When a man who is capable of bringing gargantuan super warriors back from the dead and brewing up enough to wildfire to blow the capital to smithereens says he's been working on a plan to exterminate dragons, the imagination conjures up fantastic and terrible images. Of course, for #GameOfThrones fans, those mental gymnastics were short-lived, as in the very next scene Qyburn shows his master plan to Cersei: a large crossbow. That's it. A crossbow that, despite it's size, has kind of lost its oomf-factor when its not being wielded by the sociopathic boy-king Joffrey.
Qyburn. Buddy. What the hell are you doing? You're supposed to be a crazed alchemist evil genius, and all you could come up with was technology that was 100% already invented on the show? It is a true testament to Lena Headey's phenomenal acting skills that Cersei was able to look at all impressed with this large yet totally underwhelming hunk of junk.
How does Qyburn — or the show creators, for that matter — not have a lab assistant or intern hanging around who would point out that while shooting a big stick through a stationary dragon skull makes a satisfying crunch, hitting a moving target that's covered in spikes and leathery scales is going to be much trickier. Not to mention the fact that dragons breathe fire, so one little sneeze from Big Drogon and this stupid toy is going to be turned into kindling.
The only thing that the big crossbow has going for it is that it was relatively simple to put together and required absolutely no stretch of the imagination whatsoever on the part of the audience. But on a show about a dragon queen and a bastard orphan that's trying to wage a war against freaky ice monsters that turn corpses into zombies and want to destroy all of humanity, a little stretch of the imagination isn't such a bad thing. Especially when it comes to dragons. Here are seven dragon-destroying weapons that Qyburn SHOULD have spent his time putting together, rather than this colossal disappointment.
Come! On! Benioff and Weiss — George R.R. Martin handed you this one. It is right in the books that you seem to have forgotten all about. Euron Greyjoy just so happens to be in possession of an enchanted horn that — legend has it — controls dragons. We've never seen it in action, but we can assume it works something like the Imperius Curse, or maybe like those wall plug-ins that emit a high frequency to keep rodents and bugs out of your house. Dragonbinder is not without its difficulties, as poor crewman Cragorn learned when he decided to blow it to announce Euron's claim over the Iron Isles. Cragorn dropped dead on the spot and a maester's autopsy revealed that his lungs were black and burned. But when has needless death ever been a problem for Cersei? She could just round up 20 people she doesn't like very much (so basically, anyone) and get them all to take turns blowing Dragonbinder on the field of battle. Kill two birds with one stone. Or, rather, kill a bunch of stuff with one trumpet.
2. Ice Dragon
Again, George R.R. Martin has offered this bad boy up on a silver platter, if you know where to look. In one of his short stories published years before A Game of Thrones, he tells of a world very similar — if not identical — to that of Westeros. In this world, a young girl forms an affinity with the mystical ice dragon that visits her in the winter. Martin sprinkled ice dragon snow flakes throughout A Song of Ice and Fire, so it would have been easy enough to Benioff and Weiss to borrow that bit of mythology for their show. An ice dragon is really the most qualified candidate to take on a fire dragon in combat, so why Qyburn didn't even give it a shot is beyond me. Plus, how COOL would it be to see an ice dragon?!
3. Reanimated Skeleton Dragon
We know that Qyburn has the ability to bring people back from the dead, so the same could go for beasts as well. He has a room chock full of old dragon parts sitting RIGHT THERE at his disposal. They are RIGHT THERE. Frankly, it was a bit rude to make us walk past all those dragon skulls without even trying to turn one of them into a dragon zombie.
If you can make wildfire, you can make wildice. The effect would be something akin to liquid nitrogen, causing freezing on contact. Hurling buckets of magical frost juice all over the dragons and letting them drip it onto everything and everyone sounds just like Cersei's over-the-top brand of destruction.
5. A Fleet Of Hot Air Balloons
OK, this one might not be the most practical suggestion, as a dragon could easily toast the balloons like so many marshmallows. But nevertheless, it would be way more interesting to watch a dozen baskets of Lannister soldiers thrown up into the air to meet Daenerys's scaly children face to face, rather than just watching someone pull a stupid lever on the ground.
6. Big Nets
Again, not super practical, but it would have been a thrill to watch Rhaegal or Viseryion break free of the chain-link nets, drag the net — Lannister soldiers and all — up into the air, and drop it back to the earth.
7. The Horn Of Winter
Like Dragonbinder, the Horn of Winter is an enchanted woodwind instrument from the books that has yet to make an appearance on the show. Actually, it has yet to make an official appearance in the books, either. Also known as Joramun's Horn, the horn belonged to the first King Beyond the Wall and is rumored to have the power to "wake the giants from the earth" and bring the Wall itself crashing down. The Horn of Winter is currently AWOL, but perhaps Qyburn could have sent out a search party to use it in the war against Daenerys. What better way to destroy your fiery enemies than to let a horde of frosty killing machines come to town to do the dirty work? Once the Night King and his wights took out Daenerys and everyone else, Qyburn could have scheduled Wildfire Explosion 2.0.
All of these ideas are significantly harder to pull off than a big crossbow, but if executed correctly, they might have been even more effective. We'll just have to wait until Qyburn gets the chance to trot out his latest invention to see if it was the right choice after all.
Were you disappointed by Qyburn's giant crossbow? What do you think he should have made instead to kill the dragons?
How closely were you paying attention to Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2? Check out our 7 things you might have missed in the video below.
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