They made the Conqueror and his sisters bleed, until one way or another they gave up; we like to imagine that Aegon basically declared victory and turned around and went home, claiming to rule Dorne without really doing so, much as the English kings at one point claimed the crown of France.
The time after the Conqueror was not necessarily bloodlessMaegor the Cruel made sure of thatbut the dragons were clearly very powerful persuaders, even though they began to grow less massive.
It seems Aegon V the Unlikely, that young Prince Aegon from years before, attempted to raise one or more dragons only for catastrophe to strike.
Aegon died, and his son Prince Duncan the Small, and perhaps also the Lord Commander of his Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall.
The stormlands appear to have been conquered militarily and without the aid of the dragons, and we’re still not sure how the King of Mountain and Vale came to lose his crown… Dorne, very notably, remained despite those dragons. Guerrilla warfare, to use the modern term; they learned the lessons that no one else noticed, namely that holing up in a castle or gathering in one big army for a set piece battle was manifestly not the way to deal with dragons.Summerhall marked his birth, and it marked all of his days after that, leading him onto a path he thought was destined.“The dragon has three heads,” we see in a strange dream-vision, and that certainly seems to have pushed Rhaegar to name his children Aegon and Rhaenys, after two of the three Targaryen siblings who conquered Westeros.Whatever the reality, the dragons were complete game-changers for the balance of power in Essos.The fifth and final war with the Old Empire ended the Ghiscari pretensions, with the Valyrians allegedly razing Old Ghis to the ground and sowing its fields with salt, sulfur, and skulls (another echo of Rome’s destruction of Carthage and allegedly sowing its fields with salt).