Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Let's talk about all the ways Viserion and the Night King and the army of the dead can meet their end.

After Viserion's death from a magic ice javelin thrown by the Night King in the episode "Beyond the Wall," I think everyone knew that this was a game-changing moment. The shocking death aside, the fact that Viserion could make the wall crumble in upon itself with such efficiency was both beautiful and terrifying. Dragons are incredibly powerful, and I gotta say...highly unappreciated by the army of the dead. At least a living army would have experienced awe. The dead? Not so much. Anyway...I've been talking with friends (naturally) about the season finale, and here's what we came up with on the ways that Viserion might die.

1) Qyburn's scorpion (obvious).
Assuming that Gendry (the blacksmith that so conveniently showed up to run a marathon in "Beyond the Wall") can craft javelins/arrows/spears with dragon glass tips, and engineers can make one of Qyburn's scorpions...I think this is an obvious solution.

2) Melisandra of Ashai (less obvious, but really cool).
In the third episode of the seventh season, Jon Snow arrived at Dragonstone and Varys walked out to speak with Melisandre who was standing on the island's cliffs. She revealed to him that she was heading to Volantis (which is a free city in Essos that is the location of a prominent Red Temple), and she made an ominous declaration to him, "I will return, dear Spider, one last time," she said in reference to Westeros. "I have to die in this strange country, just like you." So it makes me ask, "What is so important that Melisandre would need to come back to Westeros to do that ultimately leads to her death?"

So here's the thing...and please bear with me on doesn't look like to me that Viseryon was turned into an ice dragon. He's not a "different" species, although his fiery breath weapon is now blue instead of fire-colored. But if Viseryon is in fact a dead dragon brought to life through the Night King's power, there is nothing to stop Melisandre from bringing a dead dragon back to life through the power of the Red God.

Perhaps this is the part Melisandre has yet to play in this story. I'm thinking that she comes back to the Great War at a very dire point, and that she uses the power of R'hllor to bring Viserion back to life, snapping him out of the Night King's control and allowing the dragon to turn on its former master at the last second. And this is probably how Melisandre dies too.

Priests of the Red God R'hllor revered the dragons as "fire made flesh." I can see no greater insult to the red god than to have a dragon be enslaved to serve the Great Other (in the beliefs of Melisandre's faith there are only two of ice and one of fire. The one of Ice is referred to as 'The Great Other'). Anyway, it makes sense to me that R'hllor could use his priest to wrest control of the dragon from the power of the Night King.

The Night King.
1. Arya Stark. 
I like to believe that there are reasons for everything in a well-scripted show like Game of Thrones. So why does she have a dagger made of Valyrian steel? Hmm. Was it so that she could cut Littlefinger's throat in the season finale? Or is this some profound foreshadowing? In other words...we know that White Walkers are vulnerable to Valyrian steel. The dagger also has significance in that it was promised a death (Brandon Stark) but that his mother stopped the assassination in season one. Could this also be foreshadowing? Either way you look at it, the event of arming Arya with the dagger is probably significant...more so than just using it to cut Littlefinger's throat. There are a couple of ways she might possibly be able to do this.

She might be able to use her face changing powers to get close to the Night King, although it seems unlikely she would be able to actually get a face from one of the White Walkers as they burst (inconveniently) into shards of ice upon death. But I'm not exactly sure how her powers work, so I'm going to say that it may be in the realm of possibility that this happen.

The second way Arya may kill the Night King comes from a rumor that Brandon Stark is actually the Night King (which seems to be hinted at strongly in the show). Here are two clues that this may be true.

They wear the same style of clothes.

The season finale showed the army of the dead in an aerial view that looked a lot like the Dire Wolf sigil of House Stark (as they walked past the shattered wall).

Here's how the theory goes: Bran uses time-travel abilities to go back to the moment that the Night King was created by the Children of the Forest in order to intervene, but gets trapped within the body of the zombie lord instead. So, once people figure this out (namely Arya) it seems killing Bran will kill the Night King as the two are linked somehow. In which case, Arya fulfills the death that was promised to the dagger (and thereby satisfies the god of death whom she worships).

2. A dragon kills the Night King.
Either a resurrected Viseryon brought back by Melisandre (as stated above) or one ridden by either Daenerys or by Tyrion Lannister.

3) Jon Snow kills the Night King (obvious). This showdown has been brewing from season one. The White Walkers were always Jon Snow's storyline. Now that the White Walkers are an apocalyptic force bent on destroying all of humanity...what better way to take out there king by none other than Jon Snow himself.

The Army of the Dead.
1) Dragon Fire.
Daenerys still has two dragons. If she can teach them how to dodge ice spears, they could decimate a hundred thousand soldiers pretty quickly with dragon fire (especially given that wights are flammable). The problem (of course) is keeping the Night King from shooting them down with ice javelins.

2) Thousands of arrows tipped with dragon glass arrow heads.
This is what I'd do. I'd make so many dragon glass arrow heads and train people to just shoot high in the sky and have the rain of arrows come down on the army. Fill the sky with so many that it blots out the light of the sun. I think that'd take out a lot of the army of the dead in huge swaths.

3) Kill the White Walkers.
We learned from the episode called "Beyond the Wall" that the magic of animating the dead stems/flows from the one that did the animating. A lot of the animating has been done by the Night King. Kill him and probably 90% of the army will just fall to pieces.

There are six episodes left, and they are all rumored to be of feature length (around the two hour mark). This may mean that we've got a lot of epic stuff in the works coming down the pipe from HBO. However this ends...will it be an apocalypse? or will it be a last ditch effort thrown by the living to conquer the dead? I'm sure it will be entertaining television. But it's clear to me in writing this post that the living does have many options to deal with what's coming for them. They just have to get busy and actively work to put their differences aside.


  1. Or Theon Greyjoy could regrow some balls and accidentally kill the Night King. It would give him a reason for still existing.

    This season has been exciting, and surprising.

  2. I put my wish list for season 8 on my blog today.

  3. I think Bran will play the most significant role in battling the Army of the dead.

  4. My guesses feel boring at this point. Drogon will kill Viserion. I have a suspicion Drogon will die here too (and maybe Dany) and it will happen early in Season 8. Killing the White Walker's will end the army of the dead. They will use Bran's ravens to spot them and the various heroes will have hand picked teams to go after them. Arya will kill the Night King. Hopefully she doesn't need to go full Lich King to kill him but I doubt the encounter ends well for her either.