Why Does Caraxes Look Different Than the Other Dragons in House of the Dragon?

One of the dragons that we’ve seen a lot of in House of the Dragon is Caraxes, who is nicknamed the Blood Wyrm. Caraxes is known as the personal dragon mount of Daemon Targaryen, who is set to become the most important fighter and dragonrider on the side of the Blacks during the Dance of the Dragons. But the one thing that people have noticed about Caraxes is the fact that he is quite distinct compared to the other Targaryen dragons. So, why is it that Caraxes looks different compared to the other dragons?

Caraxes is unique among all of the Targaryen dragons due to a creative decision on the part of the showrunners, who wanted the dragons to look more diverse than they did in Game of Thrones. Of course, considering that Caraxes is called the Blood Wyrm, he had to look more wyrm-like.

It is worth mentioning that not all dragons look alike, just like how there are certain differences among different people in terms of their appearance. In that regard, Caraxes is still a Targaryen dragon as far as his lineage is concerned but managed to develop a different appearance compared to all of the other dragons. That said, let’s talk more about why Caraxes looks unique.

Why Does Caraxes Look Different From The Other Dragons?

When House of the Dragon was announced, it was quite obvious that we were going to get a lot of different dragons in this series because the storyline explores the events before, during, and after the Dance of the Dragons, which is the Targaryen civil war that led to the extinction of the dragons. As such, there are a lot of dragons that have already appeared in the series so far, and we are only going to see more when season 2 hits in two or so years.

Of course, we’ve already seen quite a number of dragons already. But the dragon that we’ve seen just as many times as almost any other dragon in the series is Caraxes, who is the dragon that’s bonded with Prince Daemon Targaryen. We’ve seen Caraxes in action a lot already because he has participated in the War for the Stepstones and was able to put on shows for the people from the Free Cities of Essos.

Caraxes

But the one thing that we’ve seen from Caraxes is the fact that he doesn’t look like any other dragon in the series. Of course, all of the dragons in House of the Dragon are unique in their own right, but Caraxes seems to be a different breed of unique because of his long serpentine-like neck and due to the fact that he is a lot leaner than all of the other dragons. So, why does Caraxes look different from the other dragons?

The showrunners of House of the Dragon actually made it a point to make the dragons look more diverse from one another. This means that the dragons look different compared to the ones that Daenerys Targaryen had in Game of Thrones, as they all looked the same except for the fact that they had different colors and markings on their bodies. Of course, the similarity in the appearances of the Game of Thrones dragons suggests that they all come from the same clutch of eggs, as the rumors point to the possibility that they were laid by Dreamfyre. But we don’t know that for sure.

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All we know is that, in House of the Dragons, the dragons all differ in terms of their appearances, quite possibly because they come from different parents. For example, Syrax, the first dragon to appear in the series, seems to be different from the traditional Targaryen dragon that we saw in Game of Thrones because she has a more regal appearance that isn’t as jagged as the other dragons. Meanwhile, there is also Vhagar, who isn’t as spiny and jagged as the other dragons and has a large iguana-like neck. There is also the fact that Sunfyre also looks a lot leaner than the other dragons and is more European-like in terms of its appearance.

Syrax
vhagar aemond
Vhagar

Simply put, dragons differ from one another in terms of their design and color, as diversity was at the forefront of the decision-making for the showrunners when they tried to recreate the appearances of the dragons based on what the source material describes. And let’s not forget that the author, George RR Martin, was involved in the show as well.

In that regard, Caraxes seems to be the most unique out of them because of the fact that he doesn’t look anything like the other dragons at all. And probably the reason why he was given such an appearance was to give justice to his nickname, which is the “Blood Wyrm.”

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The fact that Caraxes is called the Blood Wyrm means that he has a wyrm-like appearance that is similar to the wyrms that Septon Barth described in his in-universe book entitled Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History. As such, Caraxes was given an appearance that made him look like the Firewyrms of old because there must have been a reason why he was called the Blood Wyrm.

What Kind Of Dragon Is Caraxes?

At this point, it is safe to say that the dragons of A Song of Ice & Fire are quite diverse as well because they don’t look the same as each other. But the fact is that there aren’t any specific types of dragons in the universe of George RR Martin’s works.

In that regard, we don’t know what type of dragon Caraxes is but all we know is that he was called the Blood Wyrm because he had a look that resembled a Firewyrm. Caraxes always had a longer neck compared to the other dragons, as his neck was just about as long as the rest of his entire body. In Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History, the Firewyrms were described as fire-breathing serpentine creatures that are flightless and have long bodies. It is often said that the dragons were bred from the Firewyrms and the Wyverns that existed in the world.

Firewyrm by Kevin Catalan
A firewyrm, by Kevin Catalan

So, if it is indeed true that the dragons are somewhat related to the Firewyrms, that could explain why Caraxes has a neck and a body that makes him similar to Firewyrms. The dragon genetics might have had a recessive gene that was still related to the Firewyrms, and that could be the reason why Caraxes looks similar to them even though thousands of years had already passed since the dragons were possibly bred from the Firewyrms.

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that the design choice for Caraxes was a nice added touch to House of the Dragon, as this allowed him to look unique. And it is probably this design choice that will allow us to understand how a dragon that is half the size of Vhagar was able to stand toe-to-toe with the largest dragon in the known world. 

  • Ysmael Delicana

    Ysmael “Eng” Delicana is a writer based in Davao City, Philippines. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at Ateneo de Davao University before continuing to teach part-time at the same university. While teaching was a fun gig, being a geek and a writer seemed to be his cal...