Game of Thrones season 7 episode 6: Why books readers saw that dragon twist coming

The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones’ seventh season was a wild ride, featuring numerous deaths beyond The Wall and tensions growing in Westeros. 

** Spoilers for ‘Beyond The Wall’ ahead **

For many, Viserion being killed by the Night’s King was somewhat of a shock. For years, people had been speculating how Dany would be joined by Tyrion and Jon — following the three-headed dragon prophecy — something that looks all but impossible now.

However, some book readers have speculated that an ‘ice dragon’ would come to Westeros at some stage, George RR Martin’s novels having laid the groundwork. 

The first mention of a dragon beyond The Wall comes in the second A Song of Ice and Fire book, when Osha describes the constellation guiding Bran further North: “The way’s easy. Look for the Ice Dragon, and chase the blue star in the rider’s eye.”

Then, in A Dance with Dragons, Jon recalls: “The wind was gusting, cold as the breath of the ice dragon in the tales Old Nan had told when Jon was a boy.”

Martin even gives a detailed explanation as to their power, writing in A World of Ice and Fire, via Vanity Fair: “Of all the queer and fabulous denizens of the Shivering Sea, however, the greatest are the ice dragons. These colossal beasts, many times larger than the dragons of Valyria, are said to be made of living ice, with eyes of pale blue crystal and vast translucent wings through which the moon and stars can be glimpsed as they wheel across the sky. Whereas common dragons (if any dragon can truly be said to be common) breathe flame, ice dragons supposedly breathe cold, a chill so terrible that it can freeze a man solid in half a heartbeat.

“Sailors from half a hundred nations have glimpsed these great beasts over the centuries, so mayhaps there is some truth behind the tales. Archmaester Margate has suggested that many legends of the north — freezing mists, ice ships, Cannibal Bay, and the like — can be explained as distorted reports of ice-dragon activity. Though an amusing notion, and not without a certain elegance, this remains the purest conjecture. As ice dragons supposedly melt when slain, no actual proof of their existence has ever been found.”

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Finale Preview

With the mythical creatures popping up time and time again, there was sure some foreshadowing they would appear? Also of note, Martin once wrote an entire book titled ‘The Ice Dragon’ — although not related to the world of Game of Thrones, many have noted how similar the setting is. 

Whatever happens, expect a fiery showdown between Dany, Drogon and their fallen family member. 

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