With Game of Thrones nearing its end, it’s time for one of the longest-standing theories about the show to end, too. For the last few years, going all the way back to season 2, there’s been a pretty prominent Game of Thrones theory about a three-headed dragon — and specifically, three people to ride this prophesied three-headed dragon. So many things needed to align just perfectly for this theory to maybe transpire, and as we head into Game of Thrones Season 8, the circumstances needed for this prophecy to come true make more and more sense.
As we all know (and if not, welcome to Game of Thrones), Daenerys Targaryen has three dragons. They were given to her, still in eggs, as a wedding present all the way back in Season 1, and hatched at the end of that season. Since then, she’s also taken on the persona of the “Mother of Dragons” and treats them as her children. These dragons, Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion, are huge, powerful, breathe fire, and might be the strongest defense Westeros has against the Night King’s undead army beyond The Wall. They also might be part of a greater prophecy that includes Dany, two other riders, and who’s going to end up on the Iron Throne in the end.
Origin of the Three-Headed Dragon Prophecy
While the prophecy is greatly hinted at in the books, it’s only slightly alluded to in the show. So, let’s talk about both of them for a second, emphasis on the books. During season 2, episode 10: "Valar Morghulis,” Dany finds herself in the House of the Undying, where she sees a few different visions, most notably one where she is reunited with Khal Drogo and their son. However, in the novels, she has another major vision, where she sees who we assume is her dead brother, Rhaegar — you know, the brother who ran away with Lyanna Stark and Jon Snow’s real father.
Rhaegar names his newborn son Aegon (this son will later grow up to be Jon Snow), and says that he is “the prince that was promised” before looking right at Dany (still in the vision) and saying, “there must be one more. The dragon has three heads.”
There’s a lot going on here, and it’s assumed that the prophecy about the prince that was promised and the dragon with three heads are both intertwined. There’s like 500 more things about the prince that was promised — aka, Azor Ahai — but we’re here to talk about dragons.
The Three-Headed Dragon and Dany’s Dragons
Rhaegar talks about a three-headed dragon. Conveniently, Dany has three dragons. There’s literally no other logical conclusion other than this prophecy refers to Dany’s dragons. This prophecy also means that for each dragon, there is a corresponding dragon rider. Three heads, three dragons, three riders.
Who are the three riders?
All along, one of the rides has been Dany — she’s the mother of dragons, after all. As for the other two, it’s theorized that they will also be of Targaryen descent. We just learned about another Targaryen at the end of season 6, when it was (finally) confirmed that Jon is Rhaegar’s son. As for the last rider, that’s still a little bit murkier.
It’s thought that Tyrion Lannister might be the third rider. He’s already got a history with Dany’s dragons and has gotten closer to them than anyone else, besides Dany and Jon themselves. Seeing as how he’s also one of her most trusted allies, Tyrion makes sense. Also, he might be a Targaryen himself. There’s a theory that Tyrion is the son of Aerys II Targaryen and Joanna Lannister and a lot of evidence to back this up. There’s no hard and fast rule that a Targaryen has to be the rider, so Tyrion could end up being one of them, without any sort of surprise family history thrown into the mix.
But also...Viserion is “dead”
It took seven seasons for the moon and stars to align for us to even make it this far with the three-headed dragon prophecy. Everything was lining up perfectly, especially after the Jon Snow reveal. And then Viserion had to go and die. During the battle at the Wall, the Night King throws a spear at Viserion, tearing him from the sky and seemingly killing him. But, this is Game of Thrones, and what is dead may never actually die. With one single touch, the Night King turned Viserion into an Ice Dragon. Awesome. So yeah, now Dany is down a dragon.
Conveniently, someone else Dany knows once died
Like you could have ever forgotten, once upon a time Jon Snow died. There haven’t been a whole lot of hints that Jon and Viserion have any sort of connection, other than the death thing. It might be nothing, but this connection could be something huge and hint that Jon’s the one to actually ride Viserion into battle.
Also, has the Lord of Light ever brought a dragon back from the dead? Hey, there’s a first time for everything.