Before proceeding with this article on the latest episode of Game of Thrones I urge you to turn back if you have not watched “Beyond the Wall”. There will be massive spoilers beyond the lines of safety below, so proceed at your own risk. In fact, don’t proceed at all if you haven’t seen this episode, because it featured some major moments that will fundamentally change how the rest of the show plays out.
Many characters — major ones at that — have died in Game of Thrones. Hell, the show’s main lead was offed during the first season when King Joffrey sentenced Ned Stark to death for his apparent treason. Martin has never been shy about killing major characters, and neither has the TV show’s creators, who obviously take notes from George on who is set to die next.
While there have been plenty of deaths on Game of Thrones throughout its seven seasons, there was one lone death in “Beyond the Wall” that could be one of the most costly for the good guys battling it out in the game of thrones. Who is this character you may ask? Well, it’s none other than Dany’s dragon Viserion, who was taken out by the Night King himself with an ice spear during the Battle of the Frozen Lake. Yes, the dragons are just as much characters as Dany and Jon, in fact, you could argue that they’re three of the most important beings on the show when you consider their power in battle.
First off, how tragic was Viserion’s fall? I have had a feeling we’d see at least one dragon go down this season after Qyburn showed Cersei the scorpion weapon he had built, but I never expected a dragon to go down at the hands of the Night King. Damn you Jon Snow and your foolish, but very brave plans to prove to the world that the army of the dead is indeed real! Dany’s rescue attempt was brave as hell, but very costly thanks to the loss of one of her three children. It was a dark moment in her attempt to win back her family’s throne, and it could be even more tragic when you consider the inevitable consequences.
The fall of Viserion has to be the most devastating loss of this season, if not since the Red Wedding’s massacre of multiple lead hero characters. It felt even more difficult to watch thanks to my love for animals, but that’s not the ultimate point of this post. Viserion’s death is awful, but it’s what happened to him after he died that could, and most likely will come back to haunt Dany and the rest of the living. In fact, his turn to an ice dragon will surly lead to the loss of another main character, and has now given the Night King a weapon of mass destruction.
What’s even worse about Viserion’s death and resurrection as an ice dragon is that we can almost guarantee that it will directly impact Dany, or another main good guy/girl character. You know as well as I do that the Night King will use Viserion to wreak havoc on the living, and as Game of Thrones goes you know a bit of the havoc will be levied on those who most fans consider to be the good guys. It’s Martin’s style to punish us fans by punching us in the collective guts with shocking betrayals and murders, so there is no way that Viserion as an ice dragon doesn’t directly affect Dany and Jon’s factions. Let’s face it, now that these two have officially joined forces, they and their followers are the last bastions of good left in Westeros, which means they will suffer the most en route to a potential victory against the Night King and Cersei. There’s no way Martin and the show’s creators don’t make Dany realize her potential mistake in rushing off to save Jon — who is clearly someone she digs at this point in a professional and personal manner — by having her own child teach her a devastating lesson.
For example, I could see Viserion taking out one of his brother dragons in and epic clash of dragon sibling rivalry. He could also take out all of the remaining Wall defenses with ease, giving the Night King and his army an even easier path beyond the Wall. He most likely can freeze entire armies, which clearly levels the playing field with Dany and Jon’s forces, which are now a dragon short and must also defend against a dragon of ice. If we were discussing a normal show where things always end happily ever after for the good guys, then Viserion’s loss would have been much less impactful. Considering how Game of Thrones has been littered with jarring and shocking betrayals and deaths with some of its main characters — good ones at that — all signs are pointing to Viserion’s death and resurrection as a sentence of death and gloom for those we want to succeed.
While Viserion’s conversion to an ice dragon directly affects the Night King’s war on the living, it also provides a bit of hope for Cersei. She will eventually find out that she only has to face two dragons instead of three, so when she inevitably decides to betray whatever pact it looks like she’s heading towards with Dany and Jon, she’ll do it with a bit more confidence. I just know she’ll somehow find a way to benefit from this loss, and a character most of us have been rooting for will more than likely pay for it dearly.
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