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But they didn’t stir, for something like a century, even as the three great dragons grew very great indeed.Martin has stated at a past Worldcon that Aegon and his sisters were approached to join some sort of alliance to control the Free Cities, but he chose to go west instead of east.Why, we’re not sure—perhaps to continue funding further expansion? After the Doom, Valyria was shattered, and the Freehold was no more.The various Free Cities appear to have struggled for power, with Braavos—the “hidden city,” founded by runaway slaves and refugees in an out-of-the-way place that the Valyrians never found—eventually developing into a great sea power.They made the Conqueror and his sisters bleed, until one way or another they gave up; we like to imagine that Aegon basically declared victory and turned around and went home, claiming to rule Dorne without really doing so, much as the English kings at one point claimed the crown of France.

The three great dragons died, one by one, in war (the Valyrian dragons having been bred for battle tended to die in them as well; otherwise, it’s claimed the dragons might well have lived forever) and their successors were smaller and smaller until the very last dragon was a sickly, stunted creature.

These titanic clashes—an echo of the Punic wars between Rome and Carthage over control of the Mediterranean—always ended in victory of Valyria. Valyria’s Fourteen Flames, great volcanoes, may have been appealing to the dragons; they seem to have craved heat, and within the Fourteen Flames it’s said that wyrms that were related to dragons burrowed through solid stone.

The Valyrians themselves would make claims to legendary descent from dragons, with the blood of dragons in their veins.

As it happens, that particular dragon egg disappeared from Whitewalls, probably falling into the hands of the alleged-sorcerer called Bloodraven, a descendant of Aegon the Unworthy and at the time the Hand of the King. Its description rather closely matches one of three eggs presented to a certain young Targaryen bride, on the day of her marriage to a certain Dothraki warlord….

Perhaps the most important of these past efforts to raise a dragon, in terms of its impact on the present timeline, was Summerhall.

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