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Game of Thrones: Daenerys Just Learned A Powerful Lesson About Her Dragons

Today’s tragedy may be the key to tomorrow’s strategy for Daenerys Targaryen.
Game Of Thrones Daenerys Tyrion Dragons
By  · Published on August 20th, 2017

Today’s tragedy may be the key to tomorrow’s strategy for Daenerys Targaryen.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for everything through Game of Thrones season 7, episode 6, “Beyond The Wall” and a little bit of speculation.

With the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones season 7 in the books, it’s okay to take a moment and allow yourself to be traumatized. That was, to say that least, a lot.

But once you’ve reckoned with the fact that we just watched everyone’s favorite dragon queen lose one of her “children” in the most horrific way possible (seriously, his neck exploded), we should dig into why this happened and what Daenerys Targaryen may ultimately learn from this tragedy.

First, let’s talk about the dragon who didn’t die. The one Daenerys and her crew rode to safety, narrowly evading the Night King’s second ice javelin throw. Dragon narrowly misses being impaled because he’s got Daenerys keeping an eye on his back. He has a rider.

Moments prior to Drogon’s escape, we watch in horror as Viserion is knocked out of the sky. Watch him in the GIF below — it’s as if he’s not aware of the oncoming threat. Why? Because he’s busy roasting the army of the dead. No time to look around for threats.

This is something that will come into play for Daenerys and her dragons as their battle plans become more complex. The show has given us a new reason to fear The Night King. On top of being a stoic, slow-moving general whose army grows with every life claimed, he’s also got a superhuman throwing arm.

In the past, Dany and her dragons didn’t quite have to worry about threats. In all of her dragon-related military actions, she’s either been there alone with Drogon (The Pit in Meereen, The Loot Train) or her dragons have taken their opponents by surprise and resistance has been minimal (The Siege of Meereen). Going forward, she now has to worry about threats to her children, both from The Night King and from Cersei’s army (who know that their giant scorpion works and would be wise to build about 1,000 more). This means each dragon will need some assistance from a rider. Someone to guide them, watch their back, and steer them away from trouble if necessary.

It’s no accident that it was Viserion, named for Daenerys’ older brother, who perished ‘Beyond the Wall.’ Her other dragon, Rhaegal, is named after her eldest brother Rhaegar. And guess what, that was Jon Snow’s dad. Who better to ride Rhaegal than the offspring of his namesake? We already know that the dragons have taken to Jon, most likely because he has Targaryen blood running through his veins. This whole sequence has created not only a horrifying moment for Game of Thrones, but it weaves a path toward Jon and Dany riding dragons side-by-side. Maybe they’ll take a trip up to Winterfell. That’d be one hell of a way for The King in the North to return home and sell his new alliance to his lords and ladies.

If there’s ever going to be victory in this war, we can’t have any more of this…

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)