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House of The Dragon: What Is Dragon Bonding?

By Rishabh Shandilya
September 1,2022

In the latest HBO miniseries dubbed “House of the Dragon,” we are transported back in time to the Targaryen heyday, hundreds of years prior to the events of “Game of Thrones,” to a period when dragons and the humans who rode them were at the height of their strength.

Just how can a trusting relationship develop between the savage, ruthless fiery beast, and its rider? Although thorny, this issue is important to the tug-of-war for control within House Targaryen.

What is Dragon Bonding?

Dragon bonding is a difficult phenomenon, and it may develop at any moment, albeit generally while the human companions are in their adolescent years. If we take Rhaenyra as an example, she formed a close relationship with her mount Syrax at the tender age of seven.

Because of the unique nature of the tie involving a dragon as well as its human rider, once a creature has connected with the one who rides it, it will never tolerate the presence of any other person, no matter who he is. Although, in the novel “Fire and Blood,” Westeros’s scholars do remember a few incidents when dragons with live mated riders have permitted other people on them, provided that their linked person is also flying alongside them.

John Snow

John Snow

When a dragon and a mortal form a connection, it’s unbreakable. For the most part, dragons outlast their human riders due to their exceptional longevity. Following the loss of a rider, the beast may form an attachment to a replacement but it is highly unlikely that it will ever happen.

While it is theoretically possible for a dragon rider who loses his mount to try to form a fresh link with another beast, no one in existence has ever gone through with this.

The Effects of Dragon Bonding

Daemon Targaryen with Dreamfyre's Unhatched Egg

Daemon Targaryen with Dreamfyre’s Unhatched Egg

When a dragon and a human rider get close, that connection only becomes stronger as time passes.  It’s fairly common for the pair to start feeling each other’s sentiments. The human’s power will wane or vanish if he is removed from his companion. As soon as the dragon’s health declines, the human it is bound to will feel the effects as well.

A human’s life expectancy may be greatly increased if he or she forms a link with a dragon. Conversely, when one person of a link passes away, the other is frequently no longer far behind. Some very long-lived dragons were bound to dozens of different people over the course of their lengthy lives, and yet they have all survived their deaths without losing their companions.

How Do Targaryens Connects With Their Beasts So Well

Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen

Daemon and Rhaenyra Targaryen

The actual chemistry behind the connection shared by humans and their dragon mounts is not completely clear or predictable. However, the Targaryens created a ceremony to attempt to guarantee that every child is born connected to a dragon. The Targaryens have a long-standing custom of placing a dragon egg in the bassinet of a mortal newborn, in the hopes that the dragon would mature and form a link with the child.

Baelon, Aemma, and King Viserys I long-awaited baby is born, and the household hopes to follow that example by placing one of Dreamfyre’s eggs in his crib. Nevertheless, following Baelon’s tragic passing, Daemon attempts to grab the egg for sake of his own child but is thwarted by Rhaenyra and Otto Hightower who suggested that this will lead to war.