Analyzing the Massive Scale of the Dragon Fight in HOTD: Vhagar vs Arrax

Dreams did not make us kings. Dragons did.

Daemon Targaryen

Things have spiced up a lot ahead of the HOTD season 1 finale. Someone just got hold of Varys’ birds and leaked a video clip showing the finale’s climax ahead of its release. My biggest takeaway from House of the Dragon season 1 is the importance of the dragons. It is amazing how much of a difference even the presence of one of these majestic beasts can make.

From GOT to HOTD, we’ve seen a number of these creatures and their power.

One Drogon alone could burn down the entirety of King’s Landing, while one Vhagar could gobble up a baby Arrax for her lunch within seconds. In this article, we will discuss the huge fight between two titanic monsters that set the stage up perfectly for Dance of Dragons in season 2.

When dragons fight, the entire city burns.

Rhaenyra Targaryen
SPOILERS AHEAD! This page contains spoilers from HOTD EPISODE 10.

The Importance of Dragons in the GOT-HOTD Universe

We’ve seen several instances where dragons have changed the fate for many characters. There’s a reason why Dany having three dragons in GOT was such a big deal. House of the Dragon season 1 gives us only a glimpse of the importance of dragons in the upcoming civil war.

Let us look at some examples to illustrate this.

Earlier this season, Seasmoke, the dragon ridden by Laenor Velaryon, alone was able to burn down the entire army of Crab Feeder. The beast alone finished the Battle of Stepstones within seconds, while it took years for Daemon and Lord Corlys to fight the battle.

The Targaryens themselves, who are used to bonding with dragons since childhood, do not forget to bow down to them when the time comes. For context, I would point out the scene between Daemon and Rhaenyra in episode 2. When Rhaenyra arrived in Dragonstone on dragonback, Daemon quickly returned the dragon egg that he had stolen.

Even the mighty Daemon decided not to angry Rhaenyra when she was on her dragon. All of this is keeping in mind how these dragons I mentioned are much younger compared to the larger and older ones, such as Vhagar and Vermithor.

If you know the Rogue Prince, you know that he is the last person to be afraid of anything, including dragons. Watch out for the scene where he wakes up Vermithor, the second largest dragon in the world in the season finale.

Analyzing the Massive Scale of a Dragon Fight in HOTD: Vhagar vs Arrax
Daemon waking up Vermithor

Aegon the Conqueror, along with his sisters, Rhaenys and Visenya conquered the entirety of the Seven Kingdoms just with the help of three dragons, Meraxes, Balerion and Vhagar. Even years after all dragons disappeared from the world, Dany conquered major cities using her baby dragons alone.

Though dragons were plenty during Rhaenyra’s time, we must remember that they aren’t like the quintessential weapons of today or animals used in war. They are magical creatures who choose their own riders. This means anyone or everyone cannot ride a dragon, no matter how good a warrior they might be.

Dragons also only understand high Valyrian, which is why they cannot be controlled by everyone. So, if you own a dragon, you’re really a big shot in Martin’s world of ice and fire.

Dragon Fights: Game of Thrones vs. House of the Dragon

It is clear from what we’ve seen in HOTD that dragons grow in size as they age. In other words, dragons never stop growing. Since Vhagar is the oldest dragon in Westeros, she is also the largest. Now, imagine comparing the size of Daenerys’ baby dragons in Game of Thrones with the grandma and grandpa dragons in HOTD!

Drogon alone could burn down King’s Landing within moments. Similarly, Viserion alone changed the entire course of the battle with the White Walkers. A baby dragon like Viserion alone was enough to break down the mighty Wall, protected for years by the Night’s Watch, into shreds. Imagine what bigger and older dragons like Vhagar could have done.

Dragon Fights: Game of Thrones vs. House of the Dragon
Resurrected Viserion and the Night King

In the HOTD season finale, we get a living breathing proof of the same. The massive scale of the dragon fight was beautifully captured in the final moments of the season finale. When Luke’s baby dragon, Arrax (mind you, much larger than Drogon) faced Vhagar, he was shred into pieces and gobbled up by Vhagar without much effort.

If we consider that Arrax was born at the same time as Luke, he would have been fourteen years old. According to Fire and Blood, Arrax’s egg hatched after Luke’s birth. So, they were almost the same age. Vhagar, in comparison, was 181 years old during the Dance of Dragons. Surprised? Yeah, me too.

In context, Daenerys’ dragons were just seven years old. As I said, they were even smaller than Arrax and half his age. If a pre-school dragon like Drogon can burn cities down, imagine what Vhagar or Vermithor can do.

All of this is just to reiterate the massive scale of a dragon fight and the importance that these beasts held at one of point in the history of Westeros. There’s a reason why an entire House disappeared from the face of Earth because they depended largely on these majestic creatures.

Now let’s move on to analyzing our contenders for the huge battle that lit the House of the Dragon finale up and triggered the infamous Dance of Dragons.

Know Your Dragon: Vhagar

Vhagar is the oldest and one of the strongest dragons in entire Westeros. The she-dragon is the only one alive from the time of Aegon the Conqueror.

Know Your Dragon: Vhagar

The three dragons, Vhagar, Balerion, and Meraxes, helped Aegon capture all seven kingdoms and forced the rulers far and wide to bend their knee.

Vhagar was the dragon of Laena Velaryon during the initial days of House of the Dragon. Laena dies in episode 6 after the pain of bearing a child becomes too much for her, and she voluntarily gets herself torched by Vhagar.

The claim for Vhagar is up for grabs, and Aemond jumps to the opportunity almost unexpectedly. Vhagar is impressed by his bravery and lets him ride her. This angers Rhaena, the daughter of Laena Velaryon, who thought the dragon would be hers.

Dragons do not follow bloodlines like the Iron Throne. They choose their rider.

Know Your Dragon: Arrax

Rhaenyra’s sons were given dragon eggs just after they were born. Arrax was born when Luke was just a baby, and they immediately bonded.

Know Your Dragon: Arrax

Arrax is almost as old as Luke before Dance of the Dragons. That is very young for a dragon.

In the season 1 finale of HOTD, Rhaenyra sends Luke and Arrax to Storm’s End to try and convince Lord Borros Baratheon to support the blacks during the war.

The Ultimate Face-Off

In the finale, the two dragons clash against each other while returning from Storm’s End. Aemond wants to take revenge by harassing Luke on his tiny dragon.

Vhagar is undoubtedly a lot stronger than tiny Arrax. But agility is one department Arrax excels in. Even that doesn’t help Arrax much in the fight because of the abysmal weather. Vhagar’s enormous wingspan allows it to fly faster than Arrax.

Young dragons are very short-tempered and careless. When Arrax gets chased by Vhagar, he attacks her with fire instead of running. This angers granny Vhagar, and she takes matters into her own hands.

After a long chase, Vhagar seems to have disappeared. We start thinking that the fight is over for now. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the titanic mouth of Vhagar rises from beneath and dismembers Arrax. Luke is swallowed whole, and the remains of Arrax plummet into the ocean.

Watch out for the fantastic introduction of Vhagar before the fight begins and the brilliant cinematography that made the climax so visually appealing. Luke’s death will be the trigger for the catastrophic Dance of the Dragons. But we will likely have to wait for season 2 for the war to begin and for its aftermath.

As of now, anyone who wishes to join me in sulking because we’re not getting a new HOTD episode in the next couple of years, are welcome to do so.

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About House Of The Dragon

House of the Dragon is the prequel series to HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.

Set three hundred years before the events of Game of ThronesHouse of the Dragon will show Westeros under the Targaryen family’s rule before the dragons went extinct. It will follow the Dance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war between siblings Aegon II and Rhaenyra, who fought for the throne after the death of their father, Viserys I.

Directed by Ryan Condall and Miguel Sapochnik, the show stars Paddy Considine as Viserys I Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Rhaenyra Targaryen, Olivia Cooke as Alicent Hightower, Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, Tom Glynn-Craney as Aegon II Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Otto Hightower, Steve Toussaint as Corlys Velaryon, Eve Best as Rhaenys Velaryon, Sonoya Mizuno as Mysaria, Fabien Frankel as Criston Cole, and Graham McTavish.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

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