Warning: Major spoilers follow for Ga me of Thrones season seven.
The Starks have truly reunited, Eastwatch of the Wall has fallen, and the Night King is riding around on a gnarly dragon that breathes a very powerful ice-fire hybrid. Things just got really, really wild on Game of Thrones, and among the bevy of action and high-stakes reveals in the season finale was that series-defining moment when Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly realized that Jon Snow (a.k.a. Aegon Targaryen) was the true heir to the Iron Throne.
This moment raised many questions: Why did Rhaegar name two of his kids Aegon? What the hell was Sam playing at by taking credit for Gilly’s earth-shattering discovery of Rhaegar’s annulment to his first wife and subsequent marriage to Lyanna Stark? And why is Bran so weird? But there’s truly only one question that any cool Game of Thrones fan should care about: Is there still a chance that we might see Jon ride Viserion next season?
Viewers have known that Jon Snow is actually a Targaryen since the finale of season six–a popular, book-based fan theory that, like so many Game of Thrones prophecies, actually came true. This season we were given a glimpse into the potential that Jon has to become one of the three foretold dragon riders; Drogon let him stroke his face, his magical dragon powers giving him the ability to sense Jon’s lineage whilst the rest of Westeros stumbles around none the wiser. This also fits in well with another fan theory that Tyrion is in fact a Targaryen, the product of an affair of his mother and the Mad King. Tyrion is the only other person to have touched the dragons, way back when he freed them from the crypts of Meereen.
Sadly, this beautiful fan dream of three badass Targaryens flying through the skies on the backs of their regal beasts seemed to be dashed in the penultimate episode of this season. As the Night King threw an icy spear through Viserion’s heart and bought him back as a terrifyingly cool wight dragon, it seemed like Viserion was lost and the legend of the three dragon riders had died. But has it?
In the finale of of Game of Thrones season five, we saw Jon Snow murdered by his own men, only to be brought back from the dead by the Red Witch, Melisandre, via the dark sorcery of the Lord of Light. Many fans questioned the point of such a short death for Jon, but what if it was a pivotal stepping stone toward what might ultimately be one of the coolest moments in Game of Thrones history?
Now that Viserion is one of the Army of the Dead, it surely fits in that maybe, just maybe, Jon Snow could climb upon that beast’s back and ride him through the skies once more.
This isn’t actually as wild as it seems. Jon is technically dead and has been revived by some kind of magic—the same magic that revived Beric Dondarrion a handful of times and may not be all that different from the magic that the Children of the Forest used to turn the first men into White Walkers in the first place. The Children of the Forest were known to be strong native magic users, something that over millennia has become almost nonexistent Westeros. The power of bringing the dead back to life, though, is usually reserved for the red priests of R’hllor, better known as the Lord of Light. Could this mean that the Children were the first to utilize the magic that would later be used to resurrect the King in the North?
Most important here is Jon/Aegon’s bloodline. He’s a true Targaryen, a Valerian bloodline, which even an undead Viserion should be able to detect. Dragon magic is a deep and mysterious thing, something that in Westerosi legend is believed to be intrinsically connected to the amount of magic in the seven kingdoms. “Since the death of the last dragon in 153 AC, summers grew shorter and the winters colder and crueler, while magical spells became less powerful.” This could be something the Night King has likely underestimated.
We also know that a Dragon can bond with a new Dragonrider after their first rider dies, which leads us to another question: Will Jon kill the Night King? And if he does, does it really seem so farfetched that Viserion will recognize Jon’s Valerian blood and allow the half-dead Targaryen to climb on his back, becoming the dragon rider he was always destined to be?
This theory is a lot more than just icy cool though with it fitting incredibly well into the greater landscape of the show and it’s many prophecies. Specifically the three treasons prophecy from Dany’s vision in the house of the undying:
“Three treasons will you know… once for blood and once for gold and once for love…”
The blood and gold prophecies are already believed to have occurred, so could it be that season eight will see Jon and Viserion betray her and enact the third part of her fate?
Are you digging our dramatic dragon theory? Would you love to see a zombie Targaryen team-up or have we been drinking too much Westerosi wine? Fly your badass ice dragon into our comments and let us know!
WANT MORE GAME OF THRONES?
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- How Dany’s House of the Undying vision prepares us for Thrones‘ future
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