Warning: Contains SPOILERS for House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10, “The Black Queen.”Daemon Targaryen sings a High Valyrian lullaby to the dragon Vermithor in House of the Dragon‘s season 1 finale, “The Black Queen,” and it has a connection to the Prince That Was Promised prophecy. Daemon’s High Valyrian song to Vermithor was not the biggest dragon moment of House of the Dragon season 1, episode 10 – which of course belongs to Aemond Targaryen and Vhagar killing Lucerys Velaryon and Arrax – but it was among the most fascinating dragon scenes of the whole show. It’s an unusual sequence that really highlights the bonds between Targaryens and dragons, and with plenty of deeper meaning packed in.
Among the lyrics to Daemon’s Vermithor song, there are multiple references to “three heads.” It appears in three out of four stanzas, and so clearly is a point the lyrics really want to drive home, and that itself is interesting. While Viserys Targaryen didn’t tell Daemon about Aegon the Conqueror’s dream of a great Winter, the song to Vermithor has its own connection to the Prince That Was Promised. In the A Song of Ice and Fire books, when Daenerys Targaryen (and so readers) hear of the Prince That Was Promised prophecy in a vision from Rhaegar Targaryen, he also says: “the dragon has three heads.” The meaning is much debated and theorized over, so why does Daemon’s song (the lyrics of which are below) link to it?
Fire breather / Winged leader / But two heads / To a third sing
From my voice / The fires have spoken / And the price has been paid / With blood magic
With words of flame / With clear eyes / To bind the three / To you I sing
As one we gather / And with three heads / We shall fly as we were destined / Beautifully, freely
One possible meaning of Daemon’s song to Vermithor is that it’s about Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys. This would make sense with the idea of a “winged leader,” as well as the references throughout to the three heads, which would be meaning Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys conquering Westeros with their three dragons, Balerion, Vhagar, and Meraxes. The reveal of Aegon’s dream of White Walkers may further support this notion, as the idea of flying “as we were destined” could mean the lyrics are about Aegon’s prophesied conquering (if only in hindsight to viewers, depending on who wrote the song in-universe).
There may be a different meaning to Daemon’s song, though. Connecting to Aegon the Conqueror makes some sense, but doesn’t fully fit the lyrics, especially the part “two heads to a third sing.” Instead, this could be going back further to Old Valyria, which would certainly work with the mention of “blood magic.” Daemon’s song could be referencing ancient ways the Valyrians bonded with dragons to begin with: this did involve binding spells, and it’s plausible blood magic was involved. The purpose of Daemon’s High Valyrian song is seemingly to prepare Vermithor for a new rider, so reminding him of the old Valyrian ways and how dragons and humans were bonded does carry some logic.
At first glance, Rhaegar telling Daenerys the dragon must have three heads could very simply refer to his three children. Rhaegar himself was obsessed with the Prince That Was Promised prophecy, to the point it drove many of his actions (seemingly including his love affair with Lyanna Stark, at least to some degree). The mention of the dragon having three heads comes when he’s discussing his son, Aegon, being the Prince That Was Promised, and so may represent a belief that he needs to have three children in order to fulfill it, again going back to Aegon the Conqueror similarities.
The other possibility and most common theory for what the three heads of the dragon means is that there will be three dragonriders, to go with Daenerys’ three dragons. This is the interpretation Daenerys comes to believe in the books; it’s also given further credence by Maester Aemon, who himself offers that “the dragon has three heads” and laments he is “too old” to be one of them, suggesting it does involve riding a dragon. With fight against the Others coming in the book like it did the White Walkers in Game of Thrones, then three dragon riders would make sense. Daenerys is obviously one, and Game of Thrones had Jon Snow ride a dragon, which could well happen in the books too.
The question is who the third head would be, if this were the correct meaning. Game of Thrones gave the Night King a dragon, but he isn’t in the books. Other theories on the third dragon head range from from Bran Stark (who could warg into one) to Tyrion Lannister (who has a keen interest in dragons), and from Euron Greyjoy (who could take the Night King’s story, or something similar) to Aegon Targaryen, aka Young Griff, purported to be Rhaegar’s still-alive eldest son. The “dragon has three heads” idea isn’t something Game of Thrones gave too much time to; it may be different in A Song of Ice and Fire, and could add new layers to Daemon’s song depending on how it plays out.
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