Who is Vhagar? House of the Dragon's newest dragon explained

Laena in House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

House of the Dragon episode 6 introduces a new dragon to the mix – Laena Velaryon rides an absolutely massive creature that we haven't seen in the show before. This dragon is none other than Vhagar, the oldest and biggest of the dragons currently alive in Westeros. This fire-breather has a particularly epic history, as detailed in the works of George R.R. Martin. Now, before we go any further, the following is totally spoiler free, so you can read up on Vhagar whether you're up to date or not. 

Who is Vhagar in House of the Dragon?

Vhagar in House of the Dragon

(Image credit: HBO)

Vhagar was hatched on Dragonstone in what's known as the Century of Blood, which spans the hundred years or so before Aegon the Conqueror and his two sisters took Westeros. The dragon was claimed by one of those sisters: Visenya Targaryen, Aegon's older sister – and, later, his wife, along with their other sister Rhaenys (that's the Targaryens, for you). Aegon flew Balerion and Rhaenys rode Meraxes: Vhagar is the only one of the three dragons still alive. 

Visenya flew Vhagar throughout Aegon's Conquest, including in one huge battle that killed four thousand people when all three Targaryen dragons took to the skies. Vhagar even helped make a peaceful surrender with House Arryn possible: when Visenya arrived at the Vale atop her dragon, the young King Ronnel was captivated by Vhagar and asked Dowager Queen Sharra Arryn, his mother, if he could ride the great creature. Sharra surrendered to Visenya, and Ronnel got his dragon ride. 

Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys later went to war with Dorne – the only kingdom not captured in the Conquest. Rhaenys and Meraxes were killed in the conflict, and in retaliation, Aegon and Visenya unleashed hell on Dorne in a period known as The Dragon's Wroth. Ominous. 

When Aegon the Conqueror died, Vhagar lit his funeral pyre. Later, Visenya's son Maegor the Cruel would claim the crown, and the re-appearance of Vhagar and Balerion, now Maegor's dragon, spurred riots in King's Landing. Visenya ended up burning a lot of Houses during Maegor's reign, riding Vhagar all the while. Maegor and his mother very nearly burned the Hightowers' Oldtown to the ground, too, but the destruction was narrowly avoided.  

After Visenya died, Prince Baelon – King Viserys' father – claimed Vhagar as his dragon, and after his death, Laena became Vhagar's next rider. Viserys and Laena even talk about Vhagar in House of the Dragon episode 2, many years before Laena would claim the dragon as her own. In that scene, Viserys says Vhagar is probably on the coast of the Narrow Sea. According to Laena, sometimes, Vhagar's sad song can be heard by the workers of Spicetown. It's enough to break your heart. 

Vhagar still has a huge part to play in the events of the show, and you can check out our House of the Dragon release schedule to find out exactly when the next episode drops in your time zone. In the meantime, see our roundup of the best Netflix shows streaming now to fill out your watchlist. 

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.