Sunfyre, known as the Golden One, was a dragon, apparently male, who lived during the reign of Viserys I Targaryen and the Dance of the Dragons.
He had golden scales and his wing membranes were light pink. In the sun, his scales shone like hammered gold. According to Archmaester Gyldayn, he was called the most beautiful dragon ever seen on earth.
Sunfyre's egg is said to have hatched on the smoldering slopes of the volcanic mountain Montdragon on Peyredragon at an unknown date. It is claimed by Prince Aegon Targaryen, who is able to ride it at the age of thirteen.
At the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons in the year 129, Sunfyre is ridden by Aegon II Targaryen, on the day of his coronation. They circle King's Landing three times before landing in the courtyard of the Red Keep, according to the book of Grand Maester Munkun.
Later that year, the Sunflowers take part in the siege of Roughhouse with Vhagar, who is ridden by the king's brother, Prince Aemond. They ensnare Rhaenys Targaryen and her dragon Meleys, who seriously wounds Sunflowers during the confrontation, almost tearing off his wing. He can no longer fly, and is left behind for several moons.
Initially feeding on the corpses of the battle, Ser Criston Cole assigns him a troop of guardians to defend him and feed him calves and sheep.
As he recovers from his wounds, he is attacked by a troop loyal to Rhaenyra, led by Lord Walys Mouton de Viergétang. The guards left to protect him are easily dispersed and Lord Mouton's men attack him, inflicting many wounds.
He tries three times to fly away, but always falls back to the ground. Enraged by his wounds, he used his tail and flames against his attackers, burning or wounding them.
About sixty of them are killed, including Lord Mouton, before the survivors flee. Half a moon later, Manfryd Mouton found the bodies of his brother and the men from their house, but Sunfyre had disappeared.
For half a year, he is nowhere to be found. Family legends of the Crabbe and Brown families claim that he took refuge for a time in the pine forests and caves of the Claquepince Peninsula.
Despite his weakened and crippled wing, Sunfyre managed to cross Blackwater Bay and return to Peyredragon. On Montdragon, Sunfyre attacks and kills the wild dragon Spectre Grey, partially devouring it.
Flying sailors from Nessaria see them and spread the word throughout Peyredragon. The governor, Ser Robert Coing, a loyal follower of Rhaenyra, mistakenly believes that it was the Cannibal that killed Spectre Grey, but fisherman Tom Rusty-tongue understands that it was Sunfyre.
He warns his father, his cousin, and King Aegon II Targaryen, who has secretly taken refuge in their home. The dragon rider and the dragon draw new energy from their reunion.
Each dawn, Aegon II ventures out of the secluded lair to fly with his dragon, while his followers organize the island's rebellion on his behalf.
At the time of the fighting, Sunfyre and Aegon II, still wounded, quietly fly over Montdragon waiting for the castle to fall, the king hoping to make a safe triumphal arrival.
However, the young Baela Targaryen riding her dragon Danselune flies to meet them. During the confrontation, the younger and faster Danselune manages to seriously wound Sunfyre, but the larger and heavier Danselune drags him down and kills him. He can't get up or fly, however, and burning blood gushes from his wounds.
Sunfyre feeds on the carcass of Danselune, then on sheep brought to him by the garrison of Peyredragon. Maester Gerardys, faithful to Rhaenyra, is disembowelled and hung in front of him, so that he can devour his legs and entrails.
His torn wing is at a strange angle, his back is studded with smoking and bleeding scars. Wounds marble his neck and scabs replace the scales on his belly. His right eye is an empty socket, blocked by a clot of black blood.
A few days later, Aegon II learns of Rhaenyra's return to Peyredragon. She is captured by his men. When she sees the state of the Sunfyre, she reacts sharply according to the chroniclers: septon Eustace claims that she laughs, Mushroom claims that she is sorry.
On the orders of Aegon II, Rhaenyra is delivered alive to the Sunfyre. At first, he doesn't want her, until Ser Alfred Balaie spills the princess' blood to whet the dragon's appetite.
He burns her alive, before tearing off her arm and shoulder. According to septon Eustace, he then swallows her in six bites, leaving only one leg for the Stranger.
Rhaenyra's son, the future Aegon III Targaryen, witnessed the execution and remained deeply marked by this trauma. The death of Rhaenyra seems to sign definitively the victory of Aegon II and the Greens.
After Rhaenyra's execution, the Sunfyre weakened; his wounds began to stink and he eventually refused to eat. He dies at the place of his fall on the ninth day of the twelfth moon of the year 130, mourned by King Aegon.
LegacyIn a late letter, septon Eustace revisits an event in the Dance of the Dragons that he did not address in his book: ser Byron Swann's attempt to kill a dragon.
Eustace believes in his letter that the attempt was aimed at Sunfire. Archmaester Gyldayn, however, argues that at the time of the incident, the Fires of the Sun was hidden in Peyredragon without anyone's knowledge, including that of Ser Byron Swann.
Other sources claim that the dragon in question is Vhagar or Syrax.