The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones' seventh season was a wild ride, featuring numerous deaths beyond The Wall and tensions growing in Westeros.
** Spoilers for ‘Beyond The Wall’ ahead **
For many, the most notable scene was Daenerys Targaryen losing one of her precious children, the Night’s King impaling Viserion the dragon with a spear.
During a post-episode discussion, Emila Clarke spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the horrifying moment that changes everything.
“It’s a heartbreak,” the actor said. “Not only losing it but having that being given to the other side.”
Importantly, the dragon’s death also gives Dany more reason to fight the Army of the Dead: “My dragon could not have died for nothing, so this is now so important,” she says. “For the first time, you’re starting to see her defenses broken.”
Clarke also noted how, of all the dragons to switch sides, it was the one named after her horrible brother Viserys: “Of course it’s the rotten egg, of course you’d turn.”
However, although Dany may have been vulnerable for a minute, we shouldn’t forget her harsh decisions from earlier the season, such as burning the Tarlys.
She added: “The biggest question this season for Dany is what side of the coin she’s on. The unequivocal nature in choosing to be this aggressive is something you haven’t seen before. She’s practiced patience and has this savior-like quality, but now it’s game on.”