Meleys, the Red Queen, was a female dragon that Princess Alyssa Targaryen and later Princess Rhaenys Targaryen rode.
Meleys had red scales and pink wings, so people called her the Red Queen. Her crown, pointy things on her head, and sharp nails were shiny like a reddish-brown metal. The dragon was called “amazing” and “beautiful”.
In the year 75 AC, Meleys was known as one of the fastest dragons in Westeros. She could fly faster than Caraxes and Vhagar. By the year 129 AC, Meleys had become lazy but remained very scary when provoked.
Alyssa Targaryen | The First Rider of Meleys
By 75 AC, Meleys lived in the Dragonpit in King’s Landing and had never been ridden. That year, Princess Alyssa Targaryen, who had recently gotten married, chose to become a dragonrider. At first, she wanted to have Balerion, but the people caring for the dragons convinced her he was too old and slow.
They told her she would like a faster animal to ride instead. Alyssa said that Meleys was hers, and then she hardly ever left the Dragonpit for a long time. The dragon was really fast, just like it was promised. When they flew together, it easily beat Alyssa’s brothers Aemon and Baelon’s dragons.
In the year 77 AC, Alyssa put her nine-day-old son Viserys on her chest and flew with him on Meleys. She did the same thing in the year 81 AC with her second son, Daemon, within two weeks of his birth. In the year 84 AC, Meleys didn’t have a rider anymore because Princess Alyssa passed away after a hard childbirth.
Rhaenys Targaryen | The Second Rider of Meleys
In the year 87, Princess Rhaenys Targaryen claimed ownership of Meleys. In 89 AC, Rhaenys rode on Meleys to Highgarden to go with King Jaehaerys I Targaryen on his trip to the Shield Islands. When Rhaenys married Lord Corlys Velaryon in 90 AC, she wanted to fly on Meleys to the wedding.
Princess Rhaenys rode a dragon named Meleys during the Dance of the Dragons conflict. She supported Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen and her side, the blacks, against King Aegon II Targaryen and his side, the Greens.
When the Velaryon fleet blocked the Gullet, they sailed from Dragonstone and Driftmark to stop all ships from entering Blackwater Bay. The blacks’ strategy was for Rhaenys to fly on Meleys above to prevent the greens from attacking the ships with their dragons.
This is a picture of Rhaenys and Meleys, drawn by Douglas Wheatley in the book Fire & Blood.
In 129 AC, when Rook’s Rest was attacked by the greens’ army led by Ser Criston Cole, Rhaenys flew Meleys to the castle to help. During the fight at Rook’s Rest, Meleys was attacked by Cole’s archers and hit with iron bolts from scorpions. This made her angry, but she was not hurt. She angrily attacked the men below, breathing fire and fighting the knights and horses. She managed to kill around 800 men.
But the fight turned out to be a trick when King Aegon and Prince Aemond Targaryen suddenly appeared on their dragons Sunfyre and Vhagar above Rook’s Rest. Rhaenys faced the attack, even though she knew Meleys couldn’t win against the two dragons.
Archmaester Gyldayn says that Meleys could have possibly fought against Vhagar by herself but not against both Vhagar and Sunfyre together. The dragons fought fiercely in the sky, high above the field, shooting fireballs as bright as the sun. Meleys bit Sunfyre’s neck, and then Vhagar attacked them, causing all three dragons to fall from the sky. They fell to the ground very hard, causing stones to fall from the walls of Rook’s Rest, which was half a league away.
Only Aemond and Vhagar survived without any harm, rising from the ashes. Meleys hurt Sunfyre’s wing, and Aegon got hurt too, with broken ribs, a broken hip, and burns on half his body. Meleys didn’t live through the fall, and was torn apart when she landed.
They found a body next to a dead dragon that they think is Rhaenys Targaryen. The body was so burned that they couldn’t tell who it was. King Aegon II Targaryen‘s soldiers brought Meleys’ head to King’s Landing. They put it on a cart and paraded it through the city. The people were amazed and didn’t say anything. Septon Eustace said that many people left King’s Landing after that. Then, Dowager Queen Alicent Hightower told the guards to close and lock the city gates.