vermithor, and Silverwing unleash fire and blood during the First Battle of Tumbleton. These dragons begin the Dance of the Dragons without riders. Jacaerys Velaryon, recognizing that his mother needs more firepower if she is to win the war, scouts Dragonstone for Targaryen bastards, who are later dubbed dragonseeds. The dragonseeds attempt to claim riderless dragons. Some succeed, and some fail.

Two successful dragonseeds include Hugh Hammer and Ulf the White, who claim Vermithor and Silverwing respectively. Hugh and Ulf fight for Rhaenyra before defecting to Aegon's faction during the First Battle of Tumbleton. At their riders' commands, Vermithor and Silverwing unleash chaos on the town of Tumbleton, burning scores of people while others drown to death trying to flee the dragons across the Mander river.

Hugh and Ulf's reign of terror doesn't end with their deaths. Vermithor continues to unleash fire on the town during the Second Battle of Tumbleton until it is defeated by Seasmoke and Tessarion. Silverwing survives the carnage and is only one of four dragons — along with Sheepstealer, the Cannibal, and Rhaena Targaryen's hatchling Morning — to survive the Dance of the Dragons altogether.