What Was Valyria’s Doom (and What Caused It)?

The Doom of Valyria was predicted by the Targaryen ancestors before they arrived in Westeros, and this dream has a connection to the overall plot of Game of Thrones. The first season of “House of the Dragon” depicts the house at the pinnacle of their dynasty, about a century after Aegon the Conqueror conquered Westeros, and is set 172 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen. The Doom plays a significantly bigger role in their history than other prominent families in “House of the Dragon,” although the Targaryens are the only one with a significant connection to Old Valyria.

The link between House Targaryen and House Velaryon, both of which descended from Valyria before the Doom, is one of the most crucial ones in House of the Dragon.” The dragonriding family had a magical connection to the events, even though the Velaryons left Valyria for Driftmark before the Targaryens. Daenys Targaryen had a prescient dream that foresaw the events years before the Doom destroyed Old Valyria. The “House of the Dragon” episode 1 unexpected ending reveals that the Targaryens also had a Song of Ice and Fire dream that drove Aegon the Conqueror to conquer Westeros, suggesting that foreseeing the Doom of Valyria wasn’t the only humanity-saving dragon dream they experienced. Aegon had a dream that a Targaryen king or queen would have to occupy the Iron Throne in order to unify the kingdom against the Night King and White Walkers because he saw another harsh winter that would destroy the living coming.

The primary family of the “House of the Dragon” was the only dragonlord to escape the destruction when the Targaryens fled Valyria before the Doom occurred, more than a century before they conquered Westeros. The Targaryens had relocated to Dragonstone by the time the Doom arrived, bringing their dragons with them. They weren’t exempt from learning about the tragic Doom of Valyria, despite the fact that they didn’t clearly understand what caused the destruction. As a result of a succession of ostensibly natural disasters that submerged the Freehold underwater, a territory known by House of the Dragon’s history as the infamous Smoking Sea, the peninsula was utterly destroyed, and the Valyrian empire collapsed.

What took place during the Valyrian Apocalypse

About 100 years before Aegon’s Conquest, the Valyrian Freehold, which had ruled Essos for nearly 5000 years, was completely destroyed in a single day. A group of volcanoes known as the Fourteen Fires erupted as the Doom began, destroying Valyria and the surrounding regions by spewing ash and fire over them. The destruction would continue for those who survived the volcanic eruptions as matching earthquakes shook the Targaryens’ ancient home. When Valyria itself collapsed, the ocean swept in and submerged a large portion of the region. The water-covered Valyrian Peninsula is known as the Smoking Sea during the time of Game of Thrones and “House of the Dragon’s” protagonists, and mariners vehemently avoid the area out of fear that it is plagued by demons.

What Actually Caused Valyria’s Destruction?

In “House of the Dragon,” the actual reason for the Doom of Valyria is unclear. Some historians and Valyrian descendants believe that natural disasters caused the Doom, whereas others believe that Valyrian wizardry was to blame. In “House of the Dragon,” King Viserys I Targaryen appears to corroborate this thesis when he claims that the dragons were responsible for the region’s destruction. Given that the Doom wiped off every dragon alive except for those that House Targaryen’s ancestors had previously escaped with, the catastrophe might have been an attempt to eradicate the beasts from the planet.

How The Targaryens Averted Valyria’s Destruction

Viserys, the King of the “House of the Dragon,” tells his daughter Rhaenyra that their ancestor Daenys Targaryen had a vivid dream about the Doom twelve years before it actually happened. She informed her father, Aenar, who heard about the dream and in 114 BC decided to relocate the Targaryen family and their possessions, which included five dragons, to Dragonstone in Westeros. The dragonriding family was already well entrenched at Dragonstone when the Doom of Valyria struck 12 years later, making them the only dragonlords to survive the calamity.

What transpired in Valyria following the end?

The history of Valyria, which was destroyed by the Doom and turned into the Smoking Sea, is still taught by the Targaryens of the “House of the Dragon,” who sit on the Iron Throne. After Valyria fell, Essos would experience the Century of Blood, during which the Volantenes attempted to reestablish their own reign over the empire. Instead of a planned conflict, the Century of Blood was a time of chaos during which the Essos survivors attempted to regain the empire for themselves, giving rise to the Free Cities.

When the early Game of Thrones colonies united in opposition to the Volantenes, Volantis’ effort to annex the remaining colonies was thwarted. Aegon I Targaryen eventually intervened in the fight on the side of Volantis’ adversaries, and with three dragons by his side, he prevented the Free Cities from becoming a new Valyrian empire. Following the Doom of Valyria and Century of Blood, Game of Thrones’ and “House of the Dragon’s” portrayals of the political environment of Essos through Daenerys’ narrative were mostly reflected in Essos.

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