Warning: This article contains spoilers from Game of Thrones season 7.
Cersei Lannister won the first battle against Daenerys Targaryen at sea, and although Cersei once dismissed her as a child halfway across the world, she can no longer do so. To keep the Iron Throne, Cersei isgoing to have to do something that hasnt been accomplished for hundreds of years.
For the better part of Game of Thrones, Danys dragons have pretty much been both her calling card and trump card. They burned herenemies and made her something of a living legend as the Mother of Dragons. They flewacross the Narrow Sea to help her conquer Westeros. While Drogon is clearly Danys favoriteas well as the biggest dragonRhaegal and Viserion (who were locked away in Meereen for nearly two seasons) are still fully capable of wreaking havoc. No matter how many lords and men Cersei has fighting for her, theyre no match for dragons.
She has three full-grown dragons, your grace, Randyll Tarly told Cersei. The same as Aegon when he conquered the Seven Kingdoms. How do you propose to stop them?
Qyburn, who’s something of a mad scientist, has a solution up his sleeves. He’sconvinced that dragons arent invincible and has the finest artillators and blacksmiths in Kings Landing working on a solutionafter hearing of Drogons injuries in Meereen.
That solution: A contraption that can shoot gigantic, metalarrows. Its a weapon that has also appeared in our world; called a scorpion, it was used in ancient Rome.The one Qyburn built is powerful enough to pierce theskull of Balerion the Dread, the dragon Aegon rode to conquer the Seven Kingdoms. Both the weapon and its target are stationary when we see it demonstrated, but we imagine it could rotate and move around if put into action outside of the Red Keep. Its also unclear how many of these machines Qyburn has laying around.
Of course, itwas always possible to defeat dragonsin Westerosall Cersei and Qyburn had to do was look at history. Out of all the dragons who lived in Westeros since the Targaryens initially brought five to Dragonstone hundreds of years ago, only Balerion actually died of old age at around 200 years old. All of the otherswere killed (mostduring theDance of the Dragons, the Targaryen civil war). Dragons hadnotbeen seen in Westeros for around 150 years before Dany arrived on Dragonstone.
Dragons can be killed by other dragons
Many of the dragons Danys ancestors owned were killed by other dragons. The Targaryens were often at war with one another during their nearly 300-year reign in Westeros. They’d fight among themselves, using their dragons as weapons.
About nine dragons died directly at the hands of other dragons and their riders during the two-year fight overthe Targaryen order of succession. Many of those deathsoccurred in the dragonpit of Kings Landing.
A Game of Thrones season 5 Blu-ray extra features several of the shows actors telling the detailed (and lengthy) story of the conflict, which is only hinted at in the show by Shireen Baratheon in the episode The Dance of Dragons. Afterthat civil war, Shireen told her father Stannis, the Targaryens never truly recovered.
Granted, getting Dany’sdragons to eliminate each other isn’t really a defense option for King’s Landing right now. Dany has the loyalty of all three dragons, and Cersei alone isnt going to get them to turn on one another.
Dragons can be killed by weapons
A dragons skin may be hard to pierce, but it is possible. Theyrekilled with spears, an axe to the head, arrows shot to put on dragon out of its misery, andmurdered by a human mob(though what weapons the mob carried remains unclear). But more than one dragon wasslain or seriously injured by using a scorpion or crossbow bolts.
Although Dreamfyre, a dragon who died during the Dance, was ultimately crushed by the dragonpits crumbling dome, she was first blinded when acrossbow bolt hit her in the eye. Although Stormcloudwasn’t directly involved in the fight, healso died during the Dance. He suffered fatal injuries as his riderthe future Aegon III Targaryentried to escape capture; Stormcloud was hit with several arrows as well as a scorpion bolt to the neck.
Meraxes, the dragon of Aegons sister and wife Queen Rhaenys Targaryen, also died after a scorpion bolt hit her in the eye during the First Dornish War. It isn’t clear ifGame of Thrones would go that far into Westerosi lore in the show, but Meraxes was one of the three dragons Aegon used to conquer Westeros, proving early on that dragons aren’tinvincible.
Candragons be killed by supernatural means?
The Doom of Valyria killed all of the dragons still in the ancient kingdom that was once home to the Targaryens, but could a new threat come from the north?
Some Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire fans have speculated for years about whether an ice dragon will show up at some point. How it couldhappen is up in the airand some versions of the theory rely on a non-canonical children’sstory George R.R. Martin wrote about ice dragons. In one iteration of the theory,Melisandre (in a roundabout way) attempts to kickstart the Azor Ahai prophecywith a sacrifice that produces an ice dragon. Daenerysreborn in firerides fire dragons, Jonreborn in the frozen northwould ride an ice dragon.
Others believe that a pool of water at Winterfell will form an ice dragon that Bran Stark will be able to warg into, fulfilling the original Three-Eyed Ravens proclamation to him at the end of season 4: You will never walk again, but you will fly.
And a third iteration of that theory relies on a Reddit thread that contained a number of supposedlyreal plot points. You can read about it in more detail over here, but basically it claimed that one of Dany’s dragons would die and come back as an ice dragon. Yeah, the thought of it is terrifyingand at SXSWGame of Thrones showrunner David Benioff didn’t rule out it was possible after heresponded with a “maybe” when asked if it a White Walker could control a dragon.
If that werethe case, it would be a major blow for Dany, whos still unaware of the threats to come, and for everyone who hopes torely on her dragons to help defeat the great enemy.
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