Do the Targaryens Really Control Dragons?

Do the Targaryens Really Control Dragons?
Image credit: HBO Max

Exactly how does the fire reign?

Warning: the following article contains minor spoilers for 'House of the Dragon ' episode 1

The Targaryen family is notorious for the ability to ride dragons. But does this ability mean that this house is capable of actually controlling them? Many people – including in the universe of the show – believe that it does. However, things seem to be a lot more complicated.

Even according to the Targaryens themselves, it's not quite right to say that the family is capable of controlling the dragons. Let's recall what King Viserys said in the first episode of 'House of the Dragon':

"The idea that we control dragons is an illusion," he said. "They're a power man should have never trifled with. One that brought Valyria its doom."

The sentiment seems to be shared by many fans on Reddit – for a good reason.

"People assume Targaryens control Dragons... when in reality they do not. They harness their power and the dragons allow them to ride and whatever but they do not control them. If the Dragons so chose, they could wipe out the Targaryens." – /mrSeven3Two

Undoubtedly, the family does enjoy the privilege of dragon-riding, but they are essentially no rulers over dragons. Even though it is believed that Valyria's doom was caused by a slew of natural disasters, the reason behind them remains uncertain – judging by Viserys' words, it might as well have been connected with dragons and failure to handle them properly.

'House of the Dragon' appears to be challenging many dragon-related concepts. Aside from the issue of the Targaryens "controlling" the fire-breathers, the show also prompts questions as to their origin.

"I assume it's because the theory that dragons are artificial creatures is true. They're a crossbreed between firewyrms and wyverns which explains their odd genetics and looks. They are bred using magic and messing with that probably had an influence on the doom of valyria. Perhaps not knowing about those magic breeding methods is also what caused the dragons to shrink and shrivel after a while." – /B4S1L3US

Still, when it comes to the "control", House Targaryen remains the only family capable of riding the dragons and therefore enjoying the perks this ability provides them. Unless the show is on track to prove us wrong somehow, of course.

The 'Game of Thrones ' prequel premiered on HBO Max on Sunday, already becoming the biggest premiere in the platform's history. With nine episodes to follow, the 'House of the Dragon' finale is slated to arrive in October.