This post contains spoilers from Game Of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6. Listen: did you hear it? That sound, the crack that seemed to be everywhere at once, and nowhere at the same time? That sound was the sound of the internet breaking, as a million voices screamed as one, and then were silenced, as they watched in horror as Viserion becomes an Ice Dragon on Game of Thrones.
How could it have happened? And yet, the only thing we can say is, "Of course it did." All things that die beyond the Wall are the domain of the Night King. This is why the wildlings and the Night's Watch have the traditions of burning their dead, even if the Night's Watch has forgotten why over the centuries. You burn the dead because it's the only way the White Walkers won't take them and add them to the Army of the Dead.
We saw it at Hardhome, as every fallen wildling soldier became an enemy, with unblinking blue eyes. We saw it with the snow bear that attacked Jon's raiding party. We see it with the horses that the Night King and the White Walkers ride. Anything that has died is his to resurrect.
The Night King just upgraded his ride.
The irony hurts so much. After years, and I mean actual decades, of wondering who the third head of the dragon was that Rhaegar spoke of to Daenerys in her vision in the House of the Undying in A Clash of Kings, we finally have our answer.
No, it's not Tyrion, who is somehow a secret Targaryen. (I think we can all agree that we can be done with that theory now. Right? Right.) It will not be Bran Stark, who's Three-Eyed Raven status will somehow allow him to ride. It will not be any of the other wild theories we've seen on the internet in the last almost 20 years, from Arya Stark to Jaime Lannister, to a Greyjoy to Beric, to Melisandre.
We have met the third head of the dragon, and he is dead.
The playing field is leveled. And finally, the players are ready to be convinced to take their places for the final battle between the living and the dead.