Even before dragons became extinct in Westeros, their eggs were highly valuable – and dangerous – objects, closely guarded. But, as ever the case with humans, real or fictional, such weapons can easily find their way into the wrong hands.
As shown on the latest episode of House of the Dragon, the unhatched offspring of the dragonlords’ mighty beasts embody significant symbolic and literal power. When Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), rejected as heir to the Iron Throne by his brother Viserys I (Paddy Considine) in favor of the king’s daughter Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock), storms out of the Red Keep with his loyal gold cloaks and his mistress Mysaria, he knows the quickest way to hurt his family is to help himself to a dragon’s egg.
Daemon’s theft was a final straw so blasphemous that Viserys has no choice but to dispatch his own soldiers to demand its return.
But Daemon wasn’t the only person to help themself to such treasure.
Fifty years before the events of House of the Dragon, a cunning thief snuck into the hatcheries below Dragonstone and took three dragon eggs destined to one day return to House Targaryen… over two hundred years later at Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding to Khal Drogo.
Of the many noble houses given attention in A Song of Ice and Fire, House Farman is decidedly not one. As depicted in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood and The World of Ice and Fire, the Farmans were sworn bannermen of House Lannister, and ruled over Fair Isle, a tiny island in westernmost Westeros. But this unimposing family became embroiled in scandal in the aftermath of Aegon the Conqueror’s death, when Aegon’s granddaughter Rhaena Targaryen took refuge on Fair Isle after she was widowed and her children’s claim to the throne was usurped by her uncle, Maegor the Cruel.
Women have often been pawns in the game of thrones, married off to lords and heirs, but things are always more passionate when dragons are involved. On Fair Isle, Rhaena found good friends and an unlikely new lover, Elissa Farman, daughter of Lord Marq Farman.
Elissa was, by all accounts, a high-spirited girl who loved horses, hawks, and the sea. She sailed to Bear Island and to the Reach in the south by herself as a teenager. She was also betrothed twice but scared off all her suitors. Yet Rhaena Targaryen was her equal in spirit, and when the exiled queen and her dragon Dreamfyre departed Fair Isle to establish her own court on Dragonstone, Elissa left with her.
Inevitably, the dreary walls of Dragonstone became too confining and Elissa longed to sail again. Rhaena couldn’t bear losing another loyal companion and denied her request for a ship. But some years later, their love cooled and Elissa was eventually granted permission to leave. As Elissa had no money of her own to fund her new adventure, before setting sail from the Targaryen fortress, she took the most valuable things she could think of: three eggs from Dragonstone’s hatcheries.
From Dragonstone, she sailed to the Driftmark, onto Pentos, and finally Braavos, where she sold her prized dragon eggs to the Sealord. She finally got her gold and built her ship, Sun Chaser, before departing further west than anyone dared dream of, as she believed there were lands beyond the known bounds of Westeros – a belief eventually shared by Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) at the end of Game of Thrones.
While no one saw Elissa Farman again, many decades later, the great seafarer Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), husband of the Queen That Never Was, Rhaenys Targaryen (Eve Best), claims he saw the wreck of Sun Chaser in the eastern land of Asshai.
As for Rhaena’s three stolen dragon eggs? While Illyrio Mopatis claimed Daenerys’ wedding gift came from the Shadow Lands, it does not beggar belief that these were in fact the lost eggs of Dreamfyre, as it isn’t known what exactly the Sealord of Braavos did with his purchase beyond forgiving some of House Targaryen’s debts with the Iron Bank for Braavos’ involvement in the scandalous sale of stolen goods.
But it seems more fitting, more romantic, that one heartbroken, trapped young woman’s impulsive act would echo down the centuries to aid the descendant of the woman she betrayed in claiming the Iron Throne for House Targaryen as the Mother of Dragons.