Warning: the night is dark and full of spoilers – as is this article – so proceed with caution!
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premiered on April 14, and naturally, we have a lot of questions. Like, is Bronn going to kill Jaime and Tyrion? Are the ladies in King's Landing brothels always so delightfully gossipy? Did Jon Snow and Daenerys realize they were basically re-creating a scene in Aladdin? Oh, and what the HELL does Jon Snow's ability to ride a dragon mean for the rest of the series?!
Like we said – we have a lot of questions, but let's focus on Jon and his cool new
car dragon for now.
The scene of Jon getting the OK from Rhaegal to climb aboard and ride off through the icy countryside is actually pretty adorable, since he clings to the dragon for dear life (and with none of the grace that Dany usually does). But as cute as the moment is, it feeds into an important, longstanding theory about how the Targaryens could reclaim the Iron Throne: the "Three Heads of the Dragon" theory.
It feeds into an important, longstanding theory about how the Targaryens could reclaim the Iron Throne.
During Daenerys's trippy journey through the House of the Undying, she has a vision of her late brother, Rhaegar (aka Jon Snow's real dad), stating that "the dragon has three heads." This three-headed dragon theme is reflected in the series over and over again throughout the series: Daenerys originally has three dragons before the Night King kills one in season seven; the Targaryen house sigil features a three-headed dragon; and Dany's ancestor Aegon Targaryen conquered Westeros alongside his two sisters, who were all mounted atop dragons. Diehard fans (and even author George R.R. Martin himself) have interpreted the prophecy to mean that there must be three riders for Dany's three dragons before she can win back the Iron Throne.
Although it's not official, it makes the most sense that Daenerys herself is one of these dragon riders – she's already ridden Drogon through battle, after all. As for the other two riders? Up until the Night King turned Viserion into a giant, ice-breathing wight, it was assumed that Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister would be the remaining two. It's been confirmed that Jon is actually of Targaryen lineage since his father is Rhaegar, and even if Tyrion isn't related to Jon and Dany, he has a proven connection with dragons since he was able to approach them in Meereen.
Obviously now that season eight has premiered, we know Jon is definitely one of the three riders. Daenerys also is. But is the Night King the prophesied third dragon rider? It certainly wouldn't seem like he'd be a positive force in helping the Targaryens claim the throne. Let's take a closer look at each potential rider in the prophecy, ahead.