House of the Dragon’s season one finale streamed on Disney+ Hotstar on Monday morning. And since then, there has been a lot of analysis, discussion, and dissection of the popular show. But one particular scene has left many baffled. It involves Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) singing in Hugh Valyrian to an unknown dragon. Since a show like this does not do throwaway scenes, many have wondered about its significance. Here is an explainer on who that dragon is and what the significance of that scene is for the future of the show. Also read: House of the Dragon finale sees show finally emerge from GoT’s large shadow
Spoilers for House of the Dragon and Fire & Blood ahead!
House of the Dragon is a spinoff of the hugely successful Game of Thrones with both based on the writings of George RR Martin. House of the Dragon focuses on the civil war within the House Targaryen described as the Dance of the Dragon in the books. The season finale laid down the foundations of that war as half-siblings Aegon and Rhaenyra both laid claim to the Iron Throne after King Viserys’ death.
In one particular scene, Prince Daemon –Rhaenyra’s husband–enters the caverns of Dragonmount at Dragonstone, singing what appears to be a lullaby in High Valyrian. The island is Targaryens’ ancestral home in Westeros and the caverns are usually home to a number of riderless dragons. Daemon eventually comes face to face with a humongous dragon and continues singing to him even as the beast breathes fire at the ceiling.
While the dragon was not named in the episode, Game of Thrones’ official Twitter account confirmed that it was Vermithor as they shared the scene with the dragon’s name as the caption. But exactly is Vermithor so special and why on Earth was Daemon singing to him? The answer lies in the lyrics to the song the prince sang. The creator of the High Valyrian language David J Peterson gave the translation of the song on Archive of Our Own blog. The song is sung to a ‘fire breather, winged leader,’ and the singer promises the dragon: ‘As one we gather, And with three heads, We shall fly as we were destined, Beautifully, freely’. Clearly, Daemon is out there inducting Vermithor.
Earlier in the episode, he emphasizes to his wife and her council that they have over a dozen dragons while the Greens (Aegon’s supporters) only four. These included these riderless dragons that Daemon intends to finds riders for and use for their cause. While Rhaenyra effectively vetoed this idea, it is clear that Daemon has begun coaxing the dragons to do his bidding, starting with Vermithor.
House of the Dragon is based on Martin’s Fire and Blood, a book that traces the three-century rule of the Targaryens in Westeros. In the book, Vermithor is called the Bronze Fury. By the time of the events of the show, the dragon is nearly a century old. He was once ridden by King Jaehaerys, the predecessor to Viserys. He has been riderless since the old king’s death (for about 25 years now). However, he still has a role to play in the Dance of the Dragons.
This para contains potential spoilers for season 2 as it talks about incidents from Fire and Blood, upon which the show is based. Verithmor will soon find a rider in Hugh Hammer. In the book, it is Rhaenyra’s son Jacaerys who decided to get the mighty dragon a rider. After a lord loses his life approaching the beast, the dragon submits to Hugh, a blacksmith’s bastard. Verithmor and Hugh have a starring role in the war, winning many battles for Rhaenyra before Hugh was murdered while approaching his dragon during the Second Battle of Tumbleton. An enraged Verithmor killed the dragon Seasmoke in retaliation before succumbing to its wounds itself. So, Verithmor will have a major role in Rhaenyra’s pushback in season 2. However, there are chances that the show may deviate from the books, just like GoT had. It is still, likely to follow a rough outline of the events though.
House of the Dragon has been renewed for a second season. In an interview a few weeks ago, author George RR Martin had said the story needs four seasons to be told properly so the fans can hope there are more seasons after that one. However, it will take some time for the next installment to hit the screens. As per the showrunners, season 2 won’t air for another two years.