Dragon Warfare: How Fiery Beasts Yield Victories In the Game of Thrones

Dragons are creatures that have been lurking in the skies of Westeros even before the war of the five kings. The Valerians were the first ones who wielded the mighty power of these beasts.

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But, in the narration of A Song if Ice and Fire, dragons have been long gone for quite some time. Two centuries have already passed since the last dragon stalked the skies of Essos and Westeros. Men even believed that dragons were just mythical creatures that only existed in books. But, during the exile of Daenerys, dragons were known and feared once more.

The Beginning of a New Dragon Era

Born as iguana-sized lizards, the three powerful dragons of Daenerys Targaryen hatched from the pyre of her beloved Khal Drogo. When enemies of the Targaryen heir doubted her legitimacy, the dragons were quick to respond to these individuals with fire and high pitch screeches.

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Fast-forward to a few years later the dragons - Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion - have grown majestically under the care of Dany. The young heir to the iron throne then capitalized on what these beasts have to offer: flames to stoke the fires of war.

So, how exactly were these dragons used during war?

01. Scouting

Even before an actual battle, a crucial part of warfare is being able to scout the enemy’s positions. Because of the dragon’s ability to fly at great heights and speeds, armies with dragons on their side have the advantage foresight. Armies would be able to craft the right strategy and prepare correctly - resulting to countless victories.

02. Intimidation

Because of the sheer size and speed of dragons, another great warfare tactic that is used by dragon riders is that of intimidation. Everyone knows that these beasts are strong and powerful – almost unbeatable. Just by showing the enemies that you have one on your side will scare them and, hopefully, back out from the fight.

(Also Read: The 10 Best Warriors in Game of Thrones)

03. Beasts of Siege

Aside from the conventional catapults and heavy projectiles were thrown at the walls of fortresses, dragons used the fire that they breathe to break stone and melt metal. These fires are huge and terribly hot – it could easily destroy guarded structures like castles, garrisons, and towers.

04. Bombing Raids

When an army equipped with a dragon is faced with greater numbers, bombing the rear positions of the opposing army is a great way to win a war. By doing this, the dragons can effectively immobilize siege or missile weapons of an opposing side. And, as an added bonus, can also demoralize a whole army by forcing a retreat.

(Also Read: Warrior Weapons: The Most Amazing Swords In Game of Thrones)

05. Countering Other Dragons

One way to defeat a dragon is to use another dragon against it – obviously. Since Valyrian texts and historical records were lost in the fall of Valyria, there is only one known example of this warfare tactic - the Dance of Dragons.

During this war, the Targaryen ruling elite fought amongst themselves and induced a civil war within Westeros. Both sides involved in the conflict had their own dragons. This resulted in epic aerial battles that decided which side would win even before both sides began to enter the theater of war. Battles between dragons and their respective war mounts were fought in remote areas and usually left blood and fire in their wake.

Ultimately, these creatures of warfare are only as good as their riders. Like any other sword, the wielder also has to put into practice great skill and synergy with their reptilian counterparts – making dragons and their riders the lords of the sky and the lands below them.

Who’s your favorite dragon?

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