Now that we've all had time to let the dust settle onGame of Thrones' rather bewildering installment for this week, it's time to look ahead and start talking about theories for Sunday's penultimate episode of the series. A big one heating up in the social media world right now is the possibility we might meet some new dragons before it's all said and done.
The preview for Season 8, Episode 5 drops a lot of hints about what's coming. In it, we see Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) stepping into the mouth of a dragon carving as he approaches Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), which screams symbolism since he's also shown looking worried before a very lonely queen on her stone throne. Meanwhile, Cersei (Lena Headey) observes a small billowing of smoke in King's Landing without her crown on and looks a bit nervous herself in a later shot. And, of course, Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham), and Tyrion are shown arriving at that scorpion-riddled wall with the remaining Unsullied, Dothraki, and northern forces.
No shot seems to have captured more audience attention, though, than the one of our swashbuckling villain Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) looking surprised at something he's seeing in the bright, but cloud-covered sky. We don't get a good glimpse at what it is, of course, but the obvious first guess would be that Daenerys has finally figured out how to sneak up on his fleet from behind and dracarys it out of existence.
However, there are some Game of Thrones fans who think that shocked expression indicates more than just Drogon returning to avenge Rhaegal's death. In fact, there are plenty of people who suspect that since we didn't actually see the dragon perish -- even if his injuries did seem quite insurmountable as he slinked into the sea with a gashed neck -- he might be the one to return in a blaze of glory to serve up some fiery payback to his attackers himself.
There is some additional evidence for that theory in the same trailer. In the opening shot, when Daenerys looking over the sea, at least two flying objects can be seen moving in the distance.
Others think there's an even bigger surprise in store, though.
Before Drogon became Daenerys' trusted riding pal, the dragon had been MIA for quite some time during mom's adventures in Meereen in Season 4 and was later spotted by Tyrion and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) hanging out around the ruins of Valyria in Season 5. During that time, could Drogon have laid eggs and hatched a few baby dragons that are now ready to fight for their grandma? The lore isn't completely clear about the reproductive systems of dragons, but it's commonly thought that they can be either male or female as needed, which makes Drogon's potential parenthood entirely possible.
Supporting that theory is Season 8's new title sequence, which features an all-new astrolabe with a shot of one big dragon alongside three smaller dragons and a comet (which was, in Season 2, said to be symbolic of the dragons' return). The creator of that sequence has previously hinted that the astrolabe is no longer indicative of just historical events in the series, so perhaps the possibility of more dragon action has been right under our noses all season long.
There are also some audible clues that might lend credence to this idea. For some fans, the sound we hear as Euron's eyes turn to saucers does not resemble the mighty growling of a full-grown dragon like Drogon, but rather sounds more like the snarls of a juvenile dragon (or perhaps multiple baby dragons).
Of course, there are still others who believe that perhaps the big surprise ahead could be that Drogon shows up in some fancy new scorpion-resistant armor, courtesy of Gendry (Joe Dempsie), who has both smithing skills and a debt to Daenerys, since she proclaimed him Lord of Storm's End. Others postulate that Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) could also be warging into a full-on crow army here to serve as a giant shield, and some even predict that Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) could be using her faceless man trick to become the dragon herself. So, who knows!
We'll find out soon enough when Game of Thrones returns for its second-to-last episode ever on Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.
PHOTOS: Game of Thrones Season 8