Vhagar vs. Smaug: Who Is Bigger (And Stronger)?

The world of fiction is full of massive dragons that were created by their own authors. Of course, George RR Martin’s novels are full of different dragons, and Vhagar was one of the greatest dragons found in Fire and Blood, which is the story that House of the Dragon is based. Meanwhile, the legendary JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit storylines also have dragons, and Smaug was the most well-known of them. So, who between Vhagar and Smaug is bigger and stronger?

Vhagar is bigger than Smaug and is likely to be just as strong or even stronger. However, as seen in The Hobbit movies, Smaug is a lot more mobile and is incredibly intelligent. Vhagar may have the size advantage, but Smaug should be able to outmaneuver and outsmart this dragon.

A battle between Vhagar and Smaug isn’t simply a battle between two mindless beasts because we know for a fact that the dragon of the Lonely Mountain is as smart or even smarter than a human being. In that regard, this should be a very tough one for Vhagar, who probably won’t be able to defeat the smarter and nimbler Smaug. Now, let’s look at this battle in greater detail.

Vhagar vs. Smaug Size Comparison

The thing about George RR Martin’s dragons is that he wasn’t quite precise in terms of the sizes of his dragons because he didn’t describe them in measurements. Nevertheless, there were clues as to how big his dragons are. Of course, the film depictions of his dragons in Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon are clues as to how big Vhagar is, even though he is yet to be seen in the new HBO series.

Born more than 50 years before Aegon conquered Westeros, Vhagar was one of the three dragons that House Targaryen rode into the continent to conquer in a span of two years. Vhagar was the smallest when compared to Meraxes and the incredibly huge Balerion, the Black Dread. Nevertheless, Vhagar was still bigger than most dragons back then, probably because it was bred from Balerion.

Meraxes died quite early as it got killed in Dorne after Westeros was conquered. Meanwhile, Balerion died of old age 94 years after Aegon’s Conquest. On the other hand, Vhagar lived during the time of the Dance of the Dragons, as it was actually almost as big as Balerion during that time. Before its death, Vhagar was the closest to Balerion in terms of size, and that means that it became bigger than Meraxes and all of the other dragons.

While there are no clear measurements regarding Balerion’s size, we know that it is so large that it can cast a shadow over entire towns whenever it is flying. It can even swallow entire mammoths whole due to the fact that it has an incredibly large mouth. Estimates show that Balerion could be right around 453 feet long and has teeth that are as large as swords. It is more than possible that Vhagar grew to a size close to Balerion, as it is the second-largest dragon in the history of the known world in Westeros.

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On the other hand, Smaug’s size in the books is a lot more ambiguous than Vhagar’s size in the books. JRR Tolkien once said that Smaug is supposed to be so big that Bilbo should be invisible next to the dragon’s sheer size. Smaug was also so big that, upon its death, it destroyed an entire town when it crashed on it. In that regard, the book version of Smaug should be quite huge, but we can’t say for certain how big he is, and that’s why we are basing his size on what we’ve seen in The Hobbit movies.

In The Hobbit movies, we can tell that Smaug has a head that is so big that it is at least three times longer than Bilbo’s entire body, which is right around 4 feet. The fact that Smaug has a head that big could only mean that his entire body is also quite big as well. And there are accounts from the people behind the movie regarding the size of Smaug’s body.

Due to Smaug’s long and serpentine body, we know for a fact that this dragon is quite long and has a wingspan that is equally large. The VFX people working on The Hobbit suggest that Smaug is so big that he is somewhere close to 427 feet long. He also has a wingspan that is, at the most, 230 feet wide, and that means that he is so large that his wingspan is the size of two Boeing 747 jets.

As we can see, both Vhagar and Smaug are incredibly large. Vhagar, due to the fact that it was close to Balerion’s size, seems to be the larger dragon of the two. But the fact that Vhagar is not exactly as big as Balerion but is merely almost as big suggests that the size difference between Vhagar and Smaug isn’t quite massive. That means that Vhagar is perhaps a bit bigger than Smaug.

Vhagar vs. Smaug Strength Comparison

Vhagar was one of the three dragons that allowed Aegon Targaryen to subdue Westeros in a span of two years and have it bow down to Targaryen rule due to a dream that he had regarding the Night King. In that regard, Vhagar was a veteran of a lot of different battles and was able to survive encounters with entire armies and even other dragons. By the time of the Dance of the Dragons, no dragon was as big as Vhagar. Probably the only dragon that matched its ferocity at that time was Caraxes, who was half its size but was much faster due to its youth.

During its prime, Vhagar’s flames were so hot that they could melt a knight’s armor and cook him inside. The fact that Vhagar is also almost as big as Balerion suggests that its teeth were nearly as big as swords, and that allowed him to instantly kill anything that it got its mouth on. This explains why Vhagar was the alpha of the dragons during the Dance of the Dragons.

Still, Vhagar did indeed die at the hands of Caraxes near the end of the Dance of the Dragons. The older dragon was ridden by Aemond, who battled Daemon on Caraxes. The fact that Caraxes, despite being half of Vhagar’s size, was faster, younger, and just as ferocious allowed it to fight Vhagar to a draw. However, while Vhagar and Aemond died almost instantly, Caraxes was able to drag its body to the shore after the battle and died almost instantly due to its wounds. 

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So, while Vhagar was indeed bigger and stronger than most dragons, it probably wasn’t as strong as Balerion, who would have probably defeated Caraxes, considering that it defeated Quicksilver quite easily several decades back.

On the other hand, Smaug seems to have some of the capabilities of the common dragon in the sense that it can breathe fire and has scales that are harder than metal. It was suggested in the books that Smaug’s flames were so hot that they could melt metal and stone. In fact, the halls of Erebor melted whenever Smaug passed through them due to how hot his entire body was. Of course, the fact that King Thranduil of the Woodland Elves couldn’t dare to attack Erebor suggests that he wasn’t willing to risk his life and that of his men for the treasures of the Lonely Mountain due to how dangerous Smaug is.

Of course, Smaug’s durability is quite impressive because no weapon could pierce his skin. His underbelly used to be soft, but he encrusted it with the gems of Erebor to make it harder. However, there is a soft spot on his body, and that was what killed him when Bard shot a black arrow through it. Other than that, Smaug was nearly unkillable and didn’t have a lot of weaknesses.

In terms of strength, we could say that Vhagar and Smaug are just about equal. It is possible that Vhagar is a tad stronger than Smaug because of its slight size advantage. But what takes the cake here for Smaug is the fact that he was shown to be quite nimble and mobile for his size and is a lot smarter. In fact, Smaug is capable of speech and is intelligent enough that he is perhaps just as smart or even smarter than humans.

Vhagar vs. Smaug: Who Is Bigger And Stronger?

Vhagar, the closest dragon to Balerion in terms of its size, is a ferociously strong and incredibly large dragon that should be able to defeat any dragon that’s smaller than it is. However, Smaug is not just any ordinary dragon because we are talking about an incredibly nimble and intelligent beast that can easily outsmart a mindless dragon. In that regard, while Vhagar may have a slight advantage in size and strength, Smaug’s superiority in terms of its mobility and intelligence will allow it to win. After all, a much smaller yet faster dragon took down Vhagar.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.