The 'Game of Thrones' Scorpion Could Return in a Big Way in Season 8

The Westeros weapon of war could probably kill dragons in real-life too.

How do you kill a dragon in Game of Thrones? Well, if you’re the Night King, you throw a big icy spear at it. Otherwise, you call Tommy Dunne. The show’s longtime “Weapons Master” designed the scorpion, a ginormous crossbow that pierced one of Daenerys’ dragon in Season 7.

The original scorpion was destroyed by that same dragon in a fiery blast, but Dunne hinted to Inverse that we might see another scorpion in Game of Thrones Season 8. And if one fan theory is correct, it could be the key to stopping the Night King and his new pet ice dragon Viserion.

When asked point blank if we’d see the scorpion return this season, Dunne deflected before offering a subtle clue.

“That one I can’t answer, unfortunately,” he says before adding, “I’d be shocked if we don’t — let’s put it that way.”

Just like assuming that we’ll see a lot more dragonglass weapons in Game of Thrones Season 8, the reappearance of the scorpion feels like a pseudo-spoiler that’s also a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t the army of the living use their greatest weapons against the army of the dead?

Game of Thrones Bronn Scorpion
Bronn wielding the scorpion at the Battle of the Goldroad in 'Game of Thrones' Season 7.

In the history of Westeros, scorpions and their larger versions, ballistas, have been used for years. The one we saw in Season 7 was modified with enough tension and power that it could pierce the skull of a dragon. Sure enough, it did wound Drogon, but it wasn’t enough to kill the dragon in a single shot. If the same technology were used to shoot the undead Viserion with a dragonglass- or Valyrian steel-tipped spear, then the dragon would die instantly, right?

Of course, the original scorpion was designed by Cersei Lannister’s right-hand-man Qyburn, who likely won’t be helping out in the battle against the Night King’s forces. But Jaime got a good look at the design, Bronn knows how it functions intimately, and we’re sure other bright minds like Tyrion or Sam can come up with something similar.

One fan theory from December 2018 posits that Jaime Lannister might eventually be the one to slay the Night King by melting down his Valyrian steel sword, Widow’s Wail, and crafting it into a spear that could be launched with the scorpion. As awesome as that sounds, it’s a bit too far-fetched for one big reason: Jaime Lannister already told Bronn that he couldn’t possibly operate a siege weapon designed for a small team of soldiers with just one working hand.

So Jaime probably won’t be the one to operate the scorpion in Game of Thrones Season 8, but that doesn’t mean the same scenario can’t play out just with someone else operating the machinery.

Game of Thrones Scorpion Bronn
Bronn swinging the scorpion around to take aim.

When asked about his favorite weapons to make for Game of Thrones, Dunne brings up the ornate glaive wielded by Areo Hotah, the captain of the Martell guard, but he also mentions these larger artillery weapons.

“A lot of the bigger siege engines I enjoyed as well making them with our carpenters,” Dunne says. “Some of those bigger items were good fun.”

Dunne is used to making the show’s typical weapons and armor, but when it comes to the more complex siege weaponry, it requires a lot more work, especially when the production calls for practical effects.

“I think I’m my own worst enemy because we like to do everything practical, so everything physically works and can do exactly what it’s supposed to,” Dunne says. “There’s less poundage, obviously, and less destructibility, but every mechanism works. You just have to make sure that there’s a simple mechanism that looks dynamic.”

That’s right, when Bronn fires the scorpion, it’s probably really firing. And assuming we see the weapon return in Game of Thrones Season 8, it’ll be the real thing once again.

Bronn tries to take down a dragon.

Game of Thrones Season 8 begins Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.

Media via HBO