No, it’s not about the character arc that left some viewers up in arms. It’s about her and the dragons. Writing on the A Song of Ice and Fire board on Reddit, one Game of Thrones enthusiast opened up an intriguing discussion about Dany’s relationship to the beasts – specifically her control over them – and how differently that could play out in the books compared to the show.

In a post that has been 94% Upvoted, user Express_Bath pointed out that, in George RR Martin’s companion tome Fire and Blood, “especially during the Dance of Dragons… despite having a lot of dragons, whenever they count the number available, it is number of dragons with their rider”.

This, as the theorist pointed out, “implies that despite having the dragons here, present at Dragonstone, the Targaryens are not able to control them or to send them into fight.”

However, they went on: “In the show, we see several times Daenerys flying them with her to battle, and they don’t even seem to need orders from her.

“Several things could be argued: first, the Dragons in the Dance would be for a Targaryen v.s Targaryen battle, so it’s doubtful they would choose a “side” if they do not have bonded rider.

“Also a certain number of dragons are more savages than domestic, choosing to nest away far from human activity.

“More importantly, Dany’s relation with her dragons seems different.

“While the dragons in Dragonstone during the Targaryen reign seem to be left to their own devices (for all we know, but this is the sentiment I had from the book), Dany takes the role of ‘mother’ for her three dragons.

“While ultimately she will probably only ride one, she has a bond with the other two.”

So the question is: will Dany control the three dragons in George RR Martin’s The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring like she could in the small-screen episodes?

“I can see Dany having a bond with all of her dragons but I hope the books don’t go the route of the show in riding them,” one fan responded.

“My guess is that since she hatched them all, they all have a bond with her,” said another.

A third replied: “I fully expect that in the books, the binding itself is more fleshed out.”

View the discussion in full on Reddit here.

A release date for The Winds of Winter is not yet set, but Martin recently hinted it will arrive by next summer, 2020, at the latest.

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