One of the dragons that are going to take part in the Dance of the Dragons or the Targaryen civil war in House of the Dragon is Vermithor, who is one of the largest dragons in the world during his era. Of course, Vermithor’s size says that he has been around for a long time already, and that means that he’s had his share of dragonriders throughout his lifetime. But who rode Vermithor the Bronze Fury in the Fire & Blood book?
King Jaehaerys Targaryen was Vermithor’s first rider as they bonded with one another, likely ever since the dragon hatched from its egg. Meanwhile, after Jaehaerys’s death, Vermithor had no rider for almost 30 years until Hugh Hammer claimed him when Prince Jacaerys called for more dragonriders.
At this point, we are yet to see a full-on widescale battle between dragonriders in House of the Dragon, but that will change if the series were to introduce the dragonseeds, who are bastards that were able to ride dragons during the Dance of the Dragons. Hugh Hammer, Vermithor’s final rider, was one of those dragonseeds that made a difference in the war, as we are here to learn more about this character.
How Many Riders Did Vermithor Have?
The season 1 finale of House of the Dragon has already teased the fact that Vermithor is indeed in the series, as one more huge dragon is set to participate in the upcoming Targaryen civil war that defined the entire era that House of the Dragon is set in. Of course, we know for a fact that Vermithor was one of the largest dragons in the world during the Dance of the Dragons and was second only to Vhagar in terms of sheer size. That means that there is no doubt that this male dragon is a force to be reckoned with.
Of course, Vermithor’s size implies that this dragon has been around for a while already, as he was almost a hundred years old during the time of the Dance of the Dragons and was second only to Vhagar in age if we weren’t counting the wild dragons. That means that he has had his own fair share of dragonriders as well. But how many riders did Vermithor have?
As far as the book is concerned, Vermithor only had two dragonriders throughout his entire lifetime. Even though he was one of the oldest dragons in the world during the Dance of the Dragons, he didn’t have a lot of dragons because most of the other Targaryens bonded with different dragons or were given dragon eggs when they were still just infants.
In that regard, the only way for a rider to bond with Vermithor was for them to be brave enough to try to claim the dragon called the Bronze Fury. And that wasn’t something that everyone wanted to do.
Who Rode Vermithor In Fire & Blood?
As we have established, Vermithor only had two dragonriders as far as the book is concerned. And let’s get to know more about them.
King Jaehaerys Targaryen
We met King Jaehaerys Targaryen during the prologue of House of the Dragon, as he was the monarch that ruled the Seven Kingdoms before King Viserys sat on the Iron Throne. It was during his time that a Great Council was called to choose between Prince Viserys and Princess Rhaenys in the matter of Jaehaerys’s succession. Of course, Viserys was the one chosen to succeed the man known as the Old King, who ruled for 55 years and had the longest reign among all of the Targaryen kings of Westeros.
While Jaehaerys spent more than five decades ruling the Seven Kingdoms without any major wars other than a few skirmishes with Dorne and a few other enemies, his reign did not start peacefully. That’s because Jaehaerys and his supporters rebelled against King Maegor the Cruel, who the people had no love for because he basically usurped the Iron Throne and was one of the cruelest leaders that the entire realm has ever had. During his rebellion against Maegor, Jaehaerys was already the rider of Vermithor.
It is likely that Vermithor hatched as a cradle-side egg for Jaehaerys, as it is possible that he hatched right around the time when the Old King was still an infant. By the time Jaehaerys rebelled in 48 AC, Vermithor was already regarded as the third-largest dragon in the world, as the only dragons larger than him were Balerion the Black Dread and Vhagar. Due to Vermithor’s bronze coloring and incredible size, he was nicknamed the Bronze Fury.
After Maegor’s death (which still remains a mystery), Jaehaerys ascended to the Iron Throne and ruled for 55 years. He lived for almost 70 years, and that means that he and Vermithor were together throughout the entire time that he ruled the Seven Kingdoms. During that time, Jaehaerys and Vermithor didn’t participate in a lot of battles, as his reign was comparatively peaceful. And even if there were battles and minor wars, the ones that fought in them were Jaehaerys’s sons and their dragons.
King Jaehaerys died in 103 AC, and Vermithor was left without a dragonrider. The dragon mostly stayed on Dragonstone throughout its life after the Old King’s death. And no one tried to claim him, probably because the Targaryens either feared the might of the Bronze Fury or already had their own dragons.
However, during the Dance of the Dragons, Prince Jacaerys Velaryon realized that they were in need of more dragonriders. That was when he called for more dragonriders to come and claim some of the riderless dragons on Dragonstone.
That was when a blacksmith’s bastard named Hugh, who had Targaryen blood in him, tried to claim Vermithor as his own. Before Hugh, a certain Lord Gormon Massey tried to claim Vermithor but was instantly killed by the dragon. After that, Hugh was able to claim Vermithor with little to no trouble at all.
After fighting for the Blacks in the Battle in the Gullet, he began calling himself Hugh Hammer due to his might and his valiant efforts in that battle. Hugh was knighted by Rhaenyra after the battle and was given a few lands that allowed him to elevate his status. However, he was known for his bad temper and his tendency to rebel against authority.
During the First Battle of Tumbleton, Hugh Hammer and another dragonseed named Ulf the White betrayed Rhaenyra and moved to the side of the Greens. However, during the time he was with the Greens, he still carried the same temper that made him quite troublesome. That was why he was killed while he was preparing for battle, as that left Vermithor riderless again. Vermithor was eventually killed shortly after Hugh Hammer died, as the dragon fought against Tessarion and Seasmoke.