GoT's mind-blowing dragon theory
GAME Of Thrones has just rewritten the rule book on the Night King, the White Walkers and the Army of the Dead - and fans are going crazy trying to get their heads around what the killer ending means.
Beware, we have a heap of spoilers coming, so if you've not seen episode six, Beyond The Wall, look away now!
The first problem we have is that George RR Martin has obviously spent a great deal of time working out a series of rules for the wights and White Walkers - such as they can only be killed by dragonglass, fire or Valkyrian steel.
But the TV show, especially in this series, seems to be inserting a whole series of cinematic devices that look cool and add to the drama - but also break the rules and leave us confused.
A classic example of this was the recent fan furore over Jon Snow's sword, where the pommel seemed to "open its eyes" when he came out of the frozen lake.
Does this mean something magical, fans asked? The answer is probably far more boring - they use multiple swords on the show and some props guy didn't carve the head right for the fake sword used to help Jon struggle out of the lake.
But to the dead. Let's firstly look at the Night King. Back in season one, we learned that fire is deadly to the wights.
Yet the Night King strolled through the flaming corpses of his army on the way to hurling an ice spear at Daenerys and Drogon. So is he immune to fire?
That could be a dramatic twist, especially if he decides to go flying on his new dragon, Viserion, which he killed and then turned at the end of episode six.
If he is immune to dragon fire, then simply flying Drogon up behind him and breathing flames will not end the war.
We did learn a very important fact, that killing the Night King will end the war.
When Jon killed the White Walker, all the wights he had "turned" fell to pieces. This means that the Night King is the whole battle.
As long as he is alive, he can keep reanimating corpses. Once he is dead, the war is over.
This is vital because it feeds back into the prophecy of Azor Ahai, the Prince/Princess That Was Promised and the person Melisandre has been seeking for so long.
Only the Azor Ahai can kill the Night King.
Seeing as the top two contenders for AA are Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, this is a big deal.
Next let's look at Viserion, the Night King's new ride. Ignoring the fact that how did the dead find all those giant chains lying around in a wilderness to drag the dead dragon up from the lake, this was a very cool moment.
But does it mean the Night King touched Viserion to bring him back? Does this mean he is a dragon White Walker, as opposed to merely a reanimated wight, like the Zombie Bear that chomped Thoros and some assorted Wildlings earlier in the episode? And will he still breathe fire, or ice, or something else now?
The fan speculation is that if he breathes some sort of fire, no matter the colour, the Night King can now use it to melt The Wall.
This could mean that the Night King and his army were not merely faffing around in the north but were actually waiting for Jon and Dany to come north with a dragon as, without a dragon, there was no way through The Wall.
It would also explain why the Night King was happy to sit around for ages watching Jon and the others shiver, without chucking any ice spears at them, in the hopes a dragon would turn up.
But that theory gets blown up in a blast of dragon fire.
Because the wights were attacking when the dragons turned up and Jon and friends were about to get wiped out.
But does The Wall still have the power to stop the dead? After all, Bran has passed through it and, as the events of the Three-Eyes Raven's cave showed us, he has the Night King's mark, which breaks all spells that hold back the dead.
Plus, The Hound had no dramas dragging his captured wight past The Wall.
And here we get into a tangled mess of contradictions. We believe that wights are thoughtless zombies, merely obeying the orders of the nearest White Walker. Yet we saw one interact with The Hound.
Clegane first chucked a stone at one and broke its jaw off, then chucked a bigger stone that bounced across the ice to land at that wight's feet.
The wight looked down, then walked across the ice, proving that the lake had frozen enough to allow an attack on our heroes.
As a cinematic device it was great - but it has left fans going crazy. Does this mean the wights can still think? Does it mean that the Night King is controlling each one of them at all times? (And they say men can't multi-task!) Or was it just a scriptwriter's device?
Talking of wights, what has happened to them in the last two seasons? Back in Hardhome, they were relentless attackers, utterly terrifying in their ferocity and willing to use any weapon that came to hand.
This time they thoughtfully attacked in small groups and preferred to use hands and teeth as killing weapons, despite the swords and axes they were carrying. Change in character or just a device to keep the likes of Tormund and Jon alive?
Then we get to the lake itself. At first the wights fall in and "drown", thus preserving Jon and friends long enough for Dany to whip up a cuddly winter fur gown and fly to their rescue.
But then others pop out of the lake to try and pull Tormund in - and two actually pull Jon in. Those two, however, quickly drown, allowing Jon to somehow swim to safety in a giant fur suit. Yet, when it comes time to getting the dragon out, the dead are able to swim down and attach giant chains to its body so others can pull it out.
Yes, this sounds like nitpicking. Yes, it is all a fantasy and dragons and White Walkers aren't real, so we shouldn't bother about little things like logic and continuity.
Yet it was precisely that logic and continuity that made Game Of Thrones so addictive. If you want people to enjoy a fantasy, it needs to have a bedrock of reality - be that the characters, the setting or the rules of that world.
Breaking all those rules to get a cool action shot is fine but it is ruining our anticipation for season eight.
The one thing we can take out of it is that the Night King is the key to all of this and finding the Azor Ahai will be the key to winning the war.
The problem is, AA is supposed to forge the sword capable of killing the Night King by plunging it into the heart of his beloved wife. Not sure that is good news for either Jon or Dany…