There are times when it can be easy to forget that Game of Thrones is a fantasy series with magical elements. While magic weaves in and out of the series, more often than not the story revolves around political turmoil not unlike the plots that history has provided. After all, author George R. R. Martin has explained that many elements of his A Song of Ice and Fire series have been provided by true historical events such as The War of the Roses while other inspirations have been outlined by io9. But this is still a fantasy epic where many mythical creatures are central to the yet unfinished story of Westeros and the world at large. Here’s your guide to the six most important ones.
Thousands of years before the War of the Five Kings, dragons were not a scarce beast and had been mastered by the Valyrians as a tool of war — a tool that allowed them to take over almost the entire known world. But an event known as the Doom of Valyria changed all of that. About 400 years before the War of the Five Kings, a volcanic eruption laid waste to the Valyrian empire destroying all the noble families save for the the Targaryens and three of its dragons. Those three dragons again allowed an empire to dominate all others as Aegon I Targaryen unified the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros before their deaths seemingly signaled their extinction. That all changed when Daenerys Targaryen was given three fossilized dragon eggs as a gift which later miraculously hatched. And if the same pattern emerges, dragons will again be the key to unifying an increasingly volatile Westeros and bringing peace.