What that massive Game of Thrones dragon twist means for the series

Contains spoilers for this week’s episode, Beyond the Wall

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This week’s Game of Thrones ended with a massive twist, which could have major implications for the series as a whole.

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It is, however, a pretty big spoiler if you’re not caught up with the series, so if you haven’t watched Beyond the Wall we’d warn you to look away from the stern gaze of Jon Snow now.

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If you’re still here, that probably means your mind is still reeling over the same thing as us – the death of one of Daenerys’ dragons at the hands of White Walker leader the Night King, after the Mother of Dragons flew beyond the wall to save Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his men from the army of the dead.

Pierced in the side by one of the Night King’s spears, Viserion sunk into a lake without trace much to the despair of his brothers and Dany (Emilia Clarke) herself – but it sadly wasn’t to be the last we saw of him.

You see, just before the credits rolled the slain Viserion was dragged from the frozen water with massive chains, while the Night King laid a hand on his head. Moments later, Viserion’s eye flickered open – but it was now the icy blue colour of a wight.

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In other words, this means Viserion (and it was that particular dragon, we checked) is now an undead being under the Night King’s control, just like all the other wights – but unlike most of them, he could be a serious gamechanger in their war against the living.

Now the Night King has a flying weapon of mass destruction. If Viserion can still breathe fire (some fans are already speculating he could breathe ice instead, in keeping with his new master) the White Walkers could literally melt their way through the Wall and make their way into Westeros. Even if he’s now lost that ability (wights are vulnerable to fire, so maybe breathing it would be too much for one of them), the Night King could just fly him over the Wall. Like we said, gamechanger.

Of course, wight dragons aren’t invincible – as we have gone into elsewhere, there are a few ways Jon and co could take Viserion out – but we’d say our heroes have handed their greatest enemy a bigger prize than he could have hoped for, and seriously damaged the chances of humankind’s survival against the Long Night.

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And who knows? Given the Night King was so prepared for the dragon attack, maybe that’s exactly what he was waiting for all along. After all, he’s been shown to be able to see Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) during the latter’s visions – who’s to say he doesn’t have a similar magical ability?

Perhaps that’s also why the White Walkers and their army have made such little progress over the most recent series – they haven’t been marching, they’ve been waiting for their big new weapon.

Still, whatever the truth of their motives one thing is for sure. The army of the dead will be moving even quicker now – and the rest of Westeros will REALLY need to stop squabbling if they’re going to survive. Winter is here indeed.

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Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV at 2am, repeated at 9pm