Game of Thrones gave viewers an explosive (yep) season finale that both met and exceeded audience expectations with “The Winds of Winter.”
It also set up a violent confrontation between several factions. It's all about “fire, fire!”
WARNING: SPOILERS FROM BOTH THE HBO SERIES AND BOOK REFERENCES FOLLOW!
First, let's pause for a moment to enjoy Cersei's now-infamous wildfire moment set to Frozen's “Let it Go.”
That is somehow perfect, and wildfire isn't a weapon to be trifled with.
As we saw in the season 6 finale, and again in the video above, Cersei has access to wildfire and is willing to use it. She's also lost the final vestiges of her humanity with the death of her last living child, Tommen.
She has taken the Iron Throne and looks set to be a mad, ruthless queen. Meanwhile, Jon Snow — who the show has confirmed is the child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark — is the King in the North and will likely be rallying support for the coming of the Night's King from beyond the wall.
It's the approach of Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons that seems to pose the most immediate threat to Cersei, however.
As we've talked about previously, the Night's King likely has a path beyond the wall. They aren't thinking about the “long night” nor the true coming of Winter (with a capital W) at King's Landing at the moment, though.
Cersei is in an interesting position in that she has no legitimate claim to the throne (as we outline here) and yet with Westeros society crumbling the rules have changed, and Cersei has proven that there are no lengths that she will not go to in order to maintain her power base. After all, it's all she has left.
Traditionally, Dany's answer to any problem is “let's burn it with fire, preferably dragon fire.” That's been a pretty solid negotiating tactic for her. She and her three dragon children seem like a fairly unbeatable team.
There's one hidden weapon that could, and likely will, change the game entirely, however.
Here's where we mix our book and show references. In the world of the show, Cersei's most likely ally at this point is Euron Greyjoy –Theon and Yara's usurping, murderous uncle. His niece and nephew have negotiated an alliance with Daenerys, leaving him with little choice but to join with Cersei to fight them to maintain his hold on the Iron Islands.
In the novel's Euron found and used the horn Dragonbinder.
Dragonbinder is brought to the kingsmoot by Euron Greyjoy when the Ironborn elect a new king. Euron claims to have found it amongst the smoking ruins that were Valyria. The horn's noise silences all and ends the possible fight between the supporters of Victarion and Asha Greyjoy. (via awoiaf)
(The books' Asha is the show's Yara, and Victarion is an additional uncle who hasn't been introduced on the HBO series.)
Dragonbinder, also known as the hellhorn, “sounds like a thousand souls” screaming to those who hear it and makes them feel as if their bones are on fire. So, pretty handy for incapacitating an army.
If Cersei and Euron had both wildfire and Dragonbinder, they'd be a true force to be reckoned with. As “Blackwater” demonstrated, wildfire can defeat a fleet of ships. So Dany would likely need to rely on her fire-breathing children. As you may have guessed, Dragonbinder is also said to be able to control dragons.
Let's pause, and shudder, to imagine Cersei with dragons to do her bidding.
As to the hellhorn's abilities, there was no way for them to test the theory previously, and there is a catch: no mortal man can blow Dragonbinder and live. The man who blew the horn for Euron was essentially burned from the inside out.
“I am Dragonbinder … No mortal man should sound me and live … Blood for fire, fire for blood.”
Let's pull that out: no mortal man.
You know who's not mortal? The Night's King. There would be little to stop him with that kind of power. A song of ice and fire indeed.
There's another no-longer-entirely-mortal candidate as well — Jon Snow, who has risen from the dead.
Finally, we know that Dany is immune to fire.
It is possible that any one of the three may be able to use Dragonbinder and survive its flame.
In fact, it may be the Targaryen blood itself that catalyzes Lightbringer, the legendary weapon of Azor Ahai, or The Prince that was Promised (a prophetic figure who is meant to be reborn to save men from the “long night” and the White Walkers.)
It is possible that Dragonbinder may be that legendary weapon, meant to help save the world. Or, it could turn the tide for evil in Cersei or the Night's Kings hands. Either way, it seems likely to play a crucial role in this unfolding tale.
Donna Dickens and Roth Cornet discuss how all of this may play out in the video above or below.