House of the Dragon will follow one of the Targaryens’ most significant wars, the Dance of the Dragons, but the dynasty faced numerous battles throughout its history. For nearly 300 years, the Targaryen dynasty ruled over Westeros. The House of the Dragon conquered the continent with fire and maintained it with blood, honoring their menacing and mighty words. The Targaryens weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, controlling much of the Seven Kingdoms through fear.
They won many of their battles, but the house wasn’t always so lucky. Yet, even at their lowest, the Targaryens proved they were a force to be reckoned with, especially on the battlefield.
10 The Field Of Fire
Aegon’s Conquest is arguably the most important event in Westerosi history. It had several meaningful conflicts, although it might be generous to call them “battles.” Indeed, it was mainly countless men burned alive by Balerion the Dread.
The Conquest’s most meaningful confrontation took place at the Reach. Loren Lannister, King of the Rock, and Mern IX Gardener, King of the Reach, met Aegon with a force of 50,000 strong, only to receive the full might of Aegon’s three dragons. House Gardener became extinct, and Loren bent the knee, becoming Aegon’s Warden of the West. The Field of Fire cemented Aegon’s control over Westeros, confirming that facing his dragons was a fool’s errand. It also allowed House Tyrell to become Wardens of the South and Lords of Highgarden.
9 The Battle At Rook’s Rest
Rhaenys, the Queen Who Never Was, is one of the best Targaryen characters in House of the Dragon. She becomes one of Rhaenyra’s most loyal supporters during the Dance of the Dragons, becoming part of her Black Council.
Her intervention in the war was short-lived but crucial. Rhaenys and her dragon, Maelys, fought King Aegon II and his brother, Prince Aemond, in the Battle at Rook’s Rest. The fight resulted in Rhaenys and Maelys’ death but severely injured King Aegon II and his dragon, the mighty Sunfyre. The Battle had severe consequences for Rhaenyra, as it not only weakened her position but earned her the scorn of Rhaenys’ husband, Corlys Velrayon.
8 The Battle Above The God’s Eye
The Dance of the Dragons featured many large-scale confrontations between the Blacks and the Greens. However, the Battle Above the God’s Eye was between two figures only: Prince Aemond, King Aegon II’s cunning brother, and the now-infamous Daemon Targaryen, Rhaenyra’s husband and main ally.
The fight was short but intense, ending with the deaths of the two men and their dragons. It was a major blow for both sides, especially Rhaenyra’s, leaving her without any meaningful allies. Daemon is one of the most complex characters in House of the Dragon, a skilled warrior who met his match in the younger but equally battle-hardened Aemond. This battle will surely be one of the show’s most spectacular sequences.
7 The Riot Of King’s Landing
Westeros was a very different place in HotD. Far richer than the dilapidated version presented in Game of Thrones, the continent was at its might during the early days of the Targaryen dynasty. This prosperity became threatened by the Dance of the Dragons, culminating with the Riot at King’s Landing.
Following the suicide of the tragic Queen Helaena, the citizens of King’s Landing stormed the Dragon Pit and attacked the dragons; in turn, the beasts burned the citizens alive. The Dragonfire weakened the structure until the roof caved in, burying dragons and humans alike. The Riot forced Rhaenyra to abandon the Iron Throne while the city descended into chaos and violence. More importantly, it represented the end of the Targaryen dragons, with only four remaining across the continent.
6 The Blackfyre Rebellions
First legitimized by Aegon the Unworthy, the Blackfyre Pretenders launched a series of campaigns to usurp the Iron Throne. However, the first rebellion was the most meaningful. It pitted King Daeron II Targaryen against his half-brother, Daemon I Blackfyre, in a civil war that ravaged and divided the Seven Kingdoms.
Every Blackfyre Rebellion ended in defeat for the immature House Blackfyre, although Daemon I came the closest to victory, eventually meeting his defeat in the legendary Battle of the Redgrass Field. Subsequent conflicts in the Blackfyre Rebellions continued for decades, with the last one, the War of the Ninepenny Kings, occurring a mere 20 years before Robert’s Rebellion.
5 The Battle Of The Bells
Robert’s Rebellion marked the ending of the Targaryens’ 300-year rule over Westeros. It began with Rhaegar Targaryen’s supposed kidnapping of Lyanna Stark and ended with Aerys II Targaryen’s death and Robert Baratheon’s coronation.
One of the conflict’s major clashes occurred at the Stoney Sept between Robert’s forces and the royalist army. Robert’s decisive victory confirmed the rebellion was a serious matter, forcing the Mad King to take action and Prince Rhaegar to return from Dorne and join the war.
4 The Battle Of The Trident
Following a series of conflicts, Robert’s Rebellion was ultimately decided during the Battle of the Trident. Robert met Prince Rhaegar, one of the most heroic Targaryens, in a one-on-one match while their armies clashed on the crossing that became known as the Ruby Ford.
The Battle of the Trident ended with Rhaegar’s death. With their leaders dead or injured, the royalist armies scattered, opening the door for Robert’s forces to march and take King’s Landing. However, because Robert suffered severe injuries during his fight with Rhaegar, it was Ned Stark who took control of the rebels’ army and marched to the capital.
3 The Sack Of King’s Landing
Once Rhaegar died, Tywin Lannister, who had thus far remained neutral, mobilized his troops towards King’s Landing. Arriving hours before Ned, Tywin stormed the capital, and his forces brutalized the citizens on their way to the Red Keep. Tywin ordered Ser Gregor Clegane to kill Elia Martell, Rhaegar’s wife, and her two children, presenting their bodies to Robert once the Storm Lord finally arrived in the capital.
The Sack of King’s Landing shocked both sides of the conflict. Ned was horrified at Tywin’s actions, and Jorah Mormont described it to Daenerys with obvious disgust. Still, it proved successful; Aerys II died by Jaime’s hand, thus ending the Targaryen dynasty and allowing Robert to take the Iron Throne.
2 The Battles For The Slaver Cities
Daenerys Targaryen made several dumb decisions throughout GoT. Her choices in Essos proved her inexperience as a ruler, and while her intentions were noble, her results were, at best, inconclusive.
Dany and her armies sacked Astapor and took control of Mereen following a prolonged siege. However, she could not hold the city, culminating in an assault at the fighting pits, which she only survived thanks to Drogon’s fortuitous arrival. Tyrion made matters worse by striking a deal with the slavers, only for them to back out and launch a full-scale attack on Mereen. Dany ultimately had to unleash the full might of her dragons on the slavers, proving her Targaryen nature by winning through fire and blood.
1 The Last War
A show-exclusive battle — hopefully — Dany’s final attack on King’s Landing saw her become the Mad Queen. She uses Drogon to burn down the capital, burning everyone and reducing the city to ash. Daenerys then proclaims her intentions of doing the same with every person who refuses to bend the knee, forcing Jon Snow to stab her, thus ending her short-lived reign.
Daenerys descent into villainy felt unearned, almost like character assassination. King’s Landing’s destruction also undid all the good she’d done in Essos, cementing her legacy as the Mad Queen and confirming everyone’s worst fears about the Targaryens.
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