Almost everyone's favorite TV show, Game Of Thrones, wrapped up its seventh season this past weekend, causing the usual social media storm of questions, concerns, critiques, excitement and about 150,000 GIFs and memes. If you’ve been following along, chances are you still have lingering questions about parts of the show (especially regarding the dragons and the ice zombies). And if you’re a total newcomer to the show and you have no idea who Tyrion Lannister or what people mean when they mention Valyrian language? Well, that’s a little harder to explain. Still, we’ll be able to give you the basics and then dive into more specific questions people have had about the show as it races to its conclusion.
This last run of episodes was the next-to-last season, and if the creators keep to their plans, we only have six shows left to wrap everything up — even if they do make each episode nearly the length of your average movie. Will all these questions be properly answered? Only time will tell, but hopefully there is a plan in place to get to them all. Especially if the team wants to leave us with a satisfying ending.
For a series as sprawling and ambitious as Thrones, there are always going to be those who are unhappy with whatever way the writers chose to finish up, but whoever said you have to please everyone? For now, then, we’ll dig into some of the bigger current questions in a way that should be clear even if you’re still a newcomer to the world of Westeros. What exactly is Westeros, we hear you ask? Well, then you probably just need to skip right to the first question on the list, because in the game of thrones, you read or you die… Okay, you don’t die. You probably just look confused, and we wouldn’t want that.
If you’re asking that at this late stage, then we’re not completely sure we can help you. You might want to check out the source material — George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire book series, which kicked off with A Game Of Thrones in 1996 and so far numbers five volumes. Two more are “forthcoming”, though given Martin’s output pace, that can mean any time between next year and the heat death of the universe. But there is an easier way to enjoy the medieval-styled fantasy mash-up of rulers, rivals, royals and reckoning: watch the HBO series, which has just wrapped up its seventh season, the next-to-last run of episodes, and is ahead of the book in terms of story. Note: if you want to enjoy both, you’ll notice that the narratives go in their own directions at certain points. Some of those who are dead in the book are alive in the show and vice versa.
But for those who are all caught up, then let’s roll on with the questions about current events in the series!
Glad you asked. Born from dragon eggs held by Daenerys Targaryen, they are the fulfillment of a prophecy that the seemingly extinct creatures would return to the world of Westeros, where most of Thrones’ action takes place. The dragons on the series are: Drogon (black and red), Viserion (cream and gold), and Rhaegal (green and bronze). Drogon is named after Dany’s late husband, Khal Drogo, and is her personal ride and is long established as the cool one among the three. Viserion is named for Dany’s brother Viserys (who became a cropper with a molten gold crown at the hands of the Dothraki), while Rhaegal takes his name from Dany’s eldest brother Rhaegar. More on that guy (the man, not the dragon) further down.
Poor, poor Viserion. He was with the Mother Of Dragons when she came flying to Jon Snow’s rescue during the episode. Downed by a spear thrown by the Night King (leader of the White Walkers, ancient creatures bent on destruction who can raise the dead to become part of their icy army), we shortly see the dead dragon hauled from the ice where he fell and was reanimated by the cold-blooded ruler. Which means that the Night King now has a dragon at his command. Which makes it awfully convenient since he’s spent several thousand years unable to breach the Wall and invade the lands of men. Now he has the Thrones equivalent of an atomic weapon: a dragon that, as we saw in "The Dragon And The Wolf", breathes ice flames powerful enough to collapse a portion of the barrier. Great for cooling down your beverage. Terrible news for anyone trying to fight the White Walkers.
While the wights (the undead people controlled by the White Walkers) were shown to have trouble in the ice water, we’re sure the Night King and his fellow Walkers could control enough of them to get in the chilly waves and attach the chains. Either that, or they called a tow truck and the show didn’t bother to include that scene. We now want a deleted scene with Walker Billy-Jo and his faithful ice hound Rufus showing up with a horn blasting La Cucaracha.
It certainly would seem to throw a wrench in that storyline’s works. But there could well be some possibilities working in our heroes’ favor…
He could indeed! He might even be powerful enough to wrest control of the now-undead Viserion from the Night King. While he’s usually shown as afraid of the White Walkers (we don’t blame him, they’re nasty), he’s growing in power all the time.
As we learned in the finale, Jon Snow’s parenthood is that of Rhaegar Targaryen (Dany’s eldest brother, as we mentioned before) and Lyanna Stark, sister of Ned, who ended up adopting the young Snow. Given his Targaryen lineage, he could also be able to control the dragons. Plus, given his icy background and seemingly established ability to communicate with his Direwolf Ghost in the same way Bran could talk to creatures, what if he could also be someone to get through to Viserion despite the dragon’s blue-eyed, newly-minted wight nature?
Look, this is Game Of Thrones. It’s set in a different time and place entirely. And if you can handle Cersei and Jaime Lannister’s brother-sister-lovers relationship, then this is nothing. Plus, the Targaryens have a bit of a history of, er, family closeness, so this is just continuing a tradition.
In the books, it’s hinted he might be one of the riders, but with one dragon down for now, that’s looking unlikely. He’s just a lucky guy. You know, when he’s not being threatened with death.
It depends on who you ask. Dragons traditionally have four limbs and wings, whereas wyverns have two rear limbs and their forelegs form part of their wing structure. But George R.R. Martin himself has called them dragons and pointed out that his favorite example of the creature, Vermithrax Pejorative (from the 1981 movie Dragonslayer) is built the same way. And no one is going to tell it what it is. Unless they like ending up charred for their trouble.
Sssh… Sssh… Some things we just don’t think about too deeply when we’re busy looking at cool battles and mourning dragons.
Words by James White, who works for our sister site EmpireOnline.
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