As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We also participate in other affiliate programs and are compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
If you have only watched the Game of Thrones TV show, but not read the books, you may be wondering, why was Daenerys immune to fire, when her brother, Viserys Targaryen, wasn’t, and in that sense, wasn’t a dragon.
Targaryens are not immune to fire and are not real dragons, even thou they have high immunity to fire. But in the Game of Thrones TV show, Daenerys was shown as almost fireproof.
Let us tell you some more about Targaryens, their immunity to fire, and why was Daenerys so different than most of them, including her brother Viserys.
Who where Targaryens?
House Targaryen of Dragonstone is a noble family of Valyrian descent who once ruled the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros.
The Targaryen sigil is a three-headed dragon breathing flames, red on black. The house words are “Fire and Blood”. It eventually became the first royal house of the Seven Kingdoms, as House Targaryen of King’s Landing.
They were the only family of dragonlords who survived the Doom of Valyria and have left the Valyrian Freehold twelve years before the Doom. Targaryens resided for more than a century at Dragonstone on the island of the same name, until Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys, began the first of the Wars of Conquest in 2 BC.
During Aegon’s Conquest, the family built the Aegonfort in the new capital city of King’s Landing. The Aegonfort was later torn down and replaced by the Red Keep, which remained their main seat for the duration of their dynasty, and which housed the Iron Throne. Their original castle was almost always given to the heir to the throne, the Prince of Dragonstone. The Targaryens eventually built the summer residence Summerhall, which has been given to several younger sons of the family over time.
House Targaryen ruled as the Kings of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, the Lords of the Seven Kingdoms, and the Great House of the crownlands for nearly three hundred years. Seventeen male Targaryens ruled from the Iron Throne.
The dynasty ended with the death of Aerys the Mad King during Robert’s Rebellion, in which the Targaryens were overthrown and replaced by House Baratheon.
The two surviving children of Aerys II, Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen fled into exile, and have resided in the Free Cities of Essos ever since.
How are the Targaryens related to dragons?
Actually, Targaryens are not related to dragons at all. They just want to make others think they are.
Dragons are massive, flying reptiles that can breathe fire. They are rumored to have a strong connection to magic, which seems to be proven true when the magic begins to return to the world after the birth of the first three in over two hundred years.
Dragons possess awesome and devastating power, capable of laying waste to armies and burning entire cities to ashes. Men who were able to tame and ride dragons as beasts of war used them in battle and to forge vast empires across the continents of Essos and Westeros. The greatest of these empires was the Valyrian Freehold forged by the Valyrian dragonlords.
The first known dragons were mentioned to have their lairs in the Fourteen Fires, a chain of volcanoes across the neck of the Valyrian Peninsula. The Valyrians, then peaceful shepherds, tamed the dragons with magic, even learned how to master and ride them as beasts of war. Thus they began expanding their influence from the Peninsula to the rest of their continent forming the Valyrian Freehold.
The dragons gave the decisive victory in the Ghiscari Wars during which the Old Ghis is burned to ashes by Dragonfire, and the ever-expanding Freehold replaced the Ghiscari Empire as the dominant culture of Essos. The Rhoynar under Nymeria fled to Dorne having no chance against the Valyrian dragons.
Four hundred years before the War of the Five Kings, the entire Valyrian empire was destroyed in a single day, during a cataclysmic volcanic eruption known as the Doom of Valyria. Most dragons, still lairing in the volcanoes, were killed outright. One Valyrian noble family, the Targaryens, survived the Doom on the distant island outpost of Dragonstone in the Narrow Sea – along with the last surviving Valyrian dragons.
The last surviving dragons in the world were possessed by House Targaryen, the last Valyrians after the Cataclysm, who used them to conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros three hundred years before the War of the Five Kings.
Most of the Targaryen dragons died in civil strife known as Dance of the Dragons about a century and a half later, and after that, the only dragons the Targaryens had were the size of cats. Soon after the civil war ended, the last Targaryen dragons died, and the species was considered to be extinct throughout the world.
As we told you above, and you probably already knew, Viserys and Daenerys are the last known descendants of the House Targaryen.
In the TV show, as well as in the Game of Thrones books, it was explained that House Targaryen has very strong ties to dragons. They bred them, trained them, and rode them to war. But, they are not related in any way, certainly not in a reproductive way.
Game of Thrones Season 1
In the series, the dragon species is established as having been extinct for many years. The only thing left of the race are petrified dragon eggs, which are used as decoration, and the bones which are used for weapon crafting. According to one legend, dragons originated from a second moon that hatched when it drifted too close to the sun. This is mostly dismissed as a simple myth.
Even Daenerys Targaryen who knows nothing of her true heritage feels a connection with the relics of the ancient animals. She appears to feel a connection with the eggs; causing her to develop a curiosity about the race and the possibility that there may still be living dragons.
Daenerys is given three petrified dragon eggs as a gift for her wedding to Khal Drogo. The three eggs are black, green, and gold.
Daenerys begins caring for the eggs as they become richer in color. She keeps them in a chest surrounded by candles, day and night as she is drawn to them.
Daenerys continues to experiment with her eggs. She briefly places one of the eggs into a fire pit in an attempt to hatch it, but the egg remains unhatched. She removes the egg from the fire with her bare hands but remains unhurt.
Daenerys Targaryen places the eggs on the funeral pyre of her husband after smothering him with a pillow. She also straps the witch Mirri Maz Duur to the pyre.
She then lights the pyre, and walks into it, with all her followers believing her to have burned alive. In the morning, however, she is found with three dragons, a green dragon in her arms, a black dragon clinging on her shoulder and a white-peach colored dragon clinging on her leg. A moment later, the black dragon screeches and flaps his wings.
As you see, Daenerys got some special connection with dragons in Game of Thrones TV show, the connection we couldn’t read inside books. And we will tell you more about it below.
There is this mad belief between the Targaryens that they are dragons in human form. We find out that is not true from at least two situations, one in which was Aerion Targaryen drinking wildfire believing it would transform him into his real dragon form. The other was Viserys.
Why wasn’t Viserys Targaryen a dragon and immune to fire as his sister Daenerys
First of all, we have to say that fire didn’t kill Viserys, molten gold that Drogo had poured on his skull did. Also, it is important to note that Targaryens are not immune to fire, they just have high immunity to it.
Viserys would scare his sister Daenerys with the words ‘You don’t want to wake the dragon, do you?‘ When she heard those words and sow the madness of Viserys in his eyes that scared her. Though she may be doubting the theory, she wanted it to be true as well due to the lineage she came from. Daenerys wanted to believe that her brother was a dragon, because then she would be too.
In the Game of Thrones TV show, it is believed that they have made Daenerys fireproof due to how, she had hatched the Dragons and the magic from the hatching had caused her to become fireproof, making her a one-off Targaryen who would be immune to fire.
Also, that would make her be the White Walker’s equivalent for Fire!
In the books, Daenerys is not immune to fire. The event in which the dragon eggs hatched was magical, according to George R.R. Martin. This protected Daenerys to a degree, but she still lost all of her hair and suffered fairly bad burns on her hands and feet.
As you can see from the video below, Viserys, as well as other Targaryens was not that lucky and is certainly not immune to fire (even thou this is molten gold, but hot molten gold).
From this we can conclude that both Viserys and Daenerys were not dragons, and not completely immune to fire, they just have high immunity to fire, as well as all other Targaryens.
Can Targaryen’s become dragons?
The main thing that Targaryens in the past have had is the ability to tame dragons. They were the only family in the Westeros to have dragons for over two hundred years.
But, Targaryens can’t become dragons, never, not in the books and not in the TV show.
What specials powers/traits do the Targaryens possess?
Targaryens’ physical traits are blond (platinum) hair and violet eyes, although these are recessive traits and need Targaryens to intermarry in order to sustain them.
They are known for connecting with dragons, have a great talent in prophecy, and varying levels of resistance to fire (Daenerys is the only known Targaryen that has survived a fire, in the book, or two fires, in the TV Show).
Is Jon Snow a dragon?
First of all, neither Targaryen is a dragon. They just have the ability to tame them. It is the same with Jon Snow, who is also just half Targaryen.
How are targaryens immune to fire?
We will answer you this question with a George R.R. Martins quote from chat recorded back in 1999:
TARGARYENS ARE NOT IMMUNE TO FIRE! The birth of Dany’s dragons was unique, magical, wondrous, a miracle. She is called The Unburnt because she walked into the flames and lived. But her brother sure as hell wasn’t immune to that molten gold.
There is no known magical or related connection between dragons and Targaryens in the books, and just a small magical connection in Game of Thrones TV show, where Daenerys is shown as getting some sort of complete fire resistance at one occasion.
They have high fire immunity, but are not dragons and are not fully fire immune.