This post contains spoilers from Game Of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6. This is the hardest post to write. Not just the hardest post to write, but the hardest scene to watch on Game of Thrones in a long time. Harder than Hodor. Harder than maybe even the Red Wedding or Ned's death. There haven't been a lot of moments I would equate with the other two, but Viserion's death scene on Game of Thrones definitely ranks up there.
From the moment Dany took off from Dragonstone, throwing back in Tyrion's face that she's done nothing at his suggestion this whole time, and it's gotten her nowhere, the sense of dread formed. While she's been told of the Night King, as we know, you have to see to understand. She hasn't seen. She doesn't understand. Tyrion's fear is that she'll die, and that's very understandable, because without her, they really are lost.
But there are three living creatures with her, one who was already injured only two episodes ago. Three beautiful, innocent creatures, her children, none of whom deserve to be hurt or killed in the wars of men. None of who we assumed would die before the final battle.
How wrong we were.
I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, it was the scream. The scream as he was hit, the scream as he fell. And the screams of Drogon and Rhaegal in utter horror as their brother, their littermate, their comrade in flight and in arms, fell to earth, crashing through the ice, and sinking under the waves, killing him.
Dany's face was all of us in that moment.
Shock, disbelief, horror, frozen, unable to comprehend. That. Just. Happened. She didn't listen to Tyrion, and one of her babies: gone.
This is, of course, how A Song Of Ice And Fire has always worked. I strongly believe it's one of the reasons Game of Thrones is so freakishly popular. It takes the fantasy tropes, the ones where the heroes never die, and the good guys always win, and the bad guys always succumb, and it refutes them, over and over. It takes our assumptions and expectations of the genre, and it uses them against us. Ned Stark can't die, he's the moral hero. Robb Stark and the Freys will make up. See, Edmure Tully's bride is even pretty! Jon Snow can't be killed, he's a Targaryen.
And yet it's there, in front of us. Valar Morghulis. And yet we keep forgetting this basic truth. Anyone can be killed. All the death pools I've seen this season, despite the leaks, despite the rumors, despite the spoilers which have literally been out there since October of last year: not one ever thought to put Drogon, Rhaegal or Viserion on the list.
We keep forgetting, like with Hodor last season. Anyone can be killed. Even dragons.
Viserion: 298-301 AC. He was four years old. Rest in peace.