There’s a lot going on as we head into the final season of Game of Thrones. There are issues about parentage and rightful claims to the throne. There are questions about various alliances and whether they will hold long enough to save the Kingdoms from any number of potential calamities. There are murders to commit and quips to quip and if I don’t see Bronn on-screen at least four times in every remaining episode, I am going to scream. All of these are topics worth discussing at length as the season premiere approaches, and you are welcome and encouraged to do just that. I’m not going to talk about any of them right now. I want to talk about how cool it is that Game of Thrones has an ice dragon.
It’s really cool. And it’s cool in a bunch of ways. Even just saying it out loud to someone who might not have kept up on the show is fun. Try it sometime. Wait for someone to tell you they stopped watching after season three and then, real casual-like, say something like “Oh, well now there’s an evil undead frozen dragon who breathes blue fire that looks like a laser.” Maybe it won’t sway them to start watching. Who cares? You don’t get a lot of opportunities in life to string together phrases like “evil undead frozen dragon.” Enjoy them when you can. Savor the moment. They call it the present because it’s a gift, you know? I just made that quote up. Do not fact-check this.
The way the ice dragon was created was cool, too. You remember it all, probably, but let’s rehash it for kicks anyway. Jon Snow and his band of chilly beefcakes headed out on a noble but poorly-planned mission — Noble But Poorly Planned would be a good title for Jon’s memoir — to capture a wight and bring it back to the people to show them all what a threat the Walkers are. They did grab a wight (yay) but then they quickly found themselves marooned on a rock inside a frozen lake and surrounded by the Night King and his army (whoops). They sent World’s Fastest Man Gendry out to get a message to Daenerys, who ordered a dragon-based rescue mission. It went… Well, it could have gone better.
So, to recap: The Night King basically baited then to come out to his turf so he could bait Daenerys to bring a dragon so he could heave a magic javelin through the sky and take down a dragon. Every part of that plan is audacious and diabolical, but it’s the heave that really gets me. Other people who wanted to knock a dragon out of the sky — Qyburn, Cersei, Bronn — used a giant crossbow in their attempt. Machinery was involved. The Night King was like, “Nah, I’m just gonna wing it, don’t worry” and then he straight-up Patrick Mahomesed that sucker into a moving target with enough force to pierce the dragon’s thick, scale-covered skin. The throw itself is impressive. The bravado to hinge your entire long-term war plans on one magical javelin heave is another thing completely. Bold. A little nuts. Very cool.
(At this point, you might be thinking something along the lines of “Hmm, are you… are you rooting for the Night King to win? It kind of sounds like you might be.” The answer is no. I am not. Mostly. Maybe a little. It’s just that he’s pretty clearly the best tactical commander on the show and it’s not like anyone else’s hands are clean. He could end up being a great leader. The White Walkers seem to support him. And maybe being a subzero zombie goon is great! You don’t know! Let’s at least hear him out first, I say. )