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Daenys the Dreamer revealed to be a rider of Balerion the Black Dread

The largest dragon had a rider before Aegon the Conqueror.



Credits: Max

The world of Westeros, as crafted by George R. R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, is rich and complex. Fans are discovering new layers of his detailed lore with the House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere.

The show has achieved record-breaking viewership for Max, prompting the release of additional promotional content. Among these, sharp-eyed fans have identified a fascinating detail: Daenys the Dreamer, a pivotal figure in Targaryen history, was once a rider of Aegon the Conqueror’s dragon, Balerion the Black Dread.

Read More: Balerion, The Black Dread, might not show up in House of The Dragon

Daenys was Balerion’s first rider

A behind-the-scenes video titled has given an insight into the lore of Westeros. You can watch the full video here:

Behind the Scenes of Season 2 Episode 1 | House of The Dragon | Season 2 | HBO

A brief frame at 09:41 showing an open history book reveals that Daenys the Dreamer, an important Targaryen from before the Doom of Valyria, rode Balerion the Black Dread. Balerion, later ridden by Aegon the Conqueror, played a crucial role in the conquest of the Seven Kingdoms.


Credits: Max

In the first episode of Season 2, we see a mural depicting Balerion burning Harrenhal, and his skull is prominently displayed in the room where King Viserys revealed Aegon’s prophecy to Rhaenyra and passed on the Catspaw Dagger. Viserys was the last known rider of Balerion.

Read More: Which dragon is the biggest in Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon?

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Who was Daenys the Dreamer?


Credits: murmel-malt

Daenys Targaryen, called Daenys the Dreamer, was a noblewoman of House Targaryen and the daughter of Lord Aenar Targaryen, a nobleman from the Valyrian Freehold and the Lord of Dragonstone.

When Daenys was still a young maiden, she had a powerful prophetic dream about the destruction of Valyria by fire. In 114 BC, her father, Aenar, took her dream seriously. He sold their holdings in the Valyrian Freehold and moved the family and all their possessions to Dragonstone, an island in the Narrow Sea off the eastern coast of Westeros.

They brought with them five dragons, including Balerion. Twelve years later, when the Doom of Valyria occurred, House Targaryen was the only family of dragonriders to survive.

Daenys married her brother, Gaemon, who succeeded their father as Lord of Dragonstone. They had children named Aegon and Elaena Targaryen. Daenys and Gaemon also had at least one younger daughter who married a petty lord.

By the time of the War of the Five Kings, it is believed that Daenys’s prophetic visions, documented before the Doom of Valyria, were in a book called Signs and Portents, which has since been lost. Archmaester Marwyn claims to have found three pages from this book in his Book of Lost Books.

In the prop history book used for House of the Dragon, it is reported that Daenys had claimed Balerion the night before her fateful dream of the Doom when Balerion was no bigger than a horse.

Read More: A Game of Thrones history lesson: Valyria part III

Daenys the Dreamer’s mother’s name revealed for the first time

The first person Daenys confided in about her vision was her mother. We also learned from the book that her mother’s name was Elaena Targaryen. According to Twitter user @madisonmmaxwell, the text in the history book reads:

“Within its shining walls, twoscore rival houses vied for power and glory in court and council, rising and falling in an endless, subtle, oft savage struggle for dominance. Rivals saw their flight to Dragonstone as an act of surrender, as cowardice. But Lord Aenar’s maiden daughter Daenys, known forever afterward as Daenys the Dreamer, had foreseen the destruction of Valyria by fire. What isn’t widely known, however, is that Daenys had claimed Balerion – At the time no bigger than a horse — the night before her faithful dream. And when the Doom came twelve years later, the Targaryens were the only dragonlords to survive.”

“Let us go back and return to that fateful day, when Daenys awoke in her gilded bedchamber shaking, running, swiftly to her mother, Elaena, she spoke of what she had seen. Elaena Targaryen, it must be said, was a dour and gloomy woman. Her family’s fall from dominance vexed and angered her. But instead Elaena tossed gold coins to merchants and seamstresses as if they were plentiful. Fixated on perception, she blamed her troubles on her husband. If she wanted something, be it a new dress, a jade tiara, or an emerald ring, she would have it.”

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Ved Prabhudesai is an avid enthusiast of all things pop culture. He has a special interest in the field of animation and art, with a background in Fine Arts and Digital Media Arts. He has begun his first into the field of Entertainment Journalism with Wiki of Thrones, and has been writing for them since 2023. He also has experience working as a screenplay writer, animator and comic book artist. His hobbies include holding discussions and organising events focused around pop culture, dissecting the importance of media in today's world. He began reading A Song Of Ice And Fire shortly before Game of Thrones debuted on HBO. He has followed the series religiously and has spent hours reading Wikis learning about Targaryen history and possible plot points we will see in the Winds of Winter.


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