Another Sunday another Game of Thrones.
We lost Viserion ya’ll.
Come, let’s grieve. And talk Ice Dragons.
First up, this isn’t a recap of last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Beyond the Wall.” I spent much of August traveling in Europe and (irony of ironies) had little access to the HBO series, at least not until I learned a nifty VPN trick. Even then, it was sporadic enough to kill my Monday morning recaps. So, I’ll do one last recap for the finale next week.
By now, unless you been hiding somewhere in Essos, everyone knows what went down with Viserion after Jon’s ill-fated Suicide Squad. I didn’t even know the Night’s King had an arm like that.
When Viserion fell from the sky I think a little piece of us died with him. Yeah, yeah, people get killed up all the time on this show. But we known them dragons since the egg. And we’ve kind of grown attached.
Of course, what was even more chilling than seeing Viserion take an ice spear was the final scene–as hordes of undead drag his body from the icy waters. (Where’d they get those giant chains tho?) The Night’s King walks up to place a hand on the dragon’s snout, and Viserion’s eye opens to reveal a dead, cold, White Walker blue. And we know, this fool got himself a dragon. F*ck a damn dead horse. He’s a Nazgûl now. And he’s got his Fellbeast.
This has long been a topic of discussion in A Song of Ice and Fire geekland. Are Ice Dragons a thing? Can Ice dragons happen? Ice Dragons are mentioned a few times in the books. Just in passing, by Jon, a Maester, one of Old Naan’s stories. But they catch your eye. But, it should be said, those Ice Dragons aren’t associated with White Walkers–and just appear to be dragons adapted to colder climates. They’re allegedly giants, bigger than any of the fire dragons. Still, it hasn’t been hard for fans to wonder if the undead lords of the true North might get their hands on an Ice Dragon, or make one themselves.
So when I saw the poster (way up top) in July at the beginning of Season 7, with what looks like the Night’s King and an Ice Dragon, the writing on The Wall was clear. I knew what was going to go down, and I said as much in a tweet bout a month back:
We are now officially in Malazan territory. Not only are Ice Dragons real, Virginia, they also come in the dead variety.
For those not in the know, Malazan refers to the massive multi-series grimdark epic fantasy tome by Steven Erikson. Unlike George RR Martin’s work, Erikson’s doesn’t slow walk you into the mystical. This is worldbuilding glued together with sorcery, magic, non-human beings and gods. Also, I swear bout half the cast of his book are dead, half-dead, the undead or some such variety. There’s even a God of Death who took the throne from Death. There are undead armies of humans, near humans and sentient lizards who pilot sky ships. I’m not kidding. And there are lots and lots of undead dragons. Big ones, small ones, some made of magic metal and other very chatty (and possibly insane) ones.
So Viserion as an undead steed in the White Walker army is in good company. But what does this mean? What happens now that the Night’s King has his own dragon? Does Viserion now spew cold that renders flesh to ice? Since dragons being back in the world has made things like wildfire and (I’m supposing) dragonglass more potent, does the loss of one make those things less so? Is an undead dragon how The Wall will finally be breached to allow in that World War Z army on the march?
Finally, the Season 7 trailer ends with an interesting image: Cersei on the Iron Throne, releasing a breath of icy air before pulling back to the blue icy eye of a White Walker.
Could we be looking at the foreshadowing of…the Night’s Queen? Ooooh my!
Who knows? Guess we’ll soon see. Your move Martin, your move. And well-played.
Viserion. We hardly knew ye. What a loss.