'House Of The Dragon': A Timeline Of Who Has Owned The Catspaw Dagger
A small but mighty weapon.
The first episode of the highly anticipated Game Of Thrones prequel, House Of The Dragon, has arrived. While House Of The Dragon takes place nearly two hundred years earlier, during the heyday of House Targaryen's rule, fans were delighted with a scene in the series first episode that foreshadowed the events of Game Of Thrones.
Towards the end of the episode, in the scene in which King Viserys explains to his daughter, Princess Rhaenyra, that he plans to make her his official heir, he reveals to her the prophecy of an endless winter, and the army of the dead coming to march on Westeros. These events come to pass in Game Of Thrones, nearly two centuries later.
During this scene, Viserys is seen to possess a weapon very familiar to fans: a Valyrian Steel dagger that both sparked the early events of Game Of Thrones, and played a vital role in the series final season. Unlike most of the Valyrian Steel weapons, the dagger has no official name, but is sometimes referred to as Catspaw by fans.
Let's look at a timeline of characters who have owned this small but surprisingly important weapon.
Aegon The Conqueror
Aegon I Targaryen, also known as Aegon The Conqueror, became Westeros's first Targaryen King after he conquered six of the Seven Kingdoms alongside his sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys, and their Dragons, Balerion, Vhagar, and Meraxes. With Balerion's fire, Aegon forged the Iron Throne from the swords of his fallen enemies.
Aegon I is believed to be the first owner of the dagger, and likely forged it himself. Aegon originated the Prophecy of the Prince That Was Promised, and when exposed to extreme heat, the dagger is believed to reveal a secret inscription of the prophecy.
"From my blood come the prince that was promised, and his will be the song of ice and fire."
King Viserys I Targaryen
After the death of Aegon I, the dagger was passed down from one Targaryen King to another, until it eventually reached the hands of Viserys I. He is seen with the dagger on his person at various points throughout House Of The Dragon’s opening episode.
A relic passed from heir to heir, the weapon probably should have next passed to Rhaenyra Targaryen. However, evidence from House Of The Dragon’s trailer suggests that this may not be the case, and that the dagger may be caught up in the ‘Dance of Dragons’ conflict.
Alicent Hightower is destined to become the second wife and Queen of Viserys I. In a twist on the source material, House Of The Dragon portrays Alicent as being the best friend of Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, her eventual Husband's daughter, when the two of them are teenagers. Sadly, this friendship is likely to crumble once Alicent bears Viserys his first living son, Prince Aegon, only to discover that the King does not intend for Aegon to replace Rhaenyra in the line of succession. This disagreement over the succession will eventually lead to the Targaryen civil war.
In a brief shot from House Of The Dragon's trailer, Alicent is seen holding the Valyrian steel dagger. Some now believe she may have taken it for her son, to enhance his claim on the Iron Throne.
Bran Stark's Assassin
At some point, the dagger fell out of Targaryen hands. In Game Of Thrones, it is first seen being used by an assassin, aka Catspaw, in the attempted murder of Bran Stark. Bran had been left comatose when Jamie Lannister pushed him from one of Winterfell's towers after he witnessed an incestuous encounter between Jaime and his sister, Queen Cersei. Thankfully, Bran is saved by his pet Direwolf, Summer.
After Robb and Catelyn Stark examine the hilt of the dagger, made from Dragon bone and set with a large ruby, they deduce that whoever hired the Catspaw must come from a wealthy House. This leads them to suspect that a member of the Lannister family had ordered Bran's execution.
Lord Petyr Baelish
Lady Catelyn Stark takes the dagger to Winterfell to inform her Husband, Ned, of her suspicions. However, before she reaches Ned, Cat is intercepted by her Father's former ward, Lord Petyr Baelish, more commonly known as Littlefinger. Baelish claimed that the dagger had belonged to him, until he eventually lost it in a bet to Tyrion Lannister.
This is a lie that sends Catelyn Stark on a wild goose chase after an entirely innocent Tyrion, while Baelish continues to manipulate things at court.
The dagger briefly passes into the hands of Ned Stark. He dislikes the dagger as it represents whoever tried to have his son killed, but keeps it to produce as evidence in his own investigation of the assassination attempt.
Upon Ned's arrest, the dagger was reclaimed by Littlefinger.
The dagger is not mentioned again until the seventh season of Game Of Thrones. Following Bran's return to Winterfell, Littlefinger presents the Dagger to Bran as an attempted show of loyalty to Catelyn Stark's remaining children.
They speak of the events that have lead them to this point, until Bran repeats the following phrase:
"Chaos is a ladder."
This is, of course, a reference to a conversation between Littlefinger and Varys in season one. This unsettles Littlefinger, and, as we learn later, marks the beginning of his downfall.
Bran, due to the fact that he is both crippled, and burdened with other responsibilities as the Three-Eyed-Raven, believes that the dagger is wasted on him, and gifts it to his sister, Arya, upon her return to Winterfell. Sansa Stark witnesses the exchange, and warns both her younger siblings that gifts from Littlefinger do not come free.
Thankfully, the trio are able to turn the tables on Littlefinger, and in a case of poetic justice, Arya uses the dagger to execute him when his treachery is uncovered.
The dagger becomes very important during the first half of Game Of Thrones final season. Valyrian steel is one of only three very rare things (the others being Dragonfire and Dragonglass) capable of killing White Walkers, and one of only five Valyrian steel weapons held by our heroes as the Night King and his army approach. In one of the greatest moments of the series, Arya, with the dagger and a trick she learned all the way back in season one, is able to kill the Night King, destroying the army of the dead along with him.
Arya keeps the dagger with her when she departs Westeros to explore new lands at the end of the series, making her it's final known owner.
It will be interesting to see how the dagger figures into the plot of House Of The Dragon as the series continues.
About the Creator
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme
Great in-depth overview of the dagger's history! I'm happy to see other Game of Thrones content on here. Keep it up! (:
A brilliant retelling of this wondrous tale - thank you!
okay you spilled the tea