By Viserion, Daughter of Humans
as told to cis white unscaled human male Brenden Gallagher
Dear Game of Thrones Fans,
There is a time to fly around looking for lambs to eat and peasants to incinerate, and there is a time to speak out. While I am normally content with just spraying real life flames, destroying all that stands in my path, and striking fear into the hearts of all from Slaver’s Bay to Meereen, today I come to you to unleash flame emojis in the form of what you pitiful humans have termed “an open letter.”
My name is Viserion—you may know me as "not that dragon, but that other dragon." I know myself as "the highest paid non-human, non-Night's King actor on Game of Thrones." While I have enjoyed five seasons as the undisputed star of GoT, one issue has gnawed at my soul as I would gnaw on a herd of oxen. Despite the cultural conversation around Game of Thrones that keeps a legion of self-righteous freelancers employed in the thinkpiece mill, there has been no serious conversation as to how the show depicts dragons.
Game of Thrones is by no means the first media property to slander winged serpents. As long as there have been literal white knights trying to kill us (given their usual fate, let us call them "Burnie Bros"), there have been hateful drago-phobic screeds shared across social media platforms. There was a time when social media meant minstrels playing the lute, but whether the microaggressions come from a dandy playing a wooden instrument or a nerd who has never felt a woman's touch on his wooden instrument, they still sting.
Who can blame peasants for saying such negative things about dragons when that’s all the media shows them? From the illustrated manuscripts of the Dark Ages to the spec scripts of the Internet age, dragons are drawn as little more than a cluster of stereotypes, with a few notable exceptions (Puff the Magic Dragon, Mushu from Mulan, etc.). Dragons have long been portrayed as greedy, stupid, and, of course, violent (Thanks for nothing JR.R. Tolkein, you hobbit-sniffing bitch). And it’s all a lie. Did you know that if you don’t factor in violent altercations between wizards and/or knights, only 5 percent of dragon violence is directed toward humans? Most dragon violence is either dragon on dragon or dragon on farm animal. But you’ll never see that statistic in the media.
My show, Game of Thrones, is no different. Let’s look at the behavior of my mother, Daenerys Targaryen a.k.a. Daenerys Stormborn a.k.a. the Mother of Dragons a.k.a. the Banger of Dothrakis a.k.a. the taker of erotic baths in the most boring episode of each season. When we got a little too big for her to handle, what did she do? She locked us in a dungeon and threw away the key. Our own mother decided that mass incarceration was the answer, after doing little more than asking a few guys she friend zoned if they could step out of her thirst trap for five seconds and attempt to think up better options.
It is tempting to place the blame for this behavior directly on the head of our dear mother, but from my aerial view, the fault lies squarely with the media. If you think this is the way it has to be for mythological creatures, then, for someone who enjoys fairytales, you have a limited imagination. To see more sympathetic portrayals of mythological creatures, one need only look north of the Wall. We call them White Walkers, but you call them zombies, and zombies do all sorts of shit. There are several shows on television where there are more zombies than people.
True Blood and Vampire Diaries taught us that vampires can have abs. Charmed taught us that witches can accessorize form-fitting tank tops. All I ask for my brethren is the same chance: no more and no less. I am calling on showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to offer just one scene where a dragon is doing something other than the “three Fs:” feasting, flying, and fire breathing. You can even put two girls doing lesbian shit in the background just like every other time you want to make some boring sociopolitical point. I’m not asking for much.
I acknowledge that some day, my brethren and I may rain down fiery, cataclysmic destruction, leaving the world a smoldering crater and the waters running red with blood. But, until that day comes, maybe you could treat us a little better.
Please take a moment sign my petition at Whitehouse.org and participate in our hashtag: #dragonsonfire. In the mean time, I'll continue to look toward a better world for dragons, and humans who can avoid playing near any sheep I may wish to eat,