Two of the most important figures in the House of the Dragon’s impending Dance of the Dragons, which is the Targaryen civil war, are Daemon Targaryen and his nephew, Aemond Targaryen. Both of these fighters belong to opposing sides, as Daemon fought for the Blacks while Aemond rode for the Greens. Of course, they eventually faced one another in an epic clash called the Battle Above the Gods Eye, which was the final time anyone ever saw them and their dragons. So, who is the better dragonrider and fighter between the two?
It is likely that Daemon is the superior dragonrider and fighter between him and Aemond. While Aemond was also strong and capable, he didn’t have the experience or the weapons that Daemon had. As such, it was Daemon who won his fight against Aemond before he disappeared and was presumed dead.
The battle between Daemon and Aemond was widely believed to be one of the highlights of the Dance of the Dragons because it was arguably the most epic fight throughout the entire Targaryen civil war. But the fact that it was Daemon that dealt the killing blow proves that he is the stronger between the two. That said, let’s look at this battle in greater detail.
Daemon Targaryen was always a renowned swordsman and jouster throughout his entire lifetime. In fact, not a lot of people were able to defeat him in battle, except for Ser Criston Cole, who was skilled enough to knock Daemon’s sword out of his hands with his morningstar. Other than that, he was probably one of the best fighters in the realm, as only Ser Criston and Ser Harwin could match or beat him.
Aemond Targaryen was the strongest and most skilled out of all of the children that trained together during the events leading up to the Dance of the Dragons. He was far better than his older brother, Aegon II, and was able to also beat the “Strong” boys in combat. Of course, his small frame allowed him to be nimble and quick with his sword strikes, as that was one of the things that Ser Criston Cole taught him.
While Aemond was trained by Ser Criston, he doesn’t have the ferocity and cruelty of Daemon in battle. But Aemond was still regarded as a daring and bold fighter, and the fact that he was trained by one of the few men that defeated Daemon could be enough to bridge the gap between him and Daemon.
Daemon 0, Aemond 0
Daemon Targaryen was the rider of Caraxes, who is called the Blood Wyrm due to its appearance and ferocity. Caraxes is a huge dragon that was only smaller than Vhagar, Vermithor, the Cannibal, and quite possibly Meleys. Other than that, no other dragon could stand up to its ferocity and nimble movements. Caraxes was also an experienced dragon that lived through a good part of the first century of the Targaryen dynasty.
Aemond Targaryen mounted Vhagar, who was the largest and strongest dragon in the entire world during the Dance of the Dragons. Vhagar is only second to Balerion in terms of the biggest dragons of all time. As such, there is no doubt that no other dragon could stand up to the might of the Queen of All Dragons. Vhagar is simply too big and too strong for any other dragon.
Considering that Vhagar is bigger and stronger than Caraxes, Aemond has the advantage here. The fact that Rhaenyra sent both Aemond and Nettles to fight Aemond shows that she needed two dragonriders to defeat Vhagar.
Daemon 0, Aemond 1
Daemon Targaryen was a veteran dragonrider that spent decades with Caraxes. His skills were on full display during the sixth episode of House of the Dragon when he was able to glide freely through the skies of Pentos to impress the Pentoshi prince. His mastery over Caraxes also reached a level where he could fly through Vhagar’s flames without getting burned. As such, there is no doubt that he is an incredibly gifted dragonrider that probably no one else could match during his era, and it was probably Daemon’s skills as a rider that allowed him to bridge the size and strength gap between Caraxes and Vhagar.
While Aemond may not have been a dragonrider for a very long time, he was still one of the better dragonriders in the world and was arguably the best in the Green faction. The size and experience of Vhagar helped him a lot, but he was skilled enough that Vhagar was willing to allow him to be her dragonrider. And it was actually Aemond and Vhagar that did a lot of damage to the Black faction during the Dance of the Dragons due to how dangerous of a duo they were.
Even though Aemond became experienced and skilled enough at riding Vhagar, he still didn’t have the same kind of experience and skills that Daemon had with Caraxes. This explains why Daemon was able to allow Caraxes to grapple with Vhagar before he dealt the killing blow to Aemond.
Daemon 1, Aemond 1
Before his death, Daemon was already more than 50 years old but was still strong and nimble enough to handle his own against younger opponents. In fact, at that point, he was already a veteran of countless battles because he was the commander of the City Watch and was one of the leaders that fought during the War of the Stepstones. After that, Daemon also ended up fighting in numerous battles in the Dance of the Dragons, and that means that his experience was unlike anyone else’s during his era.
Aemond was still quite young during his death, and that meant that the Dance of the Dragons was his only true taste of battle. He did participate in a lot of battles during the Targaryen civil war but he only fought for around a year before he died at the hands of his own uncle in the Battle Above the Gods Eye.
At this point, there is no doubt that Daemon is the more experienced fighter. The fact that he is a lot older and has been in a lot of battles means that he was able to use his experience as leverage against Aemond in their fight.
Daemon 2, Aemond 1
Daemon vs. Aemond: Who Is The Stronger Dragonrider & A Better Fighter?
While it may be true that Aemond could be just as skilled as Daemon in a sword fight and has the bigger and stronger dragon, he isn’t the same kind of dragonrider and experienced war veteran that his uncle is. In that regard, Daemon is still the stronger fighter between the two, as he was able to showcase this when he was the one who dealt the killing blow to Aemond in the Battle Above the Gods Eye. And he did so even though he had a dragon that was half the size of Vhagar.