It’s been eight years since Daenerys walked into Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre and reappeared with three hatched dragons in the tenth and final episode of series one. Ever since that moment we have all been waiting in anticipation to find out what will happen to Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. Is Viserion an ice dragon or a White Walker or a wight? What are all the three-headed dragon theories about? Will Bran warg into a dragon? Are there dragon eggs hidden in the crypts of Winterfell? Will Daenerys turn into a dragon? So. Many. Questions. And while we can’t give you definitive answers, we can try to dissect and make sense of all the theories flying around. Here goes...
Are there any more dragons hiding in Westeros?
While they may not have mentioned the possibility of more dragons in the TV series, you may not want to be so quick to dismiss it as it turns out there is actually a pretty good case for the idea. In the original books, author George RR Martin mentions a rumour that a dragon called Vermax laid eggs in the crypts of Winterfell, known for its natural hot springs, which some Game Of Thrones fans believe could be kept warm by the dragons in the crypt. A bit farfetched? Well, when you tie this in with the fact that the other hot spring locations are Valyria (an ancient fallen city of the Dragonlords) and Dragonstone (where the Targaryens used to hatch dragons), it does actually start to kind of add up. Those crypts really are full of secrets.
What is the three-headed dragon?
For Game Of Thrones fans there is no escaping the three-headed dragon discussion. In the books, Daenerys has a vision in the House Of The Undying in which her brother Rheagar says, “The dragon has three heads," and in true GoT fashion, a statement as bold as this obviously led to numerous theories. So we sifted through the good, the bad and the boring to bring you the four most realistic meanings to the three-headed dragon reference.
Firstly, this could just be a reference to the Targaryen sigil, which is a three-headed dragon. But, that would be too dull for GoT. Secondly, the three-headed dragon could also simply mean the three dragons that Daenerys hatched. Equally, this is also a bit on the safe side. On to the slightly meatier theories...
In the books, the word dragon is used frequently to refer to the Targaryens, therefore if the same were to apply to the TV series, the "three dragons" could actually refer to "three members pf the Targaryen family". Two of the three Targaryens would obviously be Daenerys and Jon Snow, but what about the third? This ties in with the theory that Tyrion is the bastard brother of Daenerys. Some fans believe Tyrion’s real father was the Mad King – Tywin’s dying words after all were “You’re no son of mine,” which certainly helps the theory – but we aren’t sure if this would be a curve ball too far for the final season.
On to the fourth, which seems to be the most popular among fans. According to Westerosi history, ancestral Targaryen Aegon conquered Westeros flying alongside two family members. So if history is to repeat itself (which we’re really hoping it does) Daenerys needs two fellow riders. Not just anyone can ride a dragon – remember in the books when Quentyn Martell tried to ride one? Yeah, that didn’t go well. Jon Snow is practically a confirmed rider, thanks to his friendly Drogon-patting scene, and it helps that Rhaegal is named after Jon's real father (Rhaegar), but things are more ambiguous when it comes to the third. The next two most popular candidates for the job of dragon rider are Tyrion and the Night King. If Tyrion is indeed a Targaryen then that makes him the perfect dragon rider, but even if he isn’t, he’s loyal to Daenerys and we did see him talk down Rhaegal and Viserion from turning him into ash. However, now Viserion is an ice dragon/wight/White Walker, surely the Night King will be the third rider? Unless somehow Viserion is going to transform back... Or maybe everyone is just thinking too much into all of this and three is just a nice number. (We doubt it.)
Will Bran warg into a dragon?
Oh, Bran: warg, greenseer and the new Three-Eyed Raven, he is our own real hope of defeating the Night King thanks to his supernatural gifts. So far we have seen him warg into birds, wolves and even his manservant Hodor, but is a dragon a step too far? If anyone is powerful enough to do so it’s Bran. In series four, the former Three-Eyed Raven famously told Bran, “You will never walk again, but you will fly,” and that’s got a lot of people thinking he will warg into the ice dragon and save the day. The downside of this theory is that the Three-Eyed Raven said he would never walk again, which technically he did when he warged into Hodor. So...
Is Viserion an ice dragon, a wight or a White Walker?
Initially, we all thought he was a wight, raised by the Night King like the army of the undead, but then the script for the series seven finale was released which made people wonder if we were wrong all along. It went a bit like this:
“A massive chunk of the Wall breaks free ahead of Tormund. The ice dragon glides away, and we get our first clear look at him, and at the Night King on his back. He’s done the same thing to Viserion that he did to Craster’s sons. Only those were babies, and this is a dragon.”
Yep. That’s right. Ice dragon. So what is an ice dragon? Let’s take a step back and rewind to series four, when the Night King touched the Craster baby’s cheek. Because the Craster baby was alive when the Night King transformed the baby, he did more than turn him into a wight, he became a White Walker. So is Viserion the same? They sure share the same bright ice-blue eyes, but he was dead when the Night King pulled him from the lake. And what on Westeros was coming out of Viserion’s mouth? If we are getting technical, ice dragons should have freezing cold breath. In The World Of Ice and Fire, Old Nan tells Jon stories of ice dragons that can freeze a man in half a heartbeat. But Viserion used his breath to destroy the Wall and if he was breathing ice then he wouldn’t have been able to. He must have been breathing fire...
Only one thing is for certain: series eight really needs to hurry up.