Game of Thrones Shocks Fans With One of the Biggest Character Deaths Ever

With only a few more episodes left, Game of Thrones fans were braced for death going into tonight's episode. Last week's Battle of Winterfell saw the loss of several characters in the fight against the Night King and his Army of the Dead and this week, with the Night King defeated, Daenerys turned her sights towards King's Landing, Cersei, and the Iron Throne. Of course, Dany isn't exactly going to be welcomed with open arms and that means more deaths -- including one that hits very close to home for the would-be queen.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Game of Thrones below.

After a brief period of time mourning their dead after the Battle of Winterfell as well as a victory celebration, Dany and her army march on King's Landing. While Missandei and Grey Worm travel by boat and Jon travels by land, Dany rides Drogon in her typical fashion with Rhaegal right alongside her. However, that's when tragedy strikes. While Drogon and Rhaegal are flying, Euron Greyjoy's ships are nearby, and Rhaegal is struck repeatedly by arrows fired from massive crossbows on those ships. The dragon is struck multiple times in the chest before an arrow strikes through his neck, prompting the screaming winged beast to crash into the ocean below. Dany herself must dodge arrows before flying around a corner and seeing the ships for herself.

Rhaegal's death marks the second loss of a dragon that Dany's endured. Viserion was killed last season and ended up under the command of the Night King, something that grew even more horrifying when the Night King arrived at Winterfell riding the undead Viserion. And while the death of any of Dany's dragons would be tragic, Rhaegal's death is particularly painful as the dragon only barely survived a vicious battle with his undead brother last week only to be felled this time around.

How Dany will be impacted by Rhaegal's death remains to be seen -- and it's likely to be a difficult loss as the dragon was named for her own son who also died and, well, the dragons are her children -- the loss of a dragon also means her forces are down one of their advantages when it comes to her march on King's Landing. Dany's dragons have long been a source of power that have set her apart from her opponents so it will be interesting to see how being down to one changes things as Game of Thrones flies towards its ultimate conclusion.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

Were you shocked by Rhaegal's death in tonight's episode? Let us know in the comments below.

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