POTENTIAL SPOILERS AND BOOK TALK ABOUND
We (the viewers of Game of Thrones) may be introduced to the Horn of winter (AKA Horn of Joramun), and the Dragonbinder (AKA Hellhorn) in the coming weeks. Each horn has the potential to change the trajectory for all living beings in all realms from Winterfell to Asshai—in pretty much exclusively terrible ways.
Now, it’s possible neither of these horns make an appearance at all, but I think that despite the deus ex machina of both narrative-altering elements, they’re coming.
Here’s why they matter:
The name pretty much says it all. Allegedly, when one blows on this massive, Valyrian steel, glyph-laden horn one gains the power to bind a dragon one’s will. Many believe this is the gift Euron Greyjoy intends to bring back to earn Cersei’s hand, and it makes sense. Cersei would obviously jump at the chance to control a dragon; anything to even the playing field. But it’s not that simple. One can’t simply grab this horn, give it a powerful toot, and send Drogon to do her bidding.
In the books, Euron already has the horn, and he unveils it at the kingsmoot, which helps him win the Iron Isle throne. As a Wiki of Ice and Fire points out, the horn is described as sounding “like the screaming of a thousand souls and it seems to listeners as if their very bones are aflame and searing their flesh from within.” The man who blows the horn in the book (Euron was too smart to do it himself) ends up dead with burnt lungs and lips and a bleeding chest.
Of course, there are holes in Euron’s claims. How would he know this particular horn is the Dragonbinder? And furthermore, how would he know that the Dragonbinder works, that it isn’t just a myth? He claims he found the horn in the ruins of Valyria. OK, that could be true. The fact that it burned a dude’s insides makes it seem legit.
Then (again citing A Wiki of Ice and Fire) we’re reminded that the glyphs on the horn apparently read “I am Dragonbinder … No mortal man should sound me and live … Blood for fire, fire for blood.” That certainly doesn’t sound like any old Joe can wield this thing, it needs to be someone immortal/chosen/special. Cersei, as far as we know, is none of those things.
Euron was pretty much killed and brought back to life, so does he qualify? Doubtful.
If the Dragonbinder appears in the show—and I think it will—we won’t know if it works until Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion, are spitting fire all over King’s Landing. When you take the Lannister army, add Euron’s clan, another few thousands of gallons of Wildfire and a dragon, things start to look a bit less certain for Daenerys.
Horn of Joramun
The ramifications of a certain ice-crowned gentleman getting his hands on this particular horn cannot be overstated. As the legend goes, the Horn of Joramun (AKA the Horn of Winter) has the capability to strip the magic adhesive that has kept the wall vertical for around 8,000 years. So, if the Night’s King finds it, the white walkers and wights are through, they’re free to run havoc on the “civilized” world.
As we stated in our pre-season, prediction post, we believe Jon, Tormund and the Brotherhood without Banners will end up on a mission to find the horn before the Night’s King does. For my money, I’d say it ends up being a suicide mission for nearly everyone involved, and it fails in its prime objective.
So yeah, the horns are a big deal.
They have the (alleged) power to take down the wall and control dragons.
Jesse Mechanic is the editor in chief of The Overgrown.