Game of Thrones ep. 9 Review: Why Do We Assume Dragons Are Good?

After last week's Game of Thrones episode, "Hardhome", I wrote here that we were basically tricked into seeing the White Walkers as villains, which they are probably not. Well, after episode 9, "Dance with Dragons", the opposite should be said about the dragons.
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After last week's Game of Thrones episode, "Hardhome", I wrote here that we were basically tricked into seeing the White Walkers as villains, which they are probably not. Well, after episode 9, "Dance with Dragons", the opposite should be said about the dragons - we should not be fooled again into seeing them as good guys.

In George R. R. Martin's world dragons are mostly just weapons. Game-changing weapons at that. Think of an atomic bomb, think of drones flying through the skies or some super-advanced fighter jet. Or more relevant to the story: the introduction of gunpowder and cannons.

In stark contrast to the White Walkers, the dragons are not a race with its own agenda and interests, they're just wild and dangerous beasts with supernatural powers.

Throughout western history dragons were not only mythical creatures, but also a problem that should be resolved, a challenge to be overcome. They were always mean and they usually spent their time hiding in caves protecting their immense treasures. They had to be killed, and heroes dreamt of slaying dragons to gain universal and eternal fame.

The feat that queen Daenerys achieves is even greater than dragon-slaying: dragon-taming. Drogon heroically came by to save the day and she climbed on top of him and flew away. It must be said that this scene was very different in the books: Drogon was there to feast on a carcass and indiscriminately attacked everyone in his immediate vicinity and then even tried to burn and kill Daenerys, his own mother. She just came at him with a whip and forced herself on his back just as he took off to god knows where (actually, book readers know where).

There is a huge difference between a dragon that swoops in to save a beloved character and a dragon that tries to kill this very same beloved character, but let's put that aside for a minute.

As Drogon burned all of his mother's enemies it was clear how efficient he has become as a weapon. Basically, his only redeeming quality is his association with Daenerys, because if he would have been ridden by someone less noble than her, that would have been awful. Even though Daenerys is using her weapons of mass destruction to free slaves, since she can only ride the one, and there are two more, it begs to contemplate who would ride them.

Who will inherit her dragon when she dies? What would have happened had Joffrey had a dragon? The roll of the monarchy dice can always result in a mad king. But a mad king with a dragon is a clear and present danger to all human kind.

We can look to their history: these fire-spitting monsters were the weapon that allowed Aegon Targaryen, aka Aegon the Conqueror, to attack and conquer Westeros and establish a new nation: the united Seven Kingdoms.

To learn how Aegon Targaryen became the founding father of the Seven Kingdoms, watch this Game of Thrones Academy's video.

400 years earlier, the dragons changed the course of history in the continent of Essos, as a village of sheep herders discovered how to a tame dragons. The Valyrians built their empire by destroying, pillaging, enslaving and killing.

Drogon himself, prior to saving Daenerys, did kill a small child in season 4, which prompted his mom to realize that even though the dragons are very effective in times of war, they're extremely dangerous in times of peace.

So when the battle of fire and ice comes around in season 9 or book 7, we should maybe remind ourselves that fire is not better than ice, and that both dragons and White Walkers are monsters. We should also remind ourselves that people do monstrous things all the time, especially people who hold an exorbitant amount of power.

For all we know, the White Walkers could have just been hiding behind a wall for 8,000 years to protect themselves from the humans that live on the other side of it. These humans fight all the time and they did try to exterminate another non-human race: the Children of the Forest. Maybe the White Walkers are raising an army in anticipation of the inevitable attack by those humans who fly on top of dragons.

If I were living in Westeros and there was a war between the White Walkers and dragons, I would definitely wish luck to both sides and hope they kill as many of the other kind of monsters they possibly could.

Check out Gil Kidron's YouTube channel Game of Thrones Academy for a look at Game of Thrones through the lens of history

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