Westeros Horror Story Is ‘Home of the Dragon’: The Story of Balerion

Westeros Horror Story Is ‘Home of the Dragon’: The Story of Balerion

Balerion the Black Dread is arguably probably the most well-known dragon in Westeros’ historical past. When Aenar Targaryen departed the Valyrian Freehold for the island of Dragonstone, he introduced a complete of 5 dragons together with him. Nonetheless, Balerion outlasted all of his counterparts, and took half in among the most pivotal occasions that formed the Seven Kingdoms for generations. He was ridden by Aegon the Conqueror when he got down to take over Westeros.

His flaming breath melted the swords of the conquered into the Iron Throne. He was an instrument of destruction through the reign of Maegor the Merciless, and was final ridden by Viserys I Targaryen, performed in Home of the Dragon by Paddy Considine. Followers have seen many a dragon within the spin-off’s first season, however Balerion’s legacy looms massive over all that will come after him, in addition to the realm itself.

Earlier than he died of previous age in 94 AC (After Conquest), Balerion was identified all through the Seven Kingdoms as probably the most terrifying creature alive, and he was little question probably the most fearsome asset to Home Targaryen’s rule. As highly effective and dread-inducing as he was, Balerion was additionally the final residing creature to have seen the previous glory of Valyria earlier than it was introduced low by the Doom. Through the reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, Balerion tried to return to the smoking ruins of the freehold, which inadvertently grew to become one of the vital horrific and tragic moments through the reign of The Conciliator.

Jaehaerys’ sister Rhaena Targaryen was no stranger to tragedy. Her uncle Maegor I Targaryen murdered her brother/husband and made her certainly one of his “Black Brides,” and despatched the youngest of her twin daughters by her former husband to Oldtown to coach as a Septa. Nonetheless, making an attempt to keep away from Maegor’s legendary cruelty, Rhaena managed to flee her vicious husband together with her daughter Aerea, declaring her assist for Jaehaerys and bestowing him the Targaryen ancestral blade Blackfyre. When Maegor died unexpectedly atop the Iron Throne, reduce and stabbed to ribbons, the younger Jaehaerys took his place and change into well-known as one of many biggest monarchs within the historical past of the Seven Kingdoms. Rhaena would spend a lot of his reign on Dragonstone together with her daughter Aerea.

Nonetheless, Rhaena was a reclusive type, and refused to permit her daughter or closest confidants to go away the island. Rhaena’s psyche grew even darker in subsequent years, as her lover Elissa Farman left Dragonstone towards Rhaena’s needs whereas stealing three dragon eggs from the island’s hatchery. This upset Aerea specifically, who Farman had grown shut with and had promised to show the right way to sail. Rhaena and Jaehaerys’ mom Alyssa Velaryon additionally died within the birthing mattress quickly after, with Rhaena blaming the kid’s father, Lord Rogar Baratheon. She remarked to the Storm Lord that if he ever remarried, she would kill him herself.

Balerion and Aerea Targaryen

Tragedy struck as soon as extra by the hands of Androw Farman, Rhaena’s third husband who was brazenly mocked by the family on Dragonstone and for whom Rhaena had no actual love for. Utilizing a potent poison generally known as the Tears of Lys, Androw poisoned Rhaena’s closest associates on the island, killing all of them. He confessed to his crimes, however earlier than the infuriated queen may have him seized, Androw jumped from a close-by window, killing him upon touchdown. In an act of revenge, Rhaena had her former husband’s physique hacked into items and fed to her dragon Dreamfyre. The so-called “Queen within the East” fell right into a deep despair, typically locking herself in her room and lashing out at anyone who tried to talk together with her.

The lack of Elissa Farman and the callousness of her mom weighed closely on Aerea Targaryen, who shortly grew to hate Dragonstone. She started to behave out and misbehave in defiance of her mom, abusing her servants and insulting any guests in courtroom. Regardless of their estranged relationship, Rhaena nonetheless believed that her daughter ought to declare a dragon of her personal. Nonetheless, terror gripped each Dragonstone and King’s Touchdown when Rhaena quickly found that her daughter had fled the island on the again of Balerion himself, who had made his lair on Dragonstone after the dying of Maegor the Merciless. Rhaena flew to King’s Touchdown, pondering her daughter had headed to the town she typically dreamed of, however was knowledgeable that neither Aerea nor Balerion had been seen.

King Jaehaerys despatched ravens to each nook of the Seven Kingdoms, demanding any info pertaining to the Targaryen princess or the Black Dread. Tales throughout the Slender Sea in Essos even started to crop up, however many of the reviews have been both unreliable or fabricated within the hope of a reward.

The Loss of life of Aerea Targaryen

After over a 12 months, the Conciliator started to concern that his niece had died, thrown from Balerion’s again wherever the dragon had chosen to fly. Nonetheless, on the thirteenth day of the fourth moon of 56 AC, the blast of a horn had sounded all through the town to sign the sight of darkish wings, pitch black towards the clouds overhead. The Black Dread had been gone for thus lengthy that some smallfolk had feared that Maegor the Merciless had risen from the grave and had claimed Balerion as soon as once more, looking for revenge.

As an alternative, the knights and servants of the Crimson Maintain discovered Princess Aerea, nearly fully unrecognizable, touchdown with Balerion close to Maegor’s Holdfast. She slid from the again of the large dragon and begged for assist, her limbs “as skinny as sticks” and sporting little quite a lot of tattered rags. Ser Lucamore Sturdy, Knight of the Kingsguard, lifted the lady into his arms and instantly delivered her to Grand Maester Benifer for medical assist. Ser Sturdy would later inform people who as he carried the princess, the warmth from the fever wracking her physique might be felt even by his heavy armor. Her eyes have been bloodied, and Ser Sturdy additionally remarked that there was one thing alive contained in the princess, inflicting her to contort and thrash as she was carried.

Aerea Targaryen’s situation had worsened so dramatically that when King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne arrived to the Grand Maester’s chambers, he denied them entry, stating that they’d not need to see the princess in her present state. The one different particular person to see Aerea in her situation was Septon Barth, who was despatched inside to carry out the suitable rites for the dying. King Jaehaerys and his Queen remained outdoors the door, and lots of crowded into the Crimson Maintain’s Sept to wish for Aerea Targaryen. Late into the night, Septon Barth emerged from the Maester’s quarters to announce that the princess had died.

It was introduced that Aerea had died from a horrible fever, and dialogue on the princess’ dying was saved to an absolute minimal. The one paperwork that recount Aerea’s closing moments are these of Septon Barth, who revealed {that a} fever was solely the start of the torment she was going by. Barth remarked that Aerea’s pores and skin wasn’t simply scorching, it was burning. When he laid a hand on her head to really feel for himself, he wrote that it was as if he had “thrust it right into a pot of boiling oil.” Beneath her gaunt pores and skin have been bulges that will increase and retract. Milk of the poppy did nothing for her ache, she begged for dying by “cracked and bleeding lips” and smoke rose from almost each orifice on her physique. After a while, her eyes burst from the sheer warmth inside her.

The Actual Horrors of the Story

The best horror got here when Benifer and Barth tried to decrease the kid into a bath of ice. The sheer shock of the temperature is alleged to have stopped Aerea’s coronary heart, or at the least Septon Barth had hoped so, to spare her from what occurred subsequent. Creatures that had been residing inside the princess’ physique started to burst out, and so they terrified the Septon and Maester. They have been referred to in Barth’s writings as:

Worms with faces… snakes with fingers… twisting, slimy, unspeakable issues that appeared to writhe and pulse and squirm as they got here bursting from her flesh. Some have been no larger than my little finger, however one at the least was so long as my arm… oh, Warrior defend me, the sounds they made…

Luckily, the horrors that erupted from the princess’ corpse thrashed and died inside the ice tub, as they have been clearly creatures of smoke and flame. With that, the physique was ready, and Aerea’s stays have been cremated in a funeral service per Valyrian custom. Nonetheless, Septon Barth nonetheless questioned as to the place the princess and Balerion had gone. Studies in Westeros had did not yield outcomes, and no one within the Free Cities had credible tales about both.

Balerion himself was just too massive to overlook, however how had he escaped discover in each Westeros and Essos? The Septon had deduced that the unsuitable query had been requested. As an alternative of questioning the place Aerea had taken Balerion, it was extra acceptable to ask the place Balerion had taken Aerea. In any case, the princess was not even 13 but, and there was merely no means she may have masterfully commanded the Black Dread on dragonback. Clearly, Balerion had gone wherever he happy, and Barth decided that the oldest and largest residing dragon tried to return to Valyria.

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