|In 130 AC, either King's Landing or the riverlands
In 129 AC, Ser Byron Swann was among the two dozen knights present while Lord Borros Baratheon and Prince Aemond Targaryen haggled over the betrothal of the prince to one of Lord Baratheon's daughters. Byron witnessed Prince Lucerys Velaryon's arrival, and the confrontation between the two princes. Shortly after, both princes left, resulting in the fight above Shipbreaker Bay and the beginning of the Dance of the Dragons.
In 130 AC, about the same time of the Butcher's Ball, Byron and his squire set out to slay a dragon. The knight tried to accomplish the feat by sneaking up upon the dragon, while hiding behind his silvered shield so the beast would see only its reflection, as Serwyn of the Mirror Shield legendarily did to the dragon Urrax.
The identity of the dragon is disputed. The court fool Mushroom, who was with Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, asserted in his Testimony that Byron had attempted to kill Rhaenyra's dragon Syrax; the same thing was written in an unspecified text, presumably a letter, by Ser Byron's squire.[N 1] However, Grand Maester Munkun stated in his book The Dance of the Dragons, A True Telling, that it was Prince Aemond's dragon Vhagar who Byron tried to kill, in an effort to end the prince's raids across the riverlands. Nevertheless, this is unlikely since House Swann supported the prince's brother, King Aegon II Targaryen, and the greens. Munkun largely drew his information from Grand Maester Orwyle, who was imprisoned at the time. Another chronicler, Septon Eustace, claimed that the knight tried to slay Sunfyre, the dragon of King Aegon II, though this is certainly a mistake, as Sunfyre's whereabouts were unknown at the time.
All accounts agree that the dragon stirred upon the knight's approach and unleashed its fire, burning through the mirror shield and roasting Ser Byron Swann, who died screaming.
A Dance with Dragons
- It is unclear who was the recipient of the letter written by the squire about Byron's death: Tyrion Lannister's statement about the matter ("Ser Byron's squire saw his master die, and wrote his daughter of the manner of it") is ambiguous, since "his daughter" could be the knight's daughter or the squire's daughter.