I cried literal tears after seeing Drogon wounded in ‘Game of Thrones’
This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 4, “The Spoils of War.”
There were a lot of jaw-dropping moments fromDaenerys and Jaime’s epic battle in “The Spoils of War.” But perhaps none more surprising than the visceral reaction we all had watching Bronn spear our most beloved oversized reptile like some sort of common garden lizard.
That heartbreaking cry of agony, and the episode’s inconclusive end, left many wondering: what will become of Drogon now? And oh my god, can we please award him the Goodest Boy award for fighting through the pain of a spear in the arm to protect his mommy from Jaime?
Now, Bronn’s ballista attack probably isn’t fatal, judging by the fact that Drogon seems to make it back to Dragonstone with Dany in next week’s trailer. After all, we saw Drogon survive several spears and arrows in close quarters during the attack by the Sons of the Harpy in Season 5. But even those more minor injuries from the arena left him unable to fly and in need of some serious R&R.
At the very least, the wound near Drogon’s wing could theoretically leave our Unburnt Queen’s most powerful child and weapon benched for most of the remaining season (which, to be fair, is only three more episodes but clearly a lot can happen in that time).
But there’s an even more dire possibility for Drogon’s fate based on his namesake, Dany’s late husband Khal Drogo, who, if you remember, died of an infection from a seemingly innocuous wound on his chest (and witch magic, or whatever).
If this season is teaching us anything, it’s that dragons are more fragile than we imagined.
This book quote from Tyrion could even be foreshadowing for what’s to come in the next episodes:
Unless one of those long iron scorpion bolts chanced to find an eye, the queen’s pet monster was not like to be brought down by such toys. Dragons are not so easy to kill as that. Tickle him with these and you’ll only make him angry. The eyes were where a dragon was most vulnerable.
The eyes, and the brain behind them. Not the underbelly, as certain old tales would have it. The scales there were just as tough as those along a dragon’s back and flanks. And not down the gullet either. That was madness. These would-be dragonslayers might as well try to quench a fire with a spear thrust. “Death comes out of the dragon’s mouth,” Septon Barth had written in his Unnatural History, “but death does not go in that way.”
Based on lore, and specifically George R. R. Martin’s novella The Princess and the Queen, many dragons have died in combat. Centuries ago, Aegon the Conqueror‘s sister-wife lost her dragon and life from a weapon similar to Qyburn’s “scorpion.”
But the famed Targaryen civil war called The Dance of the Dragons which left a graveyard of dragon corpses behind which heavily contributed to the creatures’ eventual extinction proved that the biggest threat to dragons are other dragons. Often, dragons died at the claws of their own kind by means of drowning, decapitation, or even gutting each other. We hate the thought of any of Dany’s children turning on each other, but there are canonical ways for it to happen, based on Martin’s books.
Then there’s the potential for Ice Dragons oh yes, you heard me right. Zombie. Dragons.
Someone get Drogon a cold compress STAT. We need him back on the field.
And for dragons, size (and age) definitely matters. Dany’s dragons are very young and vulnerable relative to the historical life expectancy of their ancestors, who often lived for centuries. But the general rule of thumb for human vs. dragon battles is: a grounded dragon is a dead dragon.
So for the love of all the gods, Khaleesi, pull that bolt out of your baby boy and fly away already!
As a self-professed Khaleesi of Hell and Mother of Pitbulls myself, Drogon’s takedown felt personally tailored to ruin me emotionally. And if, like me, you thought, “wow, that horrifying shriek of agony sounds an awful lot like my pet is being mortally wounded,” you weren’t wrong.
Game of Thrones sound designer Paula Fairfield layers a number of noises including canine sounds together to create the dragons’ screeches.
During a Con of Thrones panel In July, Fairfield even revealed that an affectionate sound Drogon made when he returned to Dany in episode 2 of Season 5 was taken from her own beloved dog, Angel, who passed away before New Year’s.
“She was my dragon; kind of a crazy street girl, unconfined, could unlock doors and escape and then would come back to mama when she was done doing her thing,” Fairfield revealed. “She would come up and sit by me… and she had this beautiful nasal whistle that was half cry, half whistle. [Drogon] has that sound and its a beautiful, tender, vulnerable sound for him.”
Sorry excuse me while I wipe away the dragon tears streaming down my face.
Fun fact: before the beginning of this Season, I bought my own beloved, feared, and misunderstood pitbull a custom-made Drogon costume from Etsy.
So if Drogon dies, I swear by the old gods and the new, I will unleash my own Field of Fire all over HBO’s headquarters.