Everybody loves to love the dragons. Probably three of the favorite scenes in Game of Thrones include the dragons: their birth, them burning Astapor ("Drakaris!") and of course Daenerys climbing over Drogon in Mereen. They are an integral part of what has made Game of Thrones such a global pop culture phenomenon.
But if it weren't for their great PR machine, these dragons would be considered as super villains. The fact that their mother is one of the most beloved characters clouds our judgement, but the dragons are basically weapons of mass destruction. They have no redeeming qualities of their own and are merely tools for the men and women who control them. They are like horses or lions, beasts that are part of nature and are neither good nor evil.
The dragons cannot survive this story. They can't win or be part of this world once it's all said and done. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Dragon folklore in European culture
Game of Thrones, needless to say, did not invent these magical creatures. There were stories about dragons dating back from medieval times, where they were depicted as evil monstrous creatures, usually living in a cave hovering over their treasures or just terrorizing a nearby village. These stories couldn't get to their conclusion before the "dragon problem" was solved. The solution to that problem was more often than not a hero, a dragon-slayer, who came to save the day. Basically, the story could not move on before the dragons were dead.
2. They make it impossible to rule
Dragons are capable of great destruction so the person who possesses them has an advantage over opposing armies. The Targaryens didn't have armies, just three dragons, and that was enough to conquer the continent. In much the same way, once the U.S. developed atomic weapons, no one could mess with the Americans. But it is hard to imagine U.S. presidents being able to rule if their nukes arsenal had a mind of its own, flying around killing people.
For more details on why the dragons must die, watch GoT Academy's video
3. GRRM's dedication in one of the books
Author George R R Martin opens one of his books with a dedication (to Phyllis), thanking her "for making him put the dragons in". This means the dragons were not part of the story at the time of inception, when he was starting to write the story or shape it in his mind. So they are not integral to the larger themes and to the conclusion of the story. Basically: it is plausible that they'll die because they were not supposed to be there in the first place.
4. Their purpose is the battle of ice and fire
The dragons' purpose in the story is not to so much to help Daenerys win over Westeros, but rather for her Drogon to be the Stallion That Mounts the World and for them to fight the White Walkers in the battle of fire and ice. Once this great battle will be over, what purpose will the dragons have? How will they serve the story?
5. In epic fantasy the world undergoes meaningful change
In epic fantasy, once the credits roll the world would have gone through meaningful change. It seems that Game of Thrones is pushing Westeros to the brink, which will trigger a radical change, as the old world will be replaced with a new one. If the Targaryen line and their dragons are restored, it would seem that the world is going backwards instead of forward.
6. Killing the dragons is exactly what Game of Thrones does
Remember Ned, remember Robb, remember the Alamo. Game of Thrones made us like the dragons, even root for them, although they are murderous monsters. So it makes sense for them to take it all away and laugh while we cry. This story is probably not going to have a perfect ending with Daenerys winning it all, marrying Jon Snow and both of them sitting on matching Iron Thrones, looking at the sunset with their dragons by their side.
7. Their death is a great conclusion to their story arc
When we started reading this story magic was weak and forgotten. We were introduced to a dragon-less world, as they were long thought to be extinct, but were then reborn. They got bigger and stronger and continue to get bigger and stronger. Once they get strong enough they'll head to the wall. If they survive, it will be really anticlimactic, while killing them off at the end of Game of Thrones would be epic and bitter sweet.
What do you think?
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* This post first appeared on Tower of the Hand on July 20 2015