The Destruction of Valyria was predicted by the progenitors of the House of the Dragon’s Targaryens long before they arrived in their kingdoms, and this prophecy has a wider significance in the plot of Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon takes place two centuries prior to the birth of the Mother of Dragons, and it shows the Targaryen household at the pinnacle of its reign.
The silver-haired Targaryens are not the only important household in HBO’s miniseries with ties to Old Valyria, however, the Doom serves a significantly greater part in the Targaryens’ background than in any of the rest.
It is estimated that the Doom of Valyria occurred some couple of centuries prior to the conflict of the Five Kings. Old Valyria was wiped from the map, along with the rest of the Valyrian Peninsular. After tens of thousands of years of sovereignty over much of Essos, the Valyrian Freehold ultimately fell due to the annihilation of its country’s capital in a single day.
Many attribute the Apocalypse to a geological calamity brought on by a volcanic explosion, whereas others think it was accidentally set off by the wizardry of the Valyrians themselves. Whichever the reason, Valyria, and her fire breathers were annihilated, in addition to the Valyrian language, documented records, and all known magic and wisdom. The Freehold fell apart once its energy core was eliminated. House Targaryen, which had reconstituted itself on Dragonston many decades before the Doom, was the sole surviving member of the powerful houses of dragonlords who controlled the Realm.
After the Freehold’s central region was completely obliterated, its remaining settlers navigated to the west and east, and declared independence, electorally splintering the landmass and triggering a sequence of bloody wars for supremacy widely recognized as the “Century of Blood,” throughout which Volantis dared to restructure the Valyrian kingdom under their regime. A number of these outposts eventually coalesced into the western Free Settlements and the eastern Slaver’s Bay towns.
Considering Dothraki’s perspective, the Apocalypse began their own glory years of conquering and prosperity when the Valyrians, as well as their dragons, were no longer there to hold them in line as their riding armies raced throughout the globe from the great grasslands of the Dothraki Sea.
The secret city of Braavos, established by freed slaves who left Valyria, has emerged in the northwest of Essos. When the other Valyrian settlements collapsed, Braavos was an oasis of calm; it lacked all diplomatic or financial connections to the Freehold, so it flourished and eventually, and became the most prominent of the Free Cities.
In four hundred years following the Doom, Valyria has stayed a blazing wasteland. Even bandits are frightened to cruise across the Smoking Sea for fear of calamity if they try to travel through it or colonize the area. There are rumors that monsters and other perils still lurk on the shore as vessels sail around the Valyrian Coast.
Many sufferers of the advanced greyscale sickness, known as “Stone Men,” are exiled to the Valyrian coast by the Independent Cities, and there, some of them live on in the darkness of the remains.
Viserys, the keeper of the Iron Throne, tells his impending heir Rhaenyra that their great-great-grandmother, Daenys Targaryen, had a very prescient vision regarding the Doom twelve years before it transpired. In 114 BC, Daenys informed her father Aenar about her vision, and Aenar, after considering it, agreed to relocate the Targaryen family and their possessions, namely five dragons, to Dragonstone.
The household of dragon riders had already entrenched themselves in Dragonstone by the time the Doom of Valyria struck 12 years after, making them the sole dragonlords to escape the disaster.
Jorah Mormont visits Quaithe in the second year of Game of Thrones to discuss her painting of a seaman leaving Old Valyria and heading out into the Smoking Sea. The Curse nonetheless reigns in Valyria, she says, therefore the tattoo serves as a protection against it. Jaime Lannister said in season 4 that genuine Valyrian steel hadn’t been made since the Fall of Valyria when he received a blade made of freshly crafted Valyrian steel from his dad. Tywin reveals that Oathkeeper was once a sword made of Valyrian steel, but it has since been reforged.
In season five, Ser Jorah Mormont, on his route through Volantis to Meereen alongside his prisoner Tyrion Lannister, must travel across the tangled remains of ancient Valyria, which has been partly submerged by the tides of the Smoking Sea. As they watch Drogon soar across the sky and deliver a sonnet about the Disaster, the Stone Men unexpectedly board their canoe and begin attacking them.
Based on the books in the Song of Ice and Fire series, the Fall of Valyria was a watershed event that altered the path of civilization. Enormous waves hit several distant shores after being triggered by the volcanoes and tremors.
Nonetheless, towns on the Isle of Cedars got swallowed up by the waters, and the peninsula has been abandoned ever since. The three main civilizations of Slaver’s Bay were protected from storm surges by the Isle of Cedars, a vast peninsula separating the bay and Valyria.