The penultimate episode of Game Of Thrones, "Beyond The Wall," has left fans devastated after the death of Viserion (one of Daenerys' beloved dragons) at the hands of the Night King. Then, in the episode's final chilling moments, the Night King woke the dragon as one of his own kind. Any frightening new abilities the resurrected Viserion may possess are not yet known.
Daenerys is now left with two living dragons: Drogon, ridden by Daenerys, and Rhaegal, who has yet to carry a rider. That situation needs to be corrected as soon as possible, for reasons made clear during the battle beyond the Wall.
At the time of Viserion's tragic death, he is flying far from his mother, unable to receive any instructions from her. It is important to remember that, though full grown, Dany's dragons are still very young and inexperienced. Viserion had never been involved in a battle of this magnitude before. Dragons are said to be intelligent on a level matching or even greater than humans, so like any human youth he probably believed himself invincible, horribly unaware of any dangers he had to look out for, particularly from a threat as far below him as the Night King.
With all this in mind, it becomes much easier to see how this tragedy occurred, and how it could have been avoided.
Almost immediately following Viserion's death, the Night King draws another ice spear and takes aim at Drogon, who carries Daenerys and the rescued members of the team beyond the Wall. Drogon, unlike Viserion, has already seen battle, carried a rider and learned to receive instructions. Drogon has Daenerys as an extra pair of eyes, able to see the added dangers of this particular battle that he may not have understood. When the Night King throws the second spear, Drogon is not in a position to see it, but trusts in Daenerys, who steers him to dodge it. Skip to around 3:45 in the above video for the moment in question.
The Targaryens rarely (if ever) sent riderless dragons to battle, and now we see why. In this case, having a rider to guide him was the difference between Drogon's survival and Viserion's death. It could one day save Dany's other surviving dragon, Rhaegal, if he finds a rider soon.
Who Will Ride Rhaegal?
With Viserion's death, the identity of Rhaegal's future rider has never been more easy to guess — two dragons for two Targaryens. Drogon has already bonded to Daenerys, so it makes sense that Rhaegal would bond with the other secret Targaryen, Jon Snow. The fact that Rhaegal is named after Jon's true father, Rhaegar Targaryen, acts as further evidence to support this theory.
With Jon and Daenerys's bond growing — and Jon having already formed a rapport with Drogon — the idea of Jon riding Rhaegal is becoming not so much an if, but a when.
Check out the preview for Game Of Thrones season finale, "The Dragon And The Wolf":
Who do you think will be the final dragon rider?