The legendary Dance of the Dragons will likely begin in the riveting season finale to House of the Dragon. The Targaryen civil war will rip the realm in two as all the various lordships throughout Westeros swear fealty to either Queen Rhaenyra I or King Aegon II, and while the house of the dragons will survive to the days of Daenerys, the dragons will not. While their days are waning, fans have many thrilling moments to look forward to with them in the coming seasons.
Whether they live in the icy wasteland north of the Wall, the gloomy jungles on Sothoryos, or the distant mountains of Essos, there are many fascinating creatures in the world of ice and fire. Some are well-known and remembered from Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, while others only live in the books for now. Along with the dragons, these mystical beasts are the coolest and most interesting of them all.
10/10 All Game Of Thrones Fans Love The Dragons
Of course, the most well-regarded creatures from these shows are the dragons. This is especially due to the great work the team has done behind House of the Dragon to differentiate the various dragons seen in season 1. As in folklore and other medieval fantasies like Dungeons & Dragons, these dragons come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some grow to hulking and dangerous behemoths, like Balerion the Black Dread and Vhagar, while others are sleek and swift (like Syrax and Caraxes).
The origins of dragons are a mystery with some legends claiming they were hatched from a second moon while others say they were born from the Fourteen Flames – the volcanos the Valyrian empire sprouted out of. Hopefully, as House of the Dragon proceeds beyond the Dance of the Dragon, more of their lore and history can be shown, including going back to the Doom of Valyria.
9/10 Game Of Thrones Fans Love The Direwolves
The other most prominent creature is the direwolf, the sacred symbol of House Stark. Based on the real-world animal and various wolf myths, direwolves have a great deal of still untouched potential within the shows. They are not magical like dragons, but their connection to the Stark family, the North, and greensight is important. As such, many fans were upset they, and especially Ghost, were featured less and less over the course of Game of Thrones (a mistake the proposed Jon Snow spin-off needs to avoid).
Importantly, they roam the northern forests with other powerful beasts like mammoths and snow bears. As evidenced by Nymeria, they are known to act as leaders for regular wolfpacks. Interestingly, it is noted that direwolves were presumed extinct south of the Wall for around two hundred years before Game of Thrones. That coincides with the time of House of the Dragon, and with Winterfell and the Starks presumably coming into the fray in season 2, perhaps a few direwolves will too.
8/10 Krakens Are Very Important In The Game Of Thrones World
While dragons rule the skies, it is the krakens who rule the deep. They are essentially giant squids rather than their more monstrous version remembered from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Krakens are the symbol for House Greyjoy (who should also be featuring soon in House of the Dragon), with their great throne, the Seastone Chair, carved to resemble one.
Stories say they are known to attack whaling ships and compete with sea dragons and leviathans in the great seas. Some claim to have powers to control krakens as the Targaryens control the dragons with a legend of Hrothgar, an ancient Ironborn, possessing a magical horn that can summon them to fight.
7/10 Some Fans Would Like To See The Shadowcats In Season 2 Of House Of The Dragon
There are only a few beasts that could rival the direwolves as fearsome hunters, including the shadowcats. They were mentioned periodically throughout Game of Thrones, but never actually featured like in the books. Shadowcats are large mountain cats, reminiscent of real tigers, cougars, and lynxes, and characterized by their thick black fur with white stripes.
They live all over Westeros, from the hot mountains of Dorne all the way north beyond the wall. Like other animals, they have been companions for wargs in the books, such as Varamyr Sixskins, who also controlled a snow bear, an eagle, and three wolves. Interestingly, the name, shadowcat, might be a fun nod to Kitty Pryde from Marvel Comics, as George R.R. Martin is a big fan.
6/10 Some Game Of Thrones TV Fans May Not Be Aware Of The Old Men Of the River
Supposedly, there are other spin-offs in development in addition to Jon Snow’s. One such is for the legendary tale of Nymeria, Princess of the Rhoynar who led her people on a thousand ships from Esssos to Dorne. That would, ideally, show Rhoynar culture, including their water magic and the giant turtles they call the Old Men of the River.
There is not much known about them, besides what was described by Tyrion in A Dance with Dragons, who sees one on his journey in Essos. They are larger than normal boats with horned shells, and are sacred to the Rhoynar, with Tyrion’s companion even saying that the turtle they saw was their god, the Old Man of the River.
5/10 Game Of Thrones Fans Are Familiar With The Manticores
Daenerys has had run-ins with several different creatures in her time in Essos, including a manticore. She is nearly killed by one, but thankfully, the timely arrival of Ser Barristan Selmy averted those plans. From that moment he became one of Daenerys’ most loyal companions and best friends. Their poison is deadly and seemingly one of the many used by Oberyn Martell, and likely the Sand Snakes.
Interestingly, Martin’s manticores are insects similar to scorpions, unlike their mythical origins which are chimeras with a lion’s body, a scorpion tail, and a human head. They hail from the islands of the Jade Sea, aptly named the Manticore Isles, far to the east of where Daenerys’ journey took her.
4/10 Some Game Of Thrones Fans Are Well Versed With The Giant Ice Spiders
One question that some fans have about the Jon Snow spin-off is whether the White Walkers (or the Others as they’re called in the books), will feature in any way. That seems incredibly unlikely as it would diminish the entire ending of Game of Thrones – however, perhaps there’s still hope for their mounts that never featured in the show: the giant ice spiders.
They are still creatures of legend, not actually seen in the story thus far, yet they as Old Nan tells bran in A Game of Thrones, The Others hunted down the Last Hero on spiders as large as hounds. It would be cool to see them in live-action or at least an acknowledgment to whether they’re real or figments.
3/10 Firewyrms Are One Of The More Interesting Creatures In The World Of Ice And Fire
While dragons get all of the attention, there are other related creatures in the world from “the tyrants of the southern skies,” the wyverns to the sea dragons and ice dragons only told about in legends. However, their coolest related species, and the one that stands the best chance at featuring in live-action, are the firewyrms. They are essentially wingless dragons, still capable of breathing fire and similar to dragons from Asiatic mythology.
They are said to also hail from the Fourteen Flames in Old Valyria, however, unlike dragons, they are untamable. They create tunnels and labyrinths beneath the earth as they can easily break through rock and ground. If House of the Dragon or another spinoff ventures back to Valyria, that could allow for firewyrms to feature.
2/10 Basilisks Are Important In The World Of Ice And Fire
It might come to surprise many that if a basilisk were ever to appear in a Game of Thrones show, it wouldn’t look anything like the great design from the Harry Potter series. There it is a giant serpent, but, here, they are far more hideous and demonic with six legs. However, a trait they share is the potency of their venom.
Basilisks are the namesake for the Basilisk Isles on the northern shores of Sothoryos, where they can grow to be as large as bulls. Interestingly, their blood is also used as it can induce violent mania in anyone who consumes it, leading even a mouse to battle a lion.
1/10 Some Fans May Be Curious As To Who The Deep Ones Are
In creating this world, George R.R. Martin found inspiration in various sources (from Tolkien mythology to even H.P. Lovecraft). The latter is the case for the deep ones, mythical creatures said to live deep below the waves like merlings. They are important to seafaring cultures around the world like the Ironborn.
They are connected to the mysterious black stone that was used to create the Ironborn’s Seastone Chair and the base of the Hightower in Oldtown – a greasy rock dissimilar to dragonglass. The deep ones are likely nothing more than myths, but they’re still among the coolest of Martin’s creations for his series.
NEXT: House of the Dragon – The 10 Most Important Dreams & Prophecies From The Books