Before proceeding this post will be packed full of spoilers for Game of Thrones: Beyond the Wall, so please only proceed if you have seen the episode or don’t care about Game of Thrones spoilers.
During “Beyond the Wall”, Dany was presented with a key decision that with hindsight may come back and haunt her. Her new Northman buddy, and potential boyfriend — Jon Snow — sent for her aid when he and his band of followers became trapped on a frozen lake while ranging north of the Wall to find a wight to bring south. Dany was literally his own choice at staying alive and keeping as many of his men alive as possible, so he did what he had to do.
With that being said, Dany didn’t have to oblige, and her Hand — Tyrion Lannister — begged her to pass on Jon’s Hail Mary in fear of her being lost in battle. After all, if she dies, so does everyone’s chance for survival, because without her and her command of her dragons, her forces are susceptible to defeat. One could argue they may be able to handle a large ground force, but by now it’s clear the dragons are needed to defeat the army of the dead marching south with the Night King. So if Dany would have died, Westeros would have been essentially doomed, unless Jon figured out that he too has the blood of the dragon and mounted one of the beasts like his new lady of interest.
When you think about her choice as Tyrion did, then it’s clear that she should have stayed. At worst she’d lose Jon and Jorah, who are clearly people she cares about. Jorah has been with her for years, and the way she’s acted around Jon proves they both have chemistry that they can’t deny. In the end though, she probably could have won the day without them thanks to her army and three dragons. That sounds pretty callous, but there are no easy choices in war, and as Tyrion pleaded, sometimes making no choice can yield the best results.
Without the ability to predict the future, Dany opted to rush headlong into the fray to save Jon and friends, which again shows her commitment to this man, but also the commitment to herself to follow her heart over the advice of men. She did a very courageous act, and risked her life, as well as the lives of her three children. Unfortunately, just as it looked as if everyone of the good guys would win the day, the Night King showed off his javelin throwing skills, which I might add are beyond epic. He should definitely enter the Westeros Olympics when the dust settles.
Anyway, thanks to her self-sacrafice she lost Viserion. Even worse, and unbeknownst to the good guys, Viserion’s corpse has been reanimated as a wight. Not only did she suffer the loss of one of her children, she also — unknowingly — gave the Night King a mobile WMD that will surely make his march to the Wall and beyond much easier.
With hindsight in tow, did she make the right choice? Is her cause and Westeros better off with Jon Snow, Jorah, Tormund, and Berric remaining alive, but one of her dragons being lost? That’s a hard argument to make unless you want to fold in Jon’s true heritage, and his overall importance to Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Knowing that Jon is made of both ice and fire (DNA that is), one has to think that him living could justify the loss of a dragon and the Night King getting a deadly weapon, but for now it seems like Dany’s choice has put the living at risk.
By losing a dragon she’s not only weakened her own forces against the inevitable betrayal of Cersei (there’s no way the Mad Queen won’t try to backstab Team Dany if they come to a cease fire), but she’s bolstered the Night King’s undead forces. Just look at what a zombie polar bear was able to do to a platoon of human soldiers! Can you imagine what an undead dragon could do? We’ve seen what a lone dragon can do during the Loot Train Battle, so one can only ponder that the Night King will be able to levy the same amount of destruction with his new WMD. We’re also not sure if Viserion will breathe ice or fire yet, but if it’s the latter, we now know how the Night King is going to chip away at the wall.
If we were talking about a normal fantasy show, then I would say Dany did make the right choice, because we know that they always end happily ever after. Unfortunately we’re talking about Game of Thrones, where no character is safe — main or not — so Dany’s choice will have dire consequences for someone, if not a large group of important characters.
Maybe we will find out more during the season finale this upcoming Sunday, but one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that the game of thrones is quickly approaching its end, and someone will be the victor. Will it be Dany, or will this decision foil her bid? Feel free to weigh in below via the comment section.
Please check out the latest episode of Thrones Time, in which we discuss all of the major moments from “Beyond the Wall”.
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