ByKristy Anderson, writer at
Kristy Anderson

One of the most shocking and tragic events in Game Of Thrones Season 7 was the death and subsequent icy resurrection of Viserion, one of Daenerys Targaryen's three beloved dragons. Digging a little deeper into events from George R.R. Martin's novels regarding the reason behind Viserion's name and the destiny Daenerys hoped for him, makes the dragon's death even more heartbreaking than what we saw play out on screen.

An Unworthy Namesake?

Drogon, the largest of the dragons and the one whom Daenerys rides, is named after her deceased husband and great warrior, Khal Drogo. The green dragon, Rhaegal, was named after her eldest brother, Prince Rhaegar, who we know for sure was a pretty good man after the events shown in the Season 7 finale. On the other hand, Dany's other elder brother, Viserys, was abusive towards her, forced her into marriage and tried to steal her precious dragon eggs for his own selfish gains. Basically, the polar opposite of a good man. Understandably, many fans were confused to realize that Daenerys had named her third dragon, Viserion, after him.

The truth, as novel fans will know, is that the Viserys we saw on screen was not quite the same as the one Daenerys knew in her youth.

'His Dragon Will Do What He Could Not'

In the early days after their escape from Westeros, when Viserys was just seven and Daenerys was a newborn, the children were cared for by a loyal knight loyal to the Targaryens, Ser Willem Darry. During this time, while they were as safe and secure as possible (given their situation), Viserys and Daenerys shared a warm relationship. It was only after Ser Willem's sudden death, when the house's servants stole the children's remaining gold and cast them out onto the streets, that their bond began to sour. Viserys grew to resent Daenerys for the loss of their mother and the need to sell their few remaining belongings, including their beloved mother's crown, to care for her. This resentment, along with a bit of the madness inherited from their father, grew and festered, resulting in the abuse that we see in Season 1. Still, Daenerys finds it difficult to completely let go of the memory of the loving brother who protected her in their youth.

Early in the second novel, A Clash Of Kings, Daenerys says to Jorah while naming her dragons:

"The cream-and-gold I call Viserion. Viserys was cruel and weak and frightened, yet he was my brother still. His dragon will do what he could not."

Daenerys hoped that Viserion would be better than Viserys, redeeming him in some way through sharing his name. He, like the other dragons, could do what Viserys could never do: he would help her return home and retake the Iron Throne for their family.

A Broken Dream

Sadly, all of Daenerys hopes for Viserion will never come to be. Now that he has risen as a member of the Night King's army, Viserion is firmly on the side of the bad guys, fighting against his mother and brothers. When this information comes to light, Viserion will break Daenerys's heart, just like his namesake.


Did You Know the Meaning Behind Viserion's name?


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